GOPAL CHANDRA PAL Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
GOPAL CHANDRA PAL
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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P.C.BOROOAH, J. -
(1.) THE petitioners are the partners of Sree Lakshmi Oil Mill at Kethardanga within the District of Bankura.
(2.) ON 17 -12 -81 the police raided the petitioners' firm and seized several quintals of mustard seed, mustard oil and oil cake. Pursuant to the seizure a case was instituted under Section 7(1)(a)(ii) of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (hereafter referred to as the Act) for violation of the provisions of para 3 (2) of the West Bengal Declaration of Stocks and Prices of Essential Commodities Order 1977 as well as para 3 (1) of the West Bengal Pulses, Edible Oil Seeds and Edible Oils (Dealers Licensing) Order, 1978. Thereafter confiscation proceedings were started before the Magistrate, Bankura, who was the Collector, under the provisions of Section 6~A of the Act, and the Collector by an order dated 30 -8 -82 directed confiscation of the seized goods and further ordered that the I. O. would arrange the sale of the goods at a fair price and keep the sale proceeds in deposit in the Treasury until further orders.
Against the order of the Collector the petitioners preferred an appeal on 6 -9 -82 before the District Judge, Bankura who was the judicial authority under the provisions of Section 6 -C of the Act. The appeal was numbered as Misc. Appeal No. 35 of 1982. The learned Judge, however, by an order dated 25 -9 -82 directed the memo of appeal to be returned to the petitioners or their lawyer for being presented to the appropriate appellate authority in view of the provisions of the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions) Act, 1981 which came into force in West Bengal on and from 1 -9 -1982. The order of the learned Judge dated 25 -9 -1982 is the subject -matter of challenge in this Rule.
(3.) MR . Dilip Kumar Dutt appearing on behalf of the petitioners has submitted that on the day the order of confiscation was passed by the Collector an appeal lay to the District Judge under the provisions of Section 6C of the Act, and this right having accrued to the petitioners, the same could not be taken away by the Amendment Act. In support of his argument Mr. Dutt has referred to a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Garikapati Veeraya v. N. Subbiah Choudhry reported in : 1SCR488 and also to a decision of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Kanhai -yalal Pasuari v. Corporation - of Calcutta reported in (1977) 4 Cal HC (N) 109 : 1977 Cri LJ NOC 177 where the decision of the Supreme Court was also referred to.;
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