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Jaswant Sugar Mills Ltd. Vs. Union of India (Uoi) and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. Nos. 442-D to 455-D of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1966P& H229
ActsDefence of India Rules, 1962 - Rule 125(2); General Clauses Act, 1897 - Sections 3(41); Sugar Control Order, 1963
AppellantJaswant Sugar Mills Ltd.
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi) and anr.
Appellant Advocate A.R. Whig,; S.S. Chadha and; M.K. Chawla, Advs.
Respondent Advocate S.N. Shankar, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredRamrichpal Agarwalla v. State of West Bengal
Excerpt:
.....the central government transferred this work of distribution of sugar to licensed dealers to the delhi administration whereas according to the return filed by the centre) government as well as by the delhi administration the central government appointed the delhi administration as one of the nominees under clause 8 of the sugar control order 1963 issued on the 17th april 1963 under rule 125(2) of the defence of india rules 1962 3. the directors of food and civil supplies, delhi made a list of 54 dealers but according to the administration 64 dealers, to whom this quota was to be distributed for retail sale in the market the petitioners are not in the list of 64 dealers though they were licenced sugar dealers prior to 22nd june 1964 as the petitioners have been deprived of their right..........issuing orders or allotment of permits for import of sugar for the months of july, august 1964 to delhi sugar license holders for the delhi territory and to quash the present system of allotment of sugar introduced by respondent no. 2 and restore the system of allotment adopted by the union of india for allotment of sugar quota prior to 22nd may 1964 or to make allotment to all sugar dealers licence holders on the basis of equal distribution.2. these fourteen petitions are by some out of the sugar dealers who were holding licenses under the delhi sugar dealers licencing order 1963 the total quota for delhi territory allotted by the central government was 65,000 bags per month this quota was distributed by the directorate of sugar and vanspati ministry of food and agriculture government.....
Judgment:
ORDER

D.K. Mahajan, J.

1. This order will dispose of fourteen petitions (Civil Writ Petitions Nos. 442D/ 1964 to 455D/64), which have been filed by different petitioners but in which the allegations made are identical. In these petitions a prayer has been made for the issuance of a writ of quo warranto and mandamus restraining the respondents (Union of India and the Director of Food and Civil Supplies Delhi) from issuing orders or allotment of permits for import of sugar for the months of July, August 1964 to Delhi Sugar License holders for the Delhi territory and to quash the present system of allotment of sugar introduced by respondent No. 2 and restore the system of allotment adopted by the Union of India for allotment of sugar quota prior to 22nd May 1964 or to make allotment to all sugar dealers licence holders on the basis of equal distribution.

2. These fourteen petitions are by some out of the sugar dealers who were holding licenses under the Delhi Sugar Dealers Licencing Order 1963 The total quota for Delhi territory allotted by the Central Government was 65,000 bags per month This quota was distributed by the Directorate of Sugar and Vanspati Ministry of Food and Agriculture Government of India. After 22nd June 1964 according to the petitioner the Central Government transferred this work of distribution of sugar to licensed dealers to the Delhi Administration whereas according to the return filed by the Centre) Government as well as by the Delhi Administration The Central Government appointed the Delhi Administration as one of the nominees under clause 8 of the Sugar Control Order 1963 issued on the 17th April 1963 under Rule 125(2) of the Defence of India Rules 1962

3. The Directors of Food and Civil Supplies, Delhi made a list of 54 dealers but according to the administration 64 dealers, to whom this quota was to be distributed for retail sale in the market The petitioners are not in the list of 64 dealers though they were licenced sugar dealers prior to 22nd June 1964 as the petitioners have been deprived of their right to deal in sugar under the license held by them before 22nd June. 1904, they have moved this Court with the prayer already set out in the earlier part of this judgment.

4. In the petition the simple stand taken up by the petitioners was that the Director had been conferred with arbitrary power in the matter of allotment of the sugar quota. The reply of the Delhi Administration as well as the Central Government was that there was no question of the Director exercising arbitrary powers because the entire distribution of sugar had been made over under Clause 8 of the Sugar Control Order in the Delhi Territory to the Delhi Administration In view of this stand taken up by the respondents Mr. A. R. Whig learned counsel for the petitioner has raised a short contention namely that under Clause 8 of the Sugar Control Order the Delhi Administration cannot be constituted a nominee by the Central Government. Clause 8 of the Sugar Control order reads as follows:

'The Central Government or the Chief Director, may, from time to time by order issue directions to any producer or recognized dealers to supply sugar of such type or grade in such quantities and to such areas of markets or to such persons or organizations as may be specified in the order and at a price not exceeding the price or the maximum price fix ed under Clause 6.'

5. Under Clause 8, the Central Government has the power to issue directions to any producer or recognized dealer to supply sugar to such persons or organizations, as may be specified in the order

6. The short contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the Delhi Administration is neither a person nor an organization and, therefore, it could not be constituted a nominee tinder Clause 8 of the Sugar Control Order Therefore, no distribution of sugar could be made by the Delhi Administration. This contention appears to be sound. The word 'person' has been defined in the General Clauses Act in the following terms:

''person' shall include any company or association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not.'

'Government' is also defined in Section 3(23) of the General Clauses Act in the following terms:

''Government' or 'the Government' shall include both the Central Government and any State Government.'

It would, therefore, be obvious that 'person' would not include the Government. So far as Delhi Administration is concerned, it is a State as defined in Section 3(41) of the General Clauses Act. In this connection, reference may be made to a decision of Calcutta High Court in Ramrichpal Agarwalla v. State of West Bengal, AIR 1958 Cal 257, wherein it was held that the word 'person' would not include a 'State' or the 'Government' carrying on its ordinary governmental functions.

7. The next question that arises for determination is whether Government is included in the phrase 'organization' Every organization would imply a congregation of persons This would be so particularly in the context in which the phrase has been used and is Government is not a person, it cannot, there fore, be held to fall within the phrase 'organization'. It is, therefore, obvious from what has been stated above that the Central Government could not constitute the Delhi Administration as its nominee for the distribution of sugar under Clause 8 of the Sugar Control Order.

8. In this situation, the short question that arises for determination is what relief has to be given to the petitioners. So far as the quota with regard to the period so far run out is concerned, it cannot be directed to be handed over to the petitioners, because the quota has been distributed and consumed by the public and it is impossible to recreate the sugar which has been consumed, in case it be held by the proper authority that the petitioner is entitled to the quota. Applications were made to the proper authority, that is the Central Government by the petitioners. These applications were returned by the Central Government to the petitioners with the remark that they should approach the Delhi Administration that is the Director of Food and Civil Supplies. As already held, Director, Food and Civil Supplies has no locus standi in the matter of distribution of sugar. He could not consider the applications made to him. These applications have to be considered by the Central Government. 1, therefore, direct that the petitioner should make the applications to the Central Government for the next quota and the Central Government should consider those applications on their merits. The Central Government is prohibited from issuing the quota to the Delhi Administration. The petitions are partly allowed to the extent indicated above: but there will he no order as to costs.


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