J NARSIMLU Vs. DISTRICT COLLECTOR MAHABUBNAGAR
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
DISTRICT COLLECTOR, MAHABOOBNAGAR
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(1.)This Writ Petition challenges the action of the 2nd respondent herein in seeking to reserve shop No.II of Sharjakhanpet village, Kosgi Mandal, Mahabubnagar District in favour of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates as contained in its proceedings No.C/3380/91, dated: 5-8-1991, as illegal and arbitrary.
(2.)Previously, the shop was held by the petitioner since the year 1988 onwards. But, the authorisation was cancelled by orders dated:31-7-1991 issued by the 2nd respondent herein in view of setting aside the previous governmental orders-relating to the appointing authority and appellate authority. In consequence of it, G.O.Ms.No.19, dated 8-1-1990 was issued. As such, pursuant to G.O.Ms.No.19, a fresh notification was issued by the 2nd respondent on 5-8-1991. But, in the notification at the 1 st paragraph, it is stated that applications will be received only from Scheduled Tribe or Scheduled Caste persons. In the very second paragraph, it is stated that preference will be given to scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, and physically handicapped persons. This matter came up before me earlier several times and having heard the counsel on either side, I directed the learned Government Pleader to file an additional counter, with regard to filling up of fair price shop dealers after the issuance of G.O.Ms.No.19. Now, additional counter is filed and it is stated in paragraph 3 thereof that number of shops notified after the issuance of G.O.Ms.No.19 and 30. It is further stated in the said paragraph that out of 377 fair price shops, 57 shops had to be filled up by SCs and 23 shops by STs. It is further stated that after filling up the said reserved shops, there was a still short-fall of 10 for SCs and 15 for STs. Some list indicating 15 fair price shops to which category, whether SC, ST or women, they were allotted, is given with relevant dates thereto. The Register is also produced before me. It is strange to find from the said register produced by Mr .Venugopal Naidu, appearing for the Government that at item No .2 pertaining to Rekulampally fair price shop, the same was treated as Open Category and appointment was made on 22-6-1991 and similarly at item No.ll pertaining to Kodangal Shop No.2, the same was allotted to one Mr.Mohan Reddy on 28-1-1991 under open category. It is ununderstandable as to how the open category allotments were made at the said items 2 and 11 when there was a deficiency of 25 for both SCs and STs put together. The said register produced and both the counter-affidavit as also the impugned notification clearly show that there are no specific guidelines for identifying the fair price shops for the reserved class and no ear-marking was made earlier identifying any particular shop either for S.C. or S.T. or Women. In the absence of the same, unbriddled and unguided power was conferred upon the 2nd respondent to pick and choose the fair price shop dealers according to his own whims and fancies and to reserve a particular fair price shop/shops either under open category or for reserved class. The same cannot be sustained as it would result in invidious discrimination offending Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Further, the impugned Notification is so vague that it does not specify either it is for S.C. or S.T. or for Physically handicapped. A notification should be specific regarding the class for which reservation ismade. This kind of general reservation, that too without any guidelines and without ear-marking of shops before issuance of notification is not sustainable under law and accordingly, the impugned notification is quashed and set aside. The 2nd respondent is hereby directed to issue a fresh notification treating the fair price shop in question as under open category and permit the petitioner as also other candidates to file applications, stipulating reasonable time, consider the same and pass appropriate orders appointing a particular person as a fair price shop dealer having regard to the suitability and other preferential facts like unemployment.
(3.)The Writ Petition is disposed of accordingly. No order as to costs. Advocate's fee Rs.250/-.
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