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The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd. Vs. the Union of India and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMedia and Communication;Constitution
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.C.L.A.P. No. 10 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1966Kant237; AIR1966Mys237; (1966)1MysLJ598
ActsPress and Registration of Books Act; Constitution of India - Articles 133(1)
AppellantThe Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd.
RespondentThe Union of India and ors.
Excerpt:
.....could not be sustained - judgment appealed against does not involve directly or indirectly some claim or question, relating to property - not fit case to grant certificate for appeal as under articles 133 (1) (a), (b) and (c) there must be connection direct or indirect between decision and some property. - right to information act, 2005 [c.a. no. 22/2005]section 2(b), (c) & (d); [k.l.manjunath, j] public authority held, a society registered under section 27 of the karnataka societies registration act, 1960 is not a public authority and the provisions of the right to information act, 2005 is not applicable. basava samithi/society is not created by any other law made by the state legislature. it is not a body owned or controlled or substantially financed by the government. it is also..........the petitioner must show that the judgment of this court involves directly or indirectly some claim or question respecting property of the value of rupees 20,000 or more. as observed by the supreme court in chittarmal v. shah pannalal chandulal : [1965]2scr751 the property respecting which the claim or question arises must be property in addition to or other than the subject-matter of the dispute. before article 133(1)(b) is attracted to the facts of a case, decision in that case must involve directly or indirectly some claim or question respecting property. the judgment of this court which is sought to be appealed against does not involve directly or indirectly some claim or question, respecting any property. it is not the petitioner's case that if it succeeds in the writ petition,.....
Judgment:

K.S. Hegde, J.

(1) The unsuccessful petitioner in W.P. No. 1054 of 1965 on the file of this Court has filed this petition seeking certificates under Articles 133(1)(a), 133(1)(b) and 133(1)(c) of the Constitution of India.

(2) In the Writ petition in question, the petition's contention was that the Indian Express and the Sunday Standard Bangalore, are new newspapers newly added links to the Indian Express chain and therefore, it prayed that this

'Court may be pleased to issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or Direction:

(1) forbidding respondents 1 to 3 from granting in Respondents 4, 5 and/or 6, for Indian Express and Sunday Standard, Bangalore, any newsprint or newsprint quota, the said papers being new newspapers added to the existing claim of Indian Express Newspapers; and

(2) Forbidding respondents 4 and 5 their servants and agents and any of their subsidiary companies from diverting using or otherwise appropriating for Indian Express and/or Sunday Standard, Bangalore, the newsprint allotted to Indian express or Sunday Standard published from any other centre, or to any other newspaper owned or controlled by respondents 4 or 5 and directing respondents 1 to 3 to prevent any such diversion, use or appropriation.'

This Court rejected the contention of the petitioner that the Indian Express and the Sunday Standard, Bangalore, are new newspapers. It came to the conclusion that those papers were being in Chittoor but they are now published from Bangalore. In the Writ petition it was contended that in view of the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act, the place of publication of a newspaper cannot be changes and if so changed the newspaper published from the new centre would have to be considered as a new newspaper. This Court found no support for that contention from the provisions of the Press and Registration Books Act. It opined that the right to publish a newspaper under a particular name is property just as any other property and that right is subject to the ordinary law relating to property, so long as there is no law restricting the right of an owner of a newspaper from changing the venue of its publication, publishing a newspaper like any other business can be shifted from one place to another within the country.

This Court also case to the conclusion that the policy adumbrated in the 'Red Book' has not the force of law. Further it opined that no Writ of Mandamus can be issued to respondents 4 to 6 as they cannot be considered as public authorities, nor the act complained of can be considered as a dereliction of public or statutory duty. This Court also held that no writ can be issued against a public authority requiring it to see that there is no contravention of law because such a direction is incapable of implementation. If there is contravention of law the same has to be dealt with in accordance of law the same has to be dealt with in accordance with law. In view of those conclusions this Court refused to grant the Writ prayed for.

(3) From what has been stated above, it is seen that the subject matter of the dispute before this Court is not something that is capable of valuation. Further, it cannot be considered as 'property'.

(4) In S.C.L.A.P. No. 234 of 65(Mys) a Bench of this Court refused to grant certificate under Article 133(1)(a) in a petition arising from Election Appeal holding that in the litigation that subject-matter of the dispute was not any property but the validity of an election. The ratio of that decision applied to the facts of the present case.

(5) Now coming to the prayer asking for a certificate under Article 133(1)(b), before a certificate under that clause can be issued, the petitioner must show that the judgment of this Court involves directly or indirectly some claim or question respecting property of the value of Rupees 20,000 or more. As observed by the Supreme Court in Chittarmal v. Shah Pannalal Chandulal : [1965]2SCR751 the property respecting which the claim or question arises must be property in addition to or other than the subject-matter of the dispute. Before Article 133(1)(b) is attracted to the facts of a case, decision in that case must involve directly or indirectly some claim or question respecting property. The judgment of this Court which is sought to be appealed against does not involve directly or indirectly some claim or question, respecting any property. It is not the petitioner's case that if it succeeds in the Writ petition, it would be entitled to additional newsprint. If it succeeds in getting the relief prayed for, all that would happen is that the paper concerned will be treated as new newspapers and newsprint granted to them on that basis.

What was said on behalf of the petitioner is that if the newspapers in question were given newspapers, then the petitioner would be in a better position to compete with those newspapers and consequently it is not likely to suffer loss which it now expects to suffer as a result of the competition between those papers and the papers published by the petitioner. Such a claim cannot be considered as property within the meaning of Article 133(1)(b). As mentioned earlier to come within Article 133(1)(b) the decision sought to be appealed some claim or question regarding property. There must be some connection direct or indirect between the decision and some property. Some remote chain reaction is not within the contemplation of that Article.

(6) Our view in this regard finds support from the decision of the Patna High Court State of Bihar v. D.N. Gangully, : (1957)IILLJ517Pat . Therein, the court laid down that for the purpose of the application of Article 133(1)(b) the judgment of the High Court must involve directly or indirectly some claim or question respecting property of more than Rs. 20,000; where the claim of the workers before the Tribunal was a claim for reinstatement in service with or without compensation for the days they were out of employment, the claim cannot be said to be one respecting 'property' and Article 133(1)(b) is not applicable. The decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Mohammad Ghouse v. State of Andhra Pradesh, : AIR1960AP194 also supports the view taken by us.

(7) Through the S.C.L.A.P runs to 32 typed pages and contains as many as 38 grounds, of the time of the hearing, Mr. V.K. Krishna Menon, the learned counsel for the petitioner urged only a few grounds in support of his prayer for a certificate under Article 133(1)(c). His main contention was that in view of the provisions contained in the Press and Registration of Books Act, it has to be held that the newspapers in question are new newspapers. This contention, we had closely examined in the Writ petition and found to be without merit. The contention that every time a new declaration is made by a newspaper a new newspaper comes into existence, has also been rejected by us as having no substance. We pointed out in the course of our judgment to accept that contention means that whenever the place of publication of a newspaper is shifted from one locality to another locality even in the same city, there comes into existence a new newspaper. Again, whenever a publisher dies or goes out of India for more than a period of 3 months a necessarily declaration is necessary and if the petitioner's contention is right when the required declaration is given a new newspaper comes into existence.

(8) It was next contended by Mr. Menon that the implication of our judgment is that the statutory law of this Country is controlled by the English Common Law. We do not think that we decided anything so bad. That criticism is clearly off the mark. We merely referred to the English Common Law to spell out the rights of owners of newspapers. We concluded that by and large similar are the rights of the owner of a newspaper to shift the place of publication of the newspaper and if he did change the paper did not become a new newspaper. In deciding the Writ Petition we were not called upon to decide any substantial questions of law of public or private importance. In these circumstances, we are unable to certify that this is a fit case for appeal to the Supreme Court.

(9) For the reasons mentioned above, the certificates prayed for are refused. No costs.

(10) Certificate refused.


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