NANDALAL BANERJEE Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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Banerjee, J. -
(1.)In this rule the Petitioners challenge the order of the Regional Transport Authority. The extension of route No. 79A from Baduria to Bagjola overlaps the Petitioners' route being No. 82 between Basirhat to Habra. The Petitioners' case is that the Petitioners are all permit -holders in respect of stage carriage permit of route No. 82 running from Basirhat to Habra. The Respondents Nos. 4 to 13 also are the other permit -holders in respect of the said route. It is alleged that the present strength of buses is 16 which operates at a frequency of service of about 20/25 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is alleged further that the route is not remunerative. In spite of the said fact, the Regional Transport Authority has extended the route of 79A, that means the route between Shyambazar to Baduria by giving extension of permit in respect of 8 additional buses. It is alleged that in doing so the Respondents Regional Transport Authority did not follow the provisions of Ss. 47 and 57 of the Motor Vehicles Act. It is stated that the route of 79A which is sub -divided into 79, 79A, 79B and 79C and the total strength of buses in the route are 150 including temporary permit -holders, operating as per the following routes : (i) route No. 79, Shyambazar - -Itindaghat, (ii) route No. 79A, Shyambazar - -Baduria, (iii) route No. 79B, Shyambazar - -Barasat (extended upto Esplanade), (iv) route No. 79C, Shyambazar - -Hasnabad. It is alleged that the said route operates by rotational system for the purpose of economy of the permit -holders of the route No. 79 and sub -divided into routes Nos. 79A, 79B and 79C. It is alleged that routes Nos. 79A, 79B and 79C are highly profitable routes and the other allegations are how the Petitioners are highly affected by the extension of the route as alleged which is not necessary for me in the context of the arguments advanced to advert to.
(2.)Mr. S.C. Bose with Mr. B.B. Giri, on behalf of the Petitioners, contended that in order to increase a number of buses in a particular route, the Respondent must follow the provision of Sec. 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Secondly, Mr. Bose contended that after complying with Sec. 47 of the Act, the Respondent Regional Transport Authority must follow Sec. 57(8) of the Motor Vehicles Act and treat the extension of the route as if it is a new permit and that has not been followed and as such the extension of route granted to the Respondents is without jurisdiction.
(3.)Mr. Banerjee on behalf of the Respondent Regional Transport Authority contended that both Ss. 47 and 57 have been followed. Mr. Banerjee referred to the extract from the minute of the meeting of Regional Transport Authority, Calcutta Region, held on September 26, 1972, which is as follows:
The enquiry report regarding extension of route No. 79A upto Bagjola was considered. After detailed discussion it was resolved that route 79A be extended upto Bagjola and the fleet strength of the route be increased by six (6) vehicles.
Mr. Banerjee contended that the resolution dated September 26, 1972, read with resolution dated January 18, 1972, is one under Sec. 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act and therefore, there is compliance of the provision of Sec. 47 of the Act. Mr. Banerjee further referred to the resolution dated April 19, 1971, of the Regional Transport Authority which stated as follows:
6. (13). In December 1969 a mass petition was received for extension of route 79A (Shyambazar to Baduria) upto Bagjola about 5 miles ahead of the present terminus at Baduria. The application was recommended by the M.L.As. The extension was prayed for on grounds that the area was fastly developing and there was no direct line with Calcutta. The Route Secretary welcomed this extension. Comments of the District Magistrate, 24 Parganas, was sought for and he recommended the extension of route 79A upto Mogra (Kamdebkati) via Baduria town and Bagjola and said the same would be beneficial to all concerned. Resolved that steps be taken to extend the route upto Bagjola and notice under Sec. 47 of the M.V. Act be issued in this connection.
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