Friday, 6 July 2018

Whether order copy obtained under RTI can be treated as certified copy?

Admittedly, a copy of the order was not furnished or
served on the petitioner along with the intimation dated
28/10/2016. By the said intimation, the petitioner was only
informed that the RTA had decided to reject the application of the
petitioner. A bare perusal of Rule 98 of the Rules would show that
it envisages filing of an appeal within 30 days from the date of
'receipt of the order'. Even otherwise, a party would not be in a
position to file an appeal unless a copy of the impugned judgment
and order is available with the party. A mere intimation about
dismissal or allowing of the application would not be sufficient in
as much as the party must know the reasons for which the
application was rejected before it can challenge the order before
the Tribunal. It is now well settled that the knowledge of any
judgment or order is knowledge of the contents of such judgment
or order and the reasons articulated and the findings recorded in
the order, which is sought to be challenged. That apart, the rule
itself provides for filing of the appeal within 30 days from the
receipt of the order and not mere intimation. The petitioner
obtained the copy of the order under RTI Act, which was furnished
to him on 23/11/2016. The appeal was filed on 02/12/2016. Thus,
the appeal was filed within 30 days from the receipt of the copy of
the order. The order was supplied by the RTA and bears an
endorsement about it being a true copy. It is nobody's case that
the order produced along with the appeal was not in fact the order
passed by the RTA. In that view of the matter, I find that it could
not be said that the appeal was not accompanied by a certified
copy of the order of the RTA. Reliance placed on behalf of the
respondent on Rule 99 is misplaced, which envisages supply of
copy of the “documents” to “persons interested in appeal or
revision.” A bare perusal of rule 99 shows that it would come into
play after filing of the appeal or revision and for obtaining the
copies of the documents filed with the RTA. In any case, it would
be highly unjust first not to supply an aggrieved person a copy of
the order and when he obtains the same under the RTI to say that
it is not a certified copy. In such circumstances, I find that the
petition has to succeed.
 IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY AT GOA
WRIT PETITION NO.361 of 2018

Shri Khurram Khazi,Vs. The Regional Transport Authority,

 CORAM :- C. V. BHADANG, J.
 Date : 28th June,2018



Rule, made returnable forthwith. The learned
Additional Government Advocate waives service for the
respondent nos.1 and 2. Shri Lobo, the learned Counsel waives
service on behalf of the respondent no.3. Heard finally by consent
of parties.
2. The challenge in this petition is to the order dated
03/01/2018, passed by the Principal District Judge/ State
Transport Appellate Tribunal (Tribunal, for short) in STAT Appeal
No.2/2016. The appeal filed by the petitioner before the Tribunal
has been dismissed as being barred by limitation and for nonproduction
of a certified copy of the order, passed by the Regional
Transport Authority (RTA).
3. The brief facts are that the petitioner and the third
respondent had applied for Yellow- Black Taxi permit under Rule
67(3) of the Goa Motor Vehicles Rules, 1991 (Rules, for short). The
RTA by an order dated 25/10/2016, decided to grant the permit to
the third respondent, rejecting the application of the petitioner.
Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner approached the Tribunal by filing
an appeal under Section 89(a) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (the
Act, for short). The third respondent appeared before the Tribunal
and raised a preliminary objection claiming that the appeal is
barred by limitation and is also bad for non-production of certified
copy of the order of the RTA. The Tribunal upheld the preliminary
objection on both counts and dismissed the appeal, which brings
the petitioner to this Court.
4. I have heard Shri Sardessai, the learned Counsel for
the petitioner and Shri Lobo, the learned Counsel appearing for
the third respondent. I have also heard Shri Shirodkar, the learned
Additional Government Advocate for the respondent nos.1 and 2.
5. It is contended by Shri Sardessai, the learned Counsel
for the petitioner that the copy of the order passed by the RTA was
never served on the petitioner. It is pointed out that the petitioner
was only served with an intimation dated 28/10/2016, by which the
petitioner was informed about the rejection of his application. It is
submitted that the petitioner, thereafter, applied to the RTA under
the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) and a copy of the order was
furnished to the petitioner under the RTI Act on 23/11/2016. It is,
thus, submitted that the appeal was filed within 30 days from the
receipt of the copy and it was well within time. It is submitted
that under Rule 98 of the Rules, an appeal to the Tribunal has to
be filed within 30 days from the date of receipt of the order. It is,
thus, submitted that the Tribunal was in error in holding that the
appeal was barred by limitation. It also erred in holding that the
appeal was bad for non-production of the certified copy when
indeed the copy obtained by the petitioner under RTI Act was
enclosed with the appeal memo.
6. Shri Lobo, the learned Counsel for the third
respondent submitted that the appeal was not filed within 30 days
from the date of the order and was thus, barred by limitation. It is
submitted that the copy obtained by the petitioner under the RTI
Act cannot be said to be a certified copy and thus, the Tribunal
was justified in holding that the appeal was barred by limitation as
also it was bad for non-production of the certified copy. Shri Lobo,
the learned Counsel for the third respondent has pointed out that
under Rule 99 of the Rules, a party is entitled to obtain certified
copy from the RTA, which is not done by the petitioner in this
case.
7. I have carefully considered the circumstances and the
submissions made and have gone through the impugned order of
the Tribunal.
8. Admittedly, a copy of the order was not furnished or
served on the petitioner along with the intimation dated
28/10/2016. By the said intimation, the petitioner was only
informed that the RTA had decided to reject the application of the
petitioner. A bare perusal of Rule 98 of the Rules would show that
it envisages filing of an appeal within 30 days from the date of
'receipt of the order'. Even otherwise, a party would not be in a
position to file an appeal unless a copy of the impugned judgment
and order is available with the party. A mere intimation about
dismissal or allowing of the application would not be sufficient in
as much as the party must know the reasons for which the
application was rejected before it can challenge the order before
the Tribunal. It is now well settled that the knowledge of any
judgment or order is knowledge of the contents of such judgment
or order and the reasons articulated and the findings recorded in
the order, which is sought to be challenged. That apart, the rule
itself provides for filing of the appeal within 30 days from the
receipt of the order and not mere intimation. The petitioner
obtained the copy of the order under RTI Act, which was furnished
to him on 23/11/2016. The appeal was filed on 02/12/2016. Thus,
the appeal was filed within 30 days from the receipt of the copy of
the order. The order was supplied by the RTA and bears an
endorsement about it being a true copy. It is nobody's case that
the order produced along with the appeal was not in fact the order
passed by the RTA. In that view of the matter, I find that it could
not be said that the appeal was not accompanied by a certified
copy of the order of the RTA. Reliance placed on behalf of the
respondent on Rule 99 is misplaced, which envisages supply of
copy of the “documents” to “persons interested in appeal or
revision.” A bare perusal of rule 99 shows that it would come into
play after filing of the appeal or revision and for obtaining the
copies of the documents filed with the RTA. In any case, it would
be highly unjust first not to supply an aggrieved person a copy of
the order and when he obtains the same under the RTI to say that
it is not a certified copy. In such circumstances, I find that the
petition has to succeed.
9. In the result, the following order is passed :
The petition is allowed. The impugned order is hereby
set aside. STAT Appeal No.2/2016 is restored back to the file of
the learned Principal District Judge at North Goa, for disposal
according to law. Parties to remain present before the learned
Principal District Judge on 16/07/2018 at 10.00 a.m.
 C. V. BHADANG, J.
SMA

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