Decided on September 24,1968

TEJ RAM Appellant

Cited Judgements :-

Kulwant Rai VS. State of Rajasthan [LAWS(RAJ)-1973-9-2] [REFERRED TO]


- (1.)WE have before us a group of 51 writ petitions in which the several writ petitioners challenge the validity of a scheme of nationalisation relating to raisinghnagar-Rawatsar route which runs via Padampur-Ganganagar-Hanumangarh junction and Hanumangarh Town. The petitioners seek appropriate writ direction or order against the respondents. As the writ petitions raise identical questions of fact and law, they can conveniently be disposed of together. We may give the relevant facts with reference to Tej Ram's writ petition.
(2.)BY a notification dated 9-12-65 the General Manager of the Rajasthan State road Transport Corporation, Jaipur, hereinafter to be referred as the "corporation," which is the State undertaking, published a notification under section 68-C of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, hereinafter to be referred as the "act" read with Rules 3 and 4 of the Rajasthan State Road Transport Services (Development) Rules. 1965, hereinafter to be referred as the "rules," inviting objections to be filed before the Secretary to the Government in the Transport department within 30 days of the publication of the scheme in the Gazette In accordance with Rule 6 of the Rules. On 24-1-66 petitioner Tej Ram filed objections before the Secretary to the Government of Rajasthan in the Transport department. A copy of the objections has been placed on record as Annexure-2 and we will have occasion to refer to it a little later. On 28-4-66 the Joint Legal remembrancer to the Government, who was appointed under the Rules to hear the objec-tions, issued a notification in the Gazette intimating all the objectors that the objections would be heard by him on 15-6-66 at 11-00 A. M. in his chamber in the Rajas- than Secretariat and the objectors would also be permitted to lead evidence oral or documentary during the aforesaid hearing. It was further mentioned in the notification that in case the objectors desired to lead evidence and produce witnesses they should indicate ine type of evidence supported by affidavit, as to what evidence each witness was expected to give in respect of the scheme. Further the objectors were to intimate the names and addresses of such witnesses to the Joint Legal Remembrancer on or before the date of hearing. The objectors could appear in person or through a duly authurised agent and produce evidence oral and documentary on the aforesaid date. On 15-6-66 when the objections came up for hearing before the Joint Legal remembrancer, Shri L. L. Sharma, counsel for the objectors, moved an application (Annexure-4 on record) praying that the Rajaslhan Stale Road Transport corporation be directed to file a reply to the objections. After hearing the parties the Joint Legal Remembrancer ordered that the Corporation cannot be compelled to file any reply to the objections as the case was already posted for the objectors' evidence and in the cir-cumslances it was not thought necessary to obtain any reply of the Corporation to these objections. The case was then posted for 7-7-66. On that date, however, the case was adjourned to 20-7-66. On 20-7-66 Shri L. L. Sharma, counsel for the objectors, moved another application questioning the jurisdiction of the Joint Legal Remembrancer to hear the objections. It was urged that in accordance with Section 68-D of the Act the Stale Government, that is the governor, alone could hear the objections and this function could not be assigned to officers subordinate to him in exercise of his powers under Article 166 of the constitution. It was further urged that the Joint Legal Remembrancer had not been authorised by the State Government under Rule 6 of the Rules to hear the objections. On this application the Joint Legal Remembrancer ordered that as a similar question had been raised in a writ petition pending before this Court, he would defer his decision on the application till the judgment of the High Court in the pending writ petition. Nothing material happened on some dates of hearing and eventually on 28-10-65 an application was moved by Shri L. L. Sharma (Annexure-7) praying that certain documents relating to building of passenger sheds over certain routes be summoned from the General Manager of the corporation. Similarly, a request for obtaining the time-table of services on other nationalised routes was reauested to be summoned from the Secretary, Regional transport Authority and also the record of breakdown of services over such routes during the years 1965 and 1966 was requested to be summoned. Furthermore, a representation made by one Shri Bhanwar-lal Kalabadal, M. L. A. , complaining about the services of the Corporation was to be summoned from the Private secretary to the Chief Minister. So far as oral evidence was concerned. Shri bhanwarlal Kalabadal, M. L. A. , was requested to be summoned. The documents were summoned by the Joint Legal Remembrancer vide his letters Annexure-8 and annexure-10 and the Joint Legal Remembrancer also requested Shri Bhanwarlal kalabadal, M. L. A. , vide his letter Annexure-9 to appear before him to give evidence on 19-11-66 at 11-00 A. M. It may be mentioned that Shri Bhanwarlal kalabadal did not appear and the Joint Legal Remembrancer felt that he could not issue any coercive process to enforce his attendance. On 27-1-67 the Joint Legal remembrancer noted that no witness on the side of the objectors was present but he gave them the last chance for producing the evidence arid fixed 4-3-67 for it. A long date was given as in between General Elections had come. On 4-3-67 Shri Ladli Lal, Advocate was present on behalf of the objectors but no witness was present and Shri Ladli Lal prayed for an adjournment for the purpose of producing the evidence. This request was opposed by the counsel for the corporation, but the Joint Legal Remembrancer granted one more adjournment in the interest of justice and fixed 1-4-67 for recording the evidence. On 1-4-67, neither the counsel for the objectors was present, nor was any witness produced on that date. In the circumstances the Joint Legal Remembrancer fixed the case for 15-4-67 for arguments. The case was taken up on 27-4-67, 10-5-67 and 17-667, but it was simply adjourned in the expectation of the High Court's judgment. On 17-6-67 the Joint Legal Remembrancer noted in the order-sheet that the High court had announced the judgment and, therefore, the case would be taken up on 1-7-67. On 1-7-67 no one was present on behalf of the objectors. The counsel for the Corporation was however, present. On that date the Joint Legal remembrancer noted that it would be desirable to have the inspection of the route as that would help him in appreciating the arguments. Then the Joint Legal remembrancer could not go for site inspection for one reason or the other. On 9-2-68 both the counsel for the Corporation and Shri L. L. Sharma, counsel for the objectors, were present and the. Joint Legal Remembrancer fixed 18-3-68 for site inspection. The Joint Legal Remembrancer inspected the site on 18th and 19lh march, 1968 and on 25-3-68 he drew tip a note of site inspection and then fixed 10-4-68 for arguments. On 10-4-68 only the counsel for the Corporation was present and no one was present on behalf of the objectors. The Joint Legal remembrancer heard the arguments of the counsel for the Corporation and fixed 1-5-68 for his decision. On 24-4-68 Shri L. L, Sharma moved an application before the Joint Legal Remembrancer which is Annexurc-16 on record, praying that an opportunity of further hearing be allowed to the objectors in the case. The Joint legal Remembrancer, however, did not like to re-hear the matter and rejected the application. On 1-5-68 the Joint Legal Remembrancer announced the order which is Annexure-19 on record and thereby approved the scheme proposed for the route. The scheme was ordered to come into force from 1-7-68. The approved scheme was published in the Rajaslhan Gazette of 3-5-68.
(3.)A number of grounds have been taken in the writ petition challenging the order of the Joint Legal Remembrancer approving the scheme, but it is not necessary to refer to the several grounds as Shri Narsa Raju who argued the case on behalf of the petitioners confined his submission only to three grounds which we propose to deal with in the course of our judgment. Shri Narsa Raju realised that the grounds other than those argued by him were either covered by previous decisions or were not such as he would like to urge.

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