Road Transport Corpn. Vs. Regopma Transport Authority & Ors  INSC 438
(1 September 1998)
C.A.No.4637 of 1998 ( @ SLP(C) No. 13937/92)
short question requiring our consideration is :
the U.P. State Road Transport Corporation (hereinafter the 'Corporation') is
required to renew the permits obtained by it to ply its vehicles on a notified
route during the subsistence of a scheme ? The High Court has answered the
question in the affirmative.
short, the facts leading to the filing of the appeal are that the Regional
Manager, U.P. State Road Transport Corporation, Gorakhpur requested the Regional Transport Authorities for issuance
of permits fro routes covered by a scheme reserved for exclusive operation by
the Corporation. In response to the Regional Manager's letter, he was informed
that according to the provisions of Section 58(2) (a) of the Motor Vehicles
Act, 1939 (hereinafter the 'Act') permits could be issued for a maximum period
of three years and were thereafter required to be renewed. The appellants were
informed that on payment of permit fee as well as the prescribed fee under Rule
55 of the U.P. Motor Vehicles Rules, 1940 (hereinafter referred to as the
'Rules') the permit issued to the Corporation should be got renewed. The
appellants questioned the directions issued by the authorities by filing a Writ
Petition in the High Court.
High Court vide its judgment dated 25.1.1991 allowed the Writ Petition
partially. it was held that the Corporation was required to apply for renewal
of the permit under section 68-F(1)(E) of the Act for the period prescribed
under sub-section 58(2)(a) if the Act read with the relevant rules and on
making such an application, permit issued to the Corporation would be renewed.
The High Court did notice that Rule 10(4) of the Rules lays down that a permit
issued to the Corporation is to remain valid till the scheme remains in force
but came to the conclusion that such a Rule could not override or be
inconsistent with the provisions of section 58(2)(a) of the Act and, therefore,
held that notwithstanding Rule 10(4) of the Rules, renewal of the permit was
essential to make it valid for the renewed period to ply the vehicles by the
Corporation. This appeal by special leave calls in question that judgment and
order of the High Court.
have heard the learned counsel for the parties and examined the record.
IV of the Act deals with control of transport vehicles including the provisions
for issuance of permits and the manner of renewal of the same. This Chapter,
however, is general in nature and deals with non-notified routes. Chapter IV-A
of the Act on the other hand exclusively contains special provisions relating
to the State Transport Undertakings and concerns itself with notified routes.
This chapter was inserted by Act 100 of 1956 w.e.f. 16.2.1967.
68-B of the Act which occurs in Chapter IV-A reads.:
Chapter IV-A to override Chapter IV and other laws - The provisions of this
Chapter and the rules and orders made thereunder shall have effect
notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in Chapter IV of this
Act or any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having
effect by virtue of any such law." A bare reading of section 68-B (supra),
thus, shows that Chapter III A of the Act has an overriding effect
notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force
including Chapter IV of the Act to the extent of anything being inconsistent
with what is contained in Chapter IV A.
68-F (I-E) (Chapter IV-A) relates to issuance of permits to the State Transport
Undertakings. it reads :
Issue of permits to State Transport undertakings (1) Where, in pursuance of an
approved scheme, any State transport undertaking applies (in such transport
undertaking applies (in such manner as may be prescribed by the State
Government in this behalf for a stage carriage permit or a public carrier's
permit or a contract carriage permit in respect of a notified area or notified
route, the [State Transport Authority in any case where the said area or route
lies in more than one region and the regional Transport Authority in any other
case] shall issue such permit to the State transport undertaking,
notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Chapter IV.
Where a State transport undertaking applies for renewal of a permit within the
period specified in sub section (2A) of Section 58, the State Transport
Authority or, as the case may be the regional Transport Authority, shall, renew
such permit, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Chapter
68(1) confers Rule making powers on the State Government. Sub-clause (cc) of
clause (2) thereof enables the State Government to frame Rules regarding the
manner in which applications under sub-section (1) of Section 68 F are to be
made. The U.P. State
Services (Development) Rules, 1974 have been framed under the aforesaid Rule
making power. Rule 10 thereof deals with the subject. It provides :
10. Application for permit for services of stage carriage (Section 68-1(2)(cc)
1.An application for stage carriage permit and public carrier's permit of
contract carriage permit in respect of the notified routes/areas in pursuance
of the approved scheme shall be made on behalf of the State Transport
Underrating in Form III.
Upon receipt of an application under sub-rule (1) the State Transport Authority
as the case may be issued a permit to the State transport Undertaking for the
notified route or notified area accordingly.
Every permit issued as aforesaid shall in 2 parts namely, Para 'A' and Part 'B'
and be in From 'IV'.
permit issued as aforesaid shall remain valid till the scheme remains in force.
There shall be paid a fee of Rs. 5/- only in respect of an application for a
permit made before the Regional Transport Authority and a fee of Rs. 10/- only
in respect of such application made before the State Transport Authority.
Duplicate permit to any part of the permit shall be issued by the State
Transport Authority or Regional Transport Authority concerned as the case may
be, on a payment of Rs. 5/- for Part 'A' and mutilated or lost." A
combined reading of Section 68-B, 68-F (I-E) and Rule 10 (supra) shows that
insofar as notified routes are concerned, for which the Corporation has an
exclusive right to ply their vehicles under the scheme framed under the Act,
the duration of the permit obtained by the Corporation for playing those vehicles
is co-terminus with the life of the scheme. Sub-clause (4) of Rule 10
unmistakably says "the permit issued as aforesaid shall remain valid till
the scheme remains in force".
Division Bench of the High Court, it appears overlooked the distinction between
the provisions of Chapters IV and IVA of the Act. So far as Chapter IV is
concerned, as already noticed, it deals with essentially speaking, non-notified
routes. Section 58(2)(a) of the Act which occurs in Chapter IV applies only to
non-notified routes and not to the notified routes, even when the Corporation
may also be playing their vehicles on the non-notified routes. However, so far
as notified routes are concerned, Chapter IVA of the Act which contains special
provisions governs the field and being "social" it over rides the
"general provisions" of Chapter IV. Thus the grant of permit to the
Corporation for playing its vehicle on notified routes remains valid till the
scheme remains in force. There is thus no need for renewal of the existing
permit during the period when the scheme is in force. The Corporation does not
need to make any fresh application for renewal of the permit after 3 years or 5
years so long as the scheme is in force. The necessity to seek renewal of a
permit after the expiry of the period prescribed in the permit is only relevant
where the permit is granted even to the Corporation under Chapter IV of the
Motor Vehicles Act and not under Chapter IV A of the Act. The view of the
authorities to the contrary which has been upheld by the Division bench of the
High Court is thus clearly erroneous and cannot be sustained.
for what has been said above, the impugned judgment and order dated 25.1.1991
made in Writh Petition No.1006/1988 is hereby set aside. The effect of this
order would be that the Writ Petition would stand allowed and the permit
obtained by the Corporation to ply the vehicles on the notified routes will
continue to remain valid till the scheme is in force and would not require any
renewal during the subsistence of the scheme. No costs.
No. ....... of 1998 (@ SLP(C) No. 12732 of 1992) In this appeal arising out of
SLP(C) No. 12732/95, which calls in question the judgment and order of the High
Court dated 12.8.1992 made in Writ Petition No. 10837 of 1992, the Division
Bench of the High Court followed its earlier judgment in U.P. State Road
transport Corporation vs. The Regional Transport Authority Gorakhpur. For the
reasons stated by us in the appeal filed by the U.P. State Road Transport
Corporation [C.A. No. ........ of 1998(@ SLP(C) No. 13937 of 1992], this appeal
also succeeds and is allowed on the same terms as that appeal.