K.N. Saikia, J.
1. Heard the learned Counsel of both the parties. This batch of eleven cases impugn the respective orders of cancellation revocation of the petitioners' appointment as 'appointed retailers' under the Assam Foodstuffs (Distribution) Control Order, 1958. The ground of cancellation is stated to have been the keeping of the Fair Price shop closed on 15.6.82 in all these cases.
2. Admittedly 15.6.82 was Assam Bandh day when the society was kept at stand-still and the petitioners1 case is that under that circumstance it was not possible for the petitioners to have kept their shops open for the security of their lives and property. Admittedly no hearing, as contemplated by law, was given to the petitioners.
3. In a Bench decision of this Court in Civil Rule No. 887 of 1981, disposed of on 16.12.82 reported in 1983 (1) Gauhati LR 377, it has been tersely held that under such circumstances the petitioners are entitled to a fair hearing according to the law failing which there will be violation of the principles of natural justice. It has further been observed that this being a matter involving livelihood of the petitioners it should be treated in that light. Deprivation of livelihood may even attract Article 21 of the Constitution. The harshness of the punishment is another matter to be taken into consideration.
4. Under the above circumstances and for the reasons stated in the aforesaid judgment these petitions are allowed, the impugned orders are set aside, and the Rules made absolute. No costs.