R.N. Misra, J.
1. This revision application is directed against the confirming appellate order of learned Sessions Judge of Cuttack upholding confiscation directed by the Collector and District Magistrate of Cuttack in exercise of powers vested in him under Section 6A of the Essential Commodities Act of 1955.
2. Petitioner carries on business in oil seeds on wholesale basis in Malgodown area of Cuttack. On the allegation that there had been contravention of Clause 3 of the Orissa Essential Food Stuffs (Prevention of Hoarding and Requisitioning of Stocks) Order, 1974, as also Clause 3 of the Orissa Declaration of Stocks and Prices of Essential Commodities Order, 1973, certain quantities of ground- put seed and ground-nut oil had been seized from the petitioner's premises. A notice was issued to the petitioner to show cause as to why an order of confiscation may not be made. In the notice in Miscellaneous Case No. 16 of 1975, particulars were not provided except that in the schedule, the two items proposed to be confiscated had been specified. Cause was shown on 2-8-1975. On 8-8-1975, petitioner's advocate was heard and after four adjournments, on 22-9-1975, the order of confiscation followed. An appeal had been carried, where no interference was caused. In these circumstances, confiscation is assailed in this revision.
3. A preliminary point had been raised by learned Additional Government Advocate when this revision was called for hearing, namely, the order of confiscation by the prescribed authority was administrative in character and merely because an appeal had been provided to a nominated judicial authority, there was no warrant for the position that the judicial authority was a court subordinate to this Court and, therefore this Court would have no revisional jurisdiction to exercise against the appellate Order. Lot of arguments had been advanced, but as I find the question has now been finally settled in a recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Thakur Dass v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (Criminal Appeal No. 109 of 1974 disposed of on 14-10-11977) : reported in 1978 Cri LJ 1. The preliminary point now raised was directly in issue and the Court came to hold (at p. 6):
Since under the Constitution the Courts being repository of the judicial power and the officer presiding over the court derives his designation from the nomenclature of the Court even if the appointment is made by the designation of the Judicial Officer the appellate authority indicated is the Court over which he presides discharging function under the relevant Code and place in hierarchy of Courts for the purposes of appeal and revision. Viewed from this angle, the Sessions Judge, though appointed an appellate authority by notification, what the State Government did was to constitute an appellate authority in the Sessions Court over which the Sessions Judge presides.
Once the appeal is said to have gone to the Sessions Court, there is no further doubt that a revision would lie to this Court. The preliminary point is, therefore, devoid of any merit and is rejected.
4. Coming to the merit of the matter, as X have already indicated in a recent decision in the case of M/s. Geneswar Sahu and Brother v. State of Orissa (1977) 43 Cut LT 88, an appropriate opportunity has to be given to the person affected and that opportunity would not be issuing a notice in a bald form as in this case. All details should be provided, the circumstances of seizure should be indicated and the petitioner should be given an opportunity of really giving an appropriate explanation against the proposed action. The scheme of the statute is such that even if evidence is offered, it has to be taken. In the present case, nothing of that type seems to have been done. It is true, as pointed out by learned Additional Government Advocate that the petitioner had the opportunity of an appeal, but as I find, these aspects have not been taken into account. I am inclined to agree with Mr. Mohanty for the petitioner that for the infirmities referred to above, the order of confiscation should not be sustained. I would accordingly quash it. It would still be open to the prescribed authority under Section 6A of the Essential Commodities Act to exercise his jurisdiction by complying with the requirements of the law.
The revision application in the circumstances is allowed.