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Zilla Parishad, Bhandara Vs. Agricultural Produce Marker Committee, Tirora and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Civil Appln. No. 288 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1974Bom128; 1974MhLJ378
ActsCentral Provinces and Berar Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1935 - Sections 3 and 4; Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulations) Act, 1963 - Sections 2(1), 3 and 4
AppellantZilla Parishad, Bhandara
RespondentAgricultural Produce Marker Committee, Tirora and ors.
Appellant AdvocateJ.N. Chandurkar, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateV.A. Masodkar, ;M.P.M. Pillai, Advs. and ;M.M. Qazi, Addl. Govt. Pleader
Excerpt:
.....issued under the act of 1935 were good notification, the said notifications constituted market area specified therein the notifications themselves. xx of 1964 the act of 1935 has been repealed, but sub-section (20 of section 64, which is in the nature of the saving clause, the market and the market area as well as the place declared under the enactment so repealed on the commencement of the new act is deemed to be the market area or the market declared under this act. it was not possible for us to ascertain the date of the said objection, but it seems that the said objections were raised well within time, namely within a period of one month from date of the publication of the notification under section 3 of the act no. the notification may also be published in the language of..........issued under the act of 1935 were good notification, the said notifications constituted market area specified therein the notifications themselves. it is no doubt true that under section 64 (2) of the act no. xx of 1964 the area or place declared to be a market area or any place or market declared to be a market under the enactment so repealed on the commencement of the new act, shall be deemed to be a market declared under this act, stall it cannot be said that the market existing prior to coming into force of the act no. xx of 1964 was a market established under the new act. this being the position, according to shri chandurkar, as there was no market established under the new act the question of extension does not arise, and therefore, the notification issued under section.....
Judgment:

Dharmadhikari, J.

1. The petitioner, Zilla parishad, Bhandara, constituted under section 8 of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad and panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 has filed this writ petition challenging the notification issued by the Director of Agricultural Marketing and Rural Finance, Maharashtra State Poona-1 dated 16-10-1970 and 15-11-1971 issued under section 3 and 4 of the Maharashtra Agricultural produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1963 (Act No. XX of 1964), hereinafter referred to an the Act. Under the Central Provinces and Berar Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1935 (Act No. XXIX of 1935), hereinafter referred to as the Act of 1935, a notification under section 3 was issued by the Commissioner, Nagpur Division, Nagpur, dated 10-10-61 declaring the grain market at Tirora, in Gondia tahsil of Bhandara district to be a market for sale and purchase of agricultural produce and laying down the limits of the said market, which was to include the area described as a market year, the market proper and the market approaches as specified in the said notification. It is not disputed before us that the respondent Agricultural Produce Market Committee was carrying out its business in this grain market after the said notification was issued by the commissioner. After coming into force of the Act No. XX of 1964 a notification under Section 3 of the said Act was issued by the Director of Agricultural Marketing and Rural Finance. Maharashtra state dated 16-10-1979. By this notification it was proposed to extend the said area so as to include in it all the villages in the area of Tirora Panchayat samiti and to regulate the marketing of various agricultural produce referred to in the said notification. The objections or suggestions in this behalf were also invited within a period of one month from the date of publication of the notification in the Maharastra Government Gazette. The said notification was published in the Government Gazette. The said notification was published in the government Gazette on 12-11-1970. It is contended by the petitioner that the petitioner had objected to the said notification issued by the Director under section 3 of the Act. After considering all the objections raised, a final notification under section 4 of the said Act was issued by the government, vide notification dated 15-11-1971 declaring that with effect from the date of the publication of the said notification in the Maharashtra Government gazette the marketing of the agricultural commodities as mentioned in the said notification and in the area referred to therein was to be regulated. These two notifications have been challenged by the petitioner Zilla Parishad in the present writ petition. The Zilla Parishad has also challenged the notification issued by the commissioner dated 10-10-1961 in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by sub-section 91) of section 3 of the Act of 1935 and a subsequent notification dated 10-2-1962 issued by the commissioner in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 16 of the said Act upon him. According to the petitioner, these two notifications issued under the act of 1935 were illegal, and therefore, the subsequent notifications under act No. XX of 1964 which are based on the notification issued under the repealed act are consequently illegal and are liable to be quashed and set aside. The notification issued under sections 3 and 4 of the Act No. XX of 1964 are also challenged on the ground that though Zilla Parishad has raised specific objections to the notification issued under Section 3 of the Act, the said objections were not considered by the Director before issuing the notifications under sub-section (3) of section 4 of the Act. so far as the challenge to the notifications dated 10-10-1961 and 10-2-1962 issued under the provisions of the Act of 1935 is concerned, we have not allowed the learned counsel for the petitioner to challenge the said notification in this writ petition after a lapse of several years. the said notification have been challenged by the Zilla parishad in this writ petition after inordinate delay, which is not even sought to be explained in this petition. The Zilla parishad is a creation of a statute, and therefore, is a statutory body. The Agricultural produce Market Committee is also a creation of Statute, and therefore, is a statutory body. The Zilla parishad was well aware of the notifications issued under the earlier Act of 1935 in the year 1961 and 1962 itself. The enactment of the new Act, namely. the Act No. XX of 1964 has not given any new cause of action to the petitioner to challenge the said old notification. This long delay, Laches and the absence of an attempt to explain the delay, are, in our view, the circumstances enough not to permit the petitioner Zilla parishad to challenge the said notifications after the lapse of several years in this writ petition. Therefore, we have not permitted the learned counsel for the petitioner to challenge the said notifications dated 10-10-1961 and 10-2-1962 in this writ petition.

2. While challenging the notifications issued under section 3 and 4 of the Act No. XX of 1964 it is contended by Shri Chandurkar, the learned counsel for the petitioner, that assuming that the notifications issued under the Act of 1935 were good notification, the said notifications constituted market area specified therein the notifications themselves. It is no doubt true that under Section 64 (2) of the Act No. XX of 1964 the area or place declared to be a market area or any place or market declared to be a market under the enactment so repealed on the commencement of the new Act, shall be deemed to be a market declared under this Act, stall it cannot be said that the market existing prior to coming into force of the Act No. XX of 1964 was a market established under the new Act. This being the position, according to Shri Chandurkar, as there was no market established under the new Act the question of extension does not arise, and therefore, the notification issued under section 3 and 4 of the new Act are illegal. It is not possible for us to accept this contention of Shri Chandurkar.

3. It cannot be disputed that under the old Act a market or a market area was constituted and established. By Section 64 (1) of the Act No. XX of 1964 the act of 1935 has been repealed, but sub-section (20 of section 64, which is in the nature of the saving clause, the market and the market area as well as the place declared under the enactment so repealed on the commencement of the new act is deemed to be the market area or the market declared under this Act. By this deeming provision the declarations made under the repealed act have been treated to be the declarations as if they are issued under the new Act. This legal fiction will have to be carried out to its logical conclusion. Therefore, by virtue of this saving clause it will have to be held that the declarations made under the Act of 1935 by notifications dated 10-10-1961 and 10-2-1962 establishing the market will be the market declared under the provisions of the Act. No. XX of 1964 for all purposes. This being the position in law, in our opinion, it was competent for the director of Agricultural Marketing and Rural Finance to issue notifications under sections 3 and 4 of the new Act extending the areas or establishing the market under the new Act itself. the market area which was already declared under the repealed act was, therefore, available even for the purpose of extension under the new Act, because the said market is deemed to have been declared under the Act No. XX of 1964 itself. In this view of the matter, in our opinion there is no substance in this contention raised by Shri Chandurkar.

4. It was then contended by Shri Chandurkar that by the notification issued under Section 3 of the Act by the Director of Agricultural Marketing and Rural Finance the objections were invited within a period of one moth from the date of publication of the notification in the Maharashtra Government Gazette. As already stated, the said notification was published in the Government gazette dated 12-11-1970. According to Shri Chandurkar, in pursuance of this notification inviting objections, the petitioner Zilla Parishad had raised objections vide annexure IV. It was not possible for us to ascertain the date of the said objection, but it seems that the said objections were raised well within time, namely within a period of one month from date of the publication of the notification under section 3 of the Act No. XX of 1964. According to Shri Chandurkar, though the notification dated 15-11-1971 issued under section 4 of the Act specifically refers that the suggestions and/or objections receive in response to that notification during, the prescribed period have been considered before issuing the notification under section 4, in fact the objections raised by the Zilla parishad were not considered. It is not possible for us to accept this contention of Shri Chandurkar also.

5. Apart from the fact that the notification issued under Section 4 of the Act dated 15-11-1971 specifically makes a reference that all the suggestions and objections received in response to the notification issued under Section 3 of the Act during the prescribed period were duly considered by the authorities before issuing the notifications under Section 4, in the return filed before us on behalf of the respondents Nos. 2 to 4, namely, the commissioner, Nagpur Division, Nagpur the Director of Agricultural Marketing and Rural finance, Maharashtra State, Poona -1 and the state of Maharashtra, it is specifically averred that while taking the decision on the issue of final notification under section 4 (1) of the act all the pros and cons of the objections raised by the Zilla parishad in the matter were considered and it was thought that since the Zilla parishad Bhandara, has raised the objections merely on the grounds of its affected income position and depletion of its monetary resources, it was thought that the sane should not be allowed to block the way of regulation of the cattle market which by itself, ensures fair dealing and all the open market facilities for the buyers and the sellers. In view of the categorical statement made in the return it is quite clear that the objection raised by the Zilla parishad was duly considered by the authorities before issuing the notifications under section 4 of the Act.

6. however, it was contended by Shri Chandurkar that the petitioner Zilla parishad was not given any opportunity of being heard before the said objections was decided by the authorities. For this purpose Shri Chandurkar has placed reliance upon the provisions of Section of the Act. It will be useful at this stage to reproduce Sections 3 and 4 of the Act No. XX of 1964. Which are as under:

'3. (1) The state Government may, by notification in the official gazette declare its intention of regulating the marketing of such agricultural produce, in such area, as may be specified in the notification. The notification may also be published in the language of the area in any newspaper circulating therein, and shall also be published in such other manner as in the opinion of the State Government is best calculated to being to the notice of persons in the area, the intention aforesaid.

(2) The notification shall state that any objections or suggestions which may be received by the State Government within a period of not less than one month from the date of the notification will be considered by the state Government.

4. (1) On the expiry of the period specified in the notification issued under section 3, the State Government shall consider the objections and suggestions, if any, received before the expiry of such period and may, if it considers necessary hold an inquiry in the manner prescribed.

Thereafter, the State Government may, by another notification in the official Gazette declare that the marketing of the agricultural produce specified in the notification shall be regulated under this Act, in the area specified in the notification. the area so specified shall be the market area. A notification under this section may also be published in the language of the area in a newspaper circulating therein, and shall also be published in such other manner as in the opinion of the State Government is best calculated to bring to the notice of persons in the area the declaration aforesaid.

(2) On any declaration being made under sub-section (1) no local authority shall thereafter, notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force. establish. authorise or continue or allow to be established, authorised or continued any place in the market area for the marketing of the agricultural produce.

(3) Subject to the provisions of section 3, the State Government may, at any time by notification in the official gazette, exclude therein an additional area, or may direct that the regulation of the marketing of any agricultural produce in any market area shall cease, or that the marketing of any agricultural produce in any market agricultural produce (hitherto not regulated) shall be regulated in the market area'.

Relying upon the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 4 reproduced above, it was argued by Shri Chandurkar that it was necessary for the Director of Agricultural Marketing to hold an inquiry in the manner prescribed before issuing the final notification under section 4 of the Act. It is not possible for us to accept this interpretation placed by Shri Chandurkar on the provisions of sections 3 and 4 of the Act.

7. Sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Act No. XX of 1964 contemplates that a notification issued under section 3 should state that any objections or suggestions which may be received by the state Government within a period of not less than one month from the date of the notification will be considered by the state Government. Then comes sub-section (1) of section 4 which lays down that on the expiry of the period specified in the notification issued under section 3, the state Government shall consider the objections and suggestions, if any, received before the expiry of such period and thereafter come the crucial words used in the said section, namely, 'and may, if it considers necessary, hold an enquiry in the manner prescribed'. The use of the word 'may' in the said section clearly indicates that it is not obligatory upon the state Government to hold an enquiry in all cases. The holding of an enquiry is contemplated only in such cases where it is thought expedient by the State Government or the State government considers that such holding of an enquiry is necessary. In this particular case it cannot be said that any holding of such an enquiry was necessary or was considered necessary by the state Government In this view of the matter, in our opinion, it cannot be said that only because an enquiry was not held or a personal hearing was not given to the Zilla parishad the notification issued under section 4 is illegal. The provisions of the Act only make it obligatory on the part of the Government or its delegate to consider the objections and the suggestions. For considering such objections and suggestions it is not necessary that a personal hearing is not contemplated by the provisions of the Act or even under the general principles. In the present case the objection raised by the petitioner Zilla parishad was in writing and the said objection was duly considered by the director, and therefore, in our opinion, it cannot be said that there was any infirmity in the notification issued under section 4 of the Act.

8. It was then contended by Shri Chandurkar that the Act no. XX of 1964 is so far as it enlarges the definition of agricultural produce vide section 2 (1) (a) including under its import the various categories, which are not agricultural produce, is ultra vires of the legislative powers regarding the regulation of markets for agricultural produce. It is contended by Shri-chandurkar that the Act has been enacted by the legislature for the purpose of regulating agricultural produce marketing. The word 'agriculture', as normally used, will not include animal husbandry forest etc. as specified in the definition itself, and therefore, the said definition in clause (a) of Section 2 (1) of the Act is ultra vires of the legislature. It is not possible for us to accept this contention of Shri Chandurkar also.

9. From the preamble of the Act it is quite clear that the present Act has been enacted by the State Legislature to regulate the marketing of agricultural and certain other produce in market area. Essentially the present legislation is a legislation meant for regulating the market. It is not disputed before us by Shri Chandurkar that the State legislature is competent to make laws with respect to the matters, namely market, agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, apiculture, pisciculture and forest etc. Once it is held or conceded that the State legislature has a power to legislate on the topic, in our opinion, it cannot be said that the State legislature has no power to lay down its own definitions regarding the various terms used in the Act. In most of the modern Acts of legislature there is an interpretation clause or a definition clause enacting that words or phrases when found in the Act are to be understood as regards that Act in a certain sense or are to include certain things which but for such definition clause they would not normally include. In other words, as a part of its legislative function legislature may enact law and define its meaning. Normally definitions in a Statue or enactment are provided in order to give some artificial meaning to words or phrases used in the Act. As a matter of fact, normally whenever a legislature wants to expand or restrict the normal connotation of the word, the said term is defined in the Act. Thus it is well within the competence of the State legislature to define any term or phrase by laying downiest own definition which may in a given case be an artificial definition. In the present case by Section 2 (1) (a) the legislature has defined 'agricultural produce' as under :

''Agricultural produce' means all produce (whether processed or not) of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, apiculture, pisciculture and forest specified in the Schedule'.

Thereafter the various matters which are included in this definition have been specified in the Schedule attached to the Act. It is an artificial definition whereby the legislature has included all these matters in the compass of the phrase agricultural produce for the purposed of the Act. Moreover, it cannot be said that the items included in the definition are wholly uncollected or foreign to the regulation of the agricultural produce marketing. The items specified are intimately connected with the agricultural marketing in the country. In pith and substance this is a legislation meant for regulation of marketing of agricultural and certain other produce. In this view of the matter, in our opinion, it cannot be said that the definition of the term 'agricultural produce' as incorporated in Act No.XX of 1964 is ultra vires of the legislative powers of the State legislature. It has not been shown to us as to how it can be said that the said definition is beyond the legislative competence of the State legislature, though an argument in that behalf is advanced. If the legislature had the power to legislate on the subject then it cannot be said that it was not competent for the legislature to have its own dictionary by defining the phrases or terms used in the Act. In this view of the matter, in our opinion, there is no substance in this contention of Shri Chandurkar.

10. It was then contended by Shri Chandurkar that sub-section (3) of Section 4 only contemplates extension of a market area or inclusion of an additional market area therein. In the presently case it cannot be said that there is any extension of the market area or the marketing of the agricultural produce which was not hitherto regulated. According to Shri Chandurkar, the notification issued under Section 4 has failed to achieve its object. A specific stress was placed by him on the last portion of the said notification which is as under :

'Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1963 (Maharashtra Act XX of 1964) read with Government notification Agriculture and Co-operation Department No. APM/1063-27543/C-1, dated the 15th September 1967, the Director of Agricultural Marketing, Maharashtra Sate, Poona hereby declares that, with effect from the date of publication of this notification in the Maharashtra Government Gazette the marketing of agricultural commodities as mentioned in the above paragraphs in the area referred to there in shall be regulated.'

According to Shri Chandurakar, the words used in this notification will not mean that there is any extension of area or marketing of any agricultural produce as contemplated by sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Act. It is not possible for us to accept this contention of Shri Chandurkar.

11. The said notification will have to be read as a whole. If the said notification is read as a whole, it is quite clear that by this, the marketing of the agricultural commodities as mentioned in the earlier paras, of the said notification and the area referred to in the earlier part of the said notification is contemplated to be regulated. Initially the respondent-Committee was operating within the market-yard as specified in the notification issued under the Act of XX of 1964, either under Section 3 or under Section 4, the area of operation is extended and is to include all the villages in the area of Tirora Panchayat Samiti. The marketing of the agricultural produce which was not being regulated by the said Committee prior to coming into force of tended by including regulation of marketing of various agricultural produce specified in the said notification. In this view of the matter, in our opinion, it cannot be said that there is either no extension either in the area of the marketing of the agricultural produce as contemplated by sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Act. In this view of the matter, in our opinion, there is no substance in this contention raised by Shri Chandurkar contention raised by Shri Chandurkar.

12. In the result, therefore, the petition fails and is dismissed, However, in the circumstance of the case there will be no order as to costs.

13. Petition dismissed.


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