GITASHREE DUTTA (DEY) Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL & ORS
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Gitashree Dutta (Dey)
State Of West Bengal And Ors
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Soumen Sen, J. -
(1.) Four appellants aggrieved by a common order passed on 24th August, 2018 have filed four separate appeals against the said judgment. The learned Single Judge has dismissed the writ applications on the ground that the State was justified in recalling the declaration of vacancy in view of implementations of the National Food Security Act, 2013.
(2.) Since all the four appeals involve similar issues, the judgment in MAT 1341 of 2018 [Gitashree Dutta (Dey) Vs. State of West Bengal & Ors.] would govern the remaining three appeals.
(3.) Shorn of details, the petitioner pursuant to an advertisement issued in the newspaper on 1st February, 2014, inviting applications from eligible candidates for appointment of Modified Ration Dealer (in short "M.R. Dealer") at Ajoynagar, Raichanga Gram Panchayat II, Falakata Gram Panchayat, Falakata II Block, District - Alipurduar submitted his application. The petitioner has stated that he is an eligible candidate. He has constructed shop-cum-godown in the said location. He has financial capability and he fulfils other eligibility criteria required for the appointment of a dealer. He had submitted an application pursuant to the vacancy declared on 30th January, 2014. The Sub-Divisional Controller (F&S) Alipurduar after receiving the said application made enquiries; the Area Inspector conducted a detailed enquiry including spot verification of the proposed shop of all the candidates, and thereafter submitted a detailed report before the Sub-Divisional Controller (F&S) Alipurduar recommending the case of the petitioner. The Sub-Divisional Controller (F&S) Alipurduar thereafter prepared the comparative statement in respect of vacancy at Ajoynagar, Raichanga Gram Panchayat, Falakata II, Falakata Block. The comparative statement prepared by the said officer would show that the petitioner was recommended as the first priority candidate in respect of the said vacancy. On 29th August, 2014, the authorities addressed a letter to the petitioner requiring him to fulfil certain criteria including a bank balance of Rs.5 lakh. The petitioner complied with the said criteria. Thereafter, the said Sub-Divisional Controller (F&S) on 24th November, 2014 submitted his report regarding the said new Fair Price Shop at Ajoynagar to the District Controller. The District Controller, in turn, on 18th December, 2014 forwarded the said memo dated 10th December, 2014 to the District Magistrate, Alipurduar for perusal and if found suitable the same may be approved so that the file can be forwarded to the District Distribution Procurement and Supply Food and Supply Department (in short "DDP&S Department") for next course of action. The petitioner contends that the entire paper was submitted to the DDP&S Department who in turn also recommended the name of the petitioner against the subject vacancy at Ajoynagar and forwarded the same to the Government Food and Supply Department for necessary approval. The Principal Secretary, Food and Supply Department is also claimed to have accorded approval regarding the selection of the petitioner as a Fair Price Shop Dealer at Ajoynagar. However, on 17th August, 2015, to the utter shock and surprise to the petitioner the impugned notification dated 17th August, 2015 was issued by the Joint Secretary, Government of West Bengal, Food and Supply Department, whereby the vacancy invited on 30th January, 2014 in pursuance of approval of the Government in Food & Supplies vide Memo no. 152-FS dated January 20, 2014 was recalled. The impugned memo dated 17th August, 2015, was ostensibly issued on the ground of implementation of National Food Security Act, 2013 ("NFSA").;
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