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National Citizen Forum vs The Regional Transport Authority on 10 August, 2009

Kerala High Court
National Citizen Forum vs The Regional Transport Authority on 10 August, 2009
       

  

  

 
 
  IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

WP(C).No. 437 of 2009(B)


1. NATIONAL CITIZEN FORUM, KOTHALA EAST,
                      ...  Petitioner
2. V.C.ABRAHAM, VATTAKUNNEL HOSE,

                        Vs



1. THE REGIONAL TRANSPORT AUTHORITY,
                       ...       Respondent

2. SRI.JOBIN GEO, S/O. K.C.VARKEY,

                For Petitioner  :SRI.A.INEES

                For Respondent  :SRI.P.DEEPAK

The Hon'ble MR. Justice V.GIRI

 Dated :10/08/2009

 O R D E R
                            V.GIRI, J.
        = = = = = = = = = = = = = = == = = = = = =
                   W.P.(C). No. 437 OF 2009

        = = = = = = = = = = = = = == = = = = = = =

             Dated this the 10th day of August 2009.


                           JUDGMENT

The first petitioner claims to be a registered Association

which is working for the welfare of the citizens in and around

Pampady, Vazhoor, Kooropada and Pallickathode Panchayaths.

Second petitioner is a resident in Pampady Panchayath.

2. Second respondent is a stage carriage operator,

operating on the route Elamkad-Kottayam. The original distance

of the route was 65 Kms. Second respondent made a requisition

for an extension of the service from Elamkad to Elamkad Top as

a variation and also made request for conversion of the service

into limited stop ordinary service. By Ext.P8, the Regional

Transport Authority granted the extension subject to settlement

of timings. But the plea for the conversion into limited stop

ordinary service was not considered and in fact treated as

rejected.

3. Second respondent preferred an appeal as

M.V.A.A.No.488/07 by Ext.P9. The matter was remanded back to

W.P.(C). No. 437 OF 2009

2

the R.T.A. The Tribunal also found the extension as eligible to be

granted and directed the R.T.A. to endorse the extension subject

to settlement of timings. The plea for conversion was directed to

be reconsidered.

4. By Ext.P12, the R.T.A. reconsidered the question of

conversion and rejected the same, essentially citing two reasons.

Firstly, that on conversion, the route will pass through ghat

section, wherein the maximum speed limit of 35 Kms./Hr. will be

incompatible with limited stop ordinary service. The second

reason cited was that the public would be inconvenience by the

conversion into a limited stop ordinary service and the

consequent reduction of the number of stops as is evidenced by

ExtP10. The number of stops of the service originally was 49

and on conversion, it has been reduced to 21.

5. Second respondent preferred an appeal before the

Tribunal. The appeal was allowed as per Ext.P13 judgment,

directing that the conversion sought for should be allowed.

Ext.P13 has been challenged in this writ petition.

W.P.(C). No. 437 OF 2009

3

6. It seems that in the meanwhile, the operator had

approached this Court in W.P.(C).No.35528 of 2008 and by R2(b)

judgment, this Court had directed that further steps be taken

pursuant to Ext.P13 judgment.

7. But the petitioners herein were not parties to R2(b)

judgment.

8. Ext.P13 has been challenged in this writ petition on

more than one ground. Firstly, it is contended that if there is a

rejection of plea for conversion, the order as such cannot be

appealed before the Tribunal. It is next contended that the

public would be affected by the conversion and therefore, atlease

some of the objectors, who had opposed the conversion before

the R.T.A. should have been made parties in the Appeal against

Ext.P12.

9. It is contended on behalf of the second respondent that

the public are not inconvenienced by the conversion into limited

stop ordinary service. The present petitioners are only a facade

for a rival stage carriage operator, operating in the same route.

W.P.(C). No. 437 OF 2009

4

10. I heard Mr. Inees, learned Counsel for the petitioner,

learned Government Pleader and Mr. P.Deepak, learned Counsel

for the second respondent.

11. I do not find it necessary to decide the question as to

whether an appeal is maintainable against an order rejecting a

plea for conversion of an ordinary service into limited stop

ordinary service in this writ petition. But I am of the view that

since one of the grounds on which the plea for conversion is

rejected relates to the convenience of the public, an appeal

against Ext.P12 could have been maintained only with one or

more objectors in the party array. In the facts and

circumstances of the case, the petitioners shall been impleaded

as additional respondents in the appeal against Ext.P12 and the

matter should be considered afresh. I clear that this will be

without prejudice to the right of the second respondent to

challenge the locus standi of the petitioners herein as well.

12. In these circumstances, Ext.P13 is set aside and

M.V.A.A.357/2008 shall stand restored to file. The petitioners

herein shall be impleaded as additional respondents 3 and 4.

W.P.(C). No. 437 OF 2009

5

The appeal shall be reconsidered and, orders shall be passed by

the Tribunal after hearing the parties within 3 months from the

date of receipt of a copy of this judgment.

Writ petition is disposed of as above.

(V.GIRI)
JUDGE

kkms/

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