Decided on January 06,1967



- (1.) THIS order will also govern the disposal of Miscellaneous Petition No. 82 of 1966.
(2.) THESE are two petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution by growers of tendu leaves challenging the validity of Section 5 of the Madhya Pradesh Tendu patta (Vyapar Viniya-man) Adhiniyam. 1964, (hereinafter referred to as the Act ). In Miscellaneous Petition No. 161 of 1965 the petitioner. Lal Ragho Shah, has also questioned the validity of Sections 9, 10 and 18 of the Act. The petitioners pray that the provisions, the validity of which they challenge, be declared to be invalid and the opponent State be restrained from enforcing them.
(3.) THE Madhya Pradesh Tendu Patta (Vyapar Viniyaman) Adhiniyam, 1964, is a legislation enacted "for regulating in the public interest the trade of Tendu Leaves by creation of State monopoly in such trade". Section 5 (1) of the Act provides that on the issue of a notification under Sub-section (8) of Section 1 bringing the Act into force in any area, no person, other than the State Government or an officer of the State Government authorised in writing in that behalf or an agent in respect of the unit in which the leaves have grown, shall purchase or transport Tendu leaves. The other Sub-section of Section 5 contains a provision dealing with the transport of Tendu leaves in certain circumstances. Section 3 enables the State Government to divide the area, in which the Act has to be brought into force, into such number of units as it may deem fit. The next Section (Section 4) inter alia lays down that the State Government may, for the purpose of purchase of, and trade in, Tendu leaves on its behalf, appoint agents in respect of different units. Under Sections 6, 7 and 9, Tendu leaves are purchased from growers by the State Government or its authorised officers or agents at a price fixed by it in consultation with an Advisory committee constituted under Section 6. Section 9 also gives to the State government or its authorised officer or agent the power to refuse to purchase any leaves which in their opinion are not fit for the purpose of manufacture of Bidis. Any person aggrieved by the rejection of his Tendu leaves can make a complaint to the Divisional Forest Officer concerned. On receipt of such a complaint, and after holding an enquiry into the complaint, if the Divisional Forest Officer finds that the leaves were wrongly rejected, then, if he considers the leaves in question still suitable for the manufacture of Bidis, purchase them and pay the price and compensation according to Section 9 (3) (a), or, if he considers that the leaves in question have since become unsuitable for manufacture of Bidis, direct the payment to the person aggrieved of the amount mentioned in Clause (b) of section 9 (3 ). Under Sub-section. (4) of Section 9, the State Government can appropriate the leaves offered for sale if there is reason to believe that the leaves appertain to forests or lands belonging to the State Government. But this it can do only after paying the collection charges. Section 10 of the Act is concerned with the registration of growers of Tendu leaves. Section 12 prescribes that Tendu leaves purchased by the State Government or by its officer or agent shall be sold or otherwise disposed of in such manner as the State Government may direct section 18 bars a suit and other legal proceedings in respect of the acts done in good faith.;

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