Decided on November 02,1992


Cited Judgements :-



- (1.)The Writ Petitioner is a Transport Operator and seeks for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus declaring the proceedings dated 1-7-1992 of the Regional Transport Authority, Guntur the first respondent herein, rejecting the application for the grant of variation of the route seeking extension of the existing town service route of Guntur-Nallapadu to Perecherla junction as illegal and void. From a perusal of the impugned order, it is evident that the existing permit for the route covering 7 kilometres from Guntur-Nallapadu was granted to me Petitioner on 19-6-1990 and the variation sought for was 5 kilometres making the total distance to 12 kilometres. But the said request is negatived on the ground that even though the original sanctioned route is 7 kilometres, by clubbing the distance in the variation sought, the total route becomes 12 kilometres and mat the same is hit by the scheme framed under G.O.Ms.Nb.363, Transport, Roads and Buildings (Tr. IV) Department, dated 30-5-1991, and that as such, the variation cannot be granted. Before the 1st respondent, Objections were filed by the impleaded respondents 3 to 6 in W. P. M. P. No. 12160 / 92 to the effect that the petitioner cannot be granted with the variation of the route sought for, in view of not only G.O. Ms. No. 363,but also earlier G.Os., bearing G.O. Ms. Nos 317 and 318 containing the same schemes covering the route in question. Both the above G.Os. 317 and 318 were issued on the same date viz., 28-6-1990, while it is pertinent to mention that the petitioner was granted the pucca permit for the town service route Guntur to Nallapadu on 19-6-1990. So, the concluded fact is that the petitioner was holding pucca permit before the issuance of any of the notifications under G.O.Ms. No. 317,318 or 363.
(2.)Mr. K. R. K. Varaprasad, the learned counsel for the petitioner, makes two fold submission, namely, (1) that the variation sought for ought to be granted and by not granting the same, the first respondent has acted illegally and arbitrarily as the point for reckoning 5 kilometres is the last place of the existing permit i.e., the limits of Nallapadu and construing and computing so, the petitioner was entitled to have variation upto a maximum limit of 5 kilometres as sought for by him and the same is permissible even under the above notifications issued in the above Government Orders being 317, 318 or for that reason 363; (2) that in any event, the rejection of the request on the ground that the notifications prohibit the same on the basis of a cut-off date even though the said benefit is available to 13 existing operators, results in invidious discrimination infracting the equality clause enunciated under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
(3.)Mr. R. Venugopal Reddy, the learned senior Counsel appearing for Mr. K.N. Jwala, for the impleaded respondents led the arguments, while the counsel for the A.P.S.R.T.C. and the Government have adopted the same. It is the contention of Mr. R. Venugopal Reddy, mat the distance of 5 kilometres under the variation sought for should be computed not from the last place of the existing permit, but right from the first place of the existing permit and so reckoned, the variation sought for cannot be granted as it exceeds 5 kilometres because of the distance of the existing route being 7 kilometres and that there is no violation of equality clause as the existing permit holders for the route from Guntur to Perecherla are a class by themselves distinguishing from other persons like petitioner who are seeking to have permit for the said extended route from Nallapadu to Perecherla. He further contends mat fixing a cut-off date for the purpose of making a distinction does not tantamount to invidious discrimination and that such a classification is rational and reasonable.

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