w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n


State Of Meghalaya v/s Meghalaya Food Grains Stockist Whole Salers Association

    Writ Appeal 655,656 Of 2005
    Decided On, 09 January 2006
    At, High Court of Assam
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE D. BISWAS & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE B.P. KATAKEY
    For the Appearing Parties: A. Sarma, B. Dutta, A.K. Phukan, J. Roy, Advocates.


Judgment Text
B.P. KATAKEY, J.

(1.) These appeals are directed against the common judgment and orders passed by the learned Single Judge on 31.10.05 allowing the writ petitions filed by the respondents herein and setting aside the notices/advertisements issued by the appellant authorities calling for applications for appointment as Government Nominees/Agents under the Meghalaya Foodgrains (Public Distribution System) Control Order dated 2004.

(2.) The facts in brief is that the respondents were issued with licenses under the Meghalaya Foodgrains (Licensing and Control) Order, 1985 (in short" 1985 Control Order) as amended from time to time. After repeal of the said 1985 Control Order by the Meghalaya Foodgrains (Public Distribution System) Control Orders 2004 (for short "2004 Control Order"), the members of the respondents association as well as the respondents were appointed as Govt. Nominees/ Agents in Public Distribution System by order dated 21.3.05 for the year 2005. The appellant authorities thereafter issued the notices/advertisements seeking applications from intending persons for appointment as Government Nominees/Agents under the said 2004 Control Order for the year 2006. The members of the respondent association as well as the respondents by filing the writ petitions have challenged the said notices/ advertisements issued by the competent authorities for appointment of the Government Nominees/ Agents for the year 2006. The learned Single Judge upon hearing the learned counsel for the parties, passed the aforesaid judgment dated 31.10.05 allowing the writ petitions. Hence the present appeals.

(3.) We have heard Mr. A. Sarma, learned Advocate General, Meghalaya for the appellants and Mr. A. K. Phukan, learned Senior counsel for the respondents.

(4.) Mr. A. Sarma, learned Advocate General, Meghalaya has submitted that the learned Single Judge by the impugned judgment and order dated 31.10.05 has set aside the notioes/advertisements issued by the competent authorities for appointment of Government Nominees/Agents under 2004 Control Order by holding that such notices were issued in contravention Clauses 4 and 5 of the said Control Order and also by holding that the writ petitioners (respondents herein) have a right to get their licenses issued under 1985 Control Order renewed. The learned Advocate General challenging the said finding of the learned Single Judge has submitted that as 1985 Control Order has already been repealed by 2004 Control Order and as the respondents herein were appointed as Government Nominees/Agents under 2004 Control Order vide order dated 21.3.05, they cannot claim that their appointments are to be renewed by virtue of the provisions contained under 1985 Control Order relating to the issuance of licenses. According to the learned Advocate General, the licenses issued in 1985 Control Order expired on the date when the respondents herein were appointed as government Nominees/Agents on 21.3.05 under 2004 Control Order and, therefore, there is no question of renewal of the licences issued to the respondents herein prior to their' appointments as Government Nominees/' Agents on 21.3.05. The further submission of the learned Advocate General is that the: learned Single Judge has also set aside the; notices/advertisements by holding that the: same were not issued in compliance of Clauses 4 and 5 of 2004 Control Order even though there was no challenge by the writ petitioners in the writ petitions in that respect. According to the learned Advocate General, since the writ petitioners have accepted their order of appointments dated 21.3.05 as Government Nominees/Agents under 2004 Control Order, they are bound by the provisions of the said Control Order and as there is no Clause for renewal in the said Control Order, the writ'petitioners cannot claim that their appointments are to be renewed and the licenses under 1985 Control Order are also to be renewed. Challenging the finding of the learned Single Judge relating to the security deposit, the learned Advocate General has submitted that the writ petitioners have not challenged the notice/advertisement on that ground, moreover it is evident from the Form appended to the 2004 Control Order that the authority can fix the amount of security deposit.

(5.) Mr. A. K. Phukan, learned Senior counsel for the respondents supporting the judgment passed by the learned Single Judge has submitted that the learned Single Judge has rightly set aside the notices/advertisements issued by the competent authority calling for applications for appointment as Government Nominees/Agents as the same were issued without complying Clauses 4 and 5 of 2004 Control Order. The learned senior counsel has further submitted that as by virtue of their order of appointment dated 21.3.05 they have invested a huge amount, they have a right to apply for renewal and Government is bound to consider such applications for renewal. The learned Senior counsel, however, has submitted that the licenses issued under 1985 Control Order cannot be renewed as they were appointed as Government Nominees/ Agents vide order dated 21.3.05.

(6.) We have considered the submission of the learned counsel for the parties and also perused the pleadings as well as the records produced by the appellants before this Court.

(7.) The Government of Meghalaya in exercise of power conferred by sub-clauses (d), (f), (h), (i) and (j) of sub-section (2) of Section 3 by Essential Commodities Act, 1955 has made the Meghalaya Foodgrains (Licensing and Control) Order, 1985 providing inter alia for issuance of licenses for purchase, sale or storage for sale of any foodgrains in wholesale quantities. The period of validity of such licenses is upto 31 st day of December next following the date of issue. There was a clause for renewal of such licenses for a further period of one year at a time. The said provisions for renewal was amended by issuing the notification dated 11th September, '97 deleting the clauses for renewal of licenses but inserting a proviso to the effect that no renewal of licenses shall be made by the State Government except on merit of each case and keeping in view the need from time to time to appoint dealers under the Public Distribution System. The said 1985 Control Order was repealed by 2004 Control Order which came into force on 24.2.05 i.e the date when the said Control Order was published in the Meghalaya Gazette..

(8.) The writ petitioners/respondents were initially issued with the licenses under 1985 Control Order but after coming into force of 2004 Control Order, they were appointed as Government Nominees/Agents vide order dated 21.3.05. The learned Single Judge also has recorded the categorical finding that the writ petitioners/respondents were appointed under the said 2004 Control Order.

(9.) The case of the writ petitioners/respondents as it appears from the statements made in the writ petition is that they have a right to get their licenses issued under 1985 Control Order renewed and the Government authorities cannot issue fresh advertisements for appointment of the Government Nominees/ Agents in view of such right of the writ petitioners to get their licenses renewed. The writ petitions were filed claiming right under 1985 Control Order. The writ petitioners no where in the writ petitions have challenged the notices/advertisements issued by the competent authorities calling for applications for appointment as Government Nominees /Agents under 2004 Control Order, on the ground of violation of any of the clauses of the said Control Order. All the writ petitions are based on the purported right of the writ petitioners under 1985 Control.Order, which has already been repealed by 2004 Control Order.

(10.) The writ petitioners/respondents were appointed as Government Nominees/Agents vide order dated 21.3.05 afresh. The said order of appointment stipulates that they were appointed for the year 2005 i.e. period ending on 31 st December, 2005. The order of appointment does not contain any clause for renewal of their appointments. The respondents/writ petitioners after accepting such appointments carried on their business as Government nominees/agents. It is not in dispute that the said order of appointment was issued under 2004 Control Order.

(11.) Clause 9 of 2004 Control Order provides that every appointment issued under the said Control Order shall be valid till 31 st December of the year of issue of the appointments. Admittedly, the respondents were appointed on 21.3.05 and, therefore, by virtue of their order of appointments as well as Clause 9 of the said Control Order, their appointments came to an end on 31 st December 2005. Neither the 2004 Control Order nor the order of appointment contains any clause for renewal. Therefore, the writ petitioners /respondents cannot claim that their appointments are to be renewed, as they have a right to get their appointments renewed, therefore, the notices/advertisements issued by the authorities for the purpose of making fresh appointments are illegal.

(12.) The learned Single Judge though recorded the categorical finding that the writ petitioners/respondents were appointed under 2004 Control Order, but the notices/advertisements issued by the authorities for appointment of the Government Nominees/ Agents for the year 2006, under 2004 Control Order were set aside on the ground that the writ petitioners/respondents have a right to get their licenses issued under 1985 Control Order renewed, though the said Control Order of 1985 was repealed by 2004 Control Order and the licenses issued under the said 1985 Control Order were not in force, in view of the appointment of the writ petitioners /respondents as Government Nominees/Agents on 21.3.05 under 2004 Control Order. The learned Single Judge also set aside the said notices/advertisements on the ground of violation of Clauses 4 and 5 of the said Control Order and also on the ground of asking for furnishing bank guarantee, though there was no challenge to the said notices/adventisements made by the writ petitioners in the writ petitions on that count.

(13.) Clause 4 of the 2004 Control Order provides for appointment of Government Nominees/Agents after due advertisement. Clause 5 of the said Control Order provides for procedures to be followed and the requisite to be taken into consideration for appointment as Government Nominees/Agents. Admittedly the writ petitioners/respondents were appointed as Government Nominees/Agents for the year 2005 i.e. upto 31.12.05 under the 2004 Control Order and, therefore, the authorities have a right to make fresh appointment under the 2004 Control Order by issuing the advertisement for the purpose. In the instant case, the notices/advertisements were issued by the authorities, in compliance of the provisions of Clause 4 of the said Central Order.

(14.) As discussed above, the provisions of Clause 5 of the 2004 Control Order provides for procedures to be followed as well as requisite to b

Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
e taken into consideration for such appointment. It is not the case of the writ petitioners in the writ petition that such procedures as provided under Clause 5 have not been followed. From the advertisement issued by the competent authorities, it is also evident that the procedures to be followed and the requisites to be taken into consideration have in fact been followed and taken into consideration by the authority while issuing such notices/advertisements. Moreover, the writ petitioners have not challenged the said notices /advertisements on the ground that the same are in violation of Clause 7 of the 2004 Control Order. (15.) In view of what has been discussed above, we are of the considered opinion, that the writ petitioners/respondents have failed to make out any case for setting aside the notices /advertisements issued by the competent authorities for appointment of Government Nominees/Agents for the year 2006 under the 2004 Control Order, hence, the judgment and orders passed by the learned Single Judge is liable to be set aside, which we accordingly do. (16.) The writ appeals are accordingly allowed. However, considering the entire facts and circumstances, we do not make any order as to costs.
O R