REKHA Vs. OM PRAKASH
LAWS(UTN)-2013-7-14
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Decided on July 09,2013

REKHA Appellant
VERSUS
OM PRAKASH Respondents

JUDGEMENT

BARIN GHOSH, J. - (1.) ON 16th March, 1961, with effect from 11th January, 1961, the Government of Uttar Pradesh, in exercise of its power under sub -section (3) of Section 68D of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, nationalized, amongst others, a route from Dehradun to Narendra Nagar through Rishikesh. In the Notification, it was made absolutely clear that no private operator shall be entitled to provide road transport service, i.e. a service of motor vehicle carrying passengers, on the said route or any part thereof. It was provided that U.P. State Road Transport Corporation shall operate 14 buses every day from each side. It further provided that the private operators may be permitted to ply buses touching a part thereof provided the journey terminates beyond Narendra Nagar. It, at the same time, made a provision that the number of buses to be plied by U.P. State Road Transport Corporation may be reduced to zero. It did not say anywhere that when the number of buses to be plied by U.P. State Road Transport Corporation may be reduced to zero, who will supply the vacancy. By the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the earlier Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 was repealed, but the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 preserved the said Notification dated 16th March, 1961. Section 102 of the new Act authorized the State Government to cancel or modify a scheme. The State of Uttar Pradesh, on 5th August, 1994, exercised power under Section 102 of the new Act, but, while doing so, it did not cancel the scheme propounded by the Notification dated 16th March, 1961, but effected a modification thereof. In terms of the modified scheme, in order to supplement operation of U.P. State Road Transport Corporation bus services in the cities, amongst others, in Dehradun within a radius of 20 kilometers (in exceptional circumstances 25 kilometers), private sector buses were permitted to provide road transport service. There appears to be no dispute that while ISBT is within the city of Dehradun, and similarly Parade Ground, Prince Chowk, Survey Chowk, Rispana Bridge, Raipur Road, Ladpur, Jogiwala, Doodhli and Harrawala are all within the city of Dehradun as it stands today. Doiwala has also become a part of the expanded city of Dehradun. Subsequent to such exercise of power by the Uttar Pradesh Government under Section 102 of the new Act, the Regional Transport Authority issued permits to the private respondents/writ petitioners for plying their buses from Parade Ground to Doiwala through Prince Chowk, Rispana Bridge, Jogiwala, Harrawala and Doiwala. While it granted such permit, it did not ask the private respondents/writ petitioners to take their buses from Parade Ground to Survey Chowk then to Raipur then to Ladpur then to Jogiwala then to Harrawala and, thereafter, to Doiwala. The question is, whether the Regional Transport Authority could do so. According to the respondents/writ petitioners, they could not do so as the State Government alone is entitled to formulate a route. On our question, learned counsel for the respondents/writ petitioners failed to produce any Notification issued by the State Government providing a route commencing from Parade Ground, Dehradun and reaching Doiwala through Prince Chowk, Rispana Bridge, Jogiwala and Harrawala. A meaningful reading of the Notification dated 5 August, 1994 issued by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, in exercise of power under Section 102 of the new Act, will make it amply clear that, in relation to road transport service to be provided within the city of Dehradun within a radius of 20 km / 25 km, the 1961 Notification will have no application, and that, private sector buses will be entitled to ply within the same. At the same time, the State Government did not take upon itself to lay down routes within the city. This facility, as was provided by the State Government in exercise of its power under Section 102 of the new Act, was left to be fulfilled, as was understood by the State Government and also by the Regional Transport Authority, and, accordingly, route permits were issued to the respondent/writ petitioner, otherwise, they could not have had any such route permit. Surprisingly, respondents/writ petitioners, having had taken the advantage of the said Notification of the Government of Uttar Pradesh dated 5 August, 1994, came before the Court with the plea that the Regional Transport Authority has set up two more routes, which they could not as the State Government was alone entitled to lay down those routes. The fact remains that in respect of one route, the same started from ISBT, which is within the city of Dehradun and the other started from Parade Ground. Both of them came to Doiwala through different parts of Dehradun and terminated at Jolly Grant. No doubt, as it appears from the objection filed by the respondents/writ petitioners before the Regional Transport Authority, these routes cover 27 kilometers. There is nothing on record which will show what is the center point of Dehradun and if the radius is taken therefrom, then Jolly Grant will be outside 20/25 kilometers. Further, the Notification dated 5 August, 1994 did not say that the radius has to be measured from the center of the city. In any event, as noted by the learned Single Judge and as contained in Section 72 of the new Act, the Regional Transport Authority has power to stretch any route by 24 kilometers. The existing route commencing from the edge of Dehradun to Jolly Grant will be much less than 24 kilometers. The fact remains that, if the Regional Transport Authority had the power to deal with a route within the city of Dehradun and the 1961 Notification did not come in the way of its exercise of such power, then looking from both angles, i.e. taking the radius of 25 kilometers from the center or the nearest point of Dehradun from Jolly Grant or by exercise of its power under Section 72 of the new Act, it could certainly extend the city bus service up to Jolly Grant, where the airport of the city of Dehradun is situate.
(2.) WE , accordingly, allow the Appeals, set aside the judgment and order under Appeals and dismiss the writ petition. We hold that the respondents/writ petitioners approached the Court mala fide. Appeals allowed.;


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