Decided on March 15,1969



- (1.) BY this application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the petitioners seek a writ of Certiorari for quashing an order dated 13th December 1968 passed by the Collector of Jabalpur under Clause 7 of the Madhya Pradesh foodgrains Dealers Licensing Order 1965 (hereinafter referred to as the "order"), refusing to renew their Foodgrains Dealer's Licence No. 30/ 65 for the year 1969 and also for a consequential writ of Mandamus for directing its renewal.
(2.) THE facts leading to this petition, shortly stated, are these. The petitioners are a partnership firm trading in food-grains under the name and style "phoolchand narendrakumar" in the city of Jabalpur, under Foodgrains Dealer's Licence No. 30/65 issued by the Collector of Jabalpur under Clause 3 of the Order. The firm is constituted of 3 partners, namely, Narendra Kumar, Devendra Kumar and Nirmal kumar (Petitioners Nos. 2, 3 and 4 herein), with the minor Lalchand (Petitioner no. 4) admitted to its benefits, and is registered as a partnership firm with the registrar of Firms, Madhya Pradesh. There is another firm in the City, carrying on business in food-grains styled as "ramprasad Gokul-prasad", Jabalpur. That firm consists of 9 partners, including the three partners of the petitioners' firm, phoolchand Narendrakumar, The remaining 6 partners are Gokulprasad, navalkishore, Sunderlal, Surkhichand, Chhotelal and Mst. Jhunkari Bahu, who are all related to them. The minor Lalchand is a beneficiary in that firm as well. That firm is also registered as a partnership farm with the Registrar of Firms, Madhya pradesh. Both the aforesaid firms are licenced as "dealers" under the Madhya pradesh Foodgrains Dealers' Licensing Order, 1965 holding Foodgrains Licences nos. 30/65 and 31/65 respectively from the year 1965 itself when the Order was brought into force, and since then these licences have admittedly been renewed by the authorities from year to year.
(3.) THE Order in question was issued by the State Government of Madhya Pradesh, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities act (Act No. X of 1955), and it provides, inter alia, by Clause 3 that no person shall carry on business as a dealer in foodgrains except in accordance with the terms and conditions of a licence issued in that behalf, by the Collector who is constituted to be the licensing authority for the purpose. The expression 'dealer' has been defined in Clause 2 (a) of the Order, thus: "2 (a) 'dealer' means a person who is engaged or intends to engage in the business of purchase, sale or storage for sale of paddy in quantity of 10 quintals or more at any one time or in quantity of 4 quintals or more at any time in respect of any one foodgrain other than paddy or in quantity of 25 quintals or more at any time in respect of all foodgrains taken together, whether on one's own account or in partnership or in association with any other person or as a commission agent or arhatiya (excludes Kachha Adatia) and whether or not in conjunction with any other business, but does not include a person- (i) who stores any foodgrains produced by him by personal cultivation, and (ii) who does not engage in the business of purchase or sale of foodgrains. ";

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