1. This Writ Appeal comes before us on a reference made by our learned brothers, Sambasiva Rao and Sheth JJ. This writ appeal has been filed against the decision of Obul Reddi, J. (as he then was) in Writ Petition No. 4631 of 1972. The Writ petition was filed seeking directions against the State of Andhra Pradesh the Director of Marketing and the Agricultural Marketing Committee, Anakapalle, to desist from enforcing the bye-laws and R. 73 of the Andhra Pradesh (Agricultural Produce and Live Stock) Market Rules, 1969 and the executive order of the Government in its memorandum No. 2733/Agriculture/IV/71/1 dated 26-8-1971 on the ground that the bye-laws and R. 73 are ultra vires and without jurisdiction.
2. The main dispute between the parties is regarding the interpretation of some of the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh (Agricultural Produce and Live Stock) Markets Act (16 of 1966), (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'). By this Act two earlier Acts, which were in force in different regions of the State of Andhra Pradesh were repealed. These two Acts were the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Commercial Crops Act. 1933 and the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Agricultural Market Act, 1339-F. It may be pointed out that the Act of 1933, which was repealed was originally enacted in the State of Madras as Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act, 1933. The appellants before us are the original petitioners carrying on business in the notified commodities in and around Yellamanchili in Visakhapatnam District. Under the Act of 1933, the entire Visakapatnam district was constituted as a single notified area. It may be pointed out that, under the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Commercial Crops Act. 1933 as well as under the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Agricultural Market Act, 1339-F, referred to above, there were only two concepts viz. the concept of notified area and the concept of markets or market yards. There was no concept of market area or notified market area in those two Acts, which were repealed by the Act of 1966 with which we are concerned in the instant case. Under the notification issued by the Government under Section 3(3) of the Act of 1966, the Visakapatnam District is divided into three notified areas viz. Anakapalle Visakhapatnam and Kothavalasa. After issuing that notification under Section 3(3), the State Government in exercise of its powers under Section 4(1), constituted market Committees for the three notified area. This was the major second step which the Government was required to take in putting the machinery set up under the Act of 1966 into full operation. As a third step in this process contemplated by the Act, the Anakapalle Market Committee constituted a market for Anakapalle and that was done by the market Committee in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under Section 4(3) of the Act. The notification regarding the notified area for the three units was issued on 29-10-1968 and the notification regarding the setting up of the three market Committees was issued on 4th April, 1969. By the notification under Section 3(3) of the Act, the notified area for Anakapalle was to cover Anakapalle, Yellamanchili, Chodavaram, Narasipatnam and Chintapalle taluks. The Government directed the market Committee for Anakapalle notified area to establish markets at five places within the notified area of Anakapalli. The five markets to be thus established were Anakapalli, Chodavaram, Vaddadi, Makavarapalem, and Yellamanchili. After establishing the market at Anakapalli, the entire area within the limits of Anakapalli Municipality was notified by the market Committee to be the market area and the Anakapalli market was to comprise of Gandhi Market. Raja Rammohan Roy Vegetable Market, Jubili Hall site fish and meat market and Sunday weekly shandy market. Thereafter, in exercise of its powers under Sub-section (4) of Section 4 of the Act, the State Government notified what is referred to as notified market area for the market at Anakapalli town and this notified market area was described as follows: '20. K. Ms. radius around the office of the Agricultural Market Committee, Anakapalli within the notified area of the Agricultural Market Committee, Anakapalli'. It is common ground between the parties before us that Yellamanchili the place in and around which the petitioners are carrying on their business is more than 20 K. Ms. from the office of the Agricultural Market Committee, Anakapalli and thus they are not functioning within the notified market area of Anakapalli market. The contention of the petitioners is that, since Yellamanchili is not within the notified market area of Anakapalli market, it is not open to the Market Committee of Anakapalli to impose market fees on the petitioners under Section 12 of the Act of 1966. There is no dispute between the parties regarding the licence fees payable by the petitioners for obtaining licences for dealing in the notified commodities. It may be pointed out that the challenge in the present litigation to the levying of the market fees under Section 12 is not on the ground of absence of any quid pro quo; but the main contention, which was urged before Obul Reddi, J. (as he then was) before the Division Bench consisting of ?Sambasiva Rao and Sheth, JJ. and before us, was that, as Yellamanchili is outside the radius of 20 K. Ms. from the Office of the Agricultural Market Committee of Anakapalli, the Market Committee of Anakapalli has no power to levy the market fees under Section 12, since the power to levy the market fees is only in respect of agricultural produce, livestock and products of livestock purchased or sold in the notified market area.
3. The writ petition was heard by Obul Reddi, J. (as he then was) sitting as a Single Judge. He came to the conclusion that, by virtue of the saving clause in the repealing and saving Section 36 and particularly in view of Section 36 proviso (aa) of the Act, the power of the Market Committee to levy market fees on the transactions of the petitioners in the notified commodities was not affected by the fact that Yellamanchilli was beyond the radius of 20 K. Ms. from the office of the office of the Agricultural Market Committee, Anakapalli. In coming to this conclusion, Obul Reddi J. (as he then was) relied upon the decision in Writ Appeal No. 131 of 1971 and batch decided by a Division Bench of this Court consisting of Narasimham C. J. and Kuppuswamy J. on July 14, 1971. According to that decision of the Division Bench the fact that under the present Act of 1966, no notification is issued under Section 4(4) setting up a notified market area does not deprive the Market Committee of its power under Section 12 to levy market fees. The reasoning of Obul Reddi, J. (as he then was) proceeded on the footing that, prior to the constitution of the notified area for Anakapalli the entire district of Visakpatnam was a notified area and, therefore, by virtue of the provisions of the Act of 1933 saved by Section 36 (aa) of the Act of 1966, the Market Committee was entitled to act under Section 12 of the Act of 1966 and levy market fees.
4. At the hearing of the Writ Appeal before Sambasiva Rao and Sheth, JJ. the matter was hotly contested and both sides laid great emphasis on what are referred to as five steps in the functioning of the machinery under the Act of 1966. As Sambasiva Rao and Sheth, JJ. felt that it was desirable that a larger Bench should consider the questions involved in this case and give an authoritative ruling, since a large number of transactions and persons are covered by the provisions of the Act of 1966, this Writ Appeal has come to be referred to a larger Bench.
5. In order to understand the controversy in this case, it is necessary to point out that there are five distinct concepts mentioned in the Act. under Section 2(vi) 'market' means a market established under Sub-section (3) of Section 4 and includes market yard and any building therein. Section 2(vii) defines 'market Committee' to mean a Committee constituted or reconstituted under the provisions of the Act. Section 2 (xi) defines 'notified area' to mean any area notified under Section 3. Section 2 (xii) defines 'notified market area' to mean any area declared to be a market area by notification under Section 4. The confusion is likely to arise because similar terminology was also used in the repealed Acts viz., 'notified area', 'market' and 'market yard'. Under Sub-section (3) of Section 3, of the Act of 1966 after the preliminaries set out in Sub-section (1) and (2) have been gone through, the Government has to publish a final notification declaring the area specified in the draft notification or any portion thereof, to be a notified area for the purpose of the Act in respect of any agricultural produce, livestock and products of livestock specified in the draft notification published under Sub-section (1) of Section 3. We are not concerned, in the course of this judgment, with the rest of the provisions of Section 3. Thus it is clear that the notified area in the instant case, so far as Anakapalli notified area was concerned consisted of five taluks of Anakapalli, Yellamanchili, Chodavaram, Narsipatnam and Chintapalle. The area of these five taluks was thus a single notified area for purposes of the Act. Section 4 deals with the constitution of a market Committee and declaration of notified market area. Sub-section (1) makes it clear that the setting up of a market Committee by the Government is second step in the process of setting up the entire machinery under Act of 1966, and it reads :
'The Government shall constitute, by notification, a market Committee for every notified area from such date as may be specified in the notification and the market Committee so constituted shall be a body corporate by such name as the Government may specify in the said notification, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property and may, by its corporate name, sue and be sued.'
The market Committee for Anakapalli notified area having been constituted under Sub-section (1) of Section 4, it started to function and the functions to be performed by the market Committee are detailed in Sub-section (3) of Section 4. Section 4(3)(a) provides that every market Committee shall establish in the notified area such number of markets as the Government may, from time to time, direct, for the purchase and sale of any notified agricultural produce, livestock or products of livestock and shall provide such facilities in the market as may be specified by the Government, from time to time, by a general or special order. Thus, the market Committee, which functions for the whole of the notified area, has to establish markets in accordance with the directions issued by the Government. In the instant case, the Government directed the market Committee for the Anakapalli notified area to establish five markets within the area of its operations viz. Anakapalli, Chodavaram, Vaddadi, Makavarapalem, and Yellamanchili and this direction was given by the Government by notification dated 28th October, 1968, by which the Anakapalli notified area was declared as a notified area under Sub-section (3) of Section 3. In pursuance of this direction of the Government, on January 28, 1970, the Market Committee established a market at Anakapalli town. This is the third step, which is required to be taken for setting up the machinery and the Market Committee for Anakapalli notified area has taken that step. Thereafter, the fourth step, which is required to be taken is under Section 4(3)(c) of the Act and that step is that the Market Committee shall declare, by notification, the limits of every market established by it under clauses (a) and (b) referred to as the market area; and that step was taken by the Anakapalli Market Committee, by which it defined the limits of the market area for the market at Anakapalli town and the market area was the entire area within the limits of Anakapalli Municipality. The fifth step, which is required to be taken, is under Section 4(4) and that Section reads:
'As soon as may be after the establishment of a market under Sub-section (3) the Government shall declare by notification the market area and such other area adjoining thereto as may be specified in the notification, to be a notified market area for the purposes of this Act in respect of any notified agricultural produce, livestock or products of livestock.'
It is obvious that until the market area has been declared by the market Committee for a particular notified area, the Government cannot declare the notified market area for any particular market and, therefore, after the Anakapalli Municipal area was declared by the Market Committee to be the market area for the market at Anakapalli town, on June 19, 1971, the Government declared, by notification, the notified market area for Anakapalli town market to be the area covered by 20 K. Ms. around the office of the Agricultural Market Committee, Anakapalli, but the Government was very specific by providing in the declaration that this notified market area was within the notified area of the Agricultural Market Committee Anakapalli.
6. Thus, to clarify the concepts and the different terminologies used in the Act, it may be pointed out that the notified area is the largest geographical and physical unit. There may be a single market or more than one market for each notified area. There is to be a market Committee which is a body corporate and it operates over the entire notified area. The market Committee has to set up one or more markets within the area of its operation as may be directed by the Government. After the directions have been issued by the Government, the market Committee has to establish a market or markets in accordance with the directions of the Government and for each market it has to fix. under Section 4(3)(c) the limits of the market and the limits of the market area referred to as the 'market area'. Under Section 4(4) the Market area and such other area adjoining thereto as may be specified by the Government in the notification issued under that Section becomes the notified market area. Thus, the largest physical unit is the notified area and within that notified area is the notified market area pertaining to each market established by the market Committee. Within the notified area is the market area which defines the limits of every market and within the market area are the actual markets where the notified agricultural produce is brought or sold and where facilities have to be provided by the market Committee for buying and selling these notified commodities. It is obvious that all these different five steps have to be completed before the machinery set up under the Act starts functioning.
7. Under the Madras Act of 1933, which continued to operate in the Andhra Area of the State of Andhra Pradesh till it was repealed by the present act of 1966 only two concepts were there viz. notified area and market. The concepts of market area and notified market area were not to be found in the Act of 1933. In the same manner, in the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Agricultural Market Act, 1339 F., which was repealed by the present Act of 1966, there were concepts of notified area and market yard, which was equivalent to the concept of market under the Madras Act of 1933. Even in the Telangana Area Act, there was no concept of notified market area or market areas.
8. After the enactment of the Act of 1966, when the notification was issued by the Government on 29th October, 1968 declaring notified area and constituting market Committees for the notified area under the Act a batch of writ petitions came to be filed against the formation of market Committees and in those writ petitions, this High Court held that notification of areas involving a change in the jurisdiction of existing Committee was illegal as it contravened the provisions of Section 36 of the Act which required notification of the areas already notified under the repealed Acts and that inclusion of new areas in, or exclusion of any area from, such notified areas should have been notified separately under Section 3(4). As the notification of areas afresh as directed by the High Court would have entailed a lot of time and administrative inconvenience, it was proposed to empower the Government specifically to declare a new notified area by separation of area from any notified are or by uniting two or more notified areas or parts thereof or by uniting any area to a part of any notified area and also to validate the notification issued in G. O. Ms. No. 2095 Food and Agricultural Department dated the 29th October, 1968.
9. With these objects in view as stated in the Statement of Objects and Reasons and Andhra Pradesh (Agricultural Produce and Livestock) Markets (Amendment and Validation) Act, 1971 was passed by the State Legislature. Before the amendment by the Act of 1971 Section 36(a) read as follows: 'any area declared to be a notified area or market under any of the Acts so repealed shall be deemed to have been declared under this Act until such area or market is declared to be a notified area or market under this Act.' By virtue of Section 8 of the Act of 1971, Clause (a) of Section 36 was amended to read: 'any area declared to be a notified area or market under any of the Acts so repealed shall be deemed to have been declared under this Act', and clause (aa) was added to Section 36. Clause (aa) reads thus: 'any area declared to be a notified area or market or market yard by or under any of the Acts so repealed shall be deemed to have been declared to be a notified area under this Act for the purpose of Section 12'. Clause (a) and Clause (aa) are clauses of the proviso to Section 36, which operates as a saving to the repeal of the Act of 1933 and of the Telangana Area Act of 1339 F. which were repealed by the present Act of 1966 such notified area or market or market yard is deemed to have been declared to be a notified market area under the Act of 1966 for the purpose of Section 12. As pointed out above, Section 12 enables the market Committee to levy market fees in respect of the notified commodities bought or sold within the notified market area.
10. It is obvious that the object of the saving clause is to give quietus to the confusion that might be created in the functioning of the different markets and market Committees in the buying and selling of agricultural produce till the entire machinery set up under the provisions of the Act of 1966 starts functioning. It is well settled that the object of the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Markets Act like the one before us is to prevent exploitation of agricultural producers at the hands of dealers in the notified commodities and to see to it that unfair trade practices are not indulged in by the dealers. One of the objects is to enforce standardisation and grading in dealing in agricultural produce. If these objectives of the Act are to be carried out, it is desirable that a hiatus should be avoided and that is why the saving clause has been enacted to provide for continuity of the old provisions within the frame-work of the new Act as far as possible.
11. The saving clause would thus be worked out after the entire machinery set up under the new Act has started functioning. It is contended on behalf of the petitioners in the instant case that, with the declaration of the notified market area by the Government under Sub-section (4) of Section 4, for Anakapalli town market by its notification dated 19-6-1971, all the five steps for setting up the market at Anakapalli were completed and therefore, the saving clause viz. clause (aa) of the proviso to Section 36 of the Act was worked out and there was no scope for further operation of proviso (aa) to Section 36. This contention must be rejected because it is based on a misconception which is entirely due to the similarity of terminologies. The misconception is that the notified market area, which is referred to in Section 36(aa), is constituted when the notification under Section 4(4) is issued by the Government. It is obvious from what we have stated above that, for the notified area of Anakapalli, the Government directed five markets to be set up. Out of these five markets, only one in Anakapalli town has been set up and the market area of the market in Anakapalli town in the area covered by the Municipal limits of Anakapalli municipality. It is, therefore, obvious that the notified area, which is the field of operation of the Anakapalli market Committee, is much larger than the notified market area appurtenant to Anakapalli town market which is only one of the five markets which the Government has directed the market Committee for Anakapalli notified area to set up. Until those four markets within the notified area of Anakapalli market Committee are set up, it cannot be said that all the five different steps contemplated by the Act of 1966 have been gone through. until the remaining four markets viz. Chodavaram market, Vaddadi market, Makavarapalem market and Yellamanchilli market which are directed to be set up within the Anakapalli notified area, are set up, proviso (aa) to Section 36, therefore, the notified area under the repealed Act of 1933 continues to be the notified market area so far as the notified area of the Anakapalli market Committee is concerned. The very fact that one out of those five markets, which the market Committee for Anakapalli notified area is directed to set up, has actually been set up and that the five steps in connection with one out of those five markets have been gone through does not mean that all the five steps for the entire notified area of Anakapalli have been gone through.
12. It was contended that, if the provisions of Section 36 (aa) apply in all their vigour, it might mean that Anakapalli notified area market Committee would have jurisdiction over the entire district of Visakapatnam because the whole district was declared to be a notified area under the Madras Act of 1933. This argument must be rejected as fallacious, because the provisions of the Act have to be read with some degree of common sense and when, within the same original district of Visakapatnam, the three notified areas viz. Anakapalli, Visakapatnam and Kothavalasa, were set up, the effect of proviso (aa) to Section 36 was that part of Visakapatnam which fell within the respective notified area, continued to be the notified market area for the market Committee of Anakapalli, Visakapatnam and Kothavalasa.
13. Narasimham, C. J. and Kuppuswamy, J., in Writ Appeal No. 131 of 1971 and batch decided on 14-7-1971, construed the different provisions of the Act before us and observed:
'From a scrutiny of the relevant provisions it is obvious that the first step is the declaration of a notified area, the second step is the constitution of a market Committee, the third step is the establishment of market in the notified area, the next step is the notification of the limits of every market and then the final step in the direction is the declaration by the Government by notification of the notified market area for purposes of the Act., The several steps are part of a scheme to declare the notified market area for the purpose of levy.'
Regarding the effect of Section 36 and the repealing and saving clause enacted thereby, the Division Bench observed:
'It is only the law in relation to the market that was repealed. The markets continued to exist and the A. P. law superseded the Hyderabad law.'
Thus the conclusion that we have arrived at, on an examination of the different provisions of the Act of 1966, was also the conclusion which was reached by the Division Bench consisting of Narasimham C. J. and Kuppuswami, J. We are in agreement with the conclusion reached by that Division Bench.
14. As we have observed earlier in the course of this judgment, a lot of avoidable confusion is likely to arise if the clear notions and concepts behind each of the four terms used in the Act are not kept in mind viz. 'notified area', 'market', 'market area' and 'notified market area'. The fact that the name of Anakapalli is used in connection with the notified area of Anakapalli consisting of five taluks and also in connection with the market at Anakapalli town, is likely to lead to still further confusion. We have earlier, in the course of this judgment explained the exact significance of each of these four terms in the light of the provisions of the Act. If these concept and notions regarding each of those four terms is clearly borne in mind, no difficulty whatsoever is likely to be created in the interpretation of this Act or in implementing it. All persons connected with the administration of markets and market Committee functioning under the Act should bear these concepts in mind and if these provisions are implemented according to the letter and spirit of the law, nobody is likely to have any difficulty whatsoever.
15. Under these circumstances, we hold that the conclusion reached by the learned single Judge, Obul Reddi, J. (as he then was) in Writ Petition No. 4631 of 1972 was correct, though the reasoning which has appealed to the learned single Judge was slightly different from the reasoning which has appealed to us. However, the ultimate conclusion that we have reached is the same as the conclusion that he arrived at. We, therefore, dismiss the writ appeal with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/-.
16. Appeal dismissed.