K. A. Natarajan Vs. M. Naina Mohd.
& Ors  INSC 12 (3 February 1970)
03/02/1970 HIDAYATULLAH, M. (CJ)
HIDAYATULLAH, M. (CJ) SHELAT, J.M.
CITATION: 1971 AIR 431 1970 SCR (3) 495 1970
SCC (1) 473
Constitution of India, 1950, Art. 136-Appeal
against interlocutory order-Practice of Supreme Court.
The Regional Transport Authority granted to
the respondent a permit to operate a bus on a route. The grant was set aside by
the State Transport Appellate Tribunal on appeal filed by another applicant.
The order of the S.T.A. was quashed by a Single Judge of the High Court in a
writ petition filed by the grantee from the R.T.A. When the matter went before
the Letters Patent Bench it was observed that since only the grantee from the
R.T.A. had a valid permit it was not possible to grant any permit to the
appellant before the S.T.A. pending the disposal of the Letters Patent Appeal
as only one operator could be allowed on the route.
In the petition for special leave to appeal
to this Court under Art. 136 against the interlocutory order, on the question
of the jurisdiction of the High Court to recognise the grantee from the R.T.A.
when his permit was cancelled by the S.T.A.,
HELD: This Court would not go into the matter
at this stage because the appeal itself was pending before the High Court and
all that the Bench had done was to give effect to the order of the Single Judge
pending disposal of the appeal. [497 A-B]
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Petitions for
special leave to Appeal (Civil) Nos. 2430, 2431, 2436 to 2438, 2442 2443.
2445, 2446, 2472 and 2480 of 1969 and 3 of
From the orders dated December 8, 1969 of the
Madras High Court in Civil Misc. Petitions Nos. 15375 of 1969 etc. in Writ
Appeals Nos. 519 of 1969 etc.
K. K. Venugopal and R. Gopalakrishnan, for
the petitioner (in S.L.P. Nos. 2430, 2431 and 2438 of 1969).
S. Mohan Kumaramangalam, M. K. Ramamurthi, G.
Ramaswamy, Shyamala Pappu and Vineet Kumar, for the petitioners (in S.L.P. No.
2436 of 1969).
M. K. Ramamurthi, G. Ramaswamy, Shyamala
Pappu and Vineet Kumar, for the petitioner (in S.L.P. No. 2437 of 1969).
A. S. Nambiar, for the petitioner (in S.L.Ps.
Nos. 2442, 2443 and 2472 of 1969).
496 M. C. Setalvad, V. Subramanian and K.
Jayaram, for the petitioner (in S.L.P. Nos. 2445, 2446 and 2480 of 1969 and 3
Madan Mohan for respondent No. 1 (in S.L.P.
Nos. 2430, 2431, 2436, 2437, 2438, 2442, 2443 and 2472 of 1969).
O. C. Mathur, for respondent No. 1 (in S.L.P.
No. 2445 of 1969).
R. Gopalakrishnan, for respondent No. 1 (in
S.L.P. No. 2480 of 1969).
K. Thirumalai, A. T. M. Sampath and E. C.
Agrawala, for respondent No. 1 (in S.L.P. No. 3 of 1970).
The Order of the Court was delivered by
Hidayatullah, C.J. These are petitions for special leave against the orders of
the Division Bench of the High Court of Madras by which the High Court has
ordered that the permits granted by the Regional Transport Authority will
operate and not those which the State Transport Appellate Tribunal in appeal
The facts may be stated, taking as a sample,
Special Leave Petition No. 2430 of 1969. The original grantee of the permit by
the Regional Transport Authority may be described as 'A'. The date of the grant
was November 20, 1966. On appeal by the respondent who may be described as 'B',
the State Transport Appellate Tribunal cancelled the grant made to A by the
Regional Transport Authority. This was on July 18, 1967. A writ petition was
thereupon filed by A and it was allowed by the learned single Judge on November
4, 1969 and the order of the State Transport Appellate Tribunal was quashed.
When the matter went before the Letters Patent Bench, it was observed that in
view of the fact that only the grantee of the Regional Transport Authority had
a valid permit, it was not possible to grant any permit to B who was recognised
by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal. They followed an earlier ruling of
the court and restricted the grant pending disposal of the Letters Patent
appeal to the grantee of the Regional Transport Authority who alone was
permitted to operate on the route. It appears that only one operator could be
allowed on this route, because of a s. 47(3) determination.
In these petitions for special leave which
are ex facie against the orders made in interlocutory proceedings, the attempt
is to get the permits restored to B. It is claimed that this involves a
question of jurisdiction and that question is whether the High Court could
recognise A the grantee of the Regional Transport Authority when his permit had
been cancelled by the State Transport Appellate 497 Tribunal. We think that
these are matters into which this Court cannot be invited to go under Art. 136
of the Constitution, because the appeal itself is pending before the High Court
-and what the High Court has done is to give effect to the order of the learned
single Judge. In other words, the Letters Patent Bench has not attempted to
pass any special order of its own staying the operation of the decision of the
learned single Judge. We think it would be wrong for us to interfere at this
stage. It may be that the question may come up in some other form before us
when the appeals from the Letters Patent decision are brought before this
Court. If and when this happens, we may find it convenient to express our
opinion on the question of jurisdiction of the High Court to go into such
matters in appeal or in original writ petitions. Beyond this, we do not wish to
express any opinion, one way or the other, at this stage. We accordingly order
the dismissal of these special leave petitions, reserving to the petitioners
the right to raise such questions as may legitimately be raised when they
choose to file appeals against the decision of the Letters Patent Bench. Stay
granted by this Court is vacated.
V.P.S. Special Leave Petitions dismissed.