Decided on October 14,1969



- (1.)The right to vend foreign liquor' in the three 'foreign liquor' shops in Nizamabad City during the Abkari year 1967-68 was sold by Public Auction on 20th July, 1957. The petitioner's bids of Rs 1,09,000 and Rs. 90,000 for shop Nos. 1 and 2 were the highest bids for those two shops and the bids were provisionally accepted by the Collector, Nizamabad. The bid-lists were signed by the petitioner and the Collector. According to the petitioner the bids offered by him for shop Nos. 1 and 2 were offered on the basis that shop No. 3 would be located at the same place where it was located during the previous year. Shortly after the auction he learnt that the location of shop No; 3 was to be changed to a place very near shop No. 2, As such a change would substantially affect the custom of both shop Nos. I and 2, the petitioner issued notices on 27-7-1967 to the Excise Commissioner, Collector etc, objecting to the change and further informing them that if the location of shop No. 3 was changed, his bids for shop Nos- 1 and 2 would stand withdrawn and cancelled; As no reply was received from the Collector or Excise' Commissioner the petitioner issued another notice to them through his lawyer on 7-8-1967 revoking his bids for shop Nos, 1 and 2. The petitioner claimed that he was entitled to do so at any time before the auction become final and under condition No. 8, of the conditions of Auction of the privilege of sale of Hyderabad made Foreign Liquor Shops) and condition No. 9 of the General 'Conditions of the Auction of the Privilege of sale of Intoxicants' and auction become final oh the expiration of 30 days from the date of auction unless in the meanwhile the auction stayed or cancelled by the Excise Commissioner; The petitioner therefore claimed that he was within his rights in withdrawing his offers before the expiry of 30 days from the date of auction. Consequent on the withdrawal of bids by the petitioner, the two shops had to be auctioned again and at the reauction the shops fetched highest bids of Rs 57,000 - and Rs. 42,000 -only respectively. The Government suffered a loss of revenue and after making a demand upon the petitioner to make good the loss, initiated proceedings under the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Recovery Act to recover the amount as an arrear of land revenue. The petitioner thereupon invoked the jurisdiction qf this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution for the issue of Writ or direction restraining the respondents from demanding or recovering the amount from the pttitioner.
(2.)Sri B. P. Jeevan Reddy, learned counsel far the petitioner, urged that under condition No. 8 of the 'Conditions of Auction of the Privilege of sale of Hyderabad made Foreign Liquor Shops' and condition No. 9 of the Genenl Conittions of Auction of the Privilege of sale of intoxicants, the auction did not become final until alter the expiry of 30 dsys from the date of auction and the petitioner had the right to revoke his bid at any time before it was finally accepted. The Government could not therefore seek to recover from the petitioner any alleged damage suffered by it as a result of the reauction. He relied on the decision of Jaganmohan Reddy , and Cbandrasekhara Sastry. JJ in RAGHUNANDA REDDY V. STATE OF HYDERABAD(1) On the other hand Sri, C. Seetharamaiah, who appared for the Government Pleader, submitted that the conditions of sale had statutory force and they displaced the ordinary rule of the Law of contracts that an offe r might be revoked at any time before acceptance. Sri Seetharamaiah drew my attention to the relevant statutory provisions and rules.
(3.)Sections 2, 3, 5, 7, 12, 13 and 15 in so far as they are relevant for the purposes of the present case read as follows i
"2, In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject, or context: (1) "Abkari Revenue" means revenue derived or derivable from any duty fee, tax, fine or confiscation-imposed or ordered under the provisions of this Act, or of any other law for the time being in force relating to liquor.

(2-A) "Excise Commissioner" means the officer appointed by Government as such under sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of Section 3.
(3) "Collector" means a Collector of land revenue or any person appointed under section 3 to exercise all the powers and to perform all the duties of a Collector under this Act".
"3, For the purposes of this Act and the administration of Abkari, the Government may (1) (a) appoint an officer to be called the Commissioner of Abikari, who shall, under the control and subject to the orders, of the Government, be deemed to be the Chief Officer for all matters pertaining to the Abkari Revenue and may exercise all powers under this Act or such other powers as are conferred on the Commissioner of Abkari by virtue of any other law and he shall in like manner, discharge all the' duties entrusted to him and inso.far as it is not contrary to the intention and purposes of this Act shall have such a. power of inspection and control of the work of, issuing instructions to, and hearing appeal against the order of his subordinate officers, as may from time.to time be conferred by the ,Govt. (b) appoint, besides the , District Collector, any other person alo for the, purposed .exercising wholly or partly in any district or part of district, all those powers and in like manper discharge wholly or partly the asaigned duties which have been-under this Act prescribed for the Collector! Provided that the discharge of duties and exercise of powers as aforesaid shall, besides being in accordance with the instructions of the Commissioner of Abkari. be subject to the orders of the Government also which may be issued from time to time by the Government (d) delegate to any Government service in any department or to .any other person in his personal or ex-officio capacity the powers and duties under this Act which be shall discharge in addition to the powers and duties of bis substantive post.

(4) make by notification, rules in respect of the following matters (c) determining the number, description and form of licences for any particular place or area and determining the officers who shall have the, power of imposing or cancelling such licences and the conditions subject to which the licences shall be granted ;

(5) relating to any other matter for the purposes of this Act,
X. X. X,
"5. The Government may fix duty in the following cases :- (4) Sale under Section 12".

"7. (1) Alt duties, taxes, fines, fees and other moneys payable to Government under any of the provisions of this Act or of any licence or permit issued under it, and all amounts due to Government by any grantee of a privilege or by licensee under this Act or by any person on account of any contract relating to the excise revenue may be recovered from the lessee or his surety or every puch person who have occupied the business relating to such lease to the extent of the amount due from him to the lessee in respect of the period of occupation of such person, as if, they were arrears of land revenue. (2) in case of default of payment of Abkari revenue by the lessee, the Government may also proceed to make its own arrangements or re-sell by cancelling the existing lease of such defaulter and recover the loss in revenue in the manner prescribed in sub-section (1). "12. No person shall be entitled to sell any kind of liquor.' sendhi or mohwa flowers without obtaining a licence mentioned in section 15".
13. Duty shall be assessed and recovered in the following manner :- (e) in respect of licence for manufacture, sale, or on any other permit mentioned in this Act, in accordance with the rules made under Section 3, before the grant of the licence or by instalments ; (g) in any other manner prescribed in accordance with the rules made under Section 3". 15. (1) The Collector or the other officer so empowered by the Government may grant a licence mentioned in this Act. (i) on payment of such duty or fee, (ii) for such period, (iii) subject to such conditions and containing such particulars, as the Government may prescribe".

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