ADAPA SURYANARAYANA Vs. STSTE
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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A.D.V.Reddy, J. -
(1.)The short point to be determined in this case is whether on a notice issued by the District Collector initiating proceedings under Section 6 (A) of the Essential Commodities Act, 1965 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) a final order of confiscation can be passed by the District Revenue Officer.
(2.)On 2-2-1969 at about 6-30 A. M. the Assistant Grain Purchasing Officer, Chintalapudi and his staff found eleven carts loads Containing in all eighty bags of paddy being transported in the outskirts of Chinnampalli village in West Godavari District. On his enquiry, it was found that they were being transported to Khammam district without a requisite permit in contravention of Section 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Rice and Paddy (Restriction on Movement) order, 1965. The paddy was therefore seized and further proceedings were initiated. The District Collector, West Godavari then issued a notice dated 1-3-1959 to the persons concerned with the transport to show cause why the paddy of eighty bags seized by the Assistant Grain Purchasing Officer should not be confiscated to Government under Section 6 (A) of the Act for the contravention of Section 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Rice and Paddy (Restriction on movement) order, 1965. They were asked to appear before the Collector for this enquiry on 17-3-1969. Thereafter enquiry was held by the District Revenue Officer, West Godavari and by his order dated 21-4-1969 relying on the alleged statements made by the cart-men at the time of seizure to the Grain Purchasing Officer and on his own personal inspection of the locality held that there was a contravention of Clause (3) of the Audhra Pradesh Rice and Paddy (Restriction on Movement) Order, 1965, and directed the confiscation of the stock of 80 bags of Paddy of 76 kgs. each to Government under Section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, The aggrieved party filed an appeal before the Sessions Judge, West Godavari and he confirmed the order of confiscation. Hence this petition to revise that order.
(3.)The only point urged in this revision case is that the District Collector is the only person authorised under Section 6-A of the Act to initiate prcceedings, enquire and pass any orders of confiscation or otherwise that the order passed by the District Revenue Officer is invalid as he has no powers to pass such an order, and that order is liable to be quashed and the paddy seized should be dirtcted to be returned to the party.
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