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Madan Gopal Daga Vs. the Agricultural Market Committee and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. Nos. 668 and 1084 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1975AP1
ActsAndhra Pradesh (Agricultural Produce and Livestock Markets) Act, 1966 - Sections 7 and 33(2); Constitution of India - Article 14; Andhra Pradesh (Agricultural Produce and Livestock Markets) Rules - Rules 45 and 48
AppellantMadan Gopal Daga
RespondentThe Agricultural Market Committee and ors.
Appellant AdvocateV. Jagannadha Rao, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateD.V. Reddipantulu, Adv. and ;S. Rangareddy, Adv. for ;Govt. Pleader
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....see any discrimination, nor is there any conflict with rule 48 as the bye-law has been made subject to what is provided in rule 48. so long as the bye-law 20 (d) is not made in excess of the authority conferred upon the market committee it cannot be complained that there is any further delegation of power by the government without the authority of the legislature......market-ins committee, vizianagaram on the ground that the bye-law is ultra vires the powers of the market committee under the andhra pradesh (agricultural produce and livestock) markets act. 1966 (hereinafter referred to as the act) and the rules.2. mr. jagannadharao, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners assailed the bye-law on the ground that it is discriminatory inasmuch as it fixes different rates of licence fee on the basis of the turnover of their business and it has no nexus with the object of regulating trade. it is also his case that there is nothing in the act or the rules which empowers the state government to further delegate its dower under the act and the rules in the matter of fixing licence fee to the market committee. to appreciate the points urged by the.....
Judgment:

Obul Beddi, C.J.

1. These two writ petitions raise a common question regarding the validity of bye-law 20 (d) of the Bye-laws of the Agriculture Marketing Committee, Vizianagaram. The petitioners are all merchants doing business in groundnut, jute, oil seeds etc. They seek a writ of mandamus directing the respondents to forbear from enforcing bye-law 20 (d) and Annexure V-B of the Bye-laws of the Agriculture Market-ins Committee, Vizianagaram on the ground that the bye-law is ultra vires the powers of the Market Committee under the Andhra Pradesh (Agricultural Produce and Livestock) Markets Act. 1966 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and the rules.

2. Mr. Jagannadharao, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners assailed the bye-law on the ground that it is discriminatory inasmuch as it fixes different rates of licence fee on the basis of the turnover of their business and it has no nexus with the object of regulating trade. It is also his case that there is nothing in the Act or the Rules which empowers the State Government to further delegate its Dower under the Act and the rules in the matter of fixing licence fee to the Market Committee. To appreciate the points urged by the learned counsel it is necessary to refer to the relevant provisions of the Act, the rules and the Bye-laws.

3. Section 5 deals with the composition of Market Committees. Every Market Committee should consist of such number of members, being not less than twelve and not more than sixteen as may be fixed for it by the Government. The manner in which Market Committee should be constituted is also provided in Section 5. Section 7 deals with trading in notified agricultural produce, livestock and their products in a notified marketarea. This section lays down that no person shall, within a notified area, set up, establish or use, or continue or allow to be continued, any place for the purchase, sale, storage, weighment, curing, pressing or processing of any notified agricultural produce or products of livestock or for the Purchase or sale of livestock except under and in accordance with the conditions of licence granted to him by the Market Committee, in other words, this section enjoins upon every trader to obtain a licence from the Market Committee if he wishes to trade in agricultural or other produce specified in Section 7. Section 12 deals with levy of fees by the Market Committees and we are not concerned with levy of fees in these two petitions. Section 33 confers upon the State Government power to make Rules. It provides that the Government may, either generally or specially for any notified area or areas make rules for carrying out the purposes of the Act. Clause (viii) of Sub-section (2) further provides:--

'(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules may provide for-

(viii) the issue by a market committee of licences under Section 7, the forms in which, and the conditions under which such licences shall be issued or renewed, the annual fees that may be levied for such licences and the recovery of such fees.'

A reading of Section 7 and Clause (viii) of Section 33 (2) would go to show that the Legislature has conferred upon the Market Committee the power to issue licences and the fees to be levied under such licences. Section 34 specifically provides for bye-laws. A Market Committee is empowered, subject to any rules made by the Government under Section 33 and with the previous sanction of the Director of Marketing, to make bye-laws for the regulation of the business and the conditions of trading therein. It is by virtue of this provision that the bye-laws had been framed for the respondent Market Committee. Rule 45 in so far as it is relevant is in these terms;

'45. Bye-laws:-- The market committee shall make bye-laws under Section 34 consistent with these rules and model bye-laws framed by the Director to regulate its own procedure and to specify the conditions of trading in the notified area. The bye-laws shall inter alia, provide for;

1. .....

2. .....

3. the levy of licence fees.

4. .....

5. .....

6. .....

7. .....

8. .....

9. .....

10.....'

It is not the case of the petitioners that the bye-laws are not in accordance with the model bye-laws framed by the Director. All that is contended is that the Act and the Rules do not provide for the delegation of fixing the rates of licence fee to the Market Committees. Rule 48 deals with the regulation of trading and it provides that any person desiring to obtain or renew a licence under Sub-section (1) of Section 7 shall make an application in Form 5. There is a proviso which says:--

'provided that every such application shall be accompanied with such fees which shall not exceed Rs. 100 (Rupees one hundred only) as may be fixed in the bye-laws of the market committee.'

4. It is thus seen that the rule itself empowers the Market Committee to fix the fee which shall not exceed Rupees 100. In other words, discretion is given to the Market Committee to regulate the fee having regard to the turnover or having regard to the goods in Question and the nature of the trade. Sub-rule (2) further provides for exemption being granted to such of those traders, whose turnover does not exceed Rs. 300/- on any single day. It is by virtue of the power conferred upon the Market Committee under the provisions of the Act and the Rules referred to above that bye-law 20 (d) has come to be framed. This bye-law is framed under Rule 48. It classifies traders into five classes. A to E. A class trader is one whose purchases and sales exceed a turnover of rupees two lakhs per annum. B class trader is one, whose sales and purchases exceed one lakh rupees but do not exceed Rs. 2 lakhs per annum C class trader's turnover should be above Rs. 50,000 but should not exceed rupees one lakh. D class traders are those whose turnover is below Rs. 50.000 and above Rs. 15,000/-. E class trader's turnover is less than Rs. 15,000/-. We are unable to understand when Section 7. Section 33 (2) (viii) and the Rules empower the Market Committees to grant licences imposing conditions of licence and also levy licence fee and enable the Market Committees to make bye-laws for that purpose how the impugned bye-law can be said to be in excess of the power conferred upon the Market Committee by the Act and the Rules, Where the maximum market fee was prescribed without fixing the minimum market fee, it was held by the Supreme Court in Muhammadbhai v. State of Gujarat, : AIR1962SC1517 that the notification cannot be assailed on the ground of discrimination. In the instant cases the maximum and the minimum have been fixed having regard to the turnover of each of the traders. We aretherefore unable to see any discrimination, nor is there any conflict with Rule 48 as the bye-law has been made subject to what is provided in Rule 48. So long as the bye-law 20 (d) is not made in excess of the authority conferred upon the Market Committee it cannot be complained that there is any further delegation of power by the Government without the authority of the legislature. The rates fixed under the bye-law are also reasonable. It took into consideration the turnover of the traders. For example, it would be hard upon a trader or commission agent whose turnover does not exceed Rs. 15,000/- per annum to be asked to pay a licence fee of Rs. 100/-. It is for that reason that discretion was left to the Market Committee to regulate licence lee having regeard to the turnover of each of the traders or commission affents. When the statutory rule itself fixes the maximum licence fee that could be fixed under the bye-laws, it cannot be said that the market committee had exceeded the power delegated to it under Rule 48, or under Rule 45, or Section 7. The above discussion will make it clear that the collection of licence fee on the basis of the turnover has relation to the object of regulating trade. We therefore see no merit in these two writ petitions and they are accordinelv dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/- in each.


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