JAMNADAS HIRALAL MENDHA Vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
JAMNADAS HIRALAL MENDHA
State of Gujarat And Anr.
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(1.)At the request and with the consent of the parties ail these revision applications have been heard together and are being disposed of by this common judgment and order.
(2.)Except C. R. A. No. 1219 of 1987 rest of the nine revision applications together with C. R. A. No. 1303 of 1987 arise out of a common judgment delivered by the learned Assistant Judge Surendranagar. C. R. A. No. 1303 of 1987 appears to have been left out by inadvertance. Therefore it is not being disposed of by this common judgment. The petitioners are holding authorisation as dealers of fair price shops. They entered into contract with the Collector Surendranagar for running fair price shops for the purposes of distribution of food-grains pamolive oil sugar and such other essential articles of human consumption. The officers of the respondent-State Government visited the shops of the petitioners and found that the petitioners had committed irregularities in respect of running of the fair price shops. The irregularities were to the effect that in certain cases stock of food-grains and pamolive oil was less than what it should be as per the stock registers. In certain cases the dealers had not purchased food-grains from the Government. Nature of irregularities alleged against each of the petitioners may differ but the fact remains that in each case the officers of the Civil Supplies Department found that certain irregularity was committed in respect of running of the fair price shops. Thereafter the respondent-authorities invoked Clause 11 of the Contract and forfeited the amounts of deposit paid by the petitioners. Then notice terminating the contract has been served upon the petitioners. On receipt of notice of termination of contract all the petitioners filed different civil suits praying that the cancellation of the authorisation to function as authorised fair price shops dealer be declared to be illegal and void. The petitioners contended that they have not committed any serious irregularities which would warrant cancellation of the contract. It was contended that the defendants bad no authority to unilaterally cancel the contract. At any rate once the amount of deposit is forfeited their contract should not have been cancelled because it would amount to imposing double penalty and they will be subjected to double jeopardy. It was also contended that the plaintiffs were not afforded an opportunity of being heart before termination of the contract and hence the action is illegal and void. The plaintiffs filed application for interim injunction praying that the respondents-defendants be restrained from obstructing them from doing the business under the contract. The trial Court initially granted ex-Parte interim injunction as prayed for but after hearing the parties vacated the same holding that the plaintiffs had committee serious irregularities in the management of the fair price shops. The Government had authority to cancel the contract and authorisation given under the contract in question. The trial Court came to the conclusion that the petitioner had no prima face case and even balance of convenience was tot in their favour because they could claim damages if the action of the Government is held to be illegal and void. All the plaintiffs preferred civil miscellaneous appeals in the Court of learned District Judge Surendranagar. In appeals substantially same contentions were raised by the appellants. The learned Assistant Judge who heard the appeals washed all the catenations and concurred with the findings arrived at by the trial Court. By his judgment and order dated 25/11/1987 the learned Assistant Judge disposed of all the appeals. The petitioners have preferred different civil revision applications challenging the legality and validity of the aforesaid order.
(3.)In case of Civil Revision Application No. 1219 of 1987 the facts are substantially similar. Therein also the question is with regard to termination of the authorisation to run the fair price shop. The case arises out of an order passed by the Collector Kutch-Bhuj.
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