1. Appeal under Section 81 of the Gold (Control) Act, 1968 praying that in the circumstances stated therein, the Tribunal will be pleased to set aside the order of the Collector of Central Excise, Guntur, and order grant of a gold dealer's licence.
2. This appeal coming up for orders upon perusing the records and upon hearing the arguments of Shri K. Narayanan, Advocate for the appellant and upon hearing the arguments of Shri S.K. Choudhary, Senior Departmental Representative for the respondent, the Tribunal makes the following : 3. The Collector of Central Excise, Guntur, rejected an application from the appellant for issue of a gold dealer's licence on the score that he had not completed five years as a partner in the partnership firm, M/s. Dhanalaxmi Jewellery Mart; that firm had been licenced only from 13.9.78; he also noted that the quantum of gold business in Tenali town has gone down during the period 1977-79 vide order C. No.XVH/7/4/81 (Gold) dated nil-2-82. The appellant went in appeal to the Gold Control Administrator; the appeal has been transferred to the Tribunal to be heard as an appeal in terms of Section 82-K of the Gold (Control)-Act, 1968.
4. In the appeal before us, the learned Advocate for the appellant stresses the fact that the appellant was a founder partner of M/s.
Dhanalaxmi Jewellery Mart which was started in 1966, with the appellant and his father-in-law-as partners. In 1969, on the demise of his father-in-law, his mother-in-law and a brother-in-law were inducted into the partnership; in 1978, another brother-in-law was inducted as a partner. On each occasion, the Department had approved of the change in the partnership by issue of a new licence. On the occasion of the last change, simultaneously with such issue, the Collector had also approved the change in the partnership in his proceedings C. No. XVII/7/43/78 dated 7.8.78. He therefore, contended that the appellant has been a partner continuously for over five years in the same legal entity, M/s.
Dhanalaxmi Jewellery Mart.
5. The Senior Departmental Representative conceded that approval had in fact been granted under Section 52 of the Act to the change in the part-l nershipof the firm in 1978. The change eftrlier to this was in 1969. If we count the period of partnership from 1969, the appellant has been a partner' of a gold dealer's firm for well over five years at the time of application for a new licence. In this view of the matter, we find that the application of the appellant ought to have been accepted and a licence granted to him Accordingly, we set aside the order of the Collector of Central Excise and direct that a gold dealer's licence be issued to the appellant.