1. Under the provisions of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956 which will be referred to as the Act in the course of this judgment, a Commission known as the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, will be referred to as the Commission, was established under Section 4 of that Act. The purpose of the Act was the development of Khadi and village industries and other matters connected therewith, and, Section 15 of the Act enumerated the functions of the Commission which included the encouragement of the production of Khadi and the development of village industries and research in the technique of the production of Khadi. Section 19 of the Act authorised the Commission to spend such sums of money as it thought fit on the purposes authorised by the Act.
2. At one stage the commission decided for the encouragement of the production of woollen blankets, to pay rebate on the retail sales of such woollen blankets referred to as kambals and kambalis at the rate of 10%. Pursuant to a decision which was reached by the Commission as a result of the investigation which it made on 19/20th November 1967, the payment of such rebate with respect to retail sales of blankets was discontinued with effect from April 1, 1968. The petitioner before us is a co-operative society which engages itself in the manufacture of woollen blankets. According to the affidavit produced on its behalf in this writ petition, it purchases wool from others and manufactures blankets and sells them both to retail and wholesale purchasers.
3. The complaint made on behalf of the petitioner in this writ petition is that the discontinuance of the payment of rebate by the Commission was discriminatory and transgressed the right of the society to continuance of that assistance, and so, it asks us to quash the resolution and decisions of the Commission by which the payment of rebate on retail sales of woollen blankets was discontinued. It also asks for a direction to respondent 1 which is the Commission and respondent 2 who is the Director of Khadi and Village Industries Commission in Mysore to continue to allow the rebate which the society was receiving until now.
4. According to the revised decision taken by the Khadi Commission, the rebate is now paid only in respect of sales made to Central and State Governments and plantations. What is discontinued in the rebate which was paid in respect of retail sales.
5. This rebate was paid only by way of an assistance which the Commission, in the exercise of its wisdom considered necessary for the production of Khadi and the development of village industries. The assistance which the Khadi Commission may make available in that way is not an assistance which is claimable as of right. The Commission, as the scheme of the Act discloses, is endowed with the power to formulate its policies and to reach its own decisions as to the assistance which it should make available to the manufacturers. It has also the power to decide who should be the recipient of such assistance.
6. There is thus no right in the exercise of which the petitioner-society can contend that the Commission is under a duty to continue to make available the rebate which at one stage the Commission decided to grant.
7. But it was urged by Mr. Mahendra appearing for the society that it has been subjected to hostile discrimination. We do not think that there is any substance in this argument. The submission that the grant of the rebate in respect of sales to the Central and State Governments and its refusal in respect of retail sales amounts to such discrimination is groundless, since the classification made by the Commission is a reasonable classification. It is obvious that the Commission was of the view that the grant of rebate in respect of sales to the State and Central Governments or to plantations would, having regard to the magnitude of the transactions, promote the purpose of the Act and develop the khadi industry, and, the selection made in that way cannot invite the criticism of discrimination.
8. The Commission had the power to decide whether the grant of rebate in respect of retail sales does or does not promote the purposes of the Act, and, if it reached the conclusion that it does not, it is not for us to substitute our own judgment or conclusion in place of the conclusion reached by the Commission.
9. Moreover in the counter-affidavit produced on behalf of the Commission it is explained that the Commission after a consideration of the whole question discovered that a large number of co-operative societies did not undertake production and retail sales activities of woolen blankets in conformity with the pattern of assistance of the Commission, and that in consequence, in many cases the rebate and subsidy allowed had to be disallowed subsequently. That was the reason assigned by the Commission for the stoppage of the rebate on retail sales, and it is clear that the ground assigned for such discontinuance is not an irrelevant ground.
10. It was next submitted that the rebate with respect of individual sales continues to be paid in respect of retail sales of woollen cloth out of which garments are prepared. The cloth is described in the affidavit as woollen apparel. Mr. Mahendra constructed the argument that, if on that kind of woollen cloth rebate was continued to be paid in respect of retail sales, there would be small reason for discontinuance of the rebate when woollen cloth was sold in the form of blankets. Here again woollen apparel out of which garments are prepared such as suitings and shirtings and the like is not similar to woollen blankets, and, if the Commission thought that even in respect of retail sales rebate should be allowed in the case of woollen apparel, but that such rebate is not justified in the case of retail sales of woollen blankets, and they had grounds for thinking so, the petitioner cannot contend that he has been subjected to any discrimination.
11. It was at one stage submitted that the petitioner is subjected to enormous prejudice and loss in respect of retail sales of woollen blankets, and that while it is under a duty to sell the blankets at the price fixed by the Commission, the rebate which it was receiving until now had become unavailable. But with this aspect of the matter we are not concerned in this writ petition so long as the rebate which the petitioner was receiving until now was only in the form of assistance to which it was not as of right entitled.
12. We therefore dismiss this writ petition. No costs.
13. Petition dismissed.