44. Transport authorities.
The State Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for the State a 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 1[ in 2[ the Union territories] the State Government may abstain from constituting any Regional Transport Authority; Provided further that the area. specified as the region of a Regional Transport Authority shall in no case be less than an entire district, or the whole area of a Presidency- town.
A State Transport Authority or a Regional Transport Autho- rity shall consist' of 3[ a Chairman who has had 7[ judicial experience or experience as an appellate or a revisional authority under any law relating to land revenue"] 4[ and in the case of a State Transport Authority, such other officials and non- officials, not being less than two, and, in the case of a regional Transport Authority, such other persons (whether officials or not), not being less than two,] as the State Government may think fit to appoint]; but no person who has any financial interest whether as proprietor, employee or otherwise in any transport undertaking shall be appointed as or continue as a member of a State or Regional Transport Authority, and, if any person being a member of any such Authority acquires a financial interest in any transport undertaking, he shall, within four weeks of so doing, give notice in writing to the State Government of the acquisition of such interest and shall vacate office. 5[ 6[ Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent any of the members of the State Transport Authority or the Regional Transport Authority, as the case may be, to preside over a meeting of such Authority during the absence of the Chairman, notwithstanding that such member does not possess 7[ judicial experience or experiences as an appellate or a revisional authority under any law relating to land revenue] Provided further that the State Government may-
where it considers necessary or expedient so to do, constitute Regional Transport Authority for any region so as to consist of only one member who shall be an official with, 7[ judicial experience or experience as an appellate or a revisional authority under any law relating to land revenue]
by rules made in this behalf, provide for the transaction of business in the absence of the Chairman or any other
member and specify the nature of business which, the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, business could be so transacted: Provided also that] nothing in this sub- section shall be construed as debarring an official (other than an official connected directly with the management or operation of a transport undertaking) from being appointed as or continuing as a member of any such Authority merely by reason of the fact that the Government employing the official has, or acquires,; any financial interest in a transport undertaking.]
A State Transport Authority 1[ shall give effect to any directions issued under section 43, and subject to such directions and save as otherwise provided by or under this Act] shall exercise and discharge throughout the State the following powers and functions, namely:-
to co- ordinate and regulate the activities and policies of the Regional Transport Authorities, if any, of the State;
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;
to settle all disputes and decide all matters on which differences of opinion arise between Regional Transport Authorities; and
to discharge such other functions as may be prescribed.
For the purpose of exercising and discharging the powers and functions specified in sub- section (3), a State- Transport Authority may, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, issue' directions to any Regional Transport Authority and the Regional Transport Authority shall' tin the discharge of' its functions under this Act, give effect to and] guided by such directions.
2[ The State Transport Authority and any Regional Transport Authority, if authorised in this behalf by rules made under section 68, may delegate such of its powers and functions to such authority or person and subject to such restrictions, limitations and conditions as may be prescribed by the said rules.]