B.N. Banerjee, J.
1. The Petitioner says that he is a paddy cultivator, owns about 63 bighas of paddy land and the average produce from his land varies from 500 maunds to 450 maunds (186.62 Quintals to 168 Quintals) of paddy. He is the holder of a Large Producers' License, under the West Bengal Rice and Paddv Control Order, 1961.
2. The petitioner feels aggrieved by an order made by the respondent Additional District Magistrate calling upon him to sell a quantity of 109 Quintals of fine paddy, out of stock in his hands, to Messrs. Annapurna Rice Mill, at Kalna. The order reads as follows:
'Whereas it is necessary to maintain supplies of fine paddy and to secure the availability thereof at statutory prices:
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (f) of Sub-section (2) of Section 3 ofthe Essential Commodities Act, 1955, (Act 10 of 1955), read with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of India Order No. G.S.R. 34, dated the 6th January, 1959, I, the Additional District Magistrate of Burdwan, make this order requiring you, Sri Sambhu Nath Ghosal (Large Producer) Sijna to sell to M/s Annapurna Rice Mill, Kalna within 7 days and deliver to Sri Bam Abatar Misra, who is authorised to take such delivery, 109 quintals (one hundred and nine quintals only) of fine paddy out of the stocks held by you this 6th day of July, 1964 and I further direct that the price of fine paddy to be sold and delivered by you will be paid to you by M/s Annapurna Rice Mill Kalna in due course in accordance with the provision of Sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the aforesaid Act.'
The petitioner says that at the time of making the sale order, certain deductions, under the West Bengal Rice and Paddy Control Order of 1964, were allowed for his own consumption, for feeding agricultural labour and for payment of wages in kind to labourers. The deductions allowed, according to the petitioner, were wholly inadequate for his requirement of food and detrimental to his interest as a cultivator. He feels that in making the order the respondent Additional District Magistrate acted in excess of his jurisdiction and as such the order should be condemned. With the above grievances, the petitioner moved this Court, under Article 226 of the Constitution, praying for the quashing of the order and for a mandate upon the respondents restraining them from giving effect thereto and obtained this Rule.
3. Mr. Nilmoni Goswami, learned Advocate for the petitioner, made an one-point attack against the order for sale of paddy. He argued that the power under Section 3(2)(f) of the Essential Commodities Act 1955, namely, the power 'requiring any person holding in stock any essential commodity to sell the whole or a specified part of the stock to such person or class of persons and in such circumstances as may be specified in the order, 'ordinarily exercisable by the Central Government, may be delegated by the Central Government, under Section 5 of the Act, to a State Government or to officers subordinate to a State Government. Such a delegation of authority, Mr. Goswami contended, was made by the Central Government, in the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, on January 6, 1959, by G.S.R. 34, which reads as follows:
'Dept. of Food.