Basi Reddy, J. -
(1.) These are petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution challenging the validity of the notifications issued by the State Government under Sections 2 (i-a) 3, 4 and the first proviso to Section 5 of the Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act, 1933 (hereinafter referred to as "this Act.") In each of Writ Petitions Nos. 273 and 274 of 1981, there is only one petitioner; in Writ Petition No. 486 of 1961 there are sixty eight petitioners; in Writ Petition No. 500 of 1961 there are two petitioners; in Writ Petition No. 32 of 1962, there is only one peti-tioner. All the petitioners except the two petitioners in W. P. No. 500 of 1961 claim to he commision agents carrying on business in chillies at various places in the district of Guntur and their business comprises in receiving chillies from agriculturists, storing them if necessary and selling them in the open market on behalf of the agriculturists to agents of buyers from outside the district and elsewhere. They further state that after deducting the expenses and their legitimate commission, the sale amount is paid over to the agriculturists. The two petitioners in W. P. No. 500 of 1961 claim to be growers of chilli crop and their case is that they borrow moneys from commission agents for the purpose of raising chillies and when the crop is harvested, they entrust the chillies to the commission agents for being disposed of by them as and when they would fetch a good price.
(2.) The Government of Andhra, in exercise of the powers conferred on them by section 2 (i-a) of this Act, issued on 12/01/1955 a notification (G. O. Ms. No. 99, Revenue No. 33) declaring jute, jaggery, onions and chillies as commercial crops for the purposes of this Act. Then on 21/08/1957, the Government of Andhra Pradesh issued a notification under Section 3 of this Act declaring their intention of exercising control over the purchase and sale of turmeric ana chillies in the Guntur district and calling for objections or suggestions from the affected patties. In pursuance of this notification, the petitioners and others made their representations against the proposed action of the Government. The Government, after a careful examination of the objections, came to the conclusion that for regulating the buying and selling of chillies and turmeric, it was necessary to declare the area within the limits oE the Guntur district to be a notified area in respect of chillies and turmeric, which are grown in abundance in that district. Accordingly, by a notification issued under section 4 of this Act on 20/03/1958, they declared the district of Guntur as a notified area under this Act in respect of turmeric and chillies. Subsequently, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, a Market Committee was constituted and markets were established at various places in the district including Guntur town and Narasaraopet. Thereafter a notification was issued under the first proviso to Section 5 of this Act on 2/02/1960 (G. O. Ms. No. 2H, Agriculture No. 36) prohibiting the grant or renewal of a licence for the purchase or sale of chillies in respect of any place situated within a radius of ten miles from the limits of the markets established by the Guntur Market Committee.: The G. O. runs thus Restriction of purchase, sale of groundnut and chillies to the Market Yards in Guntur District under the Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act, 1933. G. O. Ms. No. 211, Agriculture, 2/02/1960, No. 36. Under the first proviso to Section 5 (1) of the Madras Commercial Crops Markets Act (Madras Act 20 of 1933), the Governor of Andhra Pradesh hereby directs that with effect from the date of this order no licence for the purchase or sale of chillies shall he granted or renewed in respect of any place situated within a radius of ten miles from the limits of the markets at (1) Mangalagiri, (2) Krosur, (3) Phirangi-puratn, (4) Siripuram, (5) Macherla, (8) Dachepalle, (7) Vinukonda. (8) Santamaguluru, (9) Martur, (10) Addanki, (11) Uppugundur, (12) Manthenavaripalem, (13) Inkollu, (14) Ravinuthala, (15) Kunhanapudi, (16) Guntur, (17) Satlenapalli. (18) PiduRuralfa, (19) Narasaraopet, (20) Chilakaluripet, (21)Ongole, (22) Amaravathi and (23) Rentachintala established under the said Act by the Guntur Market Committee... ... (Sd.) V. Adiseshayya, Deputy Secretary to Government."
(3.) More than a year later, the first two of these Writ Petitions viz., W. P. Nos. 273 and 274 of 1981 were filed in this Court on 13/03/1981. These two writ petitions were admitted by this Court on 14-3 1961, and on 22-3.1961 orders of injunction were passed restraining the respondents viz., the State of Andhra Pradesh and the District Collector in his capacity as the ex-officio Chairman of the Guntur Market Committee, from giving effect to G. O. Ms. No. 211 Agriculture, dated 2/02/1960. On 24-4-1961 two other Writ Petitions viz., W. P. Nos. 488 and 500 of 1961 were filed and they were also admitted the next day by this Court and injunction was ordered Writ Petition No. 32 of 1962 was filed on 4-1-1962 and it was admitted on 8-1-1962. The application for injunction was however dismissed and the Writ Petition was directed to be posted in the first week of March. 1982. The orders of injunction obtained by the petitioners in W. P. Nos. 273, 274. 488 and 500 of 1961 have continued up to this day, that is to say, for over two years.;