LAXMINARAYAN RICE MILL Vs. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
LAWS(MPH)-1980-10-35
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
Decided on October 10,1980

LAXMINARAYAN RICE MILL Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

BECKE V. SMITH [REFERRED TO]
STATE V. BASDEO BAWRI AND ANOTHER [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER,BOMBAY V. OUDH SUGAR MILLS,LTD. [REFERRED TO]
JUGALKISHORO SARAF VS. RAW COTTON COMPANY LIMITED [REFERRED TO]
SIRAJ UL HAQ KHAN OTHERS VS. SUNNI CENTRAL BOARD OF WAQF U P [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX DELHI VS. S TEJA SINGH [REFERRED TO]
ARVAPALLI KOTIRATNAM VS. STATE [REFERRED TO]
S KARIAPPA VS. STATE OF MYSORE [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)THIS revision is directed against the Order of the Judicial authority, maintaining the confiscation of the applicant's 394. 50 Quintals of paddy under section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act. 1955 for breach of condition Nos. 3 (i) to (iii) of the licence obtained by him, under section 3 of the M. P. Food grains Dealers' Licensing Order, 1965.
(2.)THE facts, which are not in dispute, are briefly these: the applicant, who is the proprietor of the licensed Laxminarayan Rice mill at Lanji, has also a licence as a 'dealer' under the M. P. Food grains dealers' Licensing Order, 1965. On a surprise raid of his rice mill shop, godown and his house by the flying squad of the State Government on 23-2-1976, it was found, on physical verification of the applicant-dealer's stock as per the entries in the food grains stock register, that 300 Quintal of paddy, stocked in his residential house, and 94-50 Quintals of paddy stocked in his rice mill premises, were not entered in the stock register; and as such, this stock, as found, was in excess of the stock entered in the stock register. The collector gave a show cause notice as to why this excess quantity of paddy should not be confiscated for breach of the terms of the licence. The applicant had filed his reply and was also given a hearing. After considering the evidence and all other material produced by the applicant, the Collector ordered confiscation of 394. 50 Quintals of paddy. Against this Order, appeal was preferred before the Judicial Authority, who dismissed the appeal; and maintained the Order of confiscation. Hence, now the applicant's present revision.
(3.)THE learned counsel for the applicant-dealer has pressed before me the following points :-
(1) The authorities below were wrong in disbelieving the defence stand and evidence of the applicant in the matter of purchases of 94. 50 quintals of Paddy on the date of checking itself, by his authorised agent shyambihari from M/s Nandkishore and Sons;

(2) Sub-clause (2) of Condition No. 3 of the Licence in Form B in the matter of licensee's responsibility to "complete his accounts for each day on the date to which they relate", has not been properly interpreted by the authorities below; and as such, the applicant-dealer was entitled to complete his accounts and to make the relevant entry in the stock-register after the whole day's work on 23-2-1976 in the matter of 94. 50 Quintals of paddy, purchased by his authorised agent Shyambihari from M/s Nandkishore and Sons.

(3) 300 Quintals of Paddy, seized from the applicant's residential premises, being the produce of the agricultural fields of his own and his joint minor sons, was not required to be shown, at all, in the dealer's stock-register; and as such, was not liable for confiscation in view of the first proviso of section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act.

(4) The word "elsewhere" used in clause (3) of the condition No. 3 of the Licence in Form B, being concerned with the dealer's business premises only i. e. his shop, godown, mill etc. and not with his "residential premises", the Judicial Authority and the Collector were both wrong in not correctly interpreting the word "elsewhere", in proper context;

(5) Show cause notice, having contained no allegations in the matter of breach of any provisions of M. P. Rice Procurement (Levy)Order, 1970, the Collector's Order regarding confiscation is illegal as being not in conformity with the prescribed procedure under section 6-B (1)of the Essential Commodities Act.

(6) Seizure of food grains viz. the paddy in question and consequently the confiscation thereof, was illegal, inasmuch as, the said food grains were not being removed, carried or disposed of, in which circumstance alone, and in none other, seizure of the stock of food grains was permissible under clause (d) of sub-section (I) of section II of the M. P. Food grains dealers Licensing Order, 1965, hereinafter referred to as the 'licensing order, 1965'. State v. Basdeo Bawri and another, ( (1961) 1 Cr. L J 621 (Assam)) which was cited also before the authorities below is relied on, for support.



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