RAGHAVAN Vs. TALUK SUPPLY OFFICER
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
TALUK SUPPLY OFFICER
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(1.) Two points of a jurisdictional nature have been raised in this writ petition, which is directed against Ext. P 3 order cancelling the petitioner's licence or appointment as an authorised retail distributor of rationed articles, in Thrikkaruva. The order itself was passed by the Taluk Supply Officer under Clause.45(8) of the Kerala Rationing Order, 1966.
(2.) The first of the jurisdictional objections is that the petitioner's licence was granted under the Food Grains Dealers' Licensing Order, 1964 (as evidenced by Ext. P 4 filed along with the petitioner's additional affidavit) and therefore the same could be cancelled only under the provisions of that Order, and only by the District Collector or by the District Supply Officer. This has been met by counsel appearing for the respondents by stating that the impugned order does not at all purport to deal with the petitioner's licence under the Food Grains Dealers' Licensing Order and that it may be recorded that the said licence has not been cancelled by Ext. P 3. In view of this statement made by the counsel for the respondent any apprehension or grievance of the petitioner based on any purported or actual cancellation of his licence under the Food Grains Dealers' Licensing Order, 1964, is groundless and calls for no consideration or redress.
(3.) The second jurisdictional objection is that the ground for the impugned Order, viz. certain irregularities committed by the petitioner in the matter of gram entrusted to him by the Government for distribution to the card holders, cannot be dealt with under the Rationing Order. Gram, it was contended, is not a 'rationed article' within the meaning of the Kerala Rationing Order, 1966 and any irregularity in regard to its distribution, or non compliance with any directions for its distribution, can hardly entail the cancellation of the appointment under the Rationing Order. There is no controversy that gram is not a rationed article under the provisions of the Kerala Rationing Order, 1966. For the respondent, reliance was placed on Clause.30, 45(6) and 50 of the Kerala Rationing Order, 1966 to justify the cancellation. Clause.30 enjoins every retail distributor "for the due performance of his duties under this Order" to comply with such directions as may be issued by the Departmental Authorities specified. Clause.45 requires every authorised retail distributor to execute an agreement in the form prescribed "for the due performance of the conditions subject to which he has been so appointed." Clause.50 defines the duties of an authorised retail distributor. It is enough to notice that it requires him inter alia to obey all general or special directions given from time to time by the specified authorities concerning the. manner in which and the conditions subject to which, "any rationed article" may be supplied or obtained; or kept for household consumption or for establishment consumption or in connection therewith. These were the only provisions to which my attention was drawn to sustain the impugned order. Reading these provisions, it is impossible for me to hold that the duties under Clause.50 of the Rationing Order related to anything other than in relation to "a rationed article". The same limitation is also implied in the compliance with the directions enjoined by Clause.30. Compliance is required only for the due performance of his duties "under the Order", and the duties are only in respect of the distribution of 'rationed articles' and no more. Nor have I been told that the conditions subject to which the petitioner was appointed involve compliance with the directions issued regarding the distribution of anything other than rationed articles.;
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