The High Court of Bombay in a recent judgement held that when a copy of order is not supplied to a party by the adjudicating authority and if the same is obtained by the said party via application filed under Right to Information Act, 2005, such a copy is as good as a certified copy of the order. Besides the Limitation for challenging the said order shall start running from the date of receipt of such order under RTI.
This was held in the matter Khurram Khazi v. The Regional Transport Authority & Ors., Writ Petition No. 361 of 2018 on 28th June 2018.
Petitioner and the Respondent No. 3 had applied for Yellow-Black Taxi permit under Rule 67(3) of Goa Motor Vehicle Rules, 1991 before Respondent No. 1/ Regional Transport Authority (RTA). Vide its order dated 25.10.2016, the RTA rejected the application of the Petitioner and the said permit was granted to Respondent No. 3.
Petitioner preferred appeal under Section 89(a) of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 before Principal District Judge / State Transport Appellate Tribunal, which dismissed the appeal of the Petitioner in the impugned order dated 03.01.2018 on the ground that the appeal was barred by limitation and for non-production of certified copy of order. Therefore, this writ petition was filed by the Petitioner.
It was observed that the Petitioner was only served with an intimation on 28.10.2016 of the order dated 25.10.2016 that the Application of the Petitioner had been rejected. The Petitioner was provided with a copy of the said order 25.10.2016 in an RTI application filed by the Petitioner before RTA/Respondent No. 1 on 23.11.2016. Therefore, the Petitioner’s appeal against the order dated 25.10.2016 before the Appellate Tribunal, filed on 02.12.2016, was within the prescribed time limit of 30 days as provided in Rule 98 of the above-mentioned Rules. The Hon’ble Court held that the said Rule 98 provides the limitation for filing appeal is within 30 days from the “date of receipt of the order” and since the RTA had not provided a copy of the order dated 28.10.2016 but only an intimation of the same, limitation would start running from 23.11.2016, i.e. date of receipt of order through RTI.
It was further held that the copy of order received vide reply of RTI on 23.11.2016 would be as good as a certified copy as it would be highly unjust to first not supply copy of order to an aggrieved person and then suggest that the copy of order received through an RTI was not a certified copy. The matter was remanded back to Appellate Tribunal to be decided on merits.