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The Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Mysore v/s Sai Raksha Cold Storage, Mysore & Another

    Review Petition No.455 of 2011 in Writ Petition No.35749 of 2010 (APMC) & I.A. No.1 of 2011

    Decided On, 02 December 2011

    At, High Court of Karnataka


    For the Petitioner: B.G. Sreedharan, Senior Advocate for A.C. Balaraj, Advocate. For the Respondents: ------

Judgment Text

1. I.A. No.1 of 2011 to condone the delay of 210 days in filing the petition to review the order dated 31-1-2011, in W.P.No.35749 of 2010 is by the Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Mysore arraigned as respondent 2 in the writ petition. In the application, it is stated that some market functionaries carrying on trade in notified agricultural produce within the market yard at Bandipalya, filed representations for allotment of land, reserved for establishing a cold storage plant, from out of whom one Sri B.S. Ramesh, Proprietor of M/s. Lakshmi Trading Company, APMC Yard, Bandipalya, Mysore, submitted a representation dated 19-2-2007, while another Mr. A. Abdul Siddique Shariff, Proprietor of Mysore Cold Storage Private Limited, Mysore, submitted a representation dated 27-4-2007 and yet another Smt. B.T. Vasantha, Proprietor of M/s. Sree Chamundeshwari Cold Storage, Mysore, submitted a representation dated 28-9-2007. These representations when ordered to be placed before the review petitioner, it is stated that one Sri C.N. Manchegowda, the then Chairman/President having noticed an extent of 2.00 acres provisionally earmarked for establishing a cold storage plant in the market yard got filed a representation though one Sri Ranganath, Proprietor of M/s. Sree Sai Raksha Cold Storage, Mysore, on 26-3-2008, for allotment of the said land. In an emergent meeting convened on 29-3-2008 the proposal of Sri Ranganatha was placed and a resolution passed for allotment of 2.00 acres of land in his favour, which when it was forwarded to the 2nd respondent-Director of the Market Committee, for approval, fixing the market rate of the land under Section 9(2) of the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation and Development) Act, 1966, was returned on 23/26-7-2008, stating that there was no provision to make an allotment by receiving an application and accordingly directed taking action for allotment as per Rules. Before the said rejection, by the Director, the review petitioner, it is claimed, published on 24-6-2008, a notification inviting applications for allotment of land, in response to which, several applications were received. Yet again, it is asserted that Sri C.N. Manchegowda, the Chairman convened an emergent meeting, whence a resolution was passed on 20-8-2008 allotting the land to M/s. Sree Sai Raksha Cold Storage, which had since by deposited 25% of the market value of the land allotted. The resolution was forwarded to the Director on 30-8-2008, when the Superintending Engineer attached to the office of the review petitioner by correspondence dated 19-9-2009 called upon the petitioner to submit the proposed plan and financial ability to establish a cold storage plant. On an estimate submitted on 8-5-2009, the 2nd respondent-Director is said to have rejected the resolution and directed issue of a fresh notification by obtaining his prior approval regarding the market value. It is alleged that some correspondence was commenced from the office of the Hon’ble Chief Minister as noticed in the letter dated 29-10-2010, where afterwards, the proposal of the writ petitioner was rejected by endorsement dated 15-3-2010 and accordingly, communicated to the review petitioner on 9-6-2010. The 2nd respondent-Director is said to have fixed the market value as per Rule 5 of the Allotment Rules and directed invite fresh tenders on 19-7-2010, whereafter, the notification dated 16-12-2010 was issued.

2. It is further stated that the writ petitioner filed W.P.No.35749 of 2010 on 15-11-2010 and challenged the endorsement dated 15-3-2010 and the communication dated 9-6-2010 issued by the 2nd respondent-Director. It is further alleged that on service of notice and before the review petitioner could take steps to file statement of objections, the writ petitioner filed an application for amendment of the memorandum of writ petition and an application for stay along with an affidavit undertaking to pay Rs.120/- per sq.ft., instead of Rs.90.00 sq.ft., for allotment of the land in his favour. On the said application for amendment and the stay application, this Court was pleased to issue interim directions on 6-1-2011 directing the Director of Agricultural Marketing to consider the proposal of the writ petitioner in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10 of the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation of Allotment of Property in Market Yards) Rules, 2001 read with Section 9 of the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation and Development) Act, 1966 and to pass orders thereon. In paragraph 10, it is alleged that the 2nd respondent-Director passed an order dated 24-1-2011 according approval for allotment of land measuring 2.00 acres to establish a cold storage plant in favour of the writ petitioner, which when brought to the notice of the Court, by recording the submission of the learned Counsel for the review petitioner, petition was disposed of by the order under review.

3. It is stated at paragraph 11 that the review petitioner, on the disposal of the writ petition, took up the matter of allotment in accordance with law and in the meeting presided over by the Administrator on 30-4-2011 resolved to hold a public auction and submitted a report to the Principal Secretary to Government, Department of Co-operation, whence, the writ petitioner got issued on notice through learned Counsel making a demand for allotment of the site in his favour on 29-4-2011 and also filed CCC No.1330 of 2011, whence a Division Bench of this Court observing that no positive direction was issued in the writ petition, rejected the contempt petition by order dated 8-7-2011. The writ petitioner, yet again, filed W.P.No.28131 of 2011, whence this Court disposed of the writ petition in the preliminary hearing ‘B’ group stage, directing the review petitioner to implement the order dated 24-1-2011, of the Director, within one month, following which, a presentation was filed with the review petitioner on 5-9-2011. It is the assertion of the review petitioner that it found the allotment of land measuring 2.00 acres in the market yard in favour of the writ petitioner was not feasible and the orders not in its interest. It appears that in the meeting of the elected representatives held on 9-9-2011 the subject was discussed in detail and found that about 1200 wholesale traders were carrying on trade on obtaining licence from the review petition in the notified agricultural produce, about 400 traders carrying on trade in fruits and vegetables and 727 traders were allotted sites/shops-cum-godowns by the market Committee etc. In an extent of 3.00 acres of vacant land available with the Market Committee it was resolved to earmark 24,000 sq.ft. to establish a bio-gas plant and fertilizer plant as also an auction platform for vegetables and an extent of 22,500 sq.ft., was sufficient to establish a cold storage plant. Hence, the application to condone the delay in filing the review petition on 1-12-2011.

4. A perusal of the averments set out in the application do not instill confidence in the mind of the Court over the explanation for the delay. All the while petitioner, arraigned as party respondent 2, in the writ petition, represented by learned Counsel, was fully aware of the submissions made before the Court and the orders passed not only by it, and its Director, arraigned as 1st respondent in the writ petition. It appears to me that the review petitioner fully aware of its decision as submitted before this Court by its learned Counsel as well as by the learned Government Advocate for the Director who took a conscious decision and placed the same before Court, following which, an order by consent was passed, it is too far-fetched for the Market Committee to seek review of the said order, on the premise, that an extent of 2.00 acres of land is excess to establish a cold storage plant. The pleadings disclosed that all the while the APMC identified and earmarked 2.00 acres of land to establish a cold storage plant. The resolution passed to earmark 22,500 sq.ft. of land by resolution dated 9-9-2011, of the review petition is a ruse to get over the orders of this Court. The review petitioner seeks review of the consent order based upon the submissions of its learned Counsel, on the premise that its President had passed the order of allotment, which is not in accordance with

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law. In my opinion, negligence, in action and lack of bona fide is attributable to the petitioner, and on the ground of delay and latches, the application deserves to be rejected. 5. Having had a glimpse at the order under review, it is needless to state that it is passed on recording the submission of the learned Counsel, who represented the review petitioner as well as the Director of APMC. Very strangely, the Counsel, who appeared for the Market Committee is not before court, but the review petition is filed by another learned Counsel. In the absence of material to show that the learned Counsel was not instructed, coupled with the fact that the subsequent writ petition too was disposed of after hearing the learned Counsel for the parties, by issuing a direction to comply with the order of the Director of Market Committee, I find no merit in the review petition. Petition and application are rejected.