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Thursday, February 8, 2018

corporate law - an application for modification of time schedule for movement of his vehicle before the State   Transport   Authority.-whether the order was delivered with the signatures of Chairperson and only one member, since one member, Shri Sanjay Choudhary was transferred   in   the   meanwhile,   hence,   the   order   dated 15.12.2014 is illegal. = we are of the opinion that decision dated 15.12.2014 issued with the signatures of Chairperson and one member was a valid decision in spite of the fact that one of the members who was present in the hearing when the meeting took place on 16.10.2014 and had been transferred in the meanwhile did not sign the order.

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.1562 OF 2018
(arising out of SLP(C) No.35738 of 2017)
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH THROUGH
PRINCIPAL SECRETARY & ANR.    ... APPELLANTS
VERSUS
MAHENDRA GUPTA & ORS.    ... RESPONDENTS
J U D G M E N T
ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.
The   State   of   Madhya   Pradesh   is   in   appeal   against   the
judgment   of   Division   Bench   of   the   High   Court   of   Madhya
Pradesh, Bench at Gwalior dated 22.03.2017 by which judgment
writ appeal filed by the State questioning the judgment of the
learned Single Judge dated 17.03.2015 has been dismissed.
2. The parties shall be described as referred to in the writ
petition. The facts giving rise to this appeal are:
The   writ   petitioners   have   permanent   permit   for   two
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routes, one Gwalior to Bhander and second Gwalior to Datia.
Respondent No.3 has also the permanent permit for the route
Gwalior   to   Jhansi.   Respondent   No.3   preferred   an   application
for modification of time schedule for movement of his vehicle.
The application of Respondent No.3 came for hearing before the
State   Transport   Authority   on   16.10.2014.   On   the   date   of
hearing both counsel for the applicant as well as counsel for
the   objectors   were   heard.   The   State   Transport   Authority
allowed   the   modification   and   decided   to   change   the   time
schedule as prayed by the applicant in the public interest.
The   order   was   issued   by   the   State   Transport   Authority   on
15.12.2014.   Aggrieved   by   the   order   dated   15.12.2014,   Writ
Petition No.883 of 2015 was filed by the two petitioners who
were objectors before the State Transport Authority. In the
writ   petition   various   grounds   were   taken   questioning   the
application   filed   by   the   applicant­Pawan   Arora.   One   of   the
grounds   taken   before   the   learned   Single   Judge   was   that
although   the   State   Transport   Authority   heard   the   matter   on
16.10.2014 consisted of Chairperson and two members, however,
the order was delivered with the signatures of Chairperson and
only one member, since one member, Shri Sanjay Choudhary was
transferred   in   the   meanwhile,   hence,   the   order   dated
15.12.2014 is illegal. The learned Single Judge accepted the
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contention   of   the   writ   petitioners   and   allowed   the   writ
petition by setting aside the order dated 15.12.2014.
3. The State of Madhya Pradesh filed writ appeal challenging
the judgment of the learned Singe Judge. The State contended
before the Division Bench of the High Court that there was no
illegality   in   the   order   issued   by   the   Chairperson   and   one
member,   although,   it   was   heard   by   three   members   when   the
meeting   took   place   on   16.10.2014.   The   Division   Bench
dismissed the appeal upholding the view of the learned Single
Judge.
4. Learned   counsel   for   the   appellant   in   support   of   the
appeal contends that under the Madhya Pradesh Motor Vehicles
Rules,   1994   quorum   of   the   meeting   of   the   State   Transport
Authority is three ­ Chairman plus two members and quorum was
complete when the meeting was held on 16.10.2014, the decision
delivered   by   the   majority   of   the   members   is   in   no   manner
illegal. It is submitted that after hearing, one member was
transferred   and   was   not   available   to   be   part   of   the   order
issued on 15.12.2014. It is submitted that even it is assumed
that   one   member   was   not   agreeing   with   the   decision   of   two
other members, although, there is no such pleading or material
on   the   record,   the   decision   taken   by   the   majority   of   the
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members   was   fully   valid   and   there   was   no   infirmity   in   the
order   dated   15.12.2014.   It   is   submitted   that   the   learned
Single   Judge   as   well   as   Division   Bench   committed   error   in
taking the view that the order dated 15.12.2014 was an illegal
order.
5. Learned counsel for the respondents supported the order
of the High Court and contends that when one member who heard
the matter on 16.10.2014 was not available, no decision could
have been taken by the State Transport Authority. He submits
that   the   matter   was   heard   by   three   members,   hence   decision
could  have  been issued  only by  three  members  and  the  views
taken by the learned Single Judge and Division Bench are in
accordance with law.
6. We have considered the submissions of the learned counsel
for the parties and perused the records.
7. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides for constitution of
a   State   Transport   Authority   to   exercise   and   discharge   the
powers   and   functions   as   specified   in   sub­section   (3)   of
Section 68. Section 68(1) and 68(3) are quoted below:
"68.Transport   Authorities.­(1)   The   State
Government   shall,   by   notification   in   the
Official Gazette, constitute for  the State a
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State   Transport   Authority   to   exercise   and
discharge   the   powers   and   functions   specified
in sub­section (3), and shall in like manner
constitute   Regional   Transport   Authorities   to
exercise   and   discharge   throughout   such   areas
(in   this   Chapter   referred   to   as   regions)   as
may   be   specified   in   the   notification,   in
respect of each Regional Transport Authority;
the powers and functions conferred by or under
this Chapter on such Authorities:
Provided   that   in   the   Union   territories,
the   Administrator   may   abstain   from
constituting any Regional Transport Authority.
(2) ....................................
(3)   The   State   Transport   Authority   and   every
Regional Transport Authority shall give effect
to any directions issued under section 67 and
the   State   Transport   Authority   shall,   subject
to   such   directions   and   save   as   otherwise
provided   by   or   under   this   Act,   exercise   and
discharge   throughout   the   State   the   following
powers and functions, namely :­
(a) to co­ordinate and regulate the activities
and   policies   of   the   Regional   Transport
Authorities, if any, of the State ;
(b)   to   perform   the   duties   of   a   Regional
Transport   Authority   where   there   is   no   such
Authority   and,   if   it   thinks   fit   or   if   so
required by a Regional Transport Authority, to
perform those duties in respect of any route
common to two or more regions;
(c)   to   settle   all   disputes   and   decide   all
matters on which differences of opinion arise
between Regional Transport Authorities;
[(ca)   Government   to   formulate   routes   for
playing stage carriages;] and 
(d) to discharge such other functions as may
be prescribed.”
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8. The   Rules   have   been   framed   by   the   State   of   Madhya
Pradesh,   namely,   the   Madhya   Pradesh   Motor   Vehicles   Rules,
1994.   Chapter   V   of   the   Rules   contains   heading   “Control   of
Transport   Vehicles”.  Rule   63   provides   for   State   Transport
Authority. Rule 63(4) to (7) are quoted as below:
“63. State Transport Authority.­
(4)   The   State   Transport   Authority   shall
meet   at   such   time   and   at   such   place   as   the
Chairman may appoint.
(5) Not less than three days' notice shall
be   given   to   a   member   of   the   meeting   of   the
State Transport Authority.
(6) The quorum to constitute a meeting of
the   State   Transport   Authority   shall   be   the
Chairman or the nominated Chairman  under  the
sub­rule   (7)   and   two   other   members   (whether
official or non­official).  If within hall an
hour from the time appointed for the meeting a
quorum is not completed, the meeting shall be
adjourned   to   such   day   and   at   such   time   and
place as the Chairman or the acting Chairman
nominated under sub­rule (7)  may appoint  and
no   quorum   is   necessary   for   holding   the
adjourned meeting.
(7) The Chairman, if unable to attend the
meeting,   shall   nominate   a   member   to   act   as
Chairman at the meeting.”
9. Rule   64   provides   for   Regional   Transport   Authority   and
Rule 65 is for Conduct of Business of Transport Authorities.
Rule 65(2) to 65(4) are as follows:
65.   Conduct   of   Business   of   Transport
Authorities. ­
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(2) The State or Regional Transport Authority,
as the case may be, may decide any matter of
urgent nature without holding a meeting by the
majority   of   votes   of   members   by   recorded   in
writing and send to the Secretary (hereinafter
referred to as the procedure by circulation).
(3) In the event of procedure by circulation
being   followed,   the   Secretary   shall   send   to
each   member   of   the   Transport   Authority   such
particulars of the matter as may be reasonably
necessary   in   order   to   enable   the   member   to
arrive   at   a   decision   and   shall   specify   the
date by which the votes of members are to be
received   in   the   office   of   the   Transport
Authority.   Upon   receipt   of   the   votes   of
members as aforesaid, the Secretary shall lay
the   papers   before   the   Chairman,   who   shall
record the decision by endorsement on the form
of application or other document, as the case
may   be,   according   to   the   votes   received   and
the   vote   or   votes   cast   by   the   Chairman.   The
record   of   the   votes   cast   shall   not   be
available for inspection by any person save by
a   member   of   the   Transport   Authority   at   a
regularly constituted meeting of the Transport
Authority.   No   decision   shall   be   made   upon
procedure by  circulation, if  before the date
by which the voles of members are required to
reach the office of the Transport Authority,
not less than one­third of the members of the
Transport   Authority   have   given   notice   in
writing   to   the   Secretary   demanding   that   the
matter   be   referred   to   a   meeting   of   the
Transport Authority.
(4)   The   number   of   votes,   excluding   the
Chairman's   second   or   casting   vote,   necessary
for a decision to be taken upon procedure by
circulation shall not be less than the members
necessary to constitute a quorum.
xxx xxx xxx xxx
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10. The facts of the case, as noted above, reveal that State
Transport Authority convened the meeting of the Authority by
issuing the Agenda for 16.10.2014. In addition to Chairperson,
two   members   ­   Shri   Sanjay   Chaudhary,   Transport   Commissioner
and   Shri   Rajiv   Sharma,     Chief   Engineer,   Public   Works
Department were present in the meeting. The applicant as well
as the counsel for the objectors were heard on 16.10.2014. The
decision of the Committee was issued on 15.12.2014 which was
signed   by   the   Chairperson   and   only   one   member,   Shri   Rajiv
Sharma, since, after the date of the hearing and before the
issuance of the order one member, Shri Sanjay Chaudhary was
transferred. The copy of the order dated 15.12.2014 has been
brought on record as Annexure P­1 which clearly mentions the
date   of   hearing,   i.e.,   16.10.2014.   It   is   useful   to   extract
only the relevant parts of the order for the present case:
"THE STATE TRANSPORT AUTHORITY,
MADHYA PRADESH MOTIMAHAL, GWALIOR
Agenda Serial No.71
Case No.2159/2014  Hearing on 16.10.2014
Before:
1. Pramod Agrawal   Chairperson
Principal Secretary,
Madhya Pradesh Government
Transport Department, Bhopal
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2. Sanjay Chaudhary   Member
Transport Commissioner
Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior
3. Rajiv Sharma   Member
Chief Engineer
Public Works Department,
Gwalior
... ... ...
... ... ...
Listing   the   aforesaid   application
submitted by the applicant for hearing in the
meeting of the State Transport Authority dated
16.10.2014 the same was included in the agenda
and published on the Departmental Website and
the   notice   board   of   the   Office   and   all
regional/   additional   regional   /   District
Transport   Office.   The   objections   of   the
aforesaid   Drivers   were   obtained   until   the
aforesaid fixed date.
The   case   was   presented   in   the   meeting
dated   16.10.2014   of   the   State   Transport
Authority. On the day of hearing, on behalf of
the parties their appointed counsels appeared,
who were heard.
... ... …
... ... …
Note: Since one member Shri Sanjay Chaudhary
of   the   Authority   was   transferred   after
hearing, the  aforesaid  order  is being passed
by   the   Chairperson   and   one   member   Chief
Engineer of the Authority.
Sd/­ sd/­
   Member    Member
State Transport Authority        State Transport Authority
Madhya Pradesh”
11. The   only   issue   which   needs   to   be   considered   in   this
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appeal is as to whether, when in the meeting dated 16.10.2014
the Chairperson and two members had heard the application for
the change  of  the  time  schedule,  the  order  could  have  been
passed   allowing   the   application   by   the   two   members
(Chairperson and one member) alone, since the order was singed
only by the Chairperson and one member, on 15.12.2014.
12. The statutory provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
as   well   as   the   Madhya   Pradesh   Motor   Vehicles   Rules,   1994
indicate that the State Transport Authority is a multi­member
body constituted by the State Government under Section 68(1).
The   State Transport Authority is a multi­member body which
transacts   business   in   meeting   except   in   case   of   emergency.
Meeting is to be convened at such time and at such place as
the Chairman may appoint. Three days' notice is required to be
given to the members and quorum of the meeting is the Chairman
or the nominated Chairman and two other members, i.e., quorum
is three. In the present case, there is no dispute that when
the meeting was held on 16.10.2014 quorum was complete since
Chairperson and two members were present which fact is clearly
noticed in the order dated 15.12.2014 as extracted above. The
three   members   who   were   present   in   the   meeting   heard   the
applicant and objectors. But the order could be issued only on
15.12.2014, by which one of the members had been transferred
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and was not available to sign  the order. One more important
fact which is to be noticed is that learned Single Judge had
categorically   noted   that   the   above   issue   was   raised   only
during the hearing before the learned Single Judge and there
was no pleading in the writ petition. In paragraph 16 of the
judgment,   learned   Single   Judge   himself   has   noticed   the
following:
"16. The last question raised by the parties is
about the competency of the STA in passing the
impugned order.  Although there is no pleading
in   this   regard   in   this   petition.   However,
learned   senior   counsel,   Shri   K.N.   Gupta   has
not   disputed   the   fact   that   the   matter   was
heard by three members and order is passed by
two members.....”
13. The   multi­member   body   transacts   its   business   after
debate, consultation and discussion. The view of multi­member
body is expressed unanimously or by votes. For various kind of
decisions   by   multi­member   body   special   majorities   are   also
provided   for   acceptance   of   the   decision.   Normally,   all
decisions of a multi­member body are expressed by opinion of
majority   of   the   members   present   except   where   the   special
majorities are provided in the statute itself.
14. Shackleton  on   the   “Law   and   Practice   of   Meetings”,
Eleventh   Edition   while   discussing   the   majority   has   stated
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following in paragraph 7­30. Relevant parts of paragraphs 7­30
and 7­31 are quoted below:
" 4 MAJORITY
Definition
7­30 Majority is a term signifying the greater
number.   In   legislative   and   deliberative
assemblies, it is usual to decide questions by
a majority of those present and voting. This
is sometimes expressed as a “simple” majority,
which   means   that   a   motion   is   carried   by   the
mere   fact   that   more   votes   are   cast   for   than
against   ,   as   distinct   from   a   “special”
majority   where   the   size   of   the   majority   is
critical.
The   principle   has   long   been   established
that   the   will   of   a   corporation   or   body   can
only be expressed by the whole or a majority
of its members, and the act of a majority is
regarded as the act of the whole.
A majority vote binds the minority
7­31   Unless   there   is   some   provision   to   the
contrary   in   the   instrument   by   which   a
corporation is formed,  the resolution of  the
majority, upon any question, is binding on the
majority   and   the   corporation,   but   the   rules
must be followed.”
15. Although   Rules,   1994   do   not   expressly   provide   that
decision of the State Transport Authority shall be taken in
accordance with the opinions of the majority but there being
no special majority provided for decision to be taken in the
meeting of the   State Transport Authority, normal, rule that
decision   by   majority   of   the   members   present   has   to   be
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followed. In the present case when three members were present
and quorum was complete, the decision taken by majority, i.e.,
opinion of two members shall form the valid decision of the
State Transport Authority.
16. Rule   65   sub­section   (2)   of   the   Rules   dealing   with   the
conduct of business of Transport Authorities provides:
“65(2)   The   State   or   Regional   Transport
Authority, as the case may be, may decide any
matter   of   urgent   nature   without   holding   a
meeting by the majority of votes of members by
recorded in writing and send to the Secretary
(hereinafter referred to as the procedure by
circulation).”
17. Thus, the concept of taking decision by majority of votes
of   the   members   is   very   much   present   in   the   scheme   of   the
Rules.   Although,   where   a   decision   is   to   be   taken   by   the
circulation by votes a special majority is provided in Rule
65(4) but present being not a case of decision by circulation,
simple majority by members present was sufficient for making a
binding decision by the State Transport Authority.
18. In   paragraph   18.1   of   the   judgment,   the   Division   Bench
observed that:
"18.1. In the instant case there is nothing on
record   to   indicate   that   the 
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STA with complete quorum heard the matter and
before one of the members Shri Sanjay Chaudhry
was   transferred   out   any   draft   order   was   got
approved from the said transferred member.”
19. The above observation was made by the Division Bench of
the High Court while distinguishing the judgment of this Court
in  Ramaswamy Nadar v. The State of Madras, AIR 1958 SC 56.
Before we refer to the decision of this Court in  Ramaswamy
Nadar,  it is clear that observation of the Division Bench of
the High  Court  that there  is  nothing  on record  to  indicate
that the quorum of State Transport  Authority was complete, is
factually wrong. The order of the State Transport Authority
dated 15.12.2014 has been brought on record as Annexure P­1
and the relevant portion of the order has been extracted above
by us which clearly mentions that the hearing took place on
16.10.2014 where the Chairperson and two members were present
the quorum  being  three  as  per  Rule  68(1)  was  complete.  The
hearing   took   place   by   three   members   which   is   noted   in   the
order   itself,   as   extracted   above.   Thus,   observation   of   the
Division Bench of the High Court that quorum was not complete
and matter was not heard by three members is not correct.
20. Now, we come to the judgment of this Court in  Ramaswamy
Nadar(supra).  In   the   above   case   the   matter   was   heard   by   a
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Bench   of   three   Judges   of   this   Court   who   after   hearing   had
announced the decision of acquittal. Draft judgment was also
approved by one of the Judges who had, however, died before
judgment could be delivered. Note appended in the judgment was
to the following effect:
" NOTE
SINHA, J.
When hearing of this appeal was finished
last   week   by   a   Bench   consisting   of   three   of
us,   B.P.   Sinha,   P.   Govinda   Menon   and   J.L.
Kapur, JJ., we announced that we had come to
the   conclusion   that   the   appellant   should   be
acquitted. We also indicated that the judgment
will   be   delivered   the   week   following.   The
draft   of   the   judgment   was   sent   to   late   Mr.
Justice Menon last week and he had approved of
it. What we are now delivering are the reasons
of the Judges who constituted the Bench; but
it will be signed by two only of us on account
of the unexpected death of Mr. Justice. Menon.
K.S.B. Appeal allowed.”
21. In   the   above   case   judgment   was   pronounced   with   the
concurrence of the three judges. When the hearing took place
opinion   of   all   the   three   Judges   was   expressed   but   judgment
could be singed by two Judges since one of the Judges died.
Although,   the   facts   of   the   above   case   was   little   different
i.e. there was material to indicate that the third Judge who
could not sign had also concurred with the opinion, but in the
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present   case   there   is   no   pleading   of   third   member   whether
agreeing or not agreeing with the decision.   For the present
case, we proceed on the premise that the third member did not
agree   with   the   decision.   For   the   decisions   of   this   Court,
Article   145   sub­clause   (5)   of   the   Constitution   of   India
provides that judge of this Court can deliver a judgment with
the concurrence of  a  majority  of  the  Judges present at  the
hearing of the case.
22. The present is a case where decision by a multi­member
body is to be taken in the meeting of the Committee as per the
statutory   Rules.   There   being   no   such   majority   provided   for
taking a decision, the decision by majority has to be accepted
as the opinion of the State Transport Authority.
23. Two more cases, which were relied by the appellant and
noticed by the High Court need to be noted.  The Privy Council
judgment in  Gokal Chand­ Jagan Nath Vs. Nand Ram Das­ Atma
Ram, AIR (1938) P.C. 292, is relevant for the present case. In
the   appeal   before   the   Privy   Council,   judgment   of   the   High
Court was assailed on the ground that the two Hon'ble Judges
of   the   High   Court   heard   the   matter,   although,   both   judges
concurred   with   the   judgment,   but   one   Judge   went   on   leave
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before   signing   the   judgment,   which   was   signed   by   only   one
Judge.     The   Privy   Council   repelled   the   contention   and   held
that   signing   by   one   of   the   Judges   at   best   was   only
irregularity, not affecting the merits of the case.  Following
was laid down in Paragraphs 6, 7 and 8:­
“6.   A   further   point   was   raised   by   the
appellants.   They   urged   that   the   judgment   of
the High Court appealed from was not a valid
judgment   because   it   failed   to   comply   with
Order   XLI,   Rule   31,   of   the   Code   of   Civil
Procedure.   The   relevant   facts   on   this   issue
are   that   the   hearing   in   the   High   Court   was
before   two   Judges,   Harrison   and   Agha   Haider
JJ., and was actually delivered by the former
Judge,  the latter agreeing. The judgment  was
delivered on February 22, 1933.  But Harrison
J. went on leave before signing the judgment,
which was signed by Agha Haider J., the Deputy
Registrar   appending   a   note   that   Harrison   J.
had gone on leave before signing the judgment
he delivered.
7.   Order   XLI,   Rule   31   requires   that   the
judgment   of   the   appellate   Court   shall   be   in
writing and shall state various matters,  and
"shall   at   the   time   that   it   is   pronounced   be
signed and dated by the Judge or by the Judges
concurring therein."
8.   The   Rule   does   not   say   that   if   its
requirements   are   not   complied   with   the
judgment   shall   be   a   nullity.   So   startling   a
result   would   need   clear   and   precise   words.
Indeed   the   Rule   does   not   even   state   any
definite time in which it is to be fulfilled.
The   time   is   left   to   be   defined   by   what   is
reasonable. The Rule from its very nature is
not intended to affect the rights of parties
to   a   judgment.   It   is   intended   to   secure
certainty   in   the   ascertainment   of   what   the
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judgment   was.   It   is   a   rule   which   Judges   are
required   to   comply   with   for   that   object.   No
doubt in practice Judges do so comply, as it
is their duty to do. But accidents may happen.
A   Judge   may   die   after   giving   judgment   but
before he has had a reasonable opportunity to
sign   it.   The   Court   must   have   inherent
jurisdiction to supply such a defect. The case
of   a   Judge   who   has   gone   on   leave   before
signing   the   judgment   may   call   for   more
comment,   but   even   so   the   convenience   of   the
Court   and   the   interest   of   litigants   must
prevail. The defect is merely an irregularity.
But in truth the difficulty is disposed of by
Sections   99   and   108   of   the   Civil   Procedure
Code. Section 99 provides that no decree shall
be reversed or substantially varied nor shall
any case be remanded, in appeal on account of
any   error,   defect   or   irregularity   in   any
proceedings   in   the   suit,   not   affecting   the
merits of the case or the jurisdiction of the
Court. That Section conies in the part dealing
with   appeals   from   original   decrees.   But
Section   108   applies   the   same   provision   to
appeals   from   appellate   decrees   and   it   is
always in the discretion of the Board to apply
the   principle   on   appeal   to   His   Majesty   in
Council.   In   their   Lordships'   judgment,   the
defect here was an irregularity not affecting
the merits of the case or the jurisdiction of
the Court, and is no ground for setting aside
the decree. ”
24. Another judgment, which was cited by the appellant was A.
Shanta Rao Vs. State Transport Appellate Tribunal, Hyderabad
& Ors., AIR 1985 A.P. 256.  In the above case, State Transport
Appellate   Tribunal   consisting   of   Chairman   and   two   members
heard the matter.  However, the order was issued only with the
signature of Chairman.   The order was attacked on the ground
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that the other two members having not signed the order, the
order   is   illegal.     Repelling   the   contention   following   was
stated in Paragraph 9:­
“9. On the first question, I am of the view
that once the minutes of the State Transport
Authority   are   found   to   be   signed   by   all   the
members including the Chairman, the mere fact
that the final order is communicated under the
signature   of   the   Chairman   alone   does   not
amount to any illegality. The Court has to see
the substance of the matter and not the mere
form, and if it is clear that all the members
of the Tribunal have applied their mind to the
facts of the case and arrived at a conclusion,
it   does   not   matter   if   the   communication   is
made under the signature of the Chairman. ”
25. Although,   in   above   two   cases,   there   was   concurrence   of
all the members of Court/Tribunal but all had not signed the
order.     The   present   is   a   case   where   Chairperson   and   two
members heard the application in meeting dated 16.10.2014 but
order was subsequently pronounced on 15.12.2014 and signed by
only Chairperson and one member.  The third member having been
transferred in the meanwhile.   As noticed above, there is no
pleading in the writ petition as to whether the third member,
who was transferred had agreed with the proposed order or did
not agree with the decision, which was to be delivered by the
State   Transport   Authority.     Had   third   member   agreed,   there
cannot be any debate in this matter, the issues being covered
20
by   judgment   of   this   Court   in  Ramaswamy   Nadar(supra) and
judgment   of   the   Privy   Council   in  Gokal   Chand   ­Jagan   Nath
(supra). But there being neither any pleading nor any material
to  come to  the  conclusion  that  the  third  member has agreed
with   the   opinion,   we   have   proceeded   to   examine   the   present
case as if,   the third member did not agree with the order
proposed.   We have already noticed the reason for coming to
the conclusion that the order issued by the State Transport
Authority, signed by the Chairperson and one member is a valid
order having been issued with the majority opinion of two out
of three, who heard the application on 16.10.2014.   Thus, in
any view of the matter, no illegality can be attached with the
order dated 15.12.2014, which was signed by the Chairperson
and one member.                   
26. In   view   of   the   foregoing   discussion,   we   are   of   the
opinion   that   decision   dated   15.12.2014   issued   with   the
signatures of Chairperson and one member was a valid decision
in spite of the fact that one of the members who was present
in the hearing when the meeting took place on 16.10.2014 and
had been transferred in the meanwhile did not sign the order.
The decision of the State Transport Authority dated 15.12.2014
was   fully   in   accordance   with   the   statutory   scheme   of   the
Rules,   1994   and   both   the   learned   Single   Judge   and   Division
21
Bench erred in holding the decision as invalid. We, thus, are
of   the   view   that   judgments   of   learned   Single   Judge   and
Division Bench do not express the correct view of the law.
27. In the result, the appeal is allowed and judgments of the
High Court are set aside.
...............................J.
( A.K. SIKRI )
...............................J.
( ASHOK BHUSHAN )
NEW DELHI,
FEBRUARY 08, 2018.

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