C. P. C. Motor Service, Mysore Vs. The
State of Mysore & ANR  INSC 338 (1 December 1961)
CITATION: 1966 AIR 1661 1962 SCR Supl. (1)
CITATOR INFO :
R 1969 SC 273 (5) RF 1976 SC1731 (4) RF 1986
SC 319 (8,10,12)
Stage Carriage-State Transport Undertaking Scheme-Validity-Routes
notified under scheme Overlap between notified route and route left to private
operators-Effect-"Route", meaning of-Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (4 of 1939),
ss. 680, 68F(2) (c) (iii).
Under a scheme for taking over certain stage
carriage services to the complete exclusion of private operators, which was
approved and notified by the State of Mysore under the provisions of Ch.
IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, it was
provided, inter alia: "The State Transport Undertaking will operate
services to the complete exclusion of other persons (i) on all the notified
inter-district routes except in regard to the portions of inter-district routes
Lying outside the limits of Mysore District, and also (ii) over the entire
length of each of the inter-district routes Lying within the limits of Mysore
District." The appellants who were running stage carriage omnibuses of
certain routes, some of which were inter-district and inter-State, challenged
the validity of the scheme on the ground, inter alia, that between the routes
which were taken over and some of the inter-district and inter-State routes
which were left to the private operators, there was an overlap in the Mysore
District, and that those routes which were not taken over including the portion
of the route Lying within the Mysore District should not be affected by the
scheme, because "route" meant a notional line running between two
termini and following a distinct course.
Held, that the scheme of the Motor Vehicles Act,
1939, is that the word "route" meant not only the notional line but
also the actual road over which the omnibuses run. Under the Act the route or
area stand for the road on which the omnibuses run or portions thereof.
Kondala Rao v. Andhra Pradesh State Road
Transport Corporation, A. I. R. 1961 S. C. 82, relied on.
Kelani Valley Motor Transit Co., Ltd. v. Colombo
Ratnapura Omnibus Co., Ltd.  A. C. 338, explained and distinguished.
In the present case, in view of the fact that
the scheme reserved all the routes within the Mysore District to the State
Transport Undertaking, the private operators would not be able to ply their
omnibuses on that sector and even those 718 routes which were inter-district
open to them would stand pro tanto cut down to only that portion which lay
outside the Mysore District.
Nilkanth Prasad v. The State of Bihar,  Supp. 1 S. C. R. 717, followed.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeals
No. 180 of 1961.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated January 30, 1961, of the Mysore High Court, in Writ Petition No.
1326 of 1960.
S. T. Desai, B. R. L. Iyengar and K. P. Bhat,
for the Appellant.
A. V. Viswanatha Sastri, R. Gopalakrishnan
and T. M. Sen, for the respondents.
1961. December 1. The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by HIDAYATULLAH, J.-The appellants, C. P. C. Motor Service,
Mysore, question a scheme approved and applied by the State of Mysore by its
Notification No. HD. 200/TMP/60 in Gazette (Extraordinary) on November 10, 1960. They had unsuccessfully moved the High Court under Art. 226 of
Constitution, and the present appeal is filed with the special leave of this
The appellants were running stage carriage
omnibuses on 18 routes, and 14 such routes are inter District. On September 21,
1960, the second respondent, who is the General Manager of the State Transport
Undertaking, published a tentative scheme for taking over stage carriage
services over 64 routes, which were shown in a schedule to the Notification, to
the complete exclusion of private operators. The action was taken under Chap.
IV-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, inserted by s. 62 of Act 100 of 1956.
Objections were duly filed by the appellants, which were heard by the Chief
Minister, who was the authority to hear the objections under the Rules, and
they were disposed of by his order dated 719 November 7, 1960. The scheme was
approved with some modifications, and it was published along with the order in
the Notification, to which we have already referred. The appellants, in their
petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution, raised many points before the High
Court. The High Court, by its judgment under appeal dated January 30, 1961,
dismissed the petition. Some of the grounds were considered in that judgment;
but others had already been disposed of in other petitions, in which a common
judgment was delivered by the High Court also on the same day in Writ Petition
No. 75 of 1960. That order concerned another scheme for the Hassan District of
In the appeal before us, the scheme is
challenged on four grounds. Shortly stated, they are, that the modified scheme
is vague, indefinite and contradictory and does not carry out the orders of the
Chief Minister; that there has been non compliance with the mandatory
requirements of ss. 68C and 68E of the Motor Vehicles Act; that the scheme is
destructive of co-ordination, which is the gist of efficient motor transport
and finally, that the routes on which the
appellants operated, were, in any event, not affected by the monopoly on
certain routes created in favour of the State Transport Undertaking.
These contentions will be dealt with in
detail by us in this judgment, and need not be stated at greater length at this
Private operators in the Mysore State
including the appellants, plied their omnibuses on three different kinds of
routes. They were inter District, inter-District and inter-State. By the
scheme, the State Transport Undertaking had taken over 64 routes, but the
exclusion of the private operators was only in the Mysore District. In the
approved scheme, this is stated in the following words:
720 "(d) Whether the services are 1. The
State Transport to be operated by the Undertaking will open State Transport
Underrate services to the taking to the exclusion, complete exclusion complete
or partial, of of other persons(i) other persons or other on all the notified
wise. inter-district routes except in regard to the portions of inter district
routes lying outside the limits of Mysore District, and also (ii) over the entire
length of each of the inter-district route lying within the limits of Mysore
2. In so far as the notified routes are concerned
the State Transport Undertaking will operate without prejudice to rights of the
existing valid permit-holders for operation of Stage Carriage Services on the
Inter-State routes only".
In describing the routes in the appendix to
the scheme, these routes were shown with all the stops between the termini,
together with the length of the routes in miles, the maximum number of vehicles
to be operated by the State Transport Undertaking and by private operators, and
the maximum number of daily services (return trips) to be provided in relation
to each route by the State Transport Undertaking and by the private operators.
The columns dealing with private operators in respect of the maximum number of
vehicles as well as the maximum number of the daily services were invariably
shown as "Nil".
Section 68C of the Motor Vehicles Act permits
the taking over 721 of any route or area either wholly or partly by the State
Undertaking, and the action of the State Government has not been challenged as
either ultra vires or invalid. This is due perhaps to the fact that in a number
of cases recently decided by this Court, schemes of this type have been held to
be valid, and the provisions of Chap. IV-A, in view of the amendments effected
by the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951, in Art. 19(6), have been held
intra vires the State Legislatures.
Those cases are also referred to by the High
Court in the judgment dealing with the Hassan District scheme.
The first question that has been raised is
that the scheme is vague, indefinite and contradictory. The vagueness, it is
said, arises from the fact that though under s. 68C certain particulars have to
be mentioned, they have not been so mentioned in the scheme. This point is
illustrated by referring to the columns in which the routes of private
operators have not been shown; but it is stated by the respondents that on the
routes mentioned in the scheme, the private operators have no omnibuses, nor
any daily services at all. This, in our opinion, is the direct result of taking
over of certain routes, because if those routes are taken away, then the
private operators would not be running their omnibuses on those routes, and the
appropriate entry would be as shown there, "Nil". The rest of the
particulars have been given in the scheme itself, including the kind of
vehicles which would be run, and their seating capacity, equipment, etc. No
doubt, the fares and the timings have been left out, and the State Transport
Authority has been given the power to fix them. But that is a matter for the
determination of the transport authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act. It is
too much to expect fares and timings to be indicated in the scheme, because
each route requires elaborate enquiry for fixing the fares as well as the
timings of service. The scheme is 722 not required, under the law, to deal with
these matters, and we are satisfied that the omission of these details from the
scheme does not militate against it.
Similarly, the argument that the scheme is
destructive of co-ordination is not valid. No doubt, the private operators
cannot run in the Mysore District, but can ply their omnibuses from the border
of the Mysore District on routes, which were saved to them, and there is
likelihood of transshipment from State-owned buses to private omnibuses at the
border, where the routes operated by the State Transport Undertaking and the
private operators bifurcate. The transshipment, by itself, would not connote a
lack of co-ordination. Under s. 68C, the State Transport Undertaking may take
over whole routes or whole areas or part of the routes or part of the areas and
if the scheme operates partially, some transshipment would obviously be
necessary, but co-ordination would still exist, because where the State
omnibuses come to a halt, the private omnibuses would take the passengers set
down. In our opinion, these grounds have no validity, in view of the partial
nationalisation of the routes involved in the State.
Really, the main attack against the scheme is
that though the Chief Minister had upheld the objection of the appellants in an
earlier portion of his order, the direction which he contemplated giving was
not effectuated, leading to a contradiction between the order and the approved
scheme. The Chief Minister, in dealing with the objection of the private
operators, had observed in his order as follows:
"The Private Operators contended that
exclusive operation by the Mysore Government Road Transport Department on the
proposed notified routes might seriously affect them on certain Inter-District
routes as well as Inter State routes. The State Transport Undertaking 723 it
was argued, had not proposed nationalisation of certain Inter-District and
Inter-State routes lying outside the limits of Mysore District, though a few of
the notified routes traverse portions of Inter State and Inter District routes.
It was contended by the Objectors that if the Mysore Government Road Transport
Department was to operate certain notified routes to the complete exclusion of
other operators, it would adversely affect the passenger transport system on
certain portions of Inter-State and Inter-District routes which are notified.
There is much force in this contention and accordingly, the Scheme is directed
to be suitably modified." It was argued that the point which was made
before the Chief Minister was that between the routes which were taken over and
some of the inter District and inter-State routes which were left to the
private operators, there was an overlap in the Mysore District, and that those
routes which were not taken over including the portion of the route lying
within the Mysore District should not be held to be affected by the scheme. It
was argued that the Chief Minister in his order quoted above, accepted the
contention, and gave directions for the suitable modification of the scheme,
but in carrying out the modifications, the directions, quoted above, were not
included, and they excluded the private operators from that portion of the
route lying within the District of Mysore, even though that route was different
from the route, which had been taken over.
In our opinion, the error lies in not
properly reading the order of the Chief Minister.
In the sentence, "It was contended by
the Objectors that if the Mysore Government Road Transport Department was to
operate certain notified routes to the complete exclusion of other operators,
it would adversely 724 affect the passenger transport system on certain
portions of inter-State and inter-District routes which are not notified,"
the words "which are not notified" qualify not the word "route"
but the word "portions". The direction which was given, effectuates
the later reading, which was really meant and not the former, which is urged;
because the qualifying phrase "which are not notified" has been
unhappily put later. It is no doubt true that the other reading is also open,
and is more in accord with a grammatical construction. Where two constructions
are open, it is proper to read the order harmoniously with the directions,
because it could not have been intended that the Chief Minister would express
his opinion in one way, and include a contradictory direction in another way.
Indeed, the intention was to take over routes
or parts of the routes lying in Mysore District and to notify them as within
the exclusive operation of the State Transport Undertaking. The exclusive
operation of routes within the District meant that no other omnibus belonging
to a private operator could run on that sector. The direction, therefore,
clearly said that the route left to the private operators would be open to them
beyond the borders of the District, but there were excluded from that portion
of the route which lay within the District. In Nilkanth Prasad v. State of
Bihar, in which we have delivered judgment today, we have explained what is
meant by a "route" and 'a portion of a route', and we need not cover
the same ground. In our opinion, there is no contradiction between the order of
the Chief Minister and the directions included by him in the concluding part of
his order. Indeed, the directions carry out the order, if the order is to be
read in the manner indicated by us.
It was next contended that the inter-District
routes, which the appellants were operating, could not be said to be affected
by the scheme at 725 all, because "route" means a notional line running
between two termini and following a distinct course. This meaning was given to
the word "route" by the Privy Council in a case from Ceylon reported
in Kelani Valley Motor Transit Co., Ltd. v. Colombo Ratnapura Omnibus Co.,
Ltd. It is said that the ruling applies in the present case where what is
notified as for exclusive running by the State Transport Undertaking is not a
definite portion of a route of a private operator but is a different route
altogether. This may be illustrated by algebraic notations. If the route of the
private operator was ABPQR, AB lying within the District of Mysore and PQR
outside it, it is submitted that a route ABCDE may overlap the other route up
to the point B but is not the same route, and, therefore, cannot be said to be
What is meant by a route in the Act has been
elaborately discussed by us in the other judgment delivered to-day. The only
difference between this case and the other cases is that, whereas in the
latter, the notified route was only AB, here the notified route is ABCDE.
The notification of the Government must be
read in two parts. The first is that part of the notification referring to the
whole of the route which is taken over, and the second part is with respect to
the portion of the route lying within the District of Mysore. The portion lying
within the District of Mysore has been notified separately as within the
exclusive operation of the State Transport Undertaking. The natural result of
it is that private operators would not be able to ply their omnibuses on that
sector, and by "route" is meant, as already stated, not only the
notional line but also the actual road over which the omnibuses run. We have
shown in the other appeals that the scheme of the Ceylon ordinance was different.
There, the 726 word "route" was contracted with the word
"highway". In the Motor Vehicles Act, the words used are "route
or area", and it has been held by this Court that these words mean the same
Kondala Rao v. Andhra Pradesh State Road
The scheme of the Act in s. 68F(2)(c)(iii)
also shows that the Regional Transport Authority, in giving effect to the
approved scheme, may "curtail the area or route covered by the permit in
so far as such permit relates to the notified area or notified route".
This makes the route or area stand for the road on which the omnibuses run or
portions thereof, and in view of the fact that the scheme reserved all the
routes within the Mysore District to the State Transport Undertaking even those
routes which were inter-District open to the private operators would stand pro
tanto out down to only that portion, which lies outside the Mysore District.
The result, therefore, is that no distinction can be made between the
notification of a portion of the route of the private operators lying within
the Mysore District and the notification of a different route, in which the
portion within the Mysore District is also included. What we have said in the
other case applied equally here.
It was suggested during the argument that
there were certain routes which did not cover any portion of the notified route
but met that route at certain point or points. Reverting to the algebraic
notations given above, it was said that route APBQR would not cover any portion
of the notified route ABCDE, and must at least, therefore, be outside the
scheme. No such route, however, was pointed out to us, and we need not express
any opinion on this part of the case or as to what would happen, if such a
727 Lastly, it was contended that the minimum
number of trips and the minimum number of vehicles to be put on the road with
respect to any route has not been indicated, and that this is not a proper
scheme, because a scheme must show how comparatively more efficient service is
to be provided by the State Transport Undertaking. The earlier Rules required a
statement as to the minimum and maximum number of vehicles to be put on a
route, as also the minimum and maximum trips.
It was, however, held by this court that a
departure from the minimum number would mean the alteration of the scheme,
necessitating the observance of all the formalities for framing a scheme. In
view of this, the Rules were amended, obviating the necessity of indicating the
minimum number. The Rule, as it now stands, has been complied with, and there
being no challenge to the Rule as such, one cannot say that the scheme is
defective on this account.
The result is that this appeal must fail, and
is dismissed; but in the circumstances of the case, we make no order about