Decided on May 06,1996

West Bengal Licensed Husking Mills Federation And Others Appellant
State of West Bengal and Others Respondents


Samaresh Banerjea, J. - (1.)The petitioner No. 1, a society registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act which is a federation of owners of Husking Mill and the other petitioners who also owners of Husking Mill and members of the petitioner No. 1, jointly have challenged in the instant writ petition the notification No. 8532-F.S. dated 18th Dec., 1992 issued by the department of Food and Supplies, Government of West Bengal, wherein a policy decision has been taken by the State Government for encouraging setting up of Mini Rice Mill, which shall be of modernised type with a rubber roll sheller on a centrifugal dehusker along with a paddy cleaner and a paddy separator either as a composite unit or as a separate machine for the purpose of dehusking paddy.
(2.)In the aforesaid notification itself the reasons for taking such a policy decision is indicated. It has been stated in the said notification, inter alia, that the question of encouraging installation of small or Mini Rice Mills in the State has been under the consideration of the State Government for quite sometime ; in order to ensure higher extraction of rice from paddy, eliminate waste, improve the quality of rice, obtain other usable by-products like rice bran for production of oil through the adoption of modern technology, discourage the growing proliferation of husking mills operating without licence and to increase the collection of levy rice to strengthen the public distribution system it has been necessary for public interest to setting up of such Mini Rice Mills as well as conversion of existing husking mills, and accordingly it has been ordered by the Government to take steps to facilitate setting up of modernised Mini Rice Mills for commercial purpose in the State. The aforesaid notification was also given the detailed particulars as to the nature of such Mini Rice Mills, the procedures for obtaining permit and licence for such Mini Rice Mills, the liability and obligation of such Mini Rice Mills owner and various other particulars in respect thereof.
(3.)The main grounds of challenge of the aforesaid notification by the writ petitioners are that by the aforesaid notification a peculiar concept of Mini Rice Mills de hors the provision of the Rice Milling Industries Regulation Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to the said Act) is sought to be introduced and same is also clearly ultra vires the provision of the Act. The petitioners have challenged the propriety and correctness of the said policy decision on the contention that the provisions for modernisation of husking mills for the purpose of higher extraction of rice and for improvement quality of rice and to obtain other usable by-products like rice bran etc. are already there in the Act and accordingly for such objects the creation of a Mini Rice Mill is not really required.

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