Decided on September 16,1955


Cited Judgements :-



VISWANATHA SASTRY, J. - (1.)This is an appeal from the Judgment of Balakrishna Ayyar J. quashing an order of the Government G. O. No. 230, Home d/ 22-1-1952, passed under Sec. 64-A of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as " the Act"). On 12-12-1950, the Regional Transport Authority, West Godavari (hereinafter referred to, for the sake of brevity, as R. T. A.) granted a stage carriage permit on the route between Narasapur and Juvvalapalem to one K. Kesava Rao who was selected from among 33 applicants for the reason that "(a) his father was the first bus operator in the district and he has sufficient property to buy a bus and (b) the claims of the others arc inferior. " Seven of the disappointed applicants for the permit including one K. Subbaraju applied to the Central Road Traffic Board, Madras (hereinafter referred to as C. R. T. B.) which passed an order on 31-3-1951 setting aside the order of the R. T. A. granting the permit to K. Kesavarao and directing the permit to be given to K. Subbaraju. The reason given by the C. R. T. B. for its order was as follows :
" In our opinion, appellants like No. 5 (K. Subbaraju) and No. 1 (Venkatasomaraju) who own one and two buses respectively should have been given preference on the ground that they are existing operators who would be able to run their vehicles more efficiently with the addition of some more vehicles......As between the ist appellant and the 5th appellant, we prefer the 5th appellant on the ground of previous record ; No. 1 (appellant) seems to have been caught overloading his bus on 18-19-1949. "

(2.)The order of the Central Road Traffic Board was reversed by the Government by its order G. O. No. 2170 dated 30-5-1951 under which the permit was directed to be granted to K. Kesavarao. In the course of its order, the Government observed :
" The Government are convinced that it is not desirable in the public interests to grant to Sri K. Subbaraju the permit in question. The order of the C. R, T. B., is accordingly set aside. "
In Writ Petition No. 436 of 1951, Subba Rao J. quashed this order of the Government on the ground that it did not appear from the order how public interest would suffer if the permit was not given to Kesavarao. Kesavarao preferred L. P. A. No. 177 of 1951 against the order of Subba Rao J. and the appellate Court held that though the order of the Government was rightly quashed by Subba Rao J. it would still have jur diction to dispose of afresh the revision petition preferred by Kesava Rao under Sec. 64-A of the Act. On 22-1-1952 the Government passed a second order G. O. No. 230, Home, dated 22-1-1952, reaffirming its original decision granting the permit to K.Kesavarao. This second order of the Government gave the following reasons:
" The Motor Vehicles Act and Rules do not prohibit the grant of permits to new entrants. The C. R. T. B.'s order does not indicate how or why Sri Kesavarao would not be able to run the service as efficiently as the respondent Sri Subba Raju. On the other hand, the Regional Transport Authority which is the local authority was satisfied that Sri Kesavarao has sufficient means to run the Service. While it is true that one or two bus owners who have satisfactory records should be enabled to become in due course fleet owners of three buses to have an economic unit, on that ground alone the claims of new entrants could not be set aside altogether. The Government therefore set aside the order of the G. R. T. B., as it is not proper in the circumstances of the case and uphold the order of the R. T. A. granting a permit to Sri K. Kesavarao. "

(3.)This second order of the Government was again quashed by Balakrishna Ayyar J. in Writ Petition No. 273 of 1952 on the following grounds: (1) The power conferred on Government by Sec. 64-A of the Act was not a plenary power but a corrective power to be exercised in a judicial manner and for proper reasons. (2) The order of the C. R. T. B., was based on a principle, the soundness of which was accepted by the Government in its order. (3) The order of the Government did not state in what respect the order of the C. R. T. B. was illegal, irregular or improper. We may state that this is our own summary of the reasoning of the learned Judge.

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