Let Licensed Stall Owners And Parking Lots Continue In MGBS, HC to RTC

Hyderabad: Justice S. Nanda of the Telangana High Court directed the TSRTC to consider the continuance of licences till digitalising is completed in favour of stall owners at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Stand (MGBS) considering that it is through the said stalls that the petitioners earn their bread and butter so that their right to occupation stands protected, duly giving credence to the fact that the petitioners completed less than one-and-a-half years out of the period of four years by the date of termination of their licences. The judge disposed of a writ petition filed by G. Mahender, and two others, who were given licences for running two-wheeler and four-wheeler parking in different places in MGBS for a period of four years. The same were cancelled on the pretext that the corporation wants to put in place a modern digitalised parking system in the area of operations of the licences of the petitioners, without issuing them a showcause notice. All the licences were cancelled before the expiry of the stipulated four-year period. It was the case of C. Ramachandra Raju, counsel for the petitioners, that the corporation acted contrary to the legitimate expectation of the petitioners. He pointed out that the petitioners had been deprived of a substantial part of their licence period because of termination of their licences without there being any justification and are put to serious hardship as they had invested about Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh each. It was also contended that the purpose of digitalisation does not exist since the petitioners have already introduced the digitalisation system in their parking area by installing necessary software, even though there is no obligation on their part as per their licence deeds to introduce digitalisation and therefore the termination of the licences of the petitioners on the pretext of digitalisation was false and malafide.

The corporation relied on the conditions of the licence, which empowered cancellation with three months’ advance notice. “This court opines that there is no necessity for the corporation to issue a prior showcause notice since the proposed termination is not on account of any violation of the terms of licence by the petitioners, but for the purpose of providing modern digitalised parking system in MGBS for better services to the customers who park vehicles in the said bus station”, Justice Nanda pointed out.

The judge further said, “Insofar as the plea of the petitioners pertaining to legitimate expectation is concerned, this court opines that their personal interests should yield to public policy, public interest and public good and also to promote substantial justice” and said that the petitioners have not made out a case against the corporation.

The judge, however, afforded a breather to the petitioner and observed: “It is open to the petitioners herein to put forth the plea/request of handing over the subject sites of the stalls, after completion of digitalisation work for running the petitioner business for the rest of their licence period through a representation addressed to the respondent corporation and the respondents on receiving the said representation if any, shall consider the same on humanitarian grounds.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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