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B. Abdul Ameed Mohamad Hayath Vs. Town Municipal Council, Chitradurga - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 2030 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1965Kant281; AIR1965Mys281
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226; Town Municipal Act - Sections 151; Mysore Cow's Slaughter Prevention Act, 1948
AppellantB. Abdul Ameed Mohamad Hayath
RespondentTown Municipal Council, Chitradurga
Excerpt:
.....mentioned in license - impugned order does not say that petitioner had violated any of those conditions of license - petitioner not informed of any specific allegation against him - petitioner not asked to show cause why his license should not be cancelled - license cancelled to respect sentiments of hindu public of chitradurga - right to trade in beef being fundamental right, cancellation of license granted should be made on some reasonable ground - no ground can be considered reasonable unless licensee is given opportunity to show cause against charges leveled against him - arbitrary power to cancel license cannot be considered as reasonable restriction - impugned order quashed . - section 2a: [subhash b. adi, j] denial of gratuity for the break in service period held, the act..........226 of the constitution the petitioner seeks to get quashed the order made by the president of the town municipal council, chitradurga, in a5.1 to 6/64 dated 22-9-1964, cancelling the license granted to the petitioner and others to trade in beef.(2) the petitioner is a resident of chitradurga. he was granted a license to slaughter cattle and trade in beef, on 13-3-1964. that license was renewed for a period of one year from 1-4-1964 to 31-3-1965 by an order dated 1-4-1964. in pursuance of that license, he was trading in beef in a place called horepet within the limits of the chitradurga municipality. there appears to have been some agitation on the part of the hindu community, objecting to the trade in beef. finally the president of the municipality issued the impugned order, which reads.....
Judgment:

Hegde, J.

(1) In this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution the petitioner seeks to get quashed the order made by the President of the Town Municipal Council, Chitradurga, in A5.1 to 6/64 dated 22-9-1964, cancelling the license granted to the petitioner and others to trade in beef.

(2) The petitioner is a resident of Chitradurga. He was granted a license to slaughter cattle and trade in beef, on 13-3-1964. That license was renewed for a period of one year from 1-4-1964 to 31-3-1965 by an order dated 1-4-1964. In pursuance of that license, he was trading in beef in a place called Horepet within the limits of the Chitradurga Municipality. There appears to have been some agitation on the part of the Hindu community, objecting to the trade in beef. Finally the President of the Municipality issued the impugned order, which reads as follows:

'S5. 1 to 6/64-65. Office of the President,

Town Municipal Council,

Chitradurga.

M E M O

To

Shri B. Abdul Hammed,

Beef Vendor, Chitradurga.

Sir,

Slaughter of Cattle and Vending of Beef in Chitradurga at Horepet.

--------------

There are many complaints from the citizens of this town stating that slaughter and sale of beef by the various beef vendors has created much nuisance to the public thereby giving room for insanitary state of affairs in the surrounding areas. On enquiry it is found that there is some force in the contention of the public as represented in their several petitions. The places intended for this purpose are kept very dirty and required sanitary conditions are not being attended to.

Hence it is desirable to discontinue such nuisance in the interest of Public Health and Sanitation and to arrest the apprehended spread of contagious diseases. Hence the license issued by this office to slaughter and vend beef is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect pending providing of suitable slaughter houses by the Municipal Council.

Sd/- D.S. Chidanandappa,

President,

Town Municipal Council,

Chitradurga.

D/- 22-9-1964.'

As mentioned earlier, the validity of this order is challenged.

(3) The license granted to the petitioner which is marked as Exhibit 'A' reads thus:

'CHITRADURGA MUNICIPALITY

Licence to slaughter and sell beef in Chitradurga Town.

No. A5.P.R. 33/63-64.

Fee Rs. 25/-

Rt. No. 9394 D/- 7-2-64.

LICENSE NO.

Granted under provision of Section 151 of Town Municipal Act as per Deputy Commissioner's order No. D6. PR. 446-62-63 dated 22-1-64 subject to the undermentioned conditions.

To slaughter beef and selling the same at premises No. 2942 Chikkamakhan, Horepet in............ for the year ending 63-64.

Name of the Licensee : B. Abdul Hameed,

Dated 13-3-64.

Horepet, Chitradurga.

Chitradurga Town,

Sd/- C.

A.K. Junaidi,

President,

Town Municipal Council,

Chitradurga.

CONDITIONS

1. The license shall be in force for a period of one year. It shall expire on 31st March 1964, of the year for which it was granted. But the currency of a license may be renewed previous to its expiration and on payment of second fee provided always that where the application is eventually granted or refused be deemed to include the interval during which the application was pending disposal.

2. The licensee shall strictly obey all rules and bye-law of the Municipality in this behalf, or to be imposed by the President from time to time with due regard to Hygenic conditions.

3. The license is not transferable either in regard to the person or place.

4. The beef slaughter as to (sic) the Hygenic conditions and must bear the seal of the Veterinary Inspector and be accompanied with a certificate from him specifying the date and time of slaughter.

5. All animals meant for slaughter to be examined by the Veterinary Inspector as to the fitness under the Law, unserviceability of the animal to be slaughtered and to be as per schedule.

6. Every precaution must be observed as per schedule regarding the slaughter of beef to see that it does not become stale due to improper ventilation and it is protected from dust and files.

7. Any beef found without seal of Veterinary Inspector for sale will be considered as illegal and unauthorised and liable to seizure and destruction at the risk of the person in whose possession it is found.

8. No beef shall be permitted to be exposed for sale or to be supplied to urgent orders under any circumstances unless it is examined by the Veterinary Inspector and certified as fit for slaughter and use of beef for sale and affixed with a seal of the Veterinary Inspector of the Town.

9. Persons who are deputed for handling the beef must be got examined by the employer and a certificate of fitness obtained to see that they are free from all contagious diseases. They should see that their clothing are kept clean while they are at work.

10. The Municipal President or the Health Inspector or the Executive Officer or any other officer authorised by the President shall at all times have free access to the market for inspection.

* * * * * 12. The licensee shall keep the premises clean thoroughly washed and the shop provided for sale will be impervious flooring or storage slabs properly laid and shall use standard scale and weights.

13. The license shall be liable to be suspended or withdrawn when there is a breach of any of these conditions and dealt with according to provisions of Mysore Cow's Slaughter Prevention Act of 1948.

14. The licensee shall pay license fee of Rs. 25/- per annum.

15. The licensee shall have a water tap connection for washing the stall daily.

Sd/-

C.A.K. Junaidi,

President,

Town Municipal Council,

Chitradurga.

D/- 13-3-64.

Schedule.

The slaughter of she-buffalos, bulls and bullocks (Cattle or buffalo) after they cease to be capable of yielding milk or of trading or working draught animals or of breeding with Veterinary Doctor's certificate.

Sd/-

C.A.K. Junaidi,

President,

Town Municipal Council,

Chitradurga.

'Renewed.

From 1-1-64 to 31-3-65

Vide R. No. 8232 Fee Rs. 25/- D/- 31-3-64.

Sd/-

Chikkaveerappa,

President,

Town Municipal Council,

Chitradurga, 1-4-64.'

(4) The right to trade in beef, as in any other commodity, is without doubt, a fundamental right guaranteed by Art. 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. That position cannot be disputed in view of the plain language of the article in question. Further, that question can no more be in controversy in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar, : [1959]1SCR629 . The right to trade in beef can certainly be subjected to reasonable restrictions. In the instant case, restrictions have been placed on the petitioner's right by means of the conditions incorporated in the license. The validity of none of those conditions has been questioned before us. The only question is, whether the license issued can be cancelled without first establishing that the petitioner had violated any of those conditions. The impugned order does not say that the petitioner had violated any of the conditions of the license. At no stage the petitioner was told that he had violated any of the conditions of the license. Our attention was not drawn to any of the proceedings of the Municipal Council showing that the petitioner's license had been cancelled because he had violated any of the conditions of the license. From the history of this case, it is clear that the license of the petitioner and the other traders in beef, were cancelled to respect the sentiments of the Hindu public of Chitradurga. One of the items of agenda placed before the Chitradurga Municipality at its meeting held on the 16th May 1964 was about the sentimental objections of the Hindu public as regards trade in beef within the Municipal limits. The resolution passed in that regard reads that a Slaughter house should be constructed and a septic tank put up within the Municipal limits and the question of withdrawing the licenses granted for trading in beef should be considered after taking legal opinion. No legal opinion appears to have been taken in pursuance of that resolution. On the other hand, reports appear to have been received from the Police authorities and the Veterinary Inspector alleging that the beef vendors in general have kept their places of business dirty and the conditions under which the trade is conducted are not satisfactory. In those reports there is no specific reference to the petitioner's slaughter house. It referred to slaughter houses in general. Admittedly, the petitioner was not informed of any specific allegation against him. He was not asked to show cause why his license should not be cancelled. It was contended that no such notice was necessary in view of Ss. 150 and 151 of the Mysore Town Municipalities Act, 1951. We have not gone into the correctness of that contention because, in our view, the right to trade in beef being a fundamental right, the cancellation of a license granted thereof should be made on some reasonable ground and no ground can be considered reasonable unless the licensee is given an opportunity to show cause against the charges levelled against him. An arbitrary power to cancel a license cannot be considered as a reasonable restriction provision not only governs the conditions to be imposed but must be held to apply also to the conditions relating to the cancellation of the license. If absolute power is granted to any authority to cancel a license granted in respect of a trade, then, the contents of the fundamental right under Art. 19(1)(g) would become illusory.

(5) In view of our above conclusion, it is not necessary to consider whether the power to cancel a license issued to a trader in beef should be considered as quasi-judicial power. In that view, we have not thought it necessary to examine the decisions cited at the Bar as regards the true nature of the power in question.

(6) In the result, this petition is allowed and the impugned order quashed. But this does not preclude the Municipality from considering afresh whether there are any justifiable grounds to cancel the license of the petitioner or whether there are any good grounds to refuse to renew his license at the appropriate stage. The respondent to pay the costs of the petitioner. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/-.

(7) Petition allowed.


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