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N. Narasimha Rao Vs. the Commissioner and Spl. Officer In-charge, Adoni Municipality - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 3361 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1977AP380
ActsMadras Places of Public Resort Act, 1888 - Sections 7 and 12; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantN. Narasimha Rao
RespondentThe Commissioner and Spl. Officer In-charge, Adoni Municipality
Appellant AdvocateP.A. Chowdari, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN.V.S.R. Gopalakrishnamacharyulu, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....of his licence was rejected citing ground of public interest - under section 7 of act refusal to grant licence can only be done if authority is not satisfied that enclosed place or building may safely be used for purpose of public resort or entertainment proposed - there is no power conferred on authority to refuse grant of licence in public interest - held, refusal to renew which was in effect refusal to grant licence was not in accordance with section 7 of act. - - section 7 of the act states that the authority shall give to the applicant a written licence if it is satisfied -(a) that the enclosed place or building may safely be used for the purpose of public resort or entertainment proposed. the same section provides that if the authority is not satisfied as aforesaid it may..........or in the precautions for the safety of the public to be assembled therein and may refuse to grant licence until the alteration or addition is made. section 7 of the act states that the authority shall give to the applicant a written licence if it is satisfied - (a) that the enclosed place or building may safely be used for the purpose of public resort or entertainment proposed. (b) that no objection arising from its situation, ownership or the purpose proposed exists. the same section provides that if the authority is not satisfied as aforesaid it may refuse to grant licence recording the reasons for refusal in writing. it is clear from these provisions that the authority has to grant a licence if it is satisfied that the requirement of section 7(a) and section (b) are fulfilled......
Judgment:

A. Kuppuswami, J.

1. The petitioner was granted a licence on 7-11-1974 for a period of six months under Section 7 of the Places of Public Resort Act (II of 1888). It was renewed from time to time. Finally the petitioner applied on 4-10-1976 for renewal of his licence for a period of 8 months commencing from 1-11-1976. The respondent by his order dated 7-10-1976 rejected the application in the following terms:

'In the interests of the public it is not advisable to continue the same. Hence the application for renewal is rejected.' The petitioner has filed this writ petition challenging the validity of the said order.

2. Under Section 6 of the Act upon receipt of an application for a licence the authority to whom the application is made has to inspect the place or building in respect of which a licence is required and may call on the appellant to make any alteration or addition in the material or arrangement of the enclosure or building or in the precautions for the safety of the public to be assembled therein and may refuse to grant licence until the alteration or addition is made. Section 7 of the Act states that the authority shall give to the applicant a written licence if it is satisfied -

(a) that the enclosed place or building may safely be used for the purpose of public resort or entertainment proposed.

(b) that no objection arising from its situation, ownership or the purpose proposed exists.

The same Section provides that if the authority is not satisfied as aforesaid it may refuse to grant licence recording the reasons for refusal in writing. It is clear from these provisions that the authority has to grant a licence if it is satisfied that the requirement of Section 7(a) and Section (b) are fulfilled. If it is not satisfied that those requirements are fulfilled he may refuse to grant licence. In other words, the refusal to grant a licence can only be done if the authority is not satisfied that the enclosed place or building may safely be used for the purpose of public resort or entertainment proposed or that no objection arising from its situation, ownership or the purpose proposed exists. It is not entitled to refuse licence on any other ground. This is also emphasised by the requirement that the authority should record the reason for refusal in writing. There is no power conferred on the authority to refuse the grant of a licence in public interest which is the ground mentioned in the order. In this connection it may be noticed that there are no separate provisions regarding renewal of a licence. An application for renewal is in effect an application for a licence. We have therefore no hesitation in holding that the refusal to renew, which is in effect refusal to grant a licence, is not in accordance with the provisions of Section 7 of the Act. The learned Government pleader sought to contend that though the order says that it did not consider it fit to grant licence in public interest, what was really meant was that there was an objection with regard to the purpose proposed within the meaning of Section 7(b) of the Act. We are not prepared to read into the order what is not found in the order. Even in the counter-affidavit filed on behalf of the respondent it is not mentioned what exactly is the reason for refusal. On the other hand the extreme svand is taken that it is not incumbent upon the authority to disclose the public interest. We do not therefore, have guidance even from the counter-affidavit as to what the authority was not satisfied about in regard to the matters mentioned in Section 7(a) and Section (b) of the Act.

3. The learned Government Pleader also drew our attention to the fact that there is a remedy provided by way of an appeal to the Municipal Council against the order of the Chairman and further there is a remedy by way of revision to the District Magistrate under Section 12 of the Act. But as the order passed is on the face of it illegal according to us, we do not think the mere fact that another remedy is provided under the provisions of the Act would preclude the petitioner from approaching this Court for redress under Article. 226 of the Constitution.

4. The Writ Petition is allowed, but in the circumstances without costs.

5. The impugned order is quashed and the authority is directed to pass a fresh order on the application for licence in the light of this judgment.

6. Advocate's fee Rs. 100.

7. Petition allowed.


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