G.K. Misra, C.J.
1. The petitioner's case is that he purchased a rice huller on 30th of May, 1957, and the same stopped functioning, due to mechanical troubles, in August 1958. On 22nd April, 1959, the Rice-Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1958 (21 of 1958), (hereinafter to be referred to as 'the Act') came into force. On 1st September, 1960, the licence in favour of the petitioner was renewed. On 23rd of January, 1970, renewal was granted for the year 1970. There wassome complaint made by opposite party No. 3 before the S. D. O. Cuttack. that the petitioner had got the licence on certain false averments and his also was not a defunct rice mill. Against the order dated 23-1-1970 renewing the licence of the petitioner, opposite party No. 3 filed an appeal before the Secretary to the Government. Supply Department, (O. P. No. 2), and in the appellate order the Secretary gave a direction that the licence issued by the Collector should be revoked. In accordance with that direction, the Collector issued a notice (Annexure 7) on 7-10-1970, calling upon the petitioner to surrender the licence and to pay the fine as imposed by the appellate authority.
It is against this order the present application has been filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution.
2. Mr. Mohanty, for the petitioner, contended that against the order granting licence no appeal lay to the Secretary (O. P. No. 2), and as such the direction given by the appellate authority for cancelling the licence, and the imposition of fine made by him are without jurisdiction.
3. To appreciate the aforesaid contention a reference may be made to Sections 6, 7 and 12 of the Act.
Under Section 6 licences are granted. Under Sub-section (2) every application under Sub-section (1) shall be made in the prescribed form (form No. 3 under Rule 4 (2)) and shall contain the particulars as prescribed therein. There is no provision in Section 6 as to an inquiry and inviting objections from rival claimants or any outsider before granting the licence.
Section 7 deals with conditions for revocation, suspension and amendment of licences, and says that if the licensing officer is satisfied, either on a reference made to him in this behalf or otherwise that a licence granted under Section 6 has been obtained by misrepresentation as to an essential fact then, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the holder of the licence may be liable under the Act the licensing officer may, after giving the holder of the licence an opportunity of showing cause, revoke or suspend the licence.
4. It would appear from the aforesaid provision that the licensing officer can be moved by outsiders for cancellation of a licence. The word 'otherwise' would cover a case of reference made by rival claimants.
Once a rival claimant is recognised within the ambit of Section 7 to bring to the notice of the licensing officer that the licence should be revoked, necessarily he should be treated as a 'person aggrievedby a decision of a licensing officer' to file an appeal under Section 12 of the Act.
5. The question for consideration, however, is whether the appellate authority has got original jurisdiction to exercise the powers under Section 7. In this case, admittedly, there was no proceeding for revocation, suspension or amendment of the licence. The licensing officer is the Collector, There , being no proceeding before the Collector for revocation, suspension or amendment, there could be no appeal to opposite party No. 2, under Section 12. There is also no provision that in an appeal, the appellate authority could start a suo motu proceeding for cancellation or revocation] of the licence.
6. On the admitted position that a licence was granted to the petitioner, and the licensing officer not having passed an order for revocation or suspension of the licence, the order of the appellate authority giving direction for cancellation of the licence, and imposing a fine is contrary to law and is without jurisdiction.
We would, accordingly, quash the letter of the Collector (Annexure 7), dated 7th October, 1970.
We need hardly mention that it is open to the licensing officer to start suo motu proceeding, if he deems necessary, on receipt of complaint, for revocation, or suspension of the licence. In case such a proceeding is started, the petitioner shall be entitled to an opportunity for showing cause against the proposed revocation, suspension or amendment of the licence.
In the result, the writ application is allowed- The directions contained in Annexure 7, the letter of the Collector, Cuttack, dated 7-10-1970, are quashed by issue of a writ of certiorari. There would be no order as to costs.
7. I agree.