Decided on October 09,1968


Cited Judgements :-



- (1.)THESE four cases raise similar questions of law in one form or the other and, therefore, they are deciued by one single judgment. The first three cases are the writ applications under Article 226 of the Constitution and the fourth case is a special appeal under Section 18 of the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance from the judgment of a Single Judge.
(2.)WE first take up Civil Writ Petn. No. 465 of 1967 viz. Kalu Singh v. Transport appellate Tribunal Rajasthan and others. Briefly stated the facts of this case are that the petitioner is an operator on Bikaner-Nokha-Salasar route -- 128 miles in length. His contention is that there are twelve non-temporary stage carriage permits granted to various operators including the petitioner on the aforesaid route who run four return services per day according to the time-table approved by the Regional Transport Authority, Bikaner. The non-petitioners Nos. 3 to 22 are the operators of Bikaner-Nokha route of 40 miles in length and is completely overlapped by Bikaner-Nokha-Salasar route. There are 20 buses performing 12 daily return services on this route in accordance with the timetable approved by the Regional Transport Authority Bikaner. The petitioner has also mentioned that there are other three routes, namely (1) Bikaner-Jaipur route, (2) Nokha-Sujangarh route, and (3) Salasar-Sujangarh route on which buses are plying by several permit holders. Bikaner-Jaipur route completely overlaps the Bikaner-Salasar route and the other two routes are completely overlapped by Bikanernokha-Salasar route. The petitioner's case is that Bikaner-Nokha-Salasar route is overcrowded particularly upto Nokha inasmuch as considerable number of buses are plying on the said route every day, there being 21 vehicles leaving Bikaner for nokha every day and vice versa. The time-lag between the timings fixed for the departure of any two vehicles is comparatively very narrow as compared to the other two routes. The petitioner has further alleged that non-petitioners Nos. 3 to 22 submitted a joint application before the Regional Transport Authority, Bikaner, for grant of three more timings to them and for the change of the existing timings. The Regional Transport Authority published the substance or the aforesaid application in the Rajasthan Gazette dated 7th July, 1966 in accordance with the provisions of Section 57 (8) of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter called the Act)inviting objections in respect thereof within a period of 30 days of the publication. The petitioner submitted objections against the aforesaid application. The Regional transport Authority, Bikaner, without giving notice of hearing to the petitioner and behind his back passed an order by circulation on 19th September, 1966 increasing the number of services on the Bikaner-Nokha route from 12 to 15 and also altering the timings of the existing services --the result of which was that one of the existing services was closed, while four new services were created. This caused great inconvenience and hardship to the petitioner and the other operators of the Bikaner-Nokha-Salasar route. The new timings came in conflict with the timings of the buses plying on Bikaner-Nokha-Sala-sar route. The petitioner, when he came to know of the resolution of the Regional Transport Authority, filed an appeal before the Transport Appellate Tribunal against that resolution. This appeal was dismissed by the Transport Appellate Tribunal on the 1st August, 1967 on the ground that no appeal lay against the order of Regional Transport Authority altering the timings of services. The petitioner has contended in this writ petition that in dismissing the appeal of the petitioner, the Transport Appellate Tribunal had refused to exercise jurisdiction vested in it and has prayed that the order of the Transport Appellate Tribunal be quashed and it be directed to hear the appeal and decide it according to law. In the alternative, it is urged that by a writ of certiorari or any other writ or direction, the order of the Regional Transport authority Bikaner dated 19th September, 1966 be quashed as that authority passed that order without affording the petitioner an opportunity of hearing as required under Section 57 of the Act.
(3.)NOTICE of this writ petition was given to the opposite parties. A reply has been filed by non-petitioners Nos. 3 to 22. They have stated that no objection was filed by the petitioner before the Regional Transport Authority Bikaner in respect of the application filed by the answering non-petitioners, the substance of which had been published in the Rajasthan Gazette. It is contended that the Regional transport Authority, Bikaner, was perfectly justified in law in deciding by circulation whether the application of the non-petitioners should be allowed or not. It is also contended that the petitioners had no right of appeal to the Transport appellate Tribunal as there was no variation of the conditions of the permit granted to opposite parties Nos. 3 to 22 and as such the Transport Appellate tribunal was justified in rejecting the appeal of the petitioner on the preliminary point.

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