(1) The Tahsildar of Bellary, who is the Enforcement officer under the Mysore Rice Procurement (Levy) Order, 1959(which shall be hereinafter called the Order), appears to have directed the petitioner, to sell a portion of his rice stocks to the respondent, (The State of Mysore) as per S. 3 of the 'Order'. That Order is challenged before us on 3 grounds, (i) that the enforcement Officer had no power to direct the petitioner to sell any stock which the petitioner had purchased prior to 1-2-1959, the date of 'the Order' (ii) that Section 3 of 'the Order' is ultra vires of Arts. 19(1)(f) and (g) and 31(2) of the Constitution and (iii) that 'the Order' is bad under Art. 31(3) of the Constitution for want of President's assent.
(2) We are told that the petitioner is a merchant and not a miller. Hence the Enforcement officer's direction falls under S. 3(2) of the 'the order'. The petitioner is a licensed dealer. As per S. 3(2) of the 'order' any dealer can be required to sell to the State Government at the controlled prices (a) fifty per cent of the quantity of rice held in stock by him at the commencement of this 'order' (b) Fifty per cent of the quantity of rice purchased or otherwise acquired by him or coming into his ownership in any manner, every day beginning with the date of commencement of 'the Order' until such time as the State Government otherwise directs. It is plain from this provision that the Enforcement Officer had powers to direct the petitioner to sell to the State Government 50 per cent of the quantity of rice held in stock by him at the commencement of the 'the order'. Further he had powers to direct him to sell 50 per cent of his future purchases. Sri Ullal, the learned counsel for the petitioner, contends that the provision in question does not apply to purchase made by the petitioner prior to 1-2-1959. He contends that we must read the words 'rice held in stock by him at the commencement of this order'. This contention is opposed to the plain language of the section. We have no hesitation in rejecting the same.
(3) It was contended that S. 3 of 'the Order' is opposed to Articles 19(1)(f) and (g) and 31(2) of the Constitution. 'The Order' in question is made on the basis of the powers conferred by the Essential Commodities Act, 1955(Central Act X of 1955) which shall be hereinafter called 'the Act'. Section 3(2)(f) of that Act provides for requiring any person holding in stock any essential commodity to sell the whole or a specified part of the stock to such person or class of persons and in such circumstances as may be specified in the Order. Under sub-section (2) of S. 3, where any person sells any essential commodity in compliance with an order made with reference to clause 9f0 of sub-section (2), he shall be paid its price in the following manner: (a) Where the price can, consistently with the controlled price, if any, fixed under S. 3, be agreed upon, the agreed price: (b) where no such agreement can be reached, the prices calculated with reference to the controlled price, if any, (c) where neither clause (a), nor clause (b) applied, the price calculated at the market rate prevailing in the locality at the date of sale. In the instant case it is said that the price offered to be paid to the petitioner is, at the controlled rate. The controlled rate had been fixed by the Government of India under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of S. 3 of the 'the Act' as per notification dated 4-2-1959. We asked Sri Ullal whether he is challenging the constitutionality of any of the provisions of 'the Act'. He told us that the does not. If the provisions in 'the Act' are constitutional, then no valid objection can be taken against any of the provisions in 'the Order'. The impugned Order merely carries into effect the provisions of 'the Act'. We do not think that 'the Order' in question is hit either by Art. 19 or by Art. 31 of the Constitution. Both 'the Act' as well as 'the Order' come within the exception provided in sub-articles (5) and (6) of Art. 19. Quite clearly, S. 3 of 'the Act' as well as that of 'the Order' are reasonable restrictions placed on the exercise of the rights conferred on the citizen by Art. 19(1)(f), in the interest of the general public. Similarly Art 31(2) does not affect' the Act' or 'the Order' in question for the same reasons. It may be that the impugned order will cause loss to the strike down any of the provisions of 'the Act' or 'the Order' as article 31(2) authorises the competent legislature to fix the amount of the compensation or specify the principles on which and the manner in which the compensation is to be determined and given and no such law can be called in question in any Court on the ground that the compensation provided by that law is not adequate.
(4) Lastly Sri. Ullal contended before us that 'the Order' in question is hit by Art. 31(3) of the Constitution as the same had not received the assent of the President. This argument misses the point that 'the Order' in question merely carries out the intent and purpose of 'the Act' which was passed by the Parliament and the same had received the assent of the President. 'The Order' has no independent existence apart from ' the Act'
(5) No other point was urged before us. For the reasons already mentioned, we see no reason to admit this petition. It is dismissed.
(6) Petition dismissed.