JIGNESGHKUMAR VASANTBHAI MEHTA Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT & 2
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Jignesghkumar Vasantbhai Mehta
State Of Gujarat And 2
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(1.) By filing the present petition, the petitioner has prayed to set aside order dated 17.04.2015 passed by respondent No.3-Sub Divisional Magistrate. Thereby, respondent No.3 refused to renew the licence of the petitioner to act as a stamp vendor.
(2.) Rule was issued on 22.07.2015 in the petition, making returnable on 05.08.2015 observing therein that on the returnable date, the petition may be taken up for final consideration. Having regard to the compass of the controversy and upon request of both the learned advocates, the petition was taken up for final consideration.
(3.) The relevant facts may be outlined at the outset. The father of the petitioner was having licence under the Stamp Act being Licence No. 2 of 1975. Since the year 1975, the licence was periodically renewed. Lastly, the licence was renewed on 01.04.2014 and the same was valid upto 31.03.2015. It appears that on 12.06.2014, the father of the petitioner applied to respondent No.3 authority requesting for transfer of licence in the name of his son-the present petitioner. It was on the ground that the holder of the licence was aged and not keeping well therefore the authority was requested that the licence may be transferred in the name of the son who was well-versed in the work and who had been participating with his father in the stamp vending work. It is the further case of the petitioner that pursuant to the said application, as police clearance certificate was required, the petitioner applied for the same before the police station concerned. The Police Inspector of "A" Division Police Station, Bharuch gave such certificate.
3.1 Thereafter by order dated 24.07.2014, the licence was allowed to be transferred in the name of the petitioner. The petitioner has stated that on the basis of the said licence he started selling the stamps. The licence was to expire in March, 2015. However from 23.02.2015 onwards, the Treasury Office refused to accept the challan of the petitioner for purchase of the stamp without giving any reason. Petitioner applied on 24.02.2015 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 seeking information from the Public Information Officer, Treasury Office, Bharuch as to why the challan was not being accepted though the licence period had not expired. The Information Officer replied by his communication dated 02.03.2015 sending along with it two documents namely letter dated 07.01.2004 of the Superintendent, Stamp and Registration, and another letter dated 25.08.2014 of the Additional Superintendent of Stamps.
3.2 The aforementioned letter dated 07.01.2004 contained instructions that from 01.01.2004, no new stamp vendor's licence would be issued. In the second letter dated 25.08.2014 of Additional Superintendent of Stamps supplied by way of information to the petitioner, it was stated that as per instructions dated 07.01.2004, issuance of new licence was prohibited; secondly it was stated that the Collector should send a report as to how licence of Vasantlal Harikishan Ataliwala came to be transferred in the name of his Son Jigneshkumar Vasantlal-petitioner. On 10.04.2015, the petitioner applied for renewal of licence which application came to be rejected in view of the decision reflected in the impugned communication dated 17.04.2015.
3.3 The petition was contested by respondent. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate & Deputy Collector, Bharuch filed a reply reiterating the grounds stated in the impugned order inter alia that licence could not have been transferred in favour of the petitioner who happened to be the son of the person who was the grantee of licence.;
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