DELHI AGRICULTURAL MARKETING BOARD Vs. HAKUMAT RAI
LAWS(SC)-2016-8-38
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on August 24,2016

Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board Appellant
VERSUS
Hakumat Rai Respondents

JUDGEMENT

ADARSH KUMAR GOEL, J. - (1.) Leave granted. This appeal has been preferred against the judgment and order dated 29th January, 2016 in LPA No.535 of 2015 passed by the High Court of Delhi whereby the Division Bench of the High Court affirmed the order of the Single Judge directing the appellant herein to allot a shop to the respondent - writ petitioner in Gazipur Mandi and also issue of category 'B' license to him under the provisions of Delhi Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1998.
(2.) The above order came to be passed on the writ petition filed by the respondent. The averments in the petition are: The writ petitioner was a commission agent of fruits and vegetables at Phool Mandi, Darya Ganj, New Delhi. The appellant - Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board was a statutory body to regulate the marketing of agricultural produce and had declared certain areas as market areas. In the year 1998, the said Mandi at Darya Ganj was de -notified and the commission agents were to be shifted from there. License of the petitioner was not renewed as the market was shifted to Okhla where a new market was to be constructed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The petitioner was included in the list of eligible persons but was not successful in the draw of lots held in 1987. Those who were allotted shops at Okhla were shifted from Darya Ganj in the year 1992. Thereafter, the petitioner made a representation in the year 1994 for some alternative site at Keshopur Mandi, Tilak Nagar, Delhi which was closer to his residence as he was not successful in the draw of lots held in the year 1987. In the year 1999, the name of the petitioner was recommended by the Secretary, APMC but he was not allotted a shop. In the year 2002, the petitioner again represented that as no shops were available in Okhla, he may be accommodated at new wholesale market. In 2003, the Agenda Item No.8 for allotment of shop to the petitioner was approved on 18th December, 2003 but he was not allotted a shop. In 2008, the petitioner represented for allotment of shop at Gazipur market and again in the year 2011, he sought allotment of shop at Keshopur, Okhla, Gazipur or any other market. Earlier, he had approached the High Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No.547 of 1993. He was given liberty to file representation. He also relied upon the order dated 24 th January, 2003 in another case in Writ Petition (Civil) No.790 of 2000. In substance, the case put forward by the petitioner was that he was running his business at Darya Ganj since long and as the said market had been de -notified, he was entitled to be allotted an alternative shop at Gazipur or any other newly developed market.
(3.) The writ petition was opposed by the appellant by submitting that 'B' Category license can be granted only to the persons owning a shop in the market area/ yard of the APMC. Alternative shops in Gazipur market were being given only to those who were bona fide licensees of APMC, Shahdara. Thus, the petitioner was not eligible for allotment of shop in the said market. The learned Single Judge allowed the writ petition on the ground that the petitioner was waiting for allotment of shop since the year 1985 and was entitled to be accommodated at Gazipur particularly when no other markets were coming up in the near future. The observations of the learned Single Judge are : "6.1 I have asked Mr. Sinha, the learned counsel for the respondent as to whether the petitioner's case was considered by the Board. Mr. Sinha informs me that the petitioner's case was rejected, as the petitioner was not found eligible. 6.2 On being queried further, as to when, a decision, to reject the petitioner's claim, was taken by the Board. Mr. Sinha candidly stated that there was no reference to the same in the counter affidavit. This apart, the record would show that no document has been filed, which would demonstrate that the petitioner's case was rejected. 6.3 On the contrary, there are documents on record which show that the APMC has approved the case of the petitioner, and it is the Board which has not moved further in the matter. 6.4 Undeniably, under the Delhi Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act, 1998, APMC is an adjunct of the Board. Therefore, the recommendations of the APMC, should carry the necessary weight. The petitioner has waited long enough for the relief in the matter. The genuineness of the case and/ or the eligibility of the petitioner for allotment is not in doubt as is recorded in APMC's letter dated 12.8.1999. 7. Therefore, given the facts and circumstances obtaining in the case, according to me, the petitioner is entitled to the reliefs as prayed. 7.1 Mr. Sinha says that the directions sought for allocation of a shop are not feasible as, under the policy, shops in Gazipur can only be allotted to those persons, who were carrying on business at Shahdara. In my view, present piquant situation is, a creation, of respondent's own making. 7.2 Having regard to the fact that the petitioner has been waiting patiently for relief since 1985, if not earlier, the respondent will have to make necessary accommodation for the petitioner. This is especially so, since, Mr. Sinha says that there are no other "mandis", which are coming up, except one, in Gazipur, in the near future. To ask the petitioner to wait for any further, will be a travesty of justice. Accordingly, necessary directions are issued in terms of the relief sought for by the petitioner. 7.3 In view of the above, the respondent will allot a shop to the petitioner in the Gazipur Mandi, and thereafter, also issue a category 'B' License to the petitioner." ;


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