1. The impugned order was passed by the Appellate Collector of Customs on 7th Sept., 1982. The appellant was originally a licensed Gold Dealer and was issued a licence for the said purpose. However, in 1983 the said licence was not renewed and the appeal against that non-renewal was subsequently rejected by the Appellate Collector. The appellant renewed his request for grant of a fresh licence in 1978.
2. The learned Counsel for the appellant stated that during the intervening period of a decade, the town of Kanauj has grown up considerably in population, industry, growth of education and other institutions. In particular, he pointed out that in the census of 1971 the population of the town was 28,176 whereas it had increased to 41,003 in the census of 1981. It was further emphasised that the town is a prosperous one and there is an increasing demand for gold jewellery. To show the growth of the town, it is stated that instead of one cinema now there are three cinema "houses., and there is also a degree college and a substantial increase in the number of telephone subscribers. Apart from this some. branches of various Banks have been opened there. It could, in other words, be said to be a throbbing town.
The Asstt. Collector rejected the application for renewal on the ground that there was no need for an extra gold dealer in the town. The Appellate Collector upheld the order of the Asstt. Collector and also observed that there was a declining trend in the quantum of gold jewellery in the preceding three years from the date of the application. The contention of the appellant is not denied that there is only one dealer in the town who has been given licence. The short point for our consideration is whether having regard to the grounds urged by the learned Counsel for the appellant and the changed circumstances which have been set out in the affidavit filed by the appellant, there would be justification in denying to the appellant the right of his gold dealer's licence? We have considered the grounds urged before us and the various circumstances. Apart from the fact that the town has grown in numbers, industrial activities and business have also shown an upward turn. It has also to be noted that the appellant has been in this line for quite a long period and that he is definitely interested in the pursuit of his ancestral vocation. It has also been submitted that the appellant has never infringed any provisions of the law of the Customs and Gold Control. Having regard to all these facts, we do not think that the authorities below were justified in declining the grant of licence.
3. In the result we allow this appeal, set aside the order of the Appellate Collector and direct that a Gold Dealer's licence be granted to the appellant subject to compliance with the necessary legal formalities.