Decided on September 09,1985

Vardhaman Enterprises And Ors. Appellant
Gauhati Municipal Corporation And Ors. Respondents


K. Lahiri, A.C.J. - (1.)HAVING heard the learned Counsel for the Petitioners Mr. N.M. Lahiri and Mr. A.S. Bhattacharjee learned Senior Government Advocate, Assam, we propose to dispose of this bunch of petitions by a common order as they raise common questions of law and facts.
(2.)THE Petitioners are carrying on business of coal and in the transactions, they are required to stack coal temporarily at Gauhati within the Municipal limits of Gauhati Municipal Corporation. The Petitioner in Civil Rule No. 784/85 (Vardhaman Enterprises) deposited licence fee for the previous two years i.e. 1983 -94 and 1984 -85. This year also the Petitioner has paid application fee of Rs. 15/ -. In so far as the Petitioners in Civil Rule Nos. 785/85, 762/82, 787/85, 788/85 and 789/85 are concerned although they carried on the business as stated in the petition, they did not pay any licence fee for the previous years, but this year each of them had paid a sum of Rs. 15/ - as application fee. In short, the Petitioners have paid the requisite application fee for grant of licence, but they have not been granted any licence for stacking coal within Municipal Area which is required under the Gauhati Municipal Corporation Act, 1969, and the Rules framed thereunder (Act 1 of 1973). The Petitioners received notice from the Commissioner of Gauhati Municipal Corporation, Gauhati informing that they were carrying on trade in coal without renewal of their licence and without permission as required under the Act and they were asked to shift and close down their business within three days from the date of receipt of the notice failing which "penal action under the law will be taken" without further reference to them. However, in the notices the nature of penal action has not been specified. Under the provisions of the Act, penal action may be imposition of fine and/or penalty. The Petitioners apprehend that they might be forcibly asked to close down their business and, accordingly, they preferred revision applications before the State Government. Ordinarily, such matters are appellable. However, in view of the supersession of the Municipal Corporation, the appellate body, namely, the Standing Appeal Committee was no longer there and therefore, the Petitioners preferred a combined appeal -cum -revision before the State Government under Section 438 of the aforesaid Act. The power of the State Government under Section 438 appears to be wide and large. We say this much and no further. It is apparent that the Petitioner has approached the appropriate authority before whom they can place their grievances and the authority is competent to dispose of their application in accordance with law. As such, there is an alternative efficacious remedy provided by the Amendment Act and the Petitioner has approached the authority. Under these circumstances, we refrain from exercising any power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Mr. Lahiri, learned Counsel for the Petitioners submit that their business may be forcibly stopped even during the pendency of the revision. Mr. A.S. Bhattacharjee, learned Senior Government Advocate, Assam, submits that there cannot be any such reason the State Government is going to dispose of the appeal/revision as expeditiously as possible. We are of the firm opinion that during the pendency of the revision no action can be taken by the Corporation unless they obtain order from the State Government and/or after the disposal of the revision against the Petitioners. As such, the apprehension of the Petitioners that they might be forcibly asked to stop their trade and/or business even during the pendency of the revision application does not appear to be sound. When they are not likely to be evicted and when there is no question of irreparable injury, we feel that the State Government should be allowed to dispose of the revision petition and exercise powers having been conferred by the Act.
The above being the state of things, the applications are premature and we also hold that during the pendency of the revision, the question of eviction or taking penal action will never arise. However, the State Government may exercise its own jurisdiction in accordance with law and pass any order as it thinks fit and proper. Indeed, in Civil Rule No. 755/85 (Misc. Case No. 925/85), Rule has been issued and the operation of the order has been stayed. However, we find that in the instant case, a bunch of Civil Rules, have been filed and they require early disposal in accordance with law. In the aforesaid Civil Rule, an order was rendered to dispose of the revision within a period of 10 days. However, if the revision has not been heard and disposed of within the said period, we may reconsider about alteration, amendment and/or cancellation of that order.

(3.)IN the result, the Petitioners are dismissed as premature.

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