1. The petitioner who Is a stamp vendor at Hospet in Bellary District, has challenged in this writ petition the order passed by the Assistant Commissioner of Hospet dated the 22nd day of April 1969, canceling the licence granted to him to vend stamps under the Mysore Stamp Act. 1957 on theground that he has not executedan agreement prescribed under theprovisions of the Board StandingOrder 77 (iii) contained in the MadrasStamp Manual. The District of Bellaryformerly formed part of the then Stateof Madras and became part of the Part BState of Mysore somewhere in the year3953. The Indian Stamp Act was amended in Madras by the Madras Legislature which was in force in the Districtof Bellary continued to be operative until the Mysore Stamp Act. 1957 came tobe passed by the Legislature of the NewState of Mysore extending (its- application to the entire new State of Mysoreincluding Bellary.
2. The petitioner was a stamp, vendor he having obtained the necessary licence from the year 1944. The licence granted to the petitioner was also renewed from time to time by the prescribed authority after the coming into force of the Mysore Stamp Act in the year 1957.
3. In the year 1969 the prescribed authority, namely, the Assistant Commissioner of Hospet insisted that the petitioner should execute an agreement in the prescribed form not to do any other business, as required by Board Standing Orders 76 and 77 that were prevailing in the State of Madras when Bellary became part of the New State of Mysore. The petitioner took the stand that after the coming into force of the Mysore Stamp Act, 1957, the Board Standing Orders of the Madras were not applicable and that therefore, the petitioner was not under an obligation to execute an agreement as demanded by the prescribed authority. The Assistant Commissioner of Hospet, disagreeing with the petitioner's contention, cancelled the licence granted to the petitioner for conducting the business of stamp vending, by the impugned order dated the 22nd of April. 1969 produced in this case as Exhibit 'D'. The contention of Sri Javali, the learned counsel for the petitioner is that after the coming into force of the Mysore Stamp Act. 1957, the grant of licence to do business of vending stamp is regulated only by the provisions of Mysore Stamp Act. 1957 and the Mysore Stamp Rules. 1958 made in that behalf. Sri Narayana. High Court Government Pleader, found it difficult to maintain that the matter pertaining to grant of licence to stamp vendors is still governed by the Board Standing Orders of Madras which were in force in the District of Bellary till the coming into force of the Mysore Stamp Act, 1957. On the coming into force of the Mysore Stamp Act. 1957, in view of the provisions contained in Section 72 of the Mysore Stamp Act, it is clear that the matter pertaining to grant of licence to stamp vendors is regulated only by the Mysore Stamp Act. 1957 and the provisions made thereunder.
4. Section 68 of the Mysore Stamp Act, requires the Government to make rules to carry out the purpose of the Act. Clauses (a), (b) and (c) of Sub-section (68) of the Mysore Stamp Act, 1957 empower the State Government to make rules in regard to supply and sale of stamps and stamp papers, the persons by whom alone such sale is to be conducted, and the duties and remuneration of such persons. It is in pursuance of this rule making power that Sub-rule (3) of Rule 4 of the Mysore Stamp Rules, 1958 has been framed. The said rule provides that all stamps shall be of such pattern as may from time to time be prescribed by Government and shall be only such as have been purchased from any of the State Treasuries in Mysore State or from a Licensed Vendor in Mysore State appointed under the orders of a Deputy Commissioner or other officer duly empowered in that behalf. Apart from Sub-rule (3) of Rule 4, it is conceded by Sri Narayana, that there is no other rule or provision which has any bearing on the matter pertaining to grant of licence to stamp vendors. Sub-rule (3) of Rule 4 only provides that it is the Deputy Commissioner or other officers duly empowered in that behalf, that is competent to grant licence to stamp vendors in the State. It is further provided that stamps can be obtained either from the State Treasuries of Mysore State or from a licenced vendor duly appointed by the Deputy Commissioner or other officers duly empowered in that behalf. There is no other rule requiring the stamp vendors to execute any agreement similar to the one that was in vogue in the Madras area as per the provisions of Board Standing Orders 76 end 77. In the absence of any rules framed under the Mysore Stamp Act. 1957 requiring the stamp vendor to execute an agreement not to undertake any other business, the prescribed authority could not in law insist that any such agreement should be executed as a condition precedent to the grant of licence to the stamp vendor.
5. We are, therefore, clearly of the opinion that the Assistant Commissioner was in error in canceling the licence of the petitioner on the ground that he has not executed an agreement undertaking not to do any other business.
6. For the reasons stated above, we quash the impugned order passed by the Assistant Commissioner. Hospet bearing No. REV/STP/3624/68 dated the 22nd of April. 1969 and further direct the respondents not to insist upon the execution of any agreement undertaking not to do any other business as a condition for the grant or renewal of licence to vend in stamps.
7. No costs.