ABDUL MAJID Vs. STATE TRANSPORT APPELLATE AUTHORITY
LAWS(PAT)-1960-2-11
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
Decided on February 09,1960

ABDUL MAJID Appellant
VERSUS
STATE TRANSPORT APPELLATE AUTHORITY Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

PLEWA AND MIDDLETON [REFERRED TO]
LORD V. LORD [REFERRED TO]
SHYAMAKANT LAL V. RAMBHAJAN SINGH [REFERRED TO]
BRITISH METAL CORPORATION V. LUDLOW [REFERRED TO]
BHARAT BANK LIMITED DELHI VS. EMPLOYEES OF BHARAT BANK LTD [REFERRED TO]
G VEERAPPA PILLAI PROPRIETOR SATHI VILASBUS SERVICE PORAYAR TANJORE DISTRICT MADRAS VS. RAMAN AND RAMAN LTD [REFERRED TO]
BRITISH INDIA GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED VS. CAPTAIN ITBAR SINGH AND JAGJIT SINGH [REFERRED TO]
N GOPALAN VS. CENTRAL ROAD TRAFFIC BOARD TRIVANDRUM [REFERRED TO]
GANGA PRASAD MODI VS. NAGARMAL MODI [REFERRED TO]
SARJU PRASAD SINGH VS. SOUTH BIHAR REGIONAL TRANSPORT AUTHORITY [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

SURYA VIJOY SINGH VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-1969-4-7] [REFERRED TO]
DEVENDRA PRASAD GUPTA VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-1977-1-1] [REFERRED TO]
HARI PRASAD JALAN VS. DISTRICT MAGISTRATE CHAMPARAN AT MOTIHARI [LAWS(PAT)-1982-12-29] [REFERRED TO]
MDTARIQUEALAM VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-1992-7-30] [REFERRED TO]
JANARDANPRASADSINGH VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-1992-7-12] [REFERRED TO]
ANANDSHANKARPRASAD VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-1992-12-1] [REFERRED TO]
BHAWESH MISHRA VS. PRESIDENT OF BOARD OF SECONDARY EDUCATION [LAWS(PAT)-1970-5-14] [REFERRED TO]
BIKRAMA THAKUR VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2004-2-31] [REFERRED TO]
BIKRAMA THAKUR VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2004-2-88] [REFERRED TO]
NARAYAN SAH VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2004-5-17] [REFERRED TO]
PRAKASH SINGH VS. STATE OF BIHAR [LAWS(PAT)-2002-2-145] [REFERRED TO]
KESHAV SINGH VS. THE CHAIRMAN, BIHAR SECONDARY EDUCATION BOARD, PATNA, AND ORS. [LAWS(PAT)-1978-10-6] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Kanhaiya Singh, J. - (1.)These are 62 applications under Article 226 of the! Constitution, the first thirtyone by various persons holding permits to ply motor vehicles on public road, hereinafter referred to as the petitioners, for a writ in the nature of certiorari to call up and quash the order of the State Transport Appellate Authority, Bihar (hereinafter referred to as the Appellate Authority) dated 12-12-1959, and the remaining thirtyone by the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (hereinafter referred to as the Corporation) for a similar writ to quash the order of East Bihar Regional Transport Authority Bhagalpur (hereinafter referred to as the Regional Authority) dated 26-9-1959. The Regional Authority and the Appellate Authority are opposite parties in all these applications. The Corporation is one of the opposite parties in the first thirtyone applications, and the different petitioners in those applications are opposite parties in the last thirtyone cases. Both the petitioners and the Corporation challenge the legality of the different orders passed either by the Regional Authority or by the Appellate Authority in the same proceedings, and in fact the grounds made out by the Corporation in its petitions constitute its defende in the applications presented by the petitioners and vice versa. Thus, common questions of law arise in all these applications, and, therefore, they were heard analogously and will be disposed of by one judgment.
(2.)The facts which are relevant for the disposal of these applications may be briefly stated as follows. The petitioners hold stage carriage permits for plying motor vehicles on different routes within the jurisdiction of the Regional Authority. Before the dates of the expiry of the permits the petitioners made applications for their renewal in accordance with the provisions of Section 58(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act). On the receipt of the said applications for renewal, the Regional Authority published the same in the Bihar Gazette, inviting objections, as provided in Section 57 of the Act. The Rajya Transport, Bihar filed objections to the renewal of their permits on the ground that it was likely to operate a stage carriage service on the routes in question in the near future and a scheme was to be published very soon under Section 68C of the Act. In the meantime, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 (LXIV of 1950), the State Government by notification dated 20-4-1959, established for the State of Bihar a Road Transport Corporation, called the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation, with effect from 1-5-1959. The said Corporation was empowerd to exercise all the powers and perform all the functions which were being exercised and performed by the Rajya Transport. Under Section 68C of the Act the scheme was prepared and was duly published in the Bihar Gazette on 3-6-1959, and was approved on 4-11-1959, after due compliance with the provisions of the Act. Alt these applications for renewal came up far hearing before the Regional Authority on 22-8-1959. Section 44 of the Act provides for the constitution ot a State Transport Authority and Regional Transport Authorities, and Sub-section (2) of this section provides that
"a State Transport Authority or a Regional Transport Authority shall consist of a Chairman who has had judicial experience and such other officials and non-officials, not being less than two, as the State Government may think fit to appoint The Regional Authority appointed for disposal of the renewal applications on 22-8-1959, consisted of the following members: 1. Sri R. Prasad, I.A.S., Commissioner, Bhagalpur Division Chairman 2. Sri K. Jha, I.P.S.. Superintendent Police, Bhagalpur Member 3. Sri B. Prasad, Superintending Engineer, Bhagalpur Division Do 4. Sri R. D. Pande. I.A.S., Deputy Commissioner. Dumka Do 5. Sri L. N. Sudhansu, M.L.A Do 6. Sri Kamaldeo Narain Singh, M.L.A Do 7. Sri Basukinath Roy, M.I.A Do 8. Sri Chumka Hcmhram. M.L.A. Do 9. Sri Jogcndra Pd. Singh Advocate Do 10. Sri Bhushan Pd. Gupta Do
This authority heard the petitioners and the Cor poration and their lawyers at full length and reserv ed judgment. No definite date for delivery of the judgment was fixed. It may be stated that tha petitioners' counsel had raised before that Authority a preliminary objection that the Corporation had no legal right to oppose the renewal as it had not filed any objection, nor had it any right to press the objections preferred by the Rajya Transport. The orders were passed on 26-9-1959, and the applications for renewal were allowed by the Regional Authority. On this date, i. e., on 26-9-1959, the members constituting the Regional Authority were as follows:
1. Sri B. Prasad, Superintending Engineer, Bhagalpur, East Bihar Circle, Bhagalpur, and Acting Chairman 2. Sri P. S. Kohli, I.A.S., District Magistrate, Sarharsa 3. Sri Lakshmi Narayan Sudhansu, M.L.A. 4. Sri Kamaldeo Narain Singh, M.L.A. 5. Sri Basuki Nath Roy, M.L.A. 6. Sri Chumka Hembrum. M.L.A. 7. Sri Md. Nurullah. M.L.C. 8. Sri Jogendra Pd. Singh, B.L., Advocate 9. Sri Bhusham Prasad Gupta
It is to be observed that the Regional Authority constituted on 26-9-1959, did not include three of the members forming the Regional Authority on on 22nd August, 1959, namely, Sri R. Prasad, I.A.S., Commissioner, Bhagalpur Division, Sri K. Jha, I.P.S., Superintendent of Police, Bhagalpur and Sri R. D. Pande, I.A.S., Deputy Commissioner, Dumka, and instead took in two new members, namely, Sri P. S. Kohli, I.A.S., District Magistrate, Saharsa, and Sri Md. Nurullah, M.L.C. It is in controversy whether in view of this change in the constitution of the Regional Authority, the Regional Authority of 26th September, 1959, was different from the one that sat on 22nd August, 1959. Being aggrieved by the order of 26th September, 1959, the Corporation preferred appeals on 26th October, 1959, to the Appellate Authority under Section 64(f) of the Act. The appeals were heard on 12th December, 1959, and were allowed and the orders of renewal dated 26th September, 1959, were set aside. It is this order of the Appellate Authority which the petitioners impugn as ultra vires and illegal and seek its reversal. On the other hand, the Corporation attacks the validity of the order of the Regional Authority dated 26th September, 1959, and prays for its annulment.
(3.)The main ground on which the Appellate Authority set aside the orders of renewal of the permits was that the Regional Authority which passed the final order on 26th September, 1959, was not validly constituted, inasmuch as the acting Chairman, Sri B. Prasad, had no judicial experience and was, therefore, not competent to act as Chairman. It is well to remember that the Regional Authority which heard the applications for renewal on 22nd August, 1959 was presided over by the Chairman, Sri R. Prasad, I.A.S., Commissioner, Bhagalpur Division, whereas the Regional Authority on 26th September, 1959, was presided over by Sri B. Prasad, Superintending Engineer, Bhagalpur, The Appellate Authority held that he had no judicial experience and was, therefore, not competent to act as Chairman. Sub-section (2) of section 44 of the Act which provides for the constitution of the Regional Authority, omitting the portions not relevant, reads as follows:--
"A State Transport Authority or a Regional Transport Authority shall consist of a Chairman who has had judicial experience and such other officials and non-officials, not being less than two, as the State Government may think fit to appoint;..' The Regional Authority which sat and took part in the deliberations on 26th (sic) August, 1959, was constituted in accordance with this provision of law, and the Chairman who presided over the meeting of the Regional Authority had indisputably judicial experience. Rule 42 provides for the formation of regions and also the constitution of Regional Authority, Sub-rules (b), (c) and (d), which are pertinent for disposal of the questions under consideration, provide as follows: (b) The Regional Transport Authority shall consist of such members as may be appointed by Government. (c) The number of members whose presence shall constitute a quorum shall be one-third of the total number of members of the Authority or three, whichever is greater. (d) The Chairman, if unable to attend a meeting, shall nominate member to act as Chairman at the meeting."
It will be recalled that Sub-section (2) of Section 44 lays down the qualifications for the Chairman alone. According to this provision the Chairman must be a person who has had judicial experience. The other members of the Regional Authority need not have judicial experience. Rule 42 (d) authorises the Chairman to nominate member to act as Chairman at the meeting, if he is himself unable to attend the meeting. Under this rule only one of the members of the Regional Authority ought to be nominated to act as Chairman. The number of members who will constitute a quorum under Rule 42(c) is one-third of the total number of members of the Authority or three, whichever is greater. It will further appear that the number off members of the Regional Authority was obviously more than ten (sic). When it is not the requirement of section 44 that the members of the Authority other than the Chairman should also have judicial experience, rule 42 leaves the possibility that the three members who may constitute a quorum at a particular meeting may not have necessary judicial experience, and the Chairman may not be able to attend the meeting, with the result that he may have to nominate one of the members present, not having judicial experience, to act as Chairman at the said meeting. The contention of Mr. P. R. Das appearing for the petitioners is that the Appellate Authority was wrong in holding that the Regional Authority which passed the orders on 26th September, 1959. was not properly constituted for the reason that the Chairman, who presided, over the said meeting, had no judicial experience. The argument put forward by him is that rule 42 is not necessarily in conflict with section 44. The Chairman has to perform various functions, and, therefore, it was prescribed by section 44 that he should have judicial experience. It did not necessarily follow that the member who was nominated to act as a Chairman for a particular meeting should also have judicial experience. Therefore, even if the Chairman who presided over the Regional Authority constituted on 26th September, 1959, had no judicial experience, the constitution cannot be said to be ultra vires and illegal so as to nullify its order dated 26th September 1959. In the opinion of Mr. Das, the Chairman had ample authority to delegate his powers to a member to act as Chairman at a particular meeting, even if that member had no judicial experience, and consequently rule 42 was not repugnant to the provisions of section 44. He urged their if the contention of the Appellate Authority were to prevail, then one will necessarily have to read in rule 42 words which are not there. In this connection, he referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in B.I.G. Insurance Co. v. Ithar Singh, AIR 1959 SC 1331 at p. 1334 wherein their Lordships of the Supreme Court have observed that the rules of interpretation do not permit the Court to add words to a section or to a rule, unless the section or the rule as it stands is meaningless or of doubtful meaning. He also referred to a decision of the Federal Court in Shyamakant Lal v. Rambhajan Singh, 1939 FCR 193 at p. 214: (AIR 1939 FC 74 at p. 84) and on the authority of the proposition of law laid down therein, he contended that "things are inconsistent when they cannot stand together at the same time; and one law is inconsistent with another law when the command or power or other provision in one law conflicts directly with the command or power or provision in the other." Mr. Das contended that rule 42 is in no way inconsistent with the provisions of Section 44 of the Act. He urged that this section does not require that all the members of the Regional Authority should have judicial experience, and rule 42 empowers the Chairman to delegate his authority to any of the members of the Regional Authority, and thus the acting Chairman need not have judicial experience and to insist upon the acting Chairman's possessing judicial experience will be to introduce in this rule words which do not occur there.


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