Decided on April 02,1971



- (1.)1. These four writ petitions arise under the Motor Vehicles Act. The facts are similar and common questions arise in all these four writ petitions. The petitioners in all the writ petitions are also represented by the same counsel. Therefore it is convenient to dispose of them by a common judgment.
(2.)The petitioners in all the writ petitions are owners of buses run on the inter-state routes relating to the States of Madras and Andhra Pradesh. In order to appreciate the question involved in the writ petitions it is enough to state the facts in W.P.No. 461 of 1969. The petitioner company has been plying three buses on the inter-state route, Madras to Nayudupet. The permits were granted long ago and were renewed every three years. The permits were being granted in pursuance of an agreement entered into between the two States. According to the agreement entered into between the two States, the permits would be granted for some buses by the Madras State and for some others by the State of Andhra Pradesh and the tax payable on the buses would be paid to the home State where permits are granted and the other State would be counter signing the permits on proof of payment of tax to the home state and exemption tokens (Certificates) will be issued which will be displayed on the vehicle besides the tax payment token issued by the home State. In the registration certificates also entries will be made by the home State with regard to payment of tax and by the exempting State of having exempted payment of tax. Inter-State routes mean the route on which the buses ply passes through more than one State. Therefore in the absence of any agreement or exemption granted, the operators would be liable to pay tax to both the States having regard to the length of distance of the route that falls within each state. According to the agreement in question entered into between the two States the Madras State has to grant permits for the buses with which we are concerned in these four writ petitions. Accordingly the Madras State was granting the permits and the State of Andhra Pradesh was issuing exemption tokens after making necessary entries in the registration Certificates. The permits last granted were valid upto 31-12-1968. Therefore applications for renewal were filed in September, 1968, itself as per the provision contained in Section 58 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The applications were not disposed of by the Regional Transport Authority, Chenglepet, who is the concerned authority in the Madras State to grant permits. Therefore on 28-12-1958, the petitioner-company was granted temporary permits by the Regional Transport Authority, Chenglepet, valid upto 31-3-1969. The same was submitted to the Regional Transport Authority, Nellore, for counter-signature and they were counter signed on 3-1-1959. The Regional Transport Authority, Nellore, also issued tax exemption tokens (Certificates) on the same day and also entered the exemption in the registration Certificates.
(3.)It appears that after the Regional Transport Authority, Chenglepet, issued the temporary permits he did not pass any orders on the renewal applications and grant pucca permits for the reason that the Madras State Road Transport Corporation was framing a scheme for nationalisation of bus transport over the area in question. Questioning that scheme it appears that some writ petitions have been filed in the Madras High Court which are still pending. Under the directions of the Madras High Court even after the expiry of the temporary permits granted upto 31-3-1969, the Regional Transport Authority, Chenglepet, has been granting temporary permits for every four months till now though as provided under Section 62 of the Motor Vehicles Act, which is the provision relating to the grant of temporary permits, a temporary permit shall, in no case, be granted more than once in respect of any route or area specified in an application for the renewal of a permit during the pendency of such application for renewal.

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