An appeal is a statutory remedy available to an ‘aggrieved person’ as a matter of right, it cannot be curtailed by narrow interpretation

Karnataka High Court: While passing the order in a writ petition filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution praying to call for records and quash the orders passed by the State Transport Appellate Tribunal and the State Transport Authority, a Single Judge Bench comprising of S. Sujatha, J. held that the statutory remedy of an appeal available to an aggrieved person cannot be curtailed by narrower interpretation of the word ‘aggrieved person’, relating only to the parties concerned in the proceedings.

The petitioners as well as the second respondent were the holders of stage carriage permits. On an application filed by the second respondent, the Authority directed the variation of permit conditions of the said respondent. Aggrieved by the same, the petitioners preferred appeals under Section 89 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Tribunal rejected the appeals as not maintainable. Hence, these petitions.

Learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that ‘Any person’ accruing under Section 89 of the Act, has to be interpreted with reference to ‘aggrieved person’. A rival operator aggrieved by the order of variations of permit granted, prima facie, is an aggrieved person. The appeal remedy under Section 89 cannot be denied on mere technicalities.

The main question before the Court was, whether the appeals filed by the petitioners are maintainable under Section 89 of the MV Act? The Court held that any person aggrieved by any variation or curtailment or extension of conditions of the permit can be construed as an ‘aggrieved person’. The rival operators, who were aggrieved by any such order in favor of a service provider, fall within the expression ‘any person aggrieved’ as provided under Section 89 of the Act. It was further held that, for the reasons aforesaid, the orders impugned in these petitions were not sustainable and quashed. The petitions were allowed and the matters were remanded to the Tribunal to consider the appeals on merits and to pass appropriate orders. [N.S. Abdul Gafoor v. The Karnataka State Transport Authority, 2017 SCC OnLine Kar 1565, order dated 15.03.2017]

 

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