At, High Court of Kerala
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MALIMATH & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE BHASKARAN NAMBIAR
K.P. Dandapani; Sumathi Dandapani; Jaju Babu; For Appellant
1. This appeal was taken up for hearing after the learned counsel for the appellant made it clear to us that the review petition which she has filed in pursuance of the observations made by the learned single judge is going to be withdrawn by the appellant, irrespective of the result of this appeal.
2. The first respondent is the holder of a pucca stage carriage permit for the route Pokkunnu-Mavoor, from the year 1982. He made an application for grant of temporary permit in extension of the pucca permit, to extend it up to Mukkom. The Regional Transport Authority rejected the application and on appeal the State Tran
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sport Appellate Tribunal granted the permit. It is the said decision that was challenged by the appellant in O.P. No. 6409 of 1988-K. The principal contention of the appellant before the learned single . Judge was that the appellant was an objector and that his objection has not been taken into consideration. The learned single judge has observed that if a mistake has been committed by the authorities in ignoring the objection of the appellant the proper course to be adopted by him is to move that authority for correcting the mistake. It is in pursuance of that observation that the appellant sought review, which, as already stated, he has undertaken to withdraw, irrespective of the result of this appeal.
3. We consider it unnecessary to make an investigation of the question as to whether the appellant is really an objector or not, for. there are far more fundamental objections to the grant of temporary permit in favour of the first respondent. A temporary permit can be granted under S.62 of the Act. Subsection (1) of S.62empowers the Regional Transport Authority to grant permit without following the procedure prescribed in S.57 of the Act, for a period not exceeding four months, to authorise the use of a transport vehicle temporarily (1) for the conveyance of passengers on special occasions such as to and from fairs and religious gatherings (2) for the purposes of a seasonal business (3) to meet a particular temporary need or (4) pending decision on an application for the renewal of a permit. Sub-s. (2) of S.62 further provides that a temporary permit can also be granted in respect of any route or area in the following
(i) when no permit could be issued under S.48 or S.51 or S.54 in respect of that route or area by reason of an order of a court or other competent authority restraining the issue of the same.
(ii) When as a result of the suspension by a court or other competent authority of the permit of any vehicle in respect of that route or area, there is no transport vehicle of the same class with a valid permit in respect of that route or area or there is no adequate number of such vehicles in respect of that route or area.
Thus we find that the grant of temporary permit is statutorily regulated and the circumstances under which alone temporary permit can be granted have been specified in S.62 of the Act. The Regional Transport Authority has no power to grant temporary permit otherwise than authorised under the relevant provisions of the Act. We have noticed large number of cases coming before this court where the Regional Transport Authorities in the State have indiscriminately granted temporary permits without taking into consideration the statutory limitations contained in S.62 of the Act. The Regional Transport Authorities are not conferred with any general power of granting temporary permits de hors the provisions of the statute. They can only exercise such of the powers as has been specifically conferred on them.
4. The records of the Regional Transport Authority in this case were placed before us by the learned High Court Government Pleader as per our directions. We find from the same the original application filed by the first respondent for grant of a temporary permit. Clause (4) of the application requires furnishing of the information regarding purpose for which the permit is required. The first respondent has stated in that column as follows: "For the convenience of public". So far as the duration of the permit is concerned, that information has been furnished in column No. 7 as follows: "Four months from the date of issue". We thus find that the first respondent has not claimed a temporary permit by pleading that his case falls in any one of the categories specified in S.62 of the Act. Learned counsel for the first respondent submitted that he can sustain the application as one falling under S.62 (1) (c) of the Act which enables the R. T. A. to grant a temporary permit to meet a particular temporary need. But it has to be pointed out that it is not stated as to what is the particular temporary need, in the application of the first respondent. The purpose for which the permit is sought has been stated to be for the convenience of the public. No particular temporary need has been stated in the application. We have therefore no hesitation in taking the view that the application of the first respondent for grant of permit under S.62 was not maintainable as the purpose stated in the application is not one which is recognised by S.62 of the Act. We have therefore no hesitation in taking the view that the R.T.A. had no jurisdiction to grant a temporary permit on the ground that it is necessary to do so for the convenience of the public as requested by the first respondent, the need stated being not any particular temporary nee. We have therefore no hesitation in taking the view that the grant of permit by the S.T.A.T in favour of the first respondent was unjustified.
For the reasons stated above this writ appeal is allowed and the judgment of the learned single judge is set aside and the order of the State Transport Appellate Tribunal is quashed and the order of the State Transport Authority is restored, not for the reasons stated by the authority but for the reasons stated by us in this judgment. It is needless to clarify that this does not preclude any of the parties from seeking an appropriate variation of the conditions of the permit for extension of the route, as such course is cleary permitted under S.57(8) of the Act or to apply for grant of a temporary permit if the circumstances specified in S.62 exist. No costs