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Chief Comnissioner, Delhi & Ors Vs. Chadha Motor Transport Co [1968] INSC 59 (4 March 1968)

04/03/1968 BACHAWAT, R.S.

BACHAWAT, R.S.

SHAH, J.C.

MITTER, G.K.

CITATION: 1968 AIR 1199 1968 SCR (3) 359

ACT:

Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, s. 68(2) (ww)-Persons doing the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers required by notification under section to take out licences-Validity of notification and section.

HEADNOTE:

The respondent was engaged in the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers in Delhi. The Chief Commissioner, Delhi issued a notification under s. 68(2) (ww) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 whereby the respondent and those engaged in similar business were required to take out licences. The respondent filed a writ petition in the Punjab High Court challenging cl. (ww) of s. 68(2) and the aforesaid notification on various grounds and asking for an order quashing the notification. The High Court allowed the writ petition holding that as the rules frame under s. 68 can be made only for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chapter IV of the Act, and in Chapter IV there was no substantive provision requiring agents engaged in the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers to take out licences, the legislature had no power to enact cf. (ww) of s. 68(2) authorizing the framing of the rules for the licensing of such agents. The appellants came to this Court with certificate.

HELD : The appeal must be allowed.

Section 68(2) specifically enumerates the matter on which rules under the section can be made for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chapter IV. Clause (ww) of s. 68 (2) is an expression of the will of the legislature that rules for the licensing of agents engaged in the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers may be made for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chapter IV. The proposition that the legislature must in the first instance incorporate in the Act a section requiring a class of persons to take out licences before it can enact a section authorising the making of rules for such licensing is unsound and must be rejected. Within the limits of their legislative powers, parliament and the State legislatures have plenary powers of legislation and they may delegate to an executive authority the power to make rules for the licensing of any class of persons. [360 H-361 C] [Case remanded to High Court for considering other contentions raised in the petition.]

CIVIL APPELLATE, JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 466 of 1965.

Appeal from the judgment and order dated January 31, 1961 of the Punjab High Court Circuit Bench at Delhi in Letters Patent Appeal No. 15-D of 1958.

B. R L. Iyengar and S. P. Nayar, for the appellants.

Mohan Behari Lal, for the respondent.

Sup. C.1.168-10 360 The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Bachawat, J. The respondent carries on the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers in Delhi. On October 27, 1956, the Chief Commissioner, Delhi issued a notification under S. 68(2)(ww) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. Under this notification, the respondent and other agents engaged in the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers are required to take out licences. The respondent filed a writ petition in the Punjab High Court challenging cl. (ww) of S. 68(2) and the aforesaid notification on various grounds and asking for an order quashing the notification. A single Judge of the High Court struck down cl. (ww) and allowed the writ petition. He held that the clause was ultra vires and invalid and therefore the notification issued under it was also invalid. His decision was affirmed on Letters Patent Appeal by a Division Bench of the High Court. The appellants have preferred the present appeal from this order after obtaining a certificate from the High Court.

Chapter IV of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 provides for control of transport vehicles. The chapter contains ss. 42 to 68. Section 68(1) provides that a State Government may make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chap. IV. Section 68(2) provides that without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, rules under the section may be made with respect to all or any of the matters enumerated in the various sub-clauses thereof. Clause (ww) of S. 68(2) provides that the State Government may make rules for "the licensing of agents engaged in the business of collecting, forwarding and distribution of goods carried by public carriers." This clause',Was inserted in S. 68(2) by Delhi Act No. 5 of 1954 and also later by Central Act No. 100 of 1956.

The High Court held that as the rules framed under s. 68 can be made only for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chap. IV, such rules must relate to a substantive provision of law in the chapter. As there was no substantive provision in Chap. IV requiring agents engaged in the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers to take out licences, the legislature had no power to enact cl. (ww) of S. 68(2) authorising the framing of rules for the licensing of such agents. The legislature must, in the first instance, make a law requiring such agents to take out licences. As the legislature did not make such a law, the clause is ultra vires its powers and is invalid.

We are unable to accept this line of reasoning. Section 68(2) specifically enumerates the matters on which rules under the 361 section can be made for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chap. IV. Clause (ww) of s. 68(2) is an expression of the will of the legislature that rules for the licensing of events engaged in the business of collecting, forwarding and distributing goods carried by public carriers may be made for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chap. IV. The proposition that the legislature must in the first instance incorporate in the Act a section requiring a class of persons to take out licences before it can enact a section authorising the making of rules for such licensing is unsound and must be rejected. Within the limits of their legislative powers, Parliament and the State legislatures have plenary powers of legislation, and they may delegate to an executive authority the power to make rules for the licensing of any class of persons. This law may be open to attack on the ground that it is not on a matter on which the legislature is competent to legislate or on the ground that there is excessive delegation of legislative power. But it cannot be struck down on the ground that the legislature has made no other provision for licensing in the body of the Act. There is no constitutional prohibition against the making. of a law authorising the making of rules on any topic without the support of another substantive provision of law in the body of the Act. Take Chap. VII of the Motor Vehicles Act dealing with motor vehicles temporarily leaving or visiting India. That chapter contains one section, namely, s. 92.

The section provides for the making of rules only. It authorises the Central Government to make rules inter alia for the grant and authentication of travelling passes, certificates or authorisations to persons temporarily taking motor vehicles out of India to any place outside India and prescribing the conditions subject to which motor vehicles brought temporarily into India from outside India by persons intending to make a temporary stay in India may be possessed and used in India. There is no other substantive provision of law in Chap. VII or any other Chapter of the Act on the subject of motor vehicles temporarily leaving or visiting India. But the absence of such a substantive provision does not render either s. 92 or the rules made under it invalid.

If the Central Government frames rules under s. 92, such rules must be complied with.

We, therefore, hold that cl. (ww) of s. 68(2) cannot be struck down on the ground that there is no other substantive provision of law in the body of the Act requiring the taking out of licences. On behalf of the respondent it was suggested that the clause is invalid on the ground that it is a law on a subjection which the legislature is not competent to legislate. It was also suggested that it is bad on the ground of excessive delegation of legislative power. The High Court has not struck down the clause on either of these grounds. Nor has the High Court considered the other 362 grounds raised in the petition challenging the validity of the notification dated October 27, 1956. As the High Court has not dealt with the other contentions raised in the petition, the matter must be remanded to the High Court.

In the result, the appeal is allowed, the order of the High Court is set aside and the matter is remanded to the High Court, so that the High Court may deal with it in accordance with law. In the circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs in this Court.

G.C. Appeal allowed.

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