1. The petitioner filed the writ petition for a writ of certiorari to quash the orders passed by the first respondent in his proceedings in D. Dis. No. 3424/83 dated Aug. 12, 1983. He claims that he is a holder of B. Form Licence issued in his favour of Sept. 30, 1977 and ever since, he has been exhibiting the cinematographs in Sri Lakshmi Theatre, Muthlapadu. He also applied for renewal for 1980-81, 1981-82 and 1982-83 and renewal was granted in his favour. He also applied for renewal for 1983-84 and by operation of the A.P. Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1970, for short 'the rules' R.13 (7) (b) the renewal shall be deemed to have been granted despite the transfer of the licence in the name of the third respondent. Under R.11 (d) of the Rules, a letter of consent in writing of the original licencee, whenever there is a transfer of title to the effect that he has no objection to the licence being transferred in the name of the transferee, is mandatory. Since the letter of written consent was not obtained, the transfer is illegal on this ground also.
2. In the counter-affidavit filed by the third respondent, it is stated that the initial partnership consists of five persons including the father of the third respondent, the petitioner and three others and subsequently there was an arrangement between the three other partners who have agreed to sell their share of the partnership and the third respondent has purchased the same. Thereafter, on March 13, 1981, there was a registered partnership between the petitioner, the third respondent and his father. It may be mentioned at this juncture that the petitioner is no other than the brother -in-law of the third respondent and the third respondent is the sister's son of the petitioner. The father of the third respondent is the father-in-law of the petitioner. Thereby, all the three partners are very closely inter-related. The other three partners are also inter-related to the parties. After registration of this partnership deed (dated 13-3-1981), there is also a lease deed dated April 1, 1981 which was registered on may 4, 1981 under which the third respondent was authorised to act as Managing partner and was directed to discharge the loans taken. There is also a contemporaneous letter given by the petitioner undertaking to give a letter in writing, consenting for the transfer of licence in favour of the third respondent. Pursuant to that, the third respondent took over the management of the partnership and the licence has keen transferred in the name of the third respondent. Though initially he filed an application, on account of the mutual understanding between the parties, the renewal was being obtained in the name of the petitioner from the year 1981 and for the year 1983-84, the third respondent also filed an application for renewal. But subsequently when differences arose, the third respondent filed an application for transfer of the licence in his name. The first respondent issued notice by Registered Post on Nov. 10, 1983 calling upon the petitioner to appear before the licensing authority and it was received on Nov. 15, 1983 but the petitioner did not appear before the authority. All the documents have been placed before the licensing authority and the first respondent has considered those documents and issued a fresh licence in the name of the third respondent for a period of one year from the date of issue, cancelling the B. Form licence granted earlier to the petitioner. He further contended, that in the writ petition the petitioner has stated that he did not receive any notice in the enquiry conducted by the first respondent, but in fact, he received the notice on Nov. 15, 1983 and he suppressed that fact. He further stated in the counter-affidavit that the petitioner has also suppressed the fact of subsequent registration of the partnership on Mar. 13, 1983 between the petitioner, third respondent and his father and the grant of registered lease on May 4, 1981 and also the letter undertaking to give his consent. The petitioner is guilty of suppression of these material facts. He further contends that there is a right of appeal provided under S. 7 of the Andhra Pradesh Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1955 and the alternate remedy was not availed of and therefore the writ petition is not maintainable on this ground also.
3. Sr. Rama Sarma, learned counsel for the petitioner while reiterating the stand taken in the writ petition, further states that the order amounts to transfer of licence in favour of the third respondent. He also states that in view of the fact that the third respondent himself did not mention the facts relating to the registration of the partnership and the letter of undertaking, in the suit filed by him, in O.S.310/83 on the file of the Court of the principal District Munsif, Chirala, it became not necessary to mention those details in the writ petition. Therefore the petitioner is not guilty of suppression of the material facts. He pressed the legal point for consideration that since there is no written consent and under law, the renewal was deemed to have been made, the first respondent has no power to transfer the licence in the name of the third respondent or alternatively, the grant of fresh licence in the name of the third respondent.
4. Upon the respective contentions, the question that arises for consideration is whether the order is vitiated by any error of law? Now the facts are clear that there is a registered partnership between the petitioner, third respondent and the father of the third respondent father in law of the petitioner and subsequent thereto thee is a registered lease deed wherein the petitioner had agreed that the third respondent shall be the managing partner. There is also a contemporaneous letter given by the petitioner stating that he would give a written consent for transfer of the licence in favour of the third respondent. Notice was also given to the petitioner and it was in fact served on the petitioner, which is not in dispute, on 15-4-1983. He did not choose to appear before the authority. The order expressly mentions that it is a fresh licence granted to the third respondent. The question is whether the order is in consonance with R.11 (d) of the Rules, which reads thus:
'(d) a letter of consent in writing of the original licensee, whenever there is a transfer of title, to the effect that he has no objection to the licence being transferred in the name of the transferee'.
No doubt, a reading of the rule clearly mentions that the written consent of the original holder of the licence in favour of the transferee is mandatory. But on the facts and circumstances in a given case, whether written consent can be inferred? It is not disputed that there is a registered partnership deed between the petitioner, the third respondent and the father of the third respondent and there is a clear recital agreeing that the third respondent is to be the managing partner. There is a lease by the partnership in favour of the third respondent for thirty years. There is also a contemporaneous letter agreeing to give in writing consent letter for transfer of the licence in favour of the third respondent. Though notice was given to the petitioner, he chose to remain ex parte. There can be no inference unless there are objective facts which is sought to establish. In some cases the other facts can be inferred with as much practicality as if they had been actually observed. In other cases, the inference does not go beyond reasonable probability. If there are no positive proved facts from which the inference can be made, the method of inference fails and what is left is mere conjecture or speculation. From the above undisputed facts and the conduct of the petitioner, it must positively be inferred that he had consented for transfer though there is no written consent given. The facts and circumstances thus clearly establish that there is written consent given by the petitioner for the transfer of the licence initially held by him on behalf of the original partnership firm.
5. No doubt, the licence was being renewed in the name of the petitioner from time to time from 1981, but the contention of the third respondent is that on account of the mutual agreement and cordial relationship between the petitioner and the third respondent, though the third respondent is managing the theatre, he was obtaining the renewal in the name of the petitioner and that when disputes arose between them, the third respondent filed an application for transfer of the licence in his favour. Admittedly, the petitioner purchased lands at Bellary and he was looking after them. When considered from this perspective, there is any amount of force in the contention of the learned counsel for the third respondent. Though the application for renewal was filed in the name of the petitioner, since subsequently there is a proceeding initiated for transfer of ownership of the licence in the name of the third respondent, the deeming renewal under R.13 (7) (b) does not apply to the facts in this case. Therefore that contention too is not tenable.
6. The petitioner is guilty of suppression of the material facts Suppression vari suggestio falsi. When a party suppresses material facts the Court would be loath to lend aid to such party since it amounts to putting premium on guilty and blameworthy conduct of the party. On this ground alone, I am not inclined to go into merits and the writ petition entails with dismissal. But as I heard the Counsel for the parties on merits. I am dismissing the writ petition on merits as well. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed. No costs, Advocate's fee Rs.150. Any observation made herein regarding the transactions inter se between the parties will be with reference to the facts in this case only.
7. Petition dismissed.