Decided on October 23,1957



- (1.) This petition raises the question whether it is within the competence of the State Government to cancel a coal depot even though the provisions of paragraphs 10 or 11 of the Punjab Coal Control Order, 1955 , have not been contravened.
(2.) The facts of the case are simple and not in dispute. Sometime in July, 1955 the Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar invited applications for the allotment of a coal depot by drawing lots. The lots were drawn on the 3rd September, 1955. Smt. Savitri Devi Sud obtained the first place, Shri Uttam Singh Nangpal the second place and Shri Nihal Chand the third place. Before issuing an order for the allotment of the coal depot the district authorities considered it desirable to enquire from the other candidates if they had any objection to the eligibility of the successful candidates. As a consequence of this enquiry several representations were received in which the eligibility of Smt. Savitri Devi Sud was challenged on the ground that the income of her husband exceeded Rs. 100 per mensem as it was one of the conditions for the allotment of coal depot at the time that the applicant's income should not exceed Rs. 100 per mensem. Smt. Savitri Devi's name was accordingly removed from the list and the depot was allotted to Uttam Singh petitioner who was the next successful candidate on the list. Smt. Savitri Devi submitted a representation in which slip, protested against the order of allotment in favour of Uttam Singh and stated that the income of her husband was less than Rs. 100 per mensem. She accordingly prayed that the depot be allotted in her name. In view of this representation and the other representations which were received by Government against the allotment of coal depot to the petitioner, Government decided to review the policy regarding allotment of coal depots by drawing lots and embarked on a new policy of issuing permits on merit. It was in consequence of this new policy that on the 6th December, 1956 the District Food and Supplies Controller, Amritsar, informed the petitioner that Government had decided to cancel his coal depot with immediate effect and that his name had been removed from the list of coal depot-holders. On the 4th January, 1957 the petitioner presented a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution in which he complained that the State Government had no power to cancel his depot when he had been complying with all the instructions which had been issued from time to time and when he had never contravened the provisions of the Order of 1955.
(3.) When this petition came up for consideration before a learned Single Judge of this Court it was contended that the order of cancellation was void and of no effect as no notice had been given to the petitioner before his permit was cancelled and as the communication which was sent to him did not contain any reasons upon which the permit was cancelled. The learned Judge came to the conclusion that although a permit can be cancelled at any time under paragraph 5(d) of the Order of 1955 and although it is incumbent on the officer cancelling the permit to give reasons for cancellation, no reasons need be given when the order of cancellation is passed by the State Government itself It was held further that as the petitioner's permit had not been granted to any one else and as it was open to the petitioner to apply for it afresh, it was not necessary for this court to interfere with the order the validity of which has been challenged in this case. The petitioner is dissatisfied with the order and has come to this court in appeal under clause 10 of the Letters Patent.;

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