Per Hon. Modi (Acting C. J.) -
(1.) THIS is an appeal under sec. 18 of the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance by one Bhonrilal and is directed against the Judgment of a learned single Judge of this Court dated 7th September, 1966, dismissing the appellant's writ petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution whereby the appellant Bhonrilal questioned the validity of a resolution of the Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur passed in July, 1964 (Ex-9 on the record), for granting permits to respondents Nos. 2 to 21, on the Jaipur-Pilani route for running stage carriage buses. The case set up by the appellant was briefly this :
(2.) BHONRILAL was one of the 59 operators on the Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route which comprised the following 8 routes : - 1. Jaipur - Sikar direct, 2. Jaipur - Chomu - Rainwal - Bhadwa, 3. Jaipur - Reengus - Sri Madhopur, 4. Jaipur - Chomu - Ajitgarh, 5. Jaipur - Chomu - Chandwari, 6. Jaipur - Pandi - Bilochi, 7. Jaipur - Chomu - Samot, 8. Jaipur - Chomu - Danta. In 1960, the Regional Transport Authority invited applications for a direct route between Jaipur and Pilani, by a notification published in the Rajasthan Gazette dated 15th September, 1960. On 12th October, 1960, the petitioner made an application in pursuance of this notification for the grant of a permit. We will have occasion to refer in detail to this application a little later. The applications received for the stage carriage permits over Jaipur-Pilani route in response to the gazette notification dated 15th September, 1960. were put up at a meeting of the Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur, held on 22/23rd March, 1961, for a decision whether these may be sent for publication, but consideration of the same was postponed by the Regional Transport Authority \ide Ex. 11. Later on the applications were put up again at a meeting of the Regional Transport Authority held on 10/1lth November, 1961, but the Regional Transport Authority once again resolved that the case be postponed. In the year 1963, a number of fresh applications for permits were made before the Regional Transport Authority by other persons including respondents, and were published in three lots on 2nd January, 1964, 27th February, 1964 and 19th March, 1964 respectively. This time the petitioner made a grievance of the fact that though these subsequent applications were published, the application made by him in 1960 had not been published, and he made a representation to the Secretary of the Regional Transport Authority on 1st April, 1964 (vide Ex. 6) to that effect and then again to the Chairman of the Regional Transport Authority on 20th July, 1964 (vide Ex. 7) thereby requesting the Regional Transport Authority to publish the petitioner's application and consider it long with other applications for permits on the Jaipur-Pilani route. As inspite of these representations the petitioner's application was not published and as eventually on 26th May, 1965, permits were granted to the respondents (vide Ex. 9), the petitioner filed the writ petition on 20th July, 1965, praying for an appropriate writ, direction or order quashing the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority (Ex. 9) and to issue a writ of mandamus to the Regional Transport Authority to publish the petitioner's application submitted by him on 13th October, 1960, in accordance with law and then consider the same along with the applications of respondents Nos. 2 to 21.
The writ petition was opposed by the respondents. The respondents denied in their written reply that the petitioner had made any such application as asserted by him. However, during the pendency of the writ petition the Secretary to the Regional Transport Authority filed an affidavit on 27th August, 1965, that the petitioner had filed an application for grant of permit on Jaipur-Pilani route as asserted by him, but the same was misplaced and, therefore, could not be dealt with. The application had since then been traced out. The respondents thereafter did not contest the filing of the application by the appellant Bhonrilal as asserted by him, but they contended that the application could not have been granted because in that application the petitioner had stated that he wished to utilise his bus No. RJL 2508 plying on the Jaipur-Sikar route for the proposed route; Jaipur-Pilani. According to the respondents, this bus being of 1944 model could not have been utilised and no permit could have been granted for it, as according to the directions of the State Transport Authority a vehicle of a model more than 5 years old could not be put on an 'a' class route and according to the respondents, Jaipur-Pilani was an 'a' class route. It was. therefore, urged by the respondents that even if the making of the application by the petitioner were accepted as a fact and even though that application had not been published the writ petition was not fit to be accepted as on the ground of model the petitioner was not entitled get a permit on that application.
The petitioner filed a rejoinder to the reply submitted by the respondents and in the rejoinder he stated that the question of model of the vehicle would not arise in the case of the petitioner as he was an existing operator on the Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route which was a mixed route and the operators on that route, including the petitioner, intended to press their applications as for extension of their existing routes. According to the petitioner, even with the extension of the route the character of the route would still remain a mixed one so that the model condition would not operate as against the petitioner.
The main contention of the petitioner before the learned Single Judge was that as the petitioner's application made in 1960 and which was pending with the Regional Transport Authority had not been published as required by sec. 57 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, hereinafter to be referred as the "act", and as the same had not been considered along with the applications of the respondents, the grant of permits, to the respondents was illegal. Reliance was placed in support of the contention on three decisions of this Court namely, (1) Brothers Transport Service, Nathdwara vs. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur (D. B. Civil Writ Petition No. 199 of 1956, decided on 12th August, 1957; (2) Messrs Taxi Motor Association, Kankroli vs. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur (D. B. Civil Writ Petition No. 85 of 1958, decided on 11th September, 1958); and (3) Shyam Singh vs. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur (1961 RLW p. 77 ). The learned Single Judge observed that these three decisions did not apply to the present case as, according to him, it could not be said that the Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route as extended up to Pilani would be the same route as the Jaipur-Pilani route. It will be convenient to reproduce the observations of the learned Judge in this behalf.- "the three decisions referred to above will only apply if the petitioner had applied for grant of a fresh permit on the Jaipur-Pilani route. If on the other hand he applied for an extention of his Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route upto Pilani then the above decisions will not apply. For it cannot be said that Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route extended upto Pilani is the same route as the Jaipur-Pilani route. " It was maintained by the appellant before the learned Judge that his application was for a fresh permit on the Jaipur-Pilani route and was not for the extension of Jaipur-Sikar route upto Pilani. The learned Judge, however, did not accept this position. According to him, the petitioner had taken a specific stand in the rejoinder that he and other applicants intended to press their applications before the Regional Transport Authority as for extension of their existing routes, and, therefore, it was not open to him to contend that the application was one for the grant of a fresh permit on the Jaipur-Pilani route. The learned Judge also referred to another application made by the petitioner on 30th January, 1965 (annex-R/1l), in which the operators of the Jaipur-Sikar route stated that they had filed applications for extension of their present route upto Pilani as far back as in 1958 (which was wrongly mentioned for 1960, according to the learned Judge ). The conclusion that the learned Judge, in the circumstances, reached was as follows : "it is thus clear that the application of the petitioner filed in 1960 was really one , for extension of his amalgamated route upto Pilani. The amalgamated route was a mixed route for which no model was prescribed. But the Jaipur-Pilani route was an 'a' class route for which a five year model was prescribed". In the result the learned Judge dismissed the writ petition.
In assailing this judgment the learned counsel lor the appellant, Mr. J. P. Jain, has strongly contended that the learned Judge was in error in thinking that the appellant's application for permit was not for the direct route Jaipur-Pilani via Sikar. He pointed out that in his application, which is Ex. 13 on the record, it was never stated that it was for extension of the amalgamated route. It was then urged that the R. T. A. Was bound to publish that application and to consider and dispose it of according to law along with other applications. As regards the model, Mr. Jain argued that this could not stand in his way as the condition regarding the model was not a condition precedent for filing the application, but a condition subsequent which could be imposed by the R. T. A. only at the time of granting the permit. Taking his stand on Rule 84 A of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules, 1951, hereinafter to be referred as the "rules", he urged that the Regional Transport Authority could grant, time, if necessary, for putting a vehicle of the requisite model on the route. As such Mr. Jain contended that the learned Judge was not right in anticipating the decision of the Regional Transport Authority in thinking that no permit could be granted to the petitioner at all. According to him, the three cases mentioned above, fully govern the present matter and the learned Single Judge was not justified in distinguishing the cases. According to Mr. Jain, even if the appellant's application could be regarded as one for extension of permit, though it was not so, the procedure for disposal of that application would be the same as for an application for fresh permit according to sec. 57 (8) of the Act. Mr. Jain thus argued that in any case the application was required to be published and disposed of according to law along with other applications for Jaipur-Pilani route. As regards the rejoinder Mr. Jain submitted that the petitioner only wanted to submit an argument before the Regional Transport Authority to get over the difficulty of the model of the vehicle but that, according to him, would not change the character of the application itself. As regards Ex. 11, on which the learned Judge placed reliance Mr. Jain submitted that a perusal of that application shows that it was by another Bhonrilal who was the owner of vehicle No. RJL-4744.
The learned counsel for the respondents did not challenge the filing of the application (Ex. 13), by the appellant before the Regional Transport Authority, but it was urged by them that the appellant did not press for the publication of the application after 1961 and when the applications of the respondents were published the appellant should have lodged his representation against the consideration of those applications according to sec. 57 (3) of the Act, and as the appellant had never filed any representation against the respondents' applications, he had lost the right of hearing before Regional Transport Authority itself according to sec. 57 (4) of the Act, and as such was not entitled to fib any writ petition. In support of their argument the learned counsel for the respondents relied on Sharma Roadways vs. Sohanlal Soni (l ). The learned counsel for the respondents also reiterated the argument that they had advanced before the learned Single Judge that the application submitted by the appellant was not for the same route as was applied for by respondents and that even otherwise no permit could have been granted to the appellant. In elaboration of his argument Mr. D. P. Gupta submitted that there could be only one non-temporary permit for one vehicle and as the appellant's bus No. RJL-2508 was already having a permit, a permit could not have been issued to the appellant in respect of that vehicle again for the Jaipur-Pilani route. Mr. R. R. Vyas further submitted that as there was an alternative remedy available to the appellant of approaching the State Transport Authority under sec. 64-A of the Act, the writ petition was not entertainable.
From the above narration it will be evident that the main consideration which had weighed with the learned Single Judge in dismissing the writ petition was that application filed by the appellant before the Regional Transport Authority was for the extension of the Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route and was not for the Jaipur-Pilani route for which the respondents had applied. A perusal of the notification Ex. 1, shows that the Regional Transport Authority desired that applications on Form Pst. P. A. be filed within 30 days of the publication of the notification and the applications were to be accompanied with receipt for the payment of Rs. 10/- as permit fee. The routes notified were two namely, (1) Jaipur-Bikaner via Sikar-Salasar, and (2) Jaipur-Pilani via Sikar. In pursuance of this notification the petitioner filed the application Ex. 13 which is available at page 158-A of the paper book. This application is in Form Pst. P. A. In column No. 1 thereof the name of the petitioner is mentioned and column No. 4 described the route as under - "the route or routes or the area for which the permit is desired. Jaipur-Pilani via Sikar-Jhunjhunu. "
A perusal of Ex. 11 and Ex. 12 shows that the resolutions by which the Regional Transport Authority, Jaipur postponed the consideration of the applications also referred the route Jaipur-Pilani route. We have, therefore, no doubt in our mind that the petitioner applied for grant of permit for the Jaipur-Pilani route. The recitals in the application Ex. 13 are unambiguous about the route which is mentioned as Jaipur-Pilani via Sikar-Jhunjhunu. The description of the route as mentioned in column No. 4 of the application Ex. 13 would be inept if the application were for extension of the amalgamated route upto Pilani. The learned Single Judge has relied on the following portion of the rejoinder filed by the appellant to the respondents' reply - "the petitioner and other operators of the Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route submitted applications for their existing vehicles for Jaipurpilani route because all of them intended to press their applications as an extension of their existing route, and so the model of the vehicle was no bar to submission of application for his existing vehicle. Moreover, the petitioner could employ a better vehicle if permit was granted to him. In fact he has already replaced his vehicle No. RJL 2508 with a vehicle No RSL 553 of 1958 model in the year 1963. "
We have carefully considered this passage and are unable to hold that this was in derogation of what was stated in the application Ex. 13. This passage seems to suggest that the appellant wanted to press his application on a certain footing namely, that it was lor extension of the existing route. This is far from saying that thereby the character of the original application was transformed. This was a particular point or view that the petitioner wanted to press and may or may not have been accepted by the Regional Transport Authority. Even so the publication as required by sec. 57 of the Act was necessary. Sec. 57 (8) of the Act provides- "an application to vary the conditions of any permit, other than a temporary permit, by the inclusion of a new route or routes or a new area or, in the case of a stage carriage permit, by increasing the number of services above the specified maximum, or in the case of a contract carriage permit or a public carrier's permit, by increasing the number or vehicles covered by the permit, shall be treated as an application for the grant of a new permit: Provided that it shall not be necessary so to treat an application made by the holder of a stage carriage permit who provides the only service to any route or in any area or increase the frequency of the service so provided, without any increase in the number of vehicles. " Therefore, there can be no escape from the conclusion that the publication of appellant's application was necessary under sec. 57 of the Act. The learned Judge had also referred to Ex. R/l1 for holding that the operators of Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route had applied for extension of their present route upto Pilani. Ex. R/l1 purports to have been made by one Bhorilal Yadav who is described as owner of vehicle No. RJL 4744 plying under permit No. 1411 Pst. P. A. on Jaipur-Sikar amalgamated route. Though the respondents had asserted in their reply to the writ petition that Bhorilal Yadav, who was the signatory to Ex. R/l1, was the same person as the petitioner, yet from the material before us, we are not satisfied that the petitioner Bhorilal who had been described as the owner of bu]s No. RJL 2508 and who made the application Ex-13 before the Regional Transport Authority was the same person. Moreover, any recital in Ex. R/11 would not again be sufficient to change the character of the original application. Apart from every thing, the substance of the; matter was that the petitioner had undoubtedly applied for acquiring, by a proper permit, the right to provide transport service between Jaipur and Pilani either as an independent route as we should think or as component of an amalgamated route as the learned Single Judge thought, but the respondents also desired to acquire the right to run a transport service between the same termini namely, Jaipur and Pilani. Therefore, the Regional Transport Authority should not have shirked its obligation arising u/s. 57 of the Act to publish the petitioner's application and to decide it with all the other applications for providing transport service between Jaipur and Pilani. We are unable to see how the learned Judge could have distinguished the three cases of this Court that were brought to his notice by the learned counsel for the petitioner. In the first case namely, Brothers Transport Service, Nathdwara vs. Regional Transport Authority. Udaipur (D. B. Civil Writ Petition No. 199 of 1956) decided on 12th August, 1957, Wanchoo C. J. , as he then was, made the following weighty observations - "as we read sec. 57, it no doubt contemplates that applications for stage carriage permits will be published as and when they are received by the Regional Transport Authority. Subsec. (2) of sec. 57 makes it clear that anybody can make an application for a stage carriage permit at any time provided it is not less then six weeks before the date from which it is desired that the permit should take effect. Therefore there would be no legal bar to the Regional Transport Authority publishing only one application for permit under sec. 57 sub-section (3 ). At the same time, it is equally obvious that if there are a large number of applications for permits on a particular day before the Regional Transport Authority, it is its duty to publish all those applications together so that all of them may be considered at one sitting. The reason for publishing all applications together is that the number of vehicles permitted on a particular route is always limited. Generally speaking, there are many more applications than the number of vehicles permitted on a route and the Regional Transport Authority has to choose between a large number of applications and give the permits to the best out of them. The procedure provided under sec. 57 requires, however, that the Regional Transport Authority should publish an application for permit and invite objections of those concerned before deciding whether a permit should be granted or not. Now, if the Regional Transport Authority has, for example, twenty applications for permits at a particular moment and publishes only one, and the number of permits to be granted is one, it may happen that it may grant a permit to the one person, whose application has been published, on the ground that there is no other application before it and refuse to consider his case in comparison with the cases of nineteen others whose applications were pending at the time before the Regional Transport Authority, but were not published by it. Thus, by withholding publication of other applications pending before it, the Regional Transport Authority can show favouritism to one person as against the others".
In the; second case of Messrs Taxi Motor Association Kankroli vs. Regional Transport Authority (D. B. Civil Writ Petition No. 85 of 1958), decided on 11th September, 1958, another Division Bench of this Court had occasion to consider the question of publication where some applications were for extension of an existing route and others for fresh permits. The application for the grant of extension of permits were not published while those for fresh permits were published and disposed of. Following the case of Brothers Transport Service, Nathdwara vs. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur, that Bench held that consideration of the applications for fresh permits stood vitiated and consequently the Court reversed the decision of the Regional Transport Authority granting permits.
In the last mentioned case namely, Shyam Singh vs. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur (1), yet another Division Bench of this Court reiterated what was laid down by Wanchoo C. J. , in Brothers Transport Service, Nathdwara vs. Regional Transport Authority, Udaipur.
We are] therefore, clearly of the opinion that the learned Single Judge was in error in coming to the conclusion that the above three cases were distinguishable simply on the ground that the petitioner had applied for a route which was not the same as the Jaipur-Pilani route.
(3.) MR. D. P. Gupta, appearing for the respondents, realising the weight of the observations made in the above three cases tried to fall back on the other pleas in his written statement regarding which there was no discussion in the judgment of the learned Single Judge. He submitted that though the publication of the petitioner's application was necessary and normally that application should have been considered along with the applications of the respondents, yet the petitioner appellant having failed to lodge any representation against the applications, made by the respondents in accordance with sec. 57 (3) of the Act, the petitioner-appellant could not have been heard by the Regional Transport Authority and for that reason he had disentitled himself from filing a writ petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution as well. For this MR. Gupta relied on Sharma Roadways vs. Sohanlal Soni (2), to which one of us was a party. As the argument proceeds on the language of sec. 57 of the Act, we propose to read the relevant portion of that section. "s. 57 (1) An application for a contract carriage permit of a private carrier's permit may be made at any time. (2) An application for a stage carriage permit or a public carrier's permit shall be made not less than six weeks before the date on which it is desired that the permit shall take effect, or, if the Regional Transport Authority appoints any dates for the receipt of such applications, on such dates. (3) On receipt of an application for a stage carriage permit or a public carrier's permit, the Regional Transport Authority shall make the application available for inspection at the office of the authority and shall publish the application or the substance thereof in the prescribed manner together with a notice of the date before which representations in connection there with may be submitted and the date, not being less than thirty days from such publication, on which, and the time and place at which, the application and any representations received will be considered : Provided that, if the grant of any permit in accordance with the application or with modifications would have the effect of increasing the number of vehicles operating in the region, or in any area or on any route within the region, under the class of permits to which the application relates, beyond the limit fixed in that behalf under sub-sec. (3) of sec. 47 or sub-sec. (2) of sec. 55, as the case may be, the Regional Transport Authority may summarily refuse the application without following the procedure laid down in the sub-section. (4) No representation in connection with an application referred to in sub-sec. (3) shall be considered by the Regional Transport Authority unless it is made in writing before the appointed date and unless a copy thereof is furnished simultaneously to the applicant by the person making such representation. (5) When any representation such as is referred to in sub-sec. (3) is made, the Regional Transport Authority shall dispose of the application at a public hearing at which the applicant and the person making the representation shall have an opportunity of being heard either in person or by a duly authorised representative. MR. Gupta contends that after an application for a stage carriage permit is published, any person who desires to oppose the grant of such permit has to make a representation within thirty days of such publication of the application and such a representation has to be in writing and a copy thereof has to be furnished simultaneously to the applicant and if this is not done, the Regional Transport Authority shall be debarred from considering such a representation. According to MR. Gupta as the petitioner appellant had never filed such a representation against the applications made by the respondents and as no such copy as is contemplated by sub-sec. (4) has been furnished to the respondents, the Regional Transport Authority could not have considered any request on the part of the petitioner for not giving permits to the respondents. He places strong reliance on Sharma Roadway's case (2) and submits that the Court should decline to entertain a writ petition by a party who had not made the representation within time. The argument was quite attractive and on first blush, we must confess, we were considerably impressed by it, but on a closer examination we are unable to find any merit in it. It has to be remembered that the petitioner-appellant was himself an applicant for the grant of a permit like the respondents, and, therefore, the question that really confronts us is whether it is necessary for a rival applicant to file a representation or even without it he can ask for a proper appraisal of his own merits in comparison to the merits of the other applications. In our view, candidates for permits who are already in the arena and are competing against one another need not always file separate representations against the other rival applicants. Once the applications of the candidates are published, it is sufficient notice for everybody including the rival applicants to be forewarned. They ought to bear in mind that the other applicants would plead as to how they deserve consideration in comparison to other applicants. We can conceive of cases where grounds other than those as are incidental to the pleading of one's own cause might be desired to be urged and in such cases a written representation might be necessary. In the present case, however, all that the petitioner appellant wanted to ensure was the publication of his own application and then a proper considerateion of the same along with those filed by others. As held in the three Division Bench cases of this Court, already referred to, it was the plain duty of the Regional Transport Authority to publish all the applications that were pending at the time it ordered the publication of respondents' applications and then to consider them together so that their just and proper disposal would be ensured. The request that the petitioner was making to the Regional Transport Authority was not, in the very nature of things, for refusing the grant of permits to the respondents outright. In such a case therefore, a separate representation by the petitioner, in our view, was not necessary and sec. 57 (4) could hardly apply to such a contingency. The Regional Transport Authority was certainly reminded of its duty by the petitioner for publishing all the applications when it had only published the subsequent applications but had not published the application filed by the petitioner made earlier in 1960.
Mr. Jain invited our attention to the following observations in Ramgopal vs. Anant Prasad (3); "nor is there anything in the Act to lead to the conclusion that an applicant for a permit is bound to put in objections against the applications of competing applicants for the grant or the renewal of the permit. " They occur in paragraph 13 of the judgment. We have considered these observations, but we are unable to hold that they apply to a case like the present one. Their Lordships were dealing with the interpretation of the various clauses of sec. 64 of the Act and we do not find that a situation like the present one was presented to their Lordships. Even so as we have already observed, the present one was not a case of opposing grant of permits to others. Ex. 6, which is available at page 33 of the paper book, starts with reminding the Regional Transport Authority of the fact that the applicant had filed an application on 13th September, 1960, in form P. St. P. A. after depositing Rs. 10/- as permit fee vide receipt dated 13th October, 1960. In paragraph 2 of this application it is mentioned that while the other applications of later dates had been published, this earlier application had not been published. Then it is mentioned that according to the decisions of this Court, all the applications should be considered together and lastly it was urged that the applicant being an old operator had a preferential claim for a permit. He, therefore, prayed that the application be published at an early date and considered along with the other applications already published. The same was repeated in the application dated 20th July, 1964. We are, therefore, unable to hold that the petitioner was contemplating any representation against the grant of permits to the respondents as such. What he was representing was in prosecution of and incidental to his own application and, therefore, in our view, this application should have been examined by the Regional Transport Authority itself and it should not have proceeded to consider only the applications of the respondents. In our view, therefore, the disposal of only the applications made by the respondents without the publication of the petitioner-appellant's application and its consideration along with other stood vitiated.
We may now come to the question whether the Regional Transport Authority would necessarily have dismissed the application of the appellant merely because in the application Ex. 13, he had mentioned the number of his vehicle which was of 1944 model. We may now read rule 84-A of the Rules, which is relevant for the purpose. It is : " R. 84. Permits-Forms of. (a) Every permit shall be in one of the following Forms, that is to say, - (i) in respect of a particular stage carriage in Form P. St. P; (ii) in respect of a service of stage carriage in Form P. St. S; (iii) in respect of a particular contract carriage in Form P. Co. P; (iv) in respect of a private carrier in Form P. Pr. C; (v) in respect of a public carrier in Form P. Pu. C; (vi) a temporary permit in Form P. Tem.
Perusal of this rule shows that the condition regarding the model of a vehicle will be imposed at the time of grant of a permit. Rule 86 enables the Regional Transport Authority to give time to an applicant for bringing a vehicle of the requisite model. That rule runs as follows : - 489 "r. 86. Permit-entry of registration mark on: - (a) Save in the case of a temporary permit if the registration mark of the vehicle is to be entered on the permit and the applicant is not at the date of application in possession of the vehicle duly registered, the applicant shall within one month of the sanction of the application by the Regional Transport Authority, or such longer period as the authority may specify, produce the certificate of registration of the vehicle before that authority in order that particulars of the registration mark may be entered in the permit. (b) No permit shall be issued until the registration mark of the vehicle to which it relates has, if the form of permit so required, been entered therein and in the event of any applicant failing to produce the certificate of registration within the prescribed period, the Regional Transport Authority may revoke its sanction of the application. " What sub-clause (b) of R. 86 prohibits is the issuing of the permit until the registration mark of the vehicle is duly entered in the permit and if the requisite certificate of registration is not produced within the time allowed then it will be open to the Regional Transport Authority to revoke its sanction of the application. These rules clearly imply that there are two well demarcated stages in the process of giving permits to an operator. The first stage is when the Regional Transport Authority decides to grant the permit and the second stage comes after that when after ensuring that the applicant has secured the registration certificate for the vehicle of the requisite number, it actually issues the permit. The discretion of the Regional Transport Authority in the matter of granting time to an applicant when he is not actually possessed of a vehicle of requisite model, is not hard and fast. In these circumstances, in our view, the learned Judge was not justified in holding that the application of the petitioner could not have been granted at all. We are not prepared to anticipate what decision the Regional Transport Authority would ultimately take as at the moment we are only called upon to consider whether the application filed by the petitioner appellant deserves to be considered along with the applications of the respondents.
Finally, Mr. Gupta urged that the respondents were never made aware of the pendency of the appellant's application and in ignorance of it they had to pursue their own applications and had invested a huge amount in purchasing and deploying buses over the route and, therefore, we should not order the cancellation of the permits already given to the respondents though we might order the Regional Transport Authority to publish the appellant's application and then to dispose it of according to law.
Having considered the matter we are not inclined to hold without cancellation of the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority as a whole, it will ensure a just consideration of the petitioner's application. We quite appreciate the hardship to which the respondents might be put, but we cannot overlook the circumstance that before the disposal of these applications, the appellant had moved the Regional Transport Authority more than once (vide Exs. 6 and 7) to publish the petitioner's application and to decide it along with similar applications of others. The consideration of the whole matter by the Regional Transport Authority, in our view stands vitiated. As already observed by us, the matter is squarely covered by the pronouncements made by this Court in the cases already referred to.