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N. Narayana Kamath Vs. the Director of Food Supplies in Mysore, Bangalore and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 530 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1967Kant1; AIR1967Mys1
ActsRice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1958 - Sections 3, 6 and 7(1); Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantN. Narayana Kamath
RespondentThe Director of Food Supplies in Mysore, Bangalore and ors.
Appellant AdvocateG.S. Ullal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateMurlidhara Rao, High Court Govt. Pleader
Excerpt:
.....come within the definition of the expression 'milling rice' paddy must be subjected to a milling process and the yield may be either rice or a rice product like 'beaten rice' or rice flakes......of smith kanara (respondent 2) for grant of a rice mill licence under section 6 of the rice milling industry (regulation) act, 1958 (central act 21 of 1958) hereinafter wiled the 'the act' a licence being licence no. 151 of 1963 was granted on 15-8-1963. on 6-6-1964, respondent 2 issued a show cause notice to the petitioner as to why his licence should not be cancelled on the ground of having obtained the licence on misrepresentation that the petitioner was an 'existing rice mill' owner when in fact he was not. petitioner submitted his explanation to the said show cause notice and by order dated 13-7-1964, respondent 2 revoked the licence, the ground for revocation was that the petitioner was only running a 'phova' (beaten rice) mill at the commencement of the act and he had.....
Judgment:

Govinda Bhat, J.

1. The petitioner has been carrying on the business of milling beaten rice with a 5 H. P. motor within the Sanur Panchayat area of Karikal Taluk, South Kanara District. On his application to the Deputy Commissioner of Smith Kanara (Respondent 2) for grant of a rice mill licence under Section 6 of the Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1958 (Central Act 21 of 1958) hereinafter wiled the 'The Act' a licence being licence No. 151 of 1963 was granted on 15-8-1963. On 6-6-1964, respondent 2 issued a show cause notice to the petitioner as to why his licence should not be cancelled on the ground of having obtained the licence on misrepresentation that the petitioner was an 'existing rice mill' owner when in fact he was not. Petitioner submitted his explanation to the said show cause notice and by Order dated 13-7-1964, respondent 2 revoked the licence, the ground for revocation was that the petitioner was only running a 'Phova' (beaten rice) mill at the commencement of the Act and he had no licence for operating a rice mill on the said date, and that the licence had been obtained on misrepresentation that the petitioner had obtained licences from the village pane hay at for carrying on the business of rice mill. Against the said Order, petitioner preferred an appeal to the Director of Food Supplies in Mysore (respondent 1). Respondent 1 after hearing the Advocate for the petitioner, passed an Order on 15-12-1964 dismissing the appeal on the ground that since the petitioner did not gel his licence renewed before the date prescribed by the Government viz. 31-3-1964, he ought to have applied to the Government for a licence as in the case of a new or a defunct rice mill and that the petitioner's remedy was to apply to the Government for a licence Aggrieved by the said order the petitioner has preferred the above writ petition.

2. Sri G. S. Ullal, the learned counsel for the petitioner, urged before us that the revocation of the licence ordered by the respondent 2 is based on an erroneous interpretation of the definition of the expression 'milling rice' contained in Section 3 (d) of the Act, and that the said error is patent on the record, and consequently the Order of revocation of licence is liable to be quashed by the issue of a writ in the nature of Certiorari. The further ground urged by Shri Ullal is, that respondent 1 entirely misdirected himself when he erroneously assumed that the application was one for licensing a new or defunct rice mill, while the question in the appeal was whether respondent 2 was right in Ordering the revocation of the licence on the ground that the petitioner had obtained the grant of licence on misrepresentation. In our opinion, both the contentions urged by the learned Counsel are well founded.

3. The owner of an 'existing rice mill' as defined in Section 3 (d) is entitled to the grant of a licence under Section 6. The expression 'existing rice mill' has been defined to mean a rice mill carrying on rice milling operation at the commencement of the Act, and includes a rice mill in existence at such commencement which is not carrying on rice-milling operations but in which rice-milling operations have been carried on at any time within a period of one year prior to such commencement' Section 6 provides for the grant of licence to the owner of an existing rice mill. The last date for making applications for grant of licence under Section 6 was 31-3-1963 In the application made on 8-3-1963 by the petitioner for grant of licence it was represented that he was the owner of 'an existing rice mill' and in proof of that fact, he had produced the licences issued by the Panchayat authorities in the proceeding for revocation of the licence, Respondent 2 on a perusal of the licences issued by the Panchayat authorities, came to the conclusion that the said licences were for running a 'Phova' (beaten rice or rice flakes) mill only and that certain entries had been inserted in the said licences showing that the licences were for rice mill also, and that the said additional entries were not genuine This is what respondent stated in his Order:

'..... In their explanation submitted read (5) above, they contend that their rice mill is an old one, having purchased in the year 1958 and that the word and milling rice' in licence No. 1 of the panchayat and the words' and rice mill' in the Panchayat receipts dated 15-9-1959 were inserted subsequently by the 'Panchayat itself after the omissions were pointed out to the Panchayat authorities. This explanation of the licences is far from truth and cannot be accepted as the Chairman of the Panchayat in his statement dated 8-4-1964 recorded by the Tahsildar has definitely stated that licences were issued by the Panchayat to Sri N. Narayan Ramath for running a Phova mill only and that no licence was issued either to Sri N. Narayan Kamath or his sons for operating a rice mill Thus, it is clear that licences in this case were obtained by misrepresentation as to an essential fact. Therefore, under Section 7 (1) of the R. M. I. (R) Act 1958, it is hereby ordered to revoke the licence No. 151/63 issued in favour of N. Narayan Kamath and sons to operate a rice mill in S. No. 259/2 of Sanoor Village'

4. Respondent 2 has Found as a fact that the petitioner was the owner of 'Phova' (beaten rice) mill on the date when the Act came into force; respondent 2 proceeded on the assumption that a 'Phova mill' is not a rice mill and therefore, the fact that the petitioner was operating a 'Phova Mill', when the Act came into operation would not entitle him under Section 6 for the grant of a licence. Shri Ullal argued that this view of respondent 2 is patently erroneous having regard to the definition of the expression 'existing rice mill' and 'Milling operations' contained in that Act. Clause (d) of Section 3 defines 'Milling rice' thus:

'milling rice, with its grammatical variations, means recovering rice or any produce thereof from paddy with the aid of power.'

The argument of Shri Ullal was that beaten rice is a rice product produced by milling paddy and any milling operation carried on with the aid of power for production of beaten rice or rice flakes comes within the definition of the expression 'Milling rice'. It was, however, contended on behalf of the respondents by the learned Government Pleader, that the expression 'any product thereof' occurring in Clause (d) of Section 3 means a product of rice for which rice must be recovered from paddy in the first instance. When we asked the learned Government Pleader to give us an illustration of such a product which is recovered from paddy by milling, he was unable to give any illustration In our opinion, in order to come within the definition of the expression 'milling rice' paddy must be subjected to a milling process and the yield may be either rice or a rice product like 'beaten rice' or rice flakes. Therefore, a beaten rice mill operated by power would come within the definition of a rice mill. In that view, the 'Phova mill' owned and operated by the petitioner at the commencement of the Act, was an 'existing rice mill' which qualified him for grant of a licence under Section 6. Respondent 2 on an erroneous view of the law, thought that the ownership of a beaten rice or 'Phova' mill would not qualify the petitioner for the grant of licence for a rice mill. If respondent 2 had understood the law correctly, on the facts found by him he had no jurisdiction to order the revocation of the licence. The error in the decision which is manifest on the face of the record, is liable to be corrected by a writ of certiorari, when the error is based on clear ignorance or misunderstanding of the provisions of the law. Respondent 1 before whom petitioner had preferred the appeal, instead of considering the case of the petitioner, erroneously thought that the petitioner was seeking a licence for a new rice mill or for a defunct rice mill, which was not the case at all.

5. For the above reason, we quash theorder of the Deputy Commissioner (Respondent2) dated 30-7-1964 as also the Order of theDirector of Food Supplies (Respondent 1) madeon 15-12-1964. No costs.

6. Petition allowed.


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