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G. Venkata Ramaiah and anr. Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectConstitution
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. Nos. 273, 274, 486 and 500 of 1961 and W.P. No. 32 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1964AP416
ActsMadras Commercial Crops Markets Act, 1933 - Sections 2, 3, 4 and 21; Constitution of India - Articles 14, 245, 301 and 305
AppellantG. Venkata Ramaiah and anr.
RespondentState of Andhra Pradesh and ors.
Appellant AdvocateT. Lakshmaiah, ;T. Dhanurbhanudu, ;S. Venkateswara Rao and ;T.V. Narasimhamurty, Advs.
Respondent Advocate3rd Govt. Pleader
Disposition Petitions dismissed
Excerpt:
(i) constitution - constitutional validity - sections 2 (1-a), 3 and 4 of madras commercial crops markets act, 1933 and articles 226, 301 and 305 of constitution of india - writ petition before high court challenging validity of notifications issued by government in exercise of power conferred under section 2 (1-a) - section 2 originally a definition section defining 'commercial crops' - after amendments powers conferred by section 2 on government to declare any other crop not envisaged in section as 'commercial crop' and bring crops within regulatory provisions - power can be validly conferred by means of definite clause without any separate or independent clause - use of adjective 'commercial' before 'crop' in definition provides limitations and guidance to government while exercising.....orderbasi reddy, j. 1. these are petitions filed under article 226 of the constitution challenging the validity of the notifications issued by the state government under sections 2 (i-a) 3, 4 and the first proviso to section 5 of the madras commercial crops markets act, 1933 (hereinafter referred to as 'this act.') in each of writ petitions nos. 273 and 274 of 1981, there is only one petitioner; in writ petition no. 486 of 1961 there are sixty eight petitioners; in writ petition no. 500 of 1961 there are two petitioners; in writ petition no. 32 of 1962, there is only one peti-tioner. all the petitioners except the two petitioners in w. p. no. 500 of 1961 claim to he commision agents carrying on business in chillies at various places in the district of guntur and their business comprises.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Basi Reddy, J.

1. These are petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution challenging the validity of the notifications issued by the State Government under Sections 2 (i-a) 3, 4 and the first proviso to Section 5 of the Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act, 1933 (hereinafter referred to as 'this Act.') In each of Writ Petitions Nos. 273 and 274 of 1981, there is only one petitioner; in Writ Petition No. 486 of 1961 there are sixty eight petitioners; in Writ Petition No. 500 of 1961 there are two petitioners; in Writ Petition No. 32 of 1962, there is only one peti-tioner. All the petitioners except the two petitioners in W. P. No. 500 of 1961 claim to he commision agents carrying on business in chillies at various places in the district of Guntur and their business comprises in receiving chillies from agriculturists, storing them if necessary and selling them in the open market on behalf of the agriculturists to agents of buyers from outside the district and elsewhere.

They further state that after deducting the expenses and their legitimate commission, the sale amount is paid over to the agriculturists. The two petitioners in W. P. No. 500 of 1961 claim to be growers of chilli crop and their case is that they borrow moneys from commission agents for the purpose of raising chillies and when the crop is harvested, they entrust the chillies to the commission agents for being disposed of by them as and when they would fetch a good price.

2. The Government of Andhra, in exercise of the powers conferred on them by section 2 (i-a) of this Act, issued on January 12, 1955 a notification (G. O. Ms. No. 99, Revenue No. 33) declaring jute, jaggery, onions and chillies as commercial crops for the purposes of this Act. Then on August 21, 1957, the Government of Andhra Pradesh issued a notification under Section 3 of this Act declaring their intention of exercising control over the purchase and sale of turmeric ana chillies in the Guntur district and calling for objections or suggestions from the affected patties. In pursuance of this notification, the petitioners and others made their representations against the proposed action of the Government. The Government, after a careful examination of the objections, came to the conclusion that for regulating the buying and selling of chillies and turmeric, it was necessary to declare the area within the limits oE the Guntur district to be a notified area in respect of chillies and turmeric, which are grown in abundance in that district.

Accordingly, by a notification issued under section 4 of this Act on March 20, 1958, they declared the district of Guntur as a notified area under this Act in respect of turmeric and chillies. Subsequently, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, a Market Committee was constituted and markets were established at various places in the district including Guntur town and Narasaraopet. Thereafter a notification was issued under the first proviso to Section 5 of this Act on February 2, 1960 (G. O. Ms. No. 2H, Agriculture No. 36) prohibiting the grant or renewal of a licence for the purchase or sale of chillies in respect of any place situated within a radius of ten miles from the limits of the markets established by the Guntur Market Committee.: The G. O. runs thus

''Restriction of purchase, sale of groundnut and chillies to the Market Yards in Guntur District under the Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act, 1933.

G. O. Ms. No. 211, Agriculture, 2nd February 1960, No. 36.

Under the first proviso to Section 5 (1) of the Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act (Madras Act 20 of 1933), the Governor of Andhra Pradesh hereby directs that with effect from the date of this order no licence for the purchase or sale of chillies shall he granted or renewed in respect of any place situated within a radius of ten miles from the limits of the markets at (1) Mangalagiri, (2) Krosur, (3) Phirangi-puratn, (4) Siripuram, (5) Macherla, (8) Dachepalle, (7) Vinukonda. (8) Santamaguluru, (9) Martur, (10) Addanki, (11) Uppugundur, (12) Manthenavaripalem, (13) Inkollu, (14) Ravinuthala, (15) Kunhanapudi, (16) Guntur, (17) Satlenapalli. (18) PiduRuralfa, (19) Narasaraopet, (20) Chilakaluripet, (21)Ongole, (22) Amaravathi and (23) Rentachintala established under the said Act by the Guntur Market Committee... ...

(Sd.) V. Adiseshayya,

Deputy Secretary to Government.'

3. More than a year later, the first two of these Writ Petitions viz., W. P. Nos. 273 and 274 of 1981 were filed in this Court on March 13, 1981. These two writ petitions were admitted by this Court on 14-3 1961, and on 22-3.1961 orders of injunction were passed restraining the respondents viz., the State of Andhra Pradesh and the District Collector in his capacity as the ex-officio Chairman of the Guntur Market Committee, from giving effect to G. O. Ms. No. 211 Agriculture, dated February 2, 1960. On 24-4-1961 two other Writ Petitions viz., W. P. Nos. 488 and 500 of 1961 were filed and they were also admitted the next day by this Court and injunction was ordered Writ Petition No. 32 of 1962 was filed on 4-1-1962 and it was admitted on 8-1-1962. The application for injunction was however dismissed and the Writ Petition was directed to be posted in the first week of March. 1982. The orders of injunction obtained by the petitioners in W. P. Nos. 273, 274. 488 and 500 of 1961 have continued up to this day, that is to say, for over two years.

4. Although the main prayer in all these Writ Petitions is for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the State of Andhra Pradesh and the District Collector. Guntur, to forbear from giving effect to G. O. Ms. No. 211, the principal target of attack before me was section 2 (i-a) of this Act, obviously because the notifications under sections 3, 4 and 5 are consequential upon the notification under section 2 (i-a).

(I should, however, like to point out here that in the affidavits filed in support of W. P. Nos. 273 and 274, which were the first to be admitted by this Court It was alleged that no notification at all had been issued under Section 2 (i-a) by the State Government declaring chillies as a commercial crop. That was obviously a deliberately false or a grossly reckless statement of fact made on oath. Therefore, I seriously considered whether the persons who had sworn to those two affidavits should not be prosecuted for perjury, but at the time of the arguments before me, the stand taken in those affidavits was wisely given up. In view of that, as also the time-lag, I have refrained from taking further action in the matter. However, I wish to point out that I have come across several instances of false or dubious affidavits sworn to in support of writ petitions filed in this Court. I would therefore like to emphasize that a special responsibility rests on the members of the Bar to see to it that parties do not mislead the Court by false or reckless statements on material matters. It should never be forgotten that an Advocate is not just the servant of the client that engages him, but the true position is that he is the servant of justice itself he is thus, in a sense, a member of the body-judicial and hence it follows that he can commit no graver betrayal of his function than to deceive the Court by means direct or indirect.)

5. In an exhaustive and painstaking argument marred somewhat by a pronounced tendency towardprolixity, Mr. Lakshmaiah on behalf of the petitioners in four of these Writ Petitions (W. P. Nos. 273, 274, 486 and 500 of 1981), advanced the following four contentions:

(1) Sub-section (i-a) of Section 2, as it stood when this Act was passed, defined commercial crop to mean only any of three crops viz., cotton, groundnut, or tobacco, but by an amendment of the section made . by Madras Act II of 1949, it was enlarged to include any other crop or product which could be notified as a commercial crop by the Provincial (now State) Government. It was under this amended provision that chillies were notified as a commercial crop on January 12, 1955. The contention was that Section 2 is a definition Section and it is not the office of a definition clause to confer power upon the Government to notify any crop or product as a commercial crop for the purposes of this Act. The statutorily defined crops are only three viz., cotton, groundnut and tobacco. An addition to this list by the State Government, acting under the latter part of Section 2 (i-a), is had, because a definition clause is not an enacting provision and cannot confer power. Besides, it is opposed to legislative practice.

(2) Even if the Government have such power, the power conferred on the Government under Section 2 (i-a) to declare any crop it chooses to, as a commercial crop, amounts to an unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive. In any event, it is an excessive delegation of legislative power in that it is unguided and uncontrolled. For that very reason, it is violative of the equal protection clause enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution.

(3) The notifications under Sections 2 (i-a), 3 and4 issued subsequent to the coming into force of the Constitution, are repugnant to Article 301 and are not saved by Article 305 of the Constitution.

(4) The notification under Section 4 is bad and does not satisfy the requirements of that Section inasmuch as the objections and suggestions made by the petitioners were not duly considered by the Government before issuing that notification.

(The learned Advocate for the petitioner in W. P. No. 32 of 1962 did not address me separately but merely adopted the arguments of Mr. Lakshmaiah).

(6) Before dealing with these contentions, it is necessary to mention that the constitutional validity of this Act was first challenged in the Madras High 'Court in the year 1953 before a Division Bench consisting of Hajamannar C. J. and Venkatarama Ayyar J., in a batch of petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution, and later before the Supreme Court in Aruhachala Nadar v. State of Madras, : AIR1959SC300 . The Supreme Court, agreeing with the Madras High Court on the main issue, held this Act to be a valid piece of marketing legislation and ruled that it did not impose unreason, able restrictions on the citizens' fundamental right to carry on trade or business. Venkalarama Ayyar J. who delivered the judgment in the Madras High Court Kutti Keya v. State of Madras, : AIR1954Mad621 and Subba Rao.J., who spoke for the Court in the Supreme Court's decision, traced the historical background of marketing legislation in our country and elsewhere and explained the scheme and object of this Act. It is unnecessary to reproduce copious excerpts from those judgments suffice it for the present purpose to quote just two passages from the judgment of Subba Rao. J. as to the policy and purpose underlying this Act. This is what the learned Judge said at page 300 of the report (S C J): (at p. 304 of AIR).

'With a view to provide satisfactory conditions for the growers of commercial crops to sell their produce on equal terms and at reasonable prices, the Act was passed on July 25, 1933. The preamble introduces the Act with the recital that it is expepedient to provide for the better regulation of the buying and selling of commercial crops in the Presidency of Madras and for that purpose to establish markets and make rules for their proper administration. The Act, therefore, was the result of a long: exploratory investigation by experts in the field,, conceived and enacted to regulate the buying and selling of commercial crops by providing suitable and regulated markets by eliminating middlemen and bringing face to face the producer and the buyer so that they may meet on equal terms, thereby eradicating or at any rate reducing the scope for exploitation in dealings.'

Again at page 302 (of S C J) : (at p, 305 of AIR), the learned Judge observed :

'Shortly stated, the Act, Rules and the Bye-laws framed thereunder have a long-term target of providing a network of markets wherein facilities for correct weighment are ensured storage accommodation is provided, and equal powers of bargaining, ensured, so that the growers may bring their commercial crops to the market and sell them at reasonable prices. Till such markets are established, the said provisions, by imposing licensing restrictions enable the buyers and sellers to meet in licensed premises, ensure correct weighraent, make available to them reliable market information and provide for them a simple machinery for settlement of disputes. After the markets are built or opened by the marketing committees, within a reasonable radius from the market, as prescribed by the Rules, no licence is issued; thereafter all growers will have to resort to-the market for vending their goods. The result of the implementation of the Act would be to eliminate, as far as possible, the middlemen and to give reasonable facilities for the growers of commercial crops to secure best prices for their commodities.'

7. Such is the scheme and such is the object sought to be achieved by this beneficent piece of legislation.

8. It may not be out of place here to point out that in one of the petitions filed before the Madras:High Court (C. M. P. No. 13169 of 1950), a contention had been raised that the power conerred on the Government under S. 2 (i-a) to declare particular commodities as commercial crops amounted to unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive. But in view of the decision of the Supreme Court in In re Article 143, Constitution of India ana Delhi Laws-Act (1912), etc., 1951 S C J 527 i (AIR 1951 S C 332) no argument was addressed in support of it (See page 123 of the repoit in : AIR1954Mad621 ). This is not to say that there should be a ceiling on, legal ingenuity or forensic subtlety.

9. Now at this stage, it would be convenient to lead Section 2 (I-a) as it stood before the 1949 amendment and as it stands now. Before the amendment the section ran thus:

'Definitions:

2. In this Act unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

(i)............................. '

(i-a) 'commercial crop' means cotton, ground-nut or tobacco'.

After the amendment, it reads thus:

'(i-a) 'commercial crop' means cotton, groundnut or tobacco and includes any other crop or product, notified by the Provincial (now State) Government in the Fort St. George Gazette as a commercial crop for the purposes of this Act.'

10. I now proceed to consider seriatim the points made by the learned Advocate for the petitioners.

11. Point No. 1:-- The point sought to he made was that it is not the province of a definition clause to confer power; therefore Section 2 (i-a) should be confined to, what the learned Advocate described as, the three statutorily defined commodities viz., cotton, groundnut and tobacco. I found it difficult to follow this argument and I see no substance to it. It was not suggested that the Legislature which pissed the amending Act II of 1949, was not competent to enact it. If there was legislative competence, it was for the Legislature to decide what it should include in a definition section. As Sir Frederick Pollock has said, ''A definition, strictly speaking, is nothing but an abbreviation, in which the user of the term defined may please himself.' 47 L Q R (1931) 588. In Craies on Statute Law (5th edition) at page 152, the following passage occurs;

'The more modern statute contains, in the form of an interpretation clause, a little dictionary of its own in which it endeavours to define, often arbitrarily, the chief terms used.

I have been shown no authority for the proposition that power cannot be conferred by means of a definition clause and that it can be done only by a separate, and independent clause. On the contrary, the statute-book furnishes several instances of a definition clause similar to Section 2 (i.a) of this Act; see for example, Section 2(i) ot the Employees' Provident Fund Act (XIX of 1952), and Section 2(xi) of the Essential Commodities Act (X of 1955).

12. Point No. 2.--The contention was that by empowering the State Government to add to the list of commercial cropst the Legislature has over-stepped the bounds of permissible delegation of legislative power to the executive inasmuch as Section 2 (i.a) confers uncanalized and uncontrolled power upon the State Government. In dealing with this question, it would be supererogatory, if not pedantic, to go through the whole gamut of Indian and foreign authorities on the subject of delegated legislation because the point raised here, is directly covered by the binding authority of a decision of the Supreme Court in Mohamrnad Hussain v. State of Bombay, : [1962]2SCR659 .

13. However, before adverting to that decision, the following passage occurring in the judgment of Gajendragadkar, J., who delivered the majority judgment in the Supreme Court's ruling in Vasanlal Maganbhai Sanjanwala v. State of Bombay, 1961-1 S C J 394 at p. 390 : (AIR 1981 S C 4 at p. 7), may be usefully extracted.

'It is now well established by the decisions of this Court that the power of delegation is a constituent element of the legislative power as a whole, and that in modern times when the Legislatures enact laws to meet the challenge of the complex socio-economic problems, they often find it convenient and necessary to delegate subsidiary or ancilliary powers to delegates of their choice for carrying out the policy laid down by their Acts. The extent to which such delegation is permissible is also now well settled. The Legislature cannot delegate its essential legislative function in any case. It must lay down the legislative policy and principle, and must afford guidance for carrying out the said policy before it delegates its subsidiary powers in that behalf. As has been observed by Mahajan, C. J., in Harishankar Bagla v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1954 S C J 637 : (AIR 1954 S C 405).

'The Legislature cannot delegate its function of laying down legislative policy in respect of a measure and its formulation as a rule of conduct. The Legislature must declare the policy of the law and (he legal principles which are to control any given cases, and must provide a standard to guide the officials or the body in power to execute the law.'

[n dealing with the challenge to the vires of any statute on the ground of excessive delegation it is, therefore, necessary to enquire whether the impugned delegation involves the delegation of an essential legislative function or power and whether the Legislature has enunciated its policy and principle and given guidance to the delegate or not. As the decision in Ragla's case shows, in applying this test this Court has taken into account the statement in the preamble to the Act, and if the said statements afford a satisfactory basis for holding that the legislative policy and principle has been enunciated with sufficient accuracy and clarity the preamble itself has been held to satisfy the requirements of the relevant tests. In every case it would be necessary to consider the relevant provisions of the Act in relation to the delagation made and the question as to whether the delegation is intra vires or not will have to be decided by the application of the relevant tests.'

14. Now, coming to the case of AIR 1982 S C 97, referred to supra, their Lordships were there dealing with the question as to the constitutionality of the Bombay Agricultural Produce Markets Act (No. XXII of 1939) and in doing so they had also to consider the validity of Section 29 of that Act. As pointed out by their Lordships, the provisions of the Bombay Act are closely similar to the provisions of this Act and in particular Section 29 of that Act is in pari materia with Section 2 (i-a) of this Act. The Bombay Act in general was challenged on the ground that its regulatory provisions imposed an unreasonable restriction on the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. Section 29 of that Act which provides that the Stale Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, add to, amend or cancel any of the items of agricultural produce specified in the Schedule to the Act, was assailed on the ground that it gives unregulated power to the State Government to include any crop within the Schedule without any guidance or control whatsoever.

15. Wanchoo, J., speaking for the Court, overruled the contention based on Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution in the following manner :

'These are the main provisions of the Act and the scheme which results in the declaration of a market area and the establishment of a market therein. The first contention on behalf of the petitioners is that Sections. 4, 4A, 5, 5A and 5AA which provide for the declaration of a market area and the establishment of a market are unconstitutional as they are unreasonable restrictions on the right to carry on trade in agricultural produce. We are of opinion that there is no force in this contention. This Court had occasion to consider a similar Act, namely, the Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act, No, 20 of 1933, in : AIR1959SC300 and the regulation with respect to marketing of commercial crops provided in that Act was upheld. The main provisions of the Madras Act with respect to the declaration of a market area (called notified area in that Act) and the establishment of markets are practically the same as under the Act. It is therefore idle for the petitioners of contend that the main provisions contained in Sections. 4, 4A, 5, 5A and 5AA of the Act are unconstitutional. Learned counsel for the petitioners, however, urges that there is a difference between the Madras Act and the Act inasmuch as the Madras Act dealt with commercial crops whereas the Act makes it possible to bring every crop under its sweep. It is contended that though it may be constitutional to regulate the sale and purchase of commercial crops, regulation of all crops made possible under the Act would mean an unreasonable restriction on the fundamental right enshrined in Article 19(1)(g). We are of opinion that there is no force in this contention.

Madras Act which dealt with commercial crops specified certain crops as commercial crops in the definition Section and added that the words ''commercial crop' used in that Act would include any other crop or product notified by the State Government in the Fort St. George Gazette as a commercial crop for the purposes of that Act. In view of this inclusive definition of 'commercial crop' in the Madras Act, it was open to the State Government under that Act to include any crop within the meaning of the words 'commercial crop' which was regulated by that Act. The Act had a Schedule when it was originally passed in which certain crops were included. The State Government was however given 'the power to add to or amend or cancel any of the items mentioned in the Schedule by Section 29. It is true therefore that under the Act it is open to the State Government to bring any crop other than those specified originally in the Schedule within its regulatory provisions; but the fact that it is possible to bring any crop within the regulatory provisions of the Act by amendment of the Schedule would not necessarily make the Act an unreasonable restriction on the exercise of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g). As we have already pointed out, the definition of the words 'commercial crop' in the Madras Act was also wide enough to bring any crop which the State Government considered fit to be included as a commercial crop for the purposes of that Act. There is thus in our opinion no difference in the ambit of the Madras Act and of the Act. Besides we see no reason why a crop which can he dealt with on a commercial scale should not be brought under the regulatory provisions of the Act. Section 4 (2-A) makes it clear that the Act does not apply to the purchase or sale of specified agricultural produce, if the producer of such produce is himself its seller and the purchaser is a person who purchases such produce for his own private use or if such agricultural produce is sold to such person by way of a retail sale. Thus it is clear from this exception that the provisions of the Act do not apply to retail sale and are confined to what may be called wholesale trade in the crops regulated thereunder. This would suggest that the Act also deals with commercial crops in the same way aa the Madras Act for the notion of wholesale trade implies that the crop dealt with therein is a commercial crop. There is thus no distinction so far as the main provisions are concerned between the Act and the Madras Act, and for the reasons that have been elaborately considered in Arunachala Nadar's case, : AIR1959SC300 we are of the opinion that Sections. 4, 4A, 5, 5A and 5AA of the Act are constitutional and intra vires and do not impose un-leasonable restrictions on the right to carry on trade in the agricultural produce regulated under the Act.' Then the learned Judge turned to the attack on Section 29 of that Act which, as already noticed, is couched in the same language as Section 2 (i-a) of this Act. This is how (he learned Judge dealt with the problem:

'The next attack is on Section 29 of the Act, which provides that the State Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, add to, amend or cancel any ot the items of agricultural produce specified in the Schedule. It is submitted that this gives a completely unregulated power to the State Government to include any crop within the Schedule without any guidance or control whatsoever. We are of opinion that this contention must also fail. It is true that Section 29 itself does not provide for any criterion for determining which crop shall be pot into the Schedule or which shall be taken out therefrom but the guidance is in our opinion writ large in the various provisions of this Act itself. As we have already pointed out, the scheme of the Act is to leave out of account retail sale altogether; it deals with what may be called wholesale trade and this in out opi- nion provides ample guidance to the State Govern-ment, when it comes to decide whether a particular agricultural produce 'should' be added to, or taken out of, the Schedule. The State Government will have to consider in each case whether the volume of trade in the produce is of such a nature as to give rise to wholesale trade. If it comes to this conclusion it may add that produce to the Schedule. On the other hand if it conies to the conclusion that the production of a particular produce included in the Schedule has fallen and can be no longer a subject-matter of wholesale trade, it may take out that produce from the Schedule. We may in this connection refer to Edward Mills Co, Ltd. Beawar v. State of Ajmer, : (1954)IILLJ686SC . In that case Section 27 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, which gave power to the appropriate Government to ada to either part of the Schedule any employment in respect of which it is of opinion that minimum wages shall be fixed by giving notification in particular manner, was held to be constitutional. It was observed in that case that the legislative policy was apparent on the face of the enactment (impugned there); it was to carry out effectively the purposes of the enactment that power had been given to the appropriate Government to decide with reference to local conditions whether it was desirable that minimum wages should be fixed in regard to a particular trade or industry which was not included in the list. The same considerations in our opinion apply to Section 29 of the Act and the power is given to the State Government to add to, or amend, or cancel any of the items of the agricultural produce specified in the Schedule in accordance with the local conditions prevailing in different parts of the State in pursuance of the legislative policy which is apparent on the face of the Act. Therefore, in enacting Section 29, the Legislature had not stripped itself of its essential powers or assigned to the administrative authority anything but an accessory or subordinate power which was deemed necessary to carry out the purpose and policy of the Act. We therefore refect the contention that Section 29 of the Act gives uncontrolled power to the State Government and is therefore unconstitutional.'

On the authority of this decision of the Supreme Court, the contention advanced by the petitioners herein that Section 2 (i-a) of this Act is unconstitutional on the ground of excessive delegation of legislative power to the executive, must be repelled. Although the latter part of Section 2 (i-a) enables the State Government to notify any crop or product as a commercial crop for the purposes of this Act, there is sufficient guidance in the preamble and in the body of the Act to canalize the power of the Government so as to ensure that only such crops are notified as lequire control and regulation to achieve the policy and purpose of this Act viz, to regulate the buying and selling of Commercial crops and for that purpose to establish markets with a view to prevent the exploitation of the growers of commercial crops by middlemen and to enable the growers to secure a fair price for their produce. It is not any and every crop that may be notified by the State Government under Section 2 (i-a) but only crops which have a commercial value, that is to say, crops which have a wide market, internal or external or both; in other words, they would be crops which are traded in on a large scale. In respect ot such crops there would naturally be great scope for unjust enrichment by profiteers at the expense of the agriculturists. Thus the adjective commercial' which governs the word 'crop1, furnishes the key and affords the necessary guidance to the State, Government in exercising their power of notification: uader Section 2 (i-a). Furthermore the categories of Commercial crops do not remain fixed and immutable. Their number may increase with time and circum- tance depending upon the exigencies of the market. They may also vary from place to place. In 1933 when this Act was passed, it would appear that the only products which had an international market were cotton, groundnut and tobacco; and so the definition of commercial crops, as enacted originally, comprised only those three crops. But subsequently it was found that other products were acquiring a commercial value because of the volume of trade in them and it was apparently ior that reason that Act II of 1949 was passed which enlarged the scope of Section 2 (i-a) by enabling the State Government to notify other crops or products as commercial crops. In exercise of that power, a number of other commodities have been notified by the Madras Government as well as by the Government of this State from time to time on their being satisfied that such commercial crops require to he brought within the ambit of this Act. For the above reasons, the contention that Section 2 (i-a) suffers from the vice of excessive delegation, must be negatived.

16. Equally untenable is the submission founded on Article 14 of the Constitution. In extending the provisions of this Act to the Guntur district, which is a major chilli-growing area in this State, it cannot possibly be said that the traders and growers in that district have been singled out tor hostile discrimina-tory treatment. It may be mentioned that the other district in which chillies are grown extensively is Krishna and the provisions of this Act have been extended to that district as well.

17. Point No. 3 : The argument on this point proceeded on the following lines: This Act was passed in the year 1933 and Section 2 (i-a) was amended in 1949 and given its present form. The Constitution of India (except for a few provisions) came into force on January 28, 1950. Although this Act was -passed even before the commencement of the Constitution and was therefore an 'existing law' as defined by Clause (10) of Article 360 of the Constitution, it had only a potential existence in the sense that the machinery of the Act could be brought into operation only upon the issuance by the State Government of notifications under Sections 2 (i-a), 3 and 4 of this Act. Jn the present cases, such notifications were issued after the Constitution came into force; in other words, these notifications constitute the law under which the provisions of this Act were applied to the district of Guntur in respect of chillies. These notifications impose restrictions on the freedom of trade. Article 301 lays down that subject to the other provisions of Part XIII of the Constitution, trade, commerce and intercourse throughout the territory of India shall be free. Articles 304 and 305 enact some of the exceptions to this rule. Article 304 provides inter alia that notwithstanding anything contained in Article 301, the Legislature of a State may by law impose such reasonable restrictions on the freedom of trade, commerce or intercourse with or within that State as may be required in the public interest, provided that no Bill or amendment imposing such restrictions shall be introduced or moved in the Legislature of a State without the previous sanction of the President. Article 305 saves existing laws and takes them outside the ambit of Article 301 by prescribing inter alia that nothing in Article 301 shall affect the provisions of any existing law except in so far as the President may by order otherwise direct. The argument of the learned Advocate for the petitioners was that the notifications issued by the State Government in these cases, which should be regarded as the law whereby the operation of this Act was extended to Guntur in respect of chillies, contravene the provisions of Article 301 of the Constitution inasmuch as they impose curbs and shackles on freedom of trade, and these notifications are not an existing law coming within the saving clause of Article 305, and admittedly they were not enacted by the State Legislature to come within the scope of Article 304.

18. In my opinion, the entire argument is fallacious because it proceeded on the assumption that the notifications constituted a fresh law and it was that law which had brought into operation the provisions of this Act. The notifications were issued by the State Government under the powers conferred upon them by Sections 2 (i a), 3 and 4 of this Act. The notifications stemmed from those powers and the source of those powers was the main Act itself. The notifications had no existence apart from and independently of the main Act. The latter was the, tree and the former were the fruit. This Act is unquestionably an existing law and the notifications were issued under an existing law. Consequently they are saved by Article 305 of the Constitution and are not open to challenge as contravening the provisions of Article 301 of the Constitution.

19.Point No. 4 :--The complaint made by the petitioners that the representations which they had made, had not been duly considered by the State Government before the latter issued the notification under Section 4 of this Act, is devoid of force ior the simple reason that the allegation is not factually correct. On a perusal of the relevant records, I am satisfied that the objections and suggestions made by the petitioners and others were fully and objectively considered by the Government and they had issued the notification under Section 4 declaring the area within the limits of the Guntur district to be a notified area for the purposes of this Act in respect of chillies, only after they were satisfied that chillies were a commercial crop and the trade in it required to be controlled and regulated.

20. Thus there are no merits in any of the contentions advanced by the learned Advocate for the petitioners. Hence all these Writ Petitions fail and are dismissed with costs.


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