KANCHAN Vs. STATE TRANSPORT APPELIATE TRIBUNAL
LAWS(SC)-2006-1-55
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ALLAHABAD)
Decided on January 17,2006

KANCHAN Appellant
VERSUS
STATE TRANSPORT APPELLATE TRIBUNAL Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

U P STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION VS. OMADITYA VERMA [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

MUNIYAMMA VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA [LAWS(KAR)-2007-3-68] [REFERRED TO]
PRABHAT PAN AND ORS. VS. THE STATE OF WEST BENGAL AND ORS. [LAWS(CAL)-2015-2-73] [REFERRED TO]
RADHEY SHYAM VS. BANK OF INDIA [LAWS(MPH)-2020-1-136] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Arijit Pasayat, J. - (1.)Challenge in these appeals is to a composite order of a learned single Judge of the Allahabad High Court dismissing the writ petitions filed by the present appellants. The basic question before the High Court was whether the permits granted to the appellants by the State Transport Authority, U.P. Lucknow (in short the S.T.A.) could be legally sustained. It is to be noted that on a revision filed by the non-official respondents, the State Transport Appellate Tribunal, U.P. Lucknow (in short the Tribunal) set aside the grant of permits and held that the action of STA was mala fide; it had acted in clear contravention of the statutory requirements and, therefore, the grant of permit was an exercise which had no legal sanction. This order of the Tribunal was the subject-matter of challenge in the writ petitions. The High Court essentially came to record three findings; (a) in respect of notified routes, the permits could not have been granted; (b) action of the STA in taking over the route was permissible, mala fide and (c) the exercise of power by the STA in granting the permits was equally unsustainable, being mala fide.
(2.)In support of the appeals, learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the High Court did not take note of the fact that the revision petition filed before the Tribunal was not maintainable as the existing operators who had filed the revision petition, has no locus standi to file the same. It was further submitted that the High Court proceeded on an erroneous impression as if the routes were notified routes. The STA, in exercise of power under Section 68(3)(b) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (in short the Act) had taken over the power of grant of permits and in fact in bona fide exercise of that, directed issue of permits. It was pointed out that there was no specific challenge in the revision petition before the Tribunal about the so called infirmities which the High Court has highlighted. It was in essence, submitted that the exercise of jurisdiction by the "Tribunal was bona fide and there was no reasonable ground for interference by the Tribunal, as affirmed by the High Court.
(3.)In response, Mr. Rakesh Dwivedi, learned senior counsel for the respondents submitted that the whole exercise clearly smacked of non-transparency and mala fides. It was pointed out that 48 permits were granted and in some cases, the files which were produced before the Tribunal indicated that even applications for grant of permits were not there. Further, the fact that the permits were granted on the very same day on which the STA purportedly took over the power to grant permits in exercise of powers under Section 68(3)(b) leaves no manner of doubt that the STA was acting contrary to law. It is pointed out that even assuming that there was any Resolution, which according to the learned counsel for the respondents is also not a fact, there was no notification about the taking over of the jurisdiction by the STA. It is also not clear as to how the applications could be made to the STA much before it assumed power in exercise of powers under Section 68(3)(b) of the Act. Finally, the applications are to be made to RTA and one does not know under what circumstances the applications were made to the STA.


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