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K.M. Lakshmanan Vs. the State of Madras, Represented by the Collector of North Arcot District (The District Revenue Officer) and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1968)2MLJ208
AppellantK.M. Lakshmanan
RespondentThe State of Madras, Represented by the Collector of North Arcot District (The District Revenue Offi
Excerpt:
- .....of the and respondent. consequent upon this lease the petitioner obtained a licence under the rice milling industry (regulation) act, . 1958 for running the rice mill from 17th july, 1962. the petitioner however continued to have the licence for a period ending 31st march 1965, after renewal. in the meantime consequent on the fact that the lease in favour of the petitioner from the brother of the 2nd respondent had expired on nth october, 1964 disputes arose between the and respondent and the petitioner about the recovery of possession of the rice mill. according to the 2nd respondent, the petitioner filed a suit for injunction and the suit was dismissed on 31st august, 1965 for default. in the mean time accepting the representation of the and respondent that the petitioner was not.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P. Ramakrishnan, J.

1. The petitioner, K.M. Lakshmanan, obtained a lease for a period of four years from 12th October, 1960 of a rice mill belonging to the predecessor-in-title of the 2nd respondent Sanjeevi Mudaliar. Previously there was a licence to run that rice mill in the name of the predecessor of the and respondent. Consequent upon this lease the petitioner obtained a licence under the Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, . 1958 for running the rice mill from 17th July, 1962. The petitioner however continued to have the licence for a period ending 31st March 1965, after renewal. In the meantime consequent on the fact that the lease in favour of the petitioner from the brother of the 2nd respondent had expired on nth October, 1964 disputes arose between the and respondent and the petitioner about the recovery of possession of the rice mill. According to the 2nd respondent, the petitioner filed a suit for injunction and the suit Was dismissed on 31st August, 1965 for default. In the mean time accepting the representation of the and respondent that the petitioner Was not entitled to continue to run the rice mill as the lease had expired on 11th October, 1964, the Collector of North Arcot, the licensing authority, suspended the licence granted to the petitioner with effect from 9th February, 1965. The petitioner appealed against the order to the Board of Revenue. In the meantime the petitioner applied to the 1st respondent (the Collector of North Arcot) relying on Section 8 (3) (c) of the Act for the shifting of the machinery of the rice mill in respect of which renewal of the licence was granted to him upto 31st March, 1965, to some other building which he had built for housing a rice mill. This application was rejected by the Collector by an order passed on 22nd December, 1964 stating that the application purporting to be under Section 8 (3) (c) of the Act for shifting the machinery from the present rented building was really for an altogether new rice mill to be run in the village. In View of that fact the petitioner was required to apply for a fresh permit under Section 5 of the Act. The petitioner had filed this writ petition for a writ of mandamus directing the 1st respondent to exercise his proper jurisdiction under Section 8 (3) (c) of the Act.

2. The petitioner's principal contention is that the Authority, namely, the 1st respondent (Collector of North Arcot) ought to have granted the prayer for shifting the machinery under Section 8 (3) (c) of the Act. Section 8 (3) (c) of the Act reads thus:

(3) No owner of a rice mill.....

(c) shall, without the previous permission of the Central Government change the location of the whole or any part of the rice mill in respect of which a licence has been granted under Section 6.

This application was strenuously resisted by the 2nd respondent, Sanjeevi Mudaliar, the brother of the former owner of the rice mill, who had granted a lease of the rice mill to the petitioner he contends that under the terms of the lease the petitioner was to enjoy, the building as Well as the oil and rice mill machinery there but he had the option to change the prime mover of the rice mill. In fact at the time of the lease there was oil engine, but subsequently relying upon particular term of the lease, the petitioner got an electric motor belonging to him substituted in the place of oil machine, and was using the rest of the machinery including the hullers belonging to the 2nd respondent as well as the premises of the 2nd respondent foe hulling rice, and relying upon the licence issued to him. On the expiry of the lease period the only part of the rice mill which belonged to him Was the electric motor, the rest of the rice mill was the property of the 2nd respondent. Therefore the petitioner cannot urge, when all that he Was entitled to in connection with the rice mill for which the earlier licence Was granted to him was a single piece of electric motor, that he would be entitled to apply as owner (or lessee) of the rice mill to shift the whole or part of the machinery of the rice mill to new premises, so that he might carry on rice milling business thereunder the old licence. Reference Was made in this connection to the application for permit which refers to the place where the rice mill is to be established, the particulars of the prime mover, details of the milling machinery, namely, particulars of the huller, milling capacity and several other details. The rice mill is therefore a composite unit involving several items of machinery, buildings and other machineries. When a person has been granted a licence for this composite unit under the Act, he cannot urge after the lease of the entire composite unit had terminated and he has got in his possession only one item of machinery from the rice mill, namely, the electric motor, what he is seeking is the shifting of the machinery of a rice mill that belonged to him to new premises, so that he might be enabled to carry on rice milling business under the old licence in the new premises. In fact after the termination of the lease granted to him by the brother of the 2nd respondent, the petitioner had ceased to be the lessee of the rice mill for which he had been granted renewal of licence. All that remained to him of the rice mill of which he was the lessee, was the electric motor. When he seeks to use that electric motor and carry on rice milling business in some other place using other machinery and equipment it will really be a case of starting a new rice mill and not shifting the previous mill or a part of the previous mill for which he had obtained a licence on the footing that he was still the owner of the rice mill. Therefore, there is good reason for supporting the order of the 1st respondent in rejecting the application of the petitioner under Section 8 (3) (c) of the Act. There are no merits in this writ petition. The Writ petition is dismissed with costs of the 2nd respondent. Advocate's fees Rs. 100.


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