04 November 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 538 of 1964






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/11/1964


CITATION:  1966 AIR 1780            1965 SCR  (2)   6  CITATOR INFO :  R          1978 SC 215  (30)

ACT: Constitution  of India, Art. 254(1) (2)-Motor Vehicles  Act, (Act  4 of 1939), s. 64A whether renders void or repeals  s. 64A  of  the  Motor Vehicles (Bihar  Amendment)  Act,  194-9 (Bihar Act 27 of 1950).

HEADNOTE: The Bihar State Legislature by Act 27 of 1950 introduced  s. 64A  into the Motor Vehicles Act (Central Act IV  of  1939). By  that section power was given to the State Government  to revise  orders  of authorities and officers  in  proceedings under  Chapter IV of the Motor Vehicles Act.  Subsequent  to this by Act 100 of 1956 Parliament introduced another s. 64A into the Act providing that revision would lie to the  State Transport  Authority  from  the  non-appealable  orders   of Regional Transport Authority. Respondent No. 1 filed a writ petition before the High Court challenging an order of the State Government under s. 64A of Bihar  Act  27  of  1950.   By  the  said  order  the  State Government  had  granted  a stage  carriage  permit  to  the appellant setting aside an order of the Appellate  Authority in  favour  of Respondent No. 1. The High  Court  held  that Bihar  s.  64A did not apply to stage carriage  permits  for inter-State  routes  and therefore the order  of  the  State Government made under that section was bad.  The   appellant thereupon  filed  an appeal before the  Supreme  Court  with certificate.  Before the appeal was heard, the Supreme Court had already    decided  in  another  case  that  there   was nothing  in Bihar s. 64A to render it inapplicable to  stage carriage permits for inter-State routes, thus reversing  the High  Court’s  decision  on  that  point.   Respondent   No. 1therefore sought, and was given permission to challenge the order  of  the State Government on another  ground,  namely, that Central s. 64A had by vitrue of the provisions of  cls. (1) and (2) of Art. 254 of the Constitution rendered void or impliedly repealed Bihar s. 64A.  It was urged that  Central s.  64A  was exhaustive, that it covered the same  field  as



Bihar  s.  64A,  and that the  two  sections  were  directly repugnant. HELD  :  (i)  Central  section 64A  could  not  said  to  be exhaustive.   While  it provided for revision to  the  State Transport Authority against the non-appealable orders of the Regional  Transport  Authority,  it  did  not  confer,   any finality on the orders passed by the former and it was  open to  the  Bihar  Legislature  to  provide  further  remedies. Moreover  the scope of Central s. 64A could be  enlarged  or reduced by the State Government which had power under s.  68 to   determine  which  orders  of  the  Regional   Transport Authority would be appealable. [11 B-C, F-H] (ii) Nor  could it be said that Central s. 64A and Bihar  s. 64A covered the same field.  Central s. 64A only dealt  with revisions  against  the  orders of  the  Regional  Transport Authority,  while  Bihar s. 64A bad a much  wider  operation giving to the State Government power to revise orders of any authority  or  officer in proceedings under Ch.  IV  of  the Act.   Such  orders could be those of  the  State  Transport Authority,   and  the  Appellate  Authority  besides   other authorities and officers, [11 C-D, G-H] 7 (iii)  The  language  of  Bihar  s.  64A  is  very  general, Literally  construed it can be said to be in  conflict  with both  s.  64 and Central s. 64A, inasmuch as  it  can  cover cases  open  to  appeal under the  former  section,  and  to revision  under the latter section.  To the extent  of  this repugnance Bihar s. 64A is void.  But the section as a whole is not void nor has it been repealed by Central s. 64A;  its scope  has been limited only to this extent  that  revisions against  such  orders of the  Regional  Transport  Authority which are not appealable, have to be preferred to the  State Transport Authority. [110, D, H; 12C] Deep Chand v. State of Uttar Pradesh, [1959] Supp. 2  S.C.R. 8, applied. S.   K.  Pasari  v.  Abdul Ghafoor, C.A.  No.  306  of  1964 decided  on 4-5-64 and Abdul Mateen v. Ram  Kailash  Pandey, [1963] 3 S.C.R., 523, referred to. In  the present case the State Government of  Bihar  revised the order made by the Appellate Authority.  It was competent to do so.  The High Court was in error in holding otherwise. [12D]

JUDGMENT: CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal No. 538 of 1964. Appeal from the judgment and order, dated September 25, 1963 of the Patna High Court in Misc.  Judicial Case No. 1381  of 1962. K.  Rajendra Chaudhuri and K. R. Chaudhuri, for  the  appel- lant. M.   C. Setalvad, D. P. Singh, S. C. Agarwal and M. K. Rama- murthy, for the respondent No. 1. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Raghubar  Dayal, J. This appeal, on certificate  granted  by the High Court of Patna, raises the question whether s.  64A of  the  Motor  Vehicles  Act as  introduced  by  the  Motor Vehicles  (Bihar  Amendment) Act, 1949 (Bihar Act  XXVII  of 1950),  hereinafter  referred to as Bihar s.  64A,  was  not applicable  to  proceedings for grant of permit  for  inter- State  routes.  This question, however, was decided by  this Court in S. K. Pasari v. Abdul Ghafoor(1).  It was held that it  was  applicable to cases of stage carriage  permits  for inter-State routes.



The respondent prayed, in view of the observations in  Abdul Mateen v. Ram Kailash Pandey (2) for permission to challenge the  validity  of the aforesaid section on the  ground  that Parliament, by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 1956 (Act No. 100 of 1956), has introduced another s. 64A in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (Act TV of 1939), hereinafter referred to as  Central  s. 64A and that thereby Bihar s.  64A  must  be taken to have been repealed by necessary implication. (1)  Civil Appeal No. 306 of 1964, decided on 4-5-64. (2)  [1963] 3 S.C.R. 523.                              8 The question arises in this way.  The appellant Tansukh  Rai Jain,  was  one  of the applicants  for  the  stage-carriage permit  for an inter-State route between Bihar  and  Orissa. The State Transport Authority, Bihar, granted the permit  to the  United  Motor  Works  & Co.  Ltd.   The  appellant  and respondent  No.  1, Nilratan Prasad Shaw,  appealed  to  the appellate  authority,  the  Deputy  Minister  of  Transport, Bihar,  against the order of the State Transport  authority. The  appellate authority reversed the order and granted  the permit to Shaw, respondent No. 1. Thereafter, the  appellant went  in revision to the Bihar Government, in view of  Bihar s.  64A.  The Transport Minister set aside the order of  the appellate  authority  and granted the permit  to  Jain,  the appellant.   Shaw,  respondent  No. 1,  then  filed  a  writ petition  in the High Court and prayed for the  quashing  of the order of the Transport Minister and for the  restoration of the order of the appellate authority granting the  permit to  him.  The High Court allowed the writ  petition  holding that  Bihar s. 64A did not apply to  stage-carriage  permits for   interState  routes  and  that  therefore   the   Bihar Government  was  incompetent  to revise  the  order  of  the appellate authority. It is urged for the respondent that the provisions of  Bihar s.  64A  are repugnant to those of Central s.  64A  and  are therefore  void in view of cl. (1) of Art. 254.  It is  also urged  that  the Central Act has repealed Bihar  s.  64A  by enacting Central s. 64A in the exercise of the power it  had under  the  proviso to Art. 254(2).  If  the  provisions  of Bihar  s.  64A  are repugnant to any extent  with  those  of Central  s. 64A, Bihar s. 64A will be void to the extent  of the  repugnancy  in  view  of cl. (1) of  Art.  254  of  the Constitution.  As the Central Act was enacted by  Parliament subsequent to the enactment of Bihar s. 64A, the  provisions of  the main part of cl. (2) of Art. 254 will not  apply  to make  Bihar  s.  64A good within the State  of  Bihar,  even though it had received the assent of the President, as those provisions applied -when the Central Act is enacted  earlier than  the State law.  We have therefore to see  whether  the provisions of Bihar s. 64A are repugnant to those of Central S. 64A. The  tests for determining whether a certain provision of  a State  law is repugnant to the provisions of a law  made  by Parliament  are stated thus, in Deep Chand v. The  State  of Uttar Pradesh(1) :               "Repugnancy  between two statutes may thus  be               ascertained  on  the basis  of  the  following               three principles               (1)   [1959] Supp. 2 S.C.R. 8, 43.               9               (1)   Whether there is direct conflict between               the two provisions;               (2)   Whether Parliament intended to lay  down               an  exhaustive code in respect of the  subject               matter   replacing  the  Act  of   the   State



             Legislature; and               (3)   Whether  the law made by Parliament  and               the  law made by the State Legislature  occupy               the same field."               We may now refer to the two sections,  Central               s. 64A and               Bihar s. 64A :               "Central   s.  64A  :  The   State   Transport               Authority  may, either on its motion or on  an               application made to it, call for the record of               any case in which an order has been made by  a               Regional  Transport Authority and in which  no               appeal  lies, and if it appears to  the  State               Transport Authority that the order made by the               Regional  Transport Authority is  improper  or               illegal,  the  State Transport  Authority  may               pass such order in relation to the case as  it               deems fit :               Provided  that the State  Transport  Authority               shall  not  entertain any application  from  a               person  aggrieved  by an order of  a  Regional               Transport Authority, unless the application is               made  within thirty days from the date of  the               order:               Provided  further  that  the  State  Transport               Authority  shall not pass an order under  this               section  prejudicial  to  any  person  without               giving  him a reasonable opportunity of  being               heard."               "Bihar s. 64A : The -State Government may,  on               application made to it in this behalf,  within               thirty days of the passing of the order in the               course  of  any proceedings taken  under  this               Chapter   by   any   authority   or    officer               subordinate  to  it, call for the  records  of               such  proceedings,  and after  examining  such               records pass such order as it thinks fit." The words ’subordinate to it’ in Bihar s. 64A, were  omitted by the Motor Vehicles (Bihar Amendment) Act, 1953 (Bihar Act 1 of 1954).  This was however not noticed when Bihar s.  64A was quoted in Pasari’s case(2). First  we have to see whether there is any  direct  conflict between  Central s. 64A and Bihar s. 64A.  Such a  conflict, to a (1)  Civil  Appeal  No.  306 of  1964,  decided  on  4-5-64. Sup.165-2 10 certain  extent,  can  arise if Bihar S.  64A  be  construed literally.  The language of Bihar s. 64A is very general and empowers  the State Government to revise any order  made  in the  course  of any proceedings taken under Chapter  IV  and pass such orders as it thinks fit.  It must, however, be  so construed, if possible, as not to come in conflict with  the provisions of the Central Act.  The power of revision vested in  the  State Government under its provisions are  to  come into  play  only when the Central Act does not  provide  any remedy  against the orders proposed to be revised.   Certain orders  have  been made appealable under s. 64 of  the  Act. The  power  of  revision therefore will arise  and  will  be exercised  after  the appellate power is exhausted  and  not when  the  aggrieved  person has not  appealed  against  the order.   Similarly, it will be available only  against  non- appealable  orders  after  the aggrieved  person  has  taken action  under Central s. 64A.  The aggrieved  person  cannot have  recourse  to action under Bihar s. 64A  without  first



taking action under Central s. 64A.  To the extent that  the language of Bihar S.   64A can cover the cases open to appeal and to  revision under  s. 64 and Central S. 64A respectively, it will be  in direct  conflict with the provisions of the Central Act  and Bihar s. 64A will be void to that extent. Bihar  s.  64A, it is argued for the respondent,  is  wholly void as by Central s. 64A Parliament intended to lay down an exhaustive  code  in respect of the said subject  matter  of revisions.   It  is also urged that Bihar s. 64A  is  wholly void as both that section and Central s. 64A cover the  same field.  On these very grounds, it is urged that by  enacting Central S. 64A Parliament has revealed by implication  Bihar s.  64A as it was competent to do in view of the proviso  to cl. (2) of Art. 254. Repeal, by implication, is not to be easily inferred.  It is to  be  expected  that  when Parliament  was  aware  of  the provisions  of  Bihar  s.  64A  and  of  Art.  254  of   the Constitution  and  it intended to repeal Bihar  s.  64A,  it would have expressly stated so.  There is nothing in Central s. 64A or in any other provision of the Act which  expressly states  that  Bihar s. 64A is repealed.  We are  of  opinion that the mere fact that Central s. 64A deals with  revisions against  non-appealable  orders of  the  Regional  Transport Authority  is  not sufficient to  conclude  that  Parliament intended to repeal Bihar s. 64A. The  language  of Bihar s. 64A is very wide and  covers  all orders made by any authority or officer in the course of any proceedings  taken  under Chapter TV of the Act.   The  only limitation on the exercise of the revisional power conferred on the State                              11 by  Bihar S. 64A is that the State cannot suo motu  exercise that power.  It can exercise it when moved on application by some person aggrieved with the order he seeks to be revised. Such orders can be orders of the State Transport  Authority, the  Regional Transport Authority or any other authority  or officer.  Central s. 46A provides for revisions against  the orders  of  the Regional Transport Authority  and  does  not provide  for revisions against the orders of the  prescribed authority  to whom appeals could be preferred under  S.  64. Central  s. 64A can therefore preclude the State  Government from entertaining revisions against non-appealable orders of the  Regional Transport Authority, but cannot  preclude  the operation of Bihar S. 64A in regard to other orders.  It  is not  provided in the Act that the order passed by the  State Transport  Authority  in  the  exercise  of  its  revisional jurisdiction under Central s. 64A would be final.  If such a provision had been made it might have been possible to urge. that  Parliament  intended  that  the  order  of  the  State Transport  Authority  in revision was not to  be  interfered with  by any authority.  The absence of such  an  expression therefore  leads  to the inference that Parliament  did  not intend  that  there be no interference with such  orders  of revision.   Further, it may be noticed that s. 64  does  not exhaust  the  list  of all appealable  orders.   Its  cl.(1) provides  for an appeal by a person aggrieved by  any  other order   which   may  be  prescribed.    ’Prescribed’   means ’prescribed by rules made under the Act’.  Subsection (1) of s.  68 empowers the State Government to make rules  for  the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Chapter IV which  consists of ss. 42 to 68.  Sub-section (2)  specifies certain  matters with respect to which rules be  made.   Its clause (za) mentions ’any other matter which is to be or may be  prescribed’.  It follows that the State  Government  can



make  rules  providing for certain orders to  be  appealable under s. 64 and thus reduce the orders which otherwise would come  within the ambit of Central s. 64A.  The  orders  made appealable  under the rules framed by a State would  not  be open  to revision under s. 64A as it provides for  revisions against  non-appealable orders only.  It is clear  therefore that Parliament cannot be imputed the intention to make  the provisions of s. 64A to be so exhaustive and complete as  to lead to the necessary conclusion that thereby it intended to repeal  the provisions of Bihar s. 64A which gave  power  to the  State of Bihar to revise orders made by authorities  or officers in proceedings under Chapter IV. The  provisions of Bihar s. 64A and Central s. 64A  are  not such  that  they  cannot be  complied  with  simultaneously, except for the contingency already mentioned, i.e., when  an application is 12 made  to the State Government by a person aggrieved by  such an  order of the Regional Transport Authority which  be  not appeal,able  under  S.  64.   In  such  a  case,  the  State Government  cannot  exercise its power under  Bihar  S.  64A against  the  orders of the  Regional  Transport  Authority, though  it would be free to exercise that power at  a  later stage  after the State Transport Authority had  disposed  of the  revision, if any, made to it.  Revision, in  the  first instance, against non-appealable orders passed under Chapter IV must go to the State Transport Authority as in respect of such  orders  Parliament must be taken to  have  varied  the provisions of Bihar s. 64A. We therefore hold that Bihar S. 64A is neither void nor  has been repealed by Central s. 64A and that its scope has  been limited  only  to this extent that  revisions  against  such orders  of  the Regional Transport Authority which  are  not appealable  have  to  be preferred to  the  State  Transport Authority. In  the present case the State Government of  Bihar  revised the order made by the appellate authority.  It was competent to do so.  The High Court was in error in holding otherwise. We  therefore  allow the appeal with costs,  set  aside  the order  of  the High Court and restore that of the  State  of Bihar granting permit to the appellant Jain. Appeal allowed. 13