M.N. Chandurkar, C.J.
1. The appeal is admitted and the Government Pleader takes notice for the respondents.
2. There are two contentions raised in this appeal. The first contention is that the order of suspension of the licence to carry on retail business in rice and paddy has expired on 7th July, 1984, as the order had been made on 7th April, 1984; because under Clause 18 of the Tamil Nadu Paddy and Rice (Regulation of Trade) Order, 1974, the only jurisdiction of the licensing authority, appellate authority, Collector or Commissioner is to suspend the licence 'for a period not exceeding ninety days pending enquiry'. It is true that the appellant has not specifically averred that any particular officer of the Government has prevented him from carrying on the business, and nobody on the part of the Government has urged that the licence continued to be suspended beyond the period of ninety days as contended by the learned Government Pleader but that would be too technical a view of the matter. The appellant clearly would have an apprehension, that, if he carries on busienss on the assumption that the suspension has expired, he might face the possibility of action under the 1974 Order. When notice was issued to the State Government the learned Government Pleader has clearly stated before us that in view of the clear wording of Clause 18, there is nothing in the way of the appellant from carrying on the business as before on the expiry of ninety days from the date on which the licence was suspended, because according to the learned Government Pleader, the words in Clause 18 are very clear and the power to suspend the licence cannot be exercised beyond the period of niney days. In view of this statement, it is clear that the appellant will be entitled to a direction that he can carry on the business without any let or hindrance under the same old licence.
3. The second contention raised was that the 1974 Order has now been replaced by a new Order called the Tamil Nadu Essential Trade Articles (Regulation of Trade) Order 1984 with effect from 1st April, 1984 and therefore an order of suspension made under the 1974 Order on the 7th April, 1984 would be wholly illegal. There is much substance in this contention. Rut it is not necessary for us to decide this contention on its merits, since we have accepted the first argument advanced on behalf of the appellant. The writ appeal is therefore allowed, the order of the learned single Judge dismissing the writ petition is set aside and the appellant will 'be entitled to an order that the suspension of the licence dated 7th April, 1984 must be treated as having lapsed from 7th July, 1984. This order does not prevent the enquiry into the charges framed against the appellant herein on merits. It is advisable that the enquiry is completed expeditiously. The appellant is entitled to his costs in this appeal. Counsel's fee Ps.250/-.