SHANKAR BUS SERVICE Vs. THE TRANSPORT APPELLATE TRIBUNAL AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
Shankar Bus Service
The Transport Appellate Tribunal And Ors.
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Khan Singh, J. -
(1.) I have before me a writ petition by Messrs Shanker Bus Service who are an existing operator on Kota -Bakanivia Jhalawar -Patan -Tendhoroute lying within the Kota region, The challenge is against an order of the Transport Appellate Tribunal on an" appeal filed before it by respondent No. 3 Balchand Chorasia whereby, in setting aside a resolution of the Regional Trans -Authority, Kota refusing the application of the respondent Balchand Chorasia for a permit from Jhalawar to Machalpur via Mandawar -Teendhar and Bokohi -Barkena it ordered the issue of a permit to respondent No. 3 from Jhalawar to Barkhera.
(2.) FOR appreciating the contentions raised before me, I may briefly describe the concerning routes. There is a road from Kota to Jhalawar and the distance between them is 53 miles. At, Jhalawar the road bifurcates. One road branches off towards Patan which is 4 miles from Jhalwar and then from Patan it comes to Tendhar, The other road from Jhalwar goes to Mandawar which is 5 miles from Jhalwar and then from Mandawar the road comes to Teendhar, The distance between Mannawar and Teendhar is 6 miles. Between Jhalawar and Teendhar a loop is formed; arch which passes through Patan and then comes to Teendhar and the other arch passes throgh Mandawar and then comes to Teendhar. From Teendhar the road is one and it comes to Bakani. The distance between Teendhar and Bakani is 6 miles. The road proceeds further from Bakani and goes to Barksera which is on the border of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The distance between Bakan and Barkhera is about 5 miles. The road then enters Madhya Pradesh territory from Bakhera and goes to Machalpur. The distance between Barkhera and Machalpur is 6 miles. I may here mention that the route Kota -Jhalawar -Patan -Teendhar is a portion of the nationalised route Kota -Eklera -Bhopal; the distance between Kota arid Teendhar being 63 miles. I have taken the above facts Annexure R -1, which is a rough sketch & it may be that there may be an inaccuracy of one mile here or one mile there, but that will be of no consequence. Petitioner is paying its bus from Kota to Bakani with corridor restriction on the nationalised portion of the route between Kota & Tendhar It applied for extension of its permit upto Machalpur along with other existing operators between Kota -Bakani via Jhialwar -Patan & Teendhar On 6 -4 -63, the Regional Transport Authority vide its resolution No. 9 resolved to publish the application of the petitioner and others. It was also resolved that a copy of the agreement between the Rajasthan State with the Madhya Pradesh State about the reciprocity of permits over the interstate route be obtained from the Director of Transport, Jaipur, as the same was not available with the office of the Regional Transport Authority. Two persons, Suganchand and another P. Gopal Krishna Menon, also applied for grant of fresh permits to them for the route Patan -Jhalawar -Mandawar -Teendhar -Bakani. Their applications, according to the petitioner, were published for inviting objection under Section 57(3) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, hereinafter to be referred as the "Act", in the Government Gazette of 9 -12 -65. Subsequently an 4 -1 -66 respondent No. 3 Balchand Chorasia submitted an application for grant of a fresh permit on Jhalawar -Machalpur route via Mandawar -Bakani and Barkhera. The application filed by Balchand Chorasia was published in the Rajasthan Gazette dated 16 -6 -66 for inviting objections. The petitioner claims that against this application of Balchand Chorasia it sent objections to the Regional Transport Authority under a certificate of posting on 26 -6 -66 and it also sent copies of the objections to Balchand Chorasia on the same day under a postal certificate. The Regional Transport Authority, Kota Tonk up for consideration the application filed by Balchand Chorasia for Jhalawar -Machalpur at its meeting held on 10/11 -1 -67 along with the objections of the petitioner and other bus operators. Eventually the Regional Transport Authority dismissed Balchand Chorasia's application. The resolution of the Regional Transport Authority (Annexure -3) ran as follows:
Resolution No.23 (Item No. 28) of R.T.A Kota meeting held on 10/11 -1 -67.
Grant of Non Tem. S.C. permits on Jhalawar to Machalpur via Mandwar Bakani Barkhera route.
This is an interstate route on which there is no reciprocity with M.P. One suomoto application of Shri Balchand Chorasia has been received and published on 16 -6 -66.
Shri Balchand Chorasia has applied for grant of non -temporary S.C. Permit on this route. There is no reciprocity with M.P. Resolved therefore the application be rejected.
Aggrieved of this resolution Balchand Chorasia went up in appeal to the Transport Appellate Tribunal. The appeal was heard by the Transport Appellate Tribunal and it was allowed on 30 -8 -67. It was submitted on behalf of Balchand Chorasia before the Tribunal that he was prepared to ply his bus upto Barkhera and the permit should accordingly be granted to him upto Barkhera which was on the Rajasthan border and then the petitioner was willing to try for a permit from Regional Transport Authority, Indore, for the portion of the route that lay within the Jurisdiction of that Regional Transport Authority. The Transport Appellate Tribunal noticed that the clerk of the Regional Transport Authority who had brought the cage before it stated that no objections had been filed by the exiting operators or any other interested persons and, therefore, the Tribunal could not find any grounds as might go against the grant of a permit from Jhalawar to Barkhera to respondent No. 3. The Tribunal also observed that Balchand Chorasia might try to obtain a fresh permit on the route between Barkhera to Machalpur. In the result the Transport Appellate Tribunal ordered that a permit be granted to Balchand Chorasia for the route Jhalawar to Barkhera.
(3.) THIS order of the Transport Appellate Tribunal is assailed on the ground that the Transport Appellate Tribunal was in error in ordering the grant of the permit to Balchand Chorasia, as the same could not have been granted by the first authority, that is, the Regional Transport Authority, unless the latter had also simultaneously considered the pending application of the petitioner for extension of its route from Bakani to Machalpur. Learned Counsel points out that the application for extension and the fresh application made by Balchand Chorasia covered a common sector substantially and, therefore, according to the several pronouncements of this Court, disposal of one set of applications without the other was bound to result in materially affecting the fate of the pending applications that were not considered along with. It is further submitted that in the instant case the adverse result has actually ensued as subsequently on account of want of scope the petitioner's application was rejected. It is further argued that the Transport Appellate Tribunal had exceeded its jurisdiction in granting a permit for ther oute after curtailing it as the same was contrary to the provisions of Section 48 of the Act. Lastly, it was urged that if the Transport Appellate Tribunal was persuaded to curtail the route and then grant a permit to respondent No. 3, then the Transport Appellate Tribunal should have heard the present petitioner.;
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