BAID ORGANISATION P LTD Vs. UNION OF INDIA UOI
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
BAID ORGANISATION (P) LTD.
UNION OF INDIA
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Tarun Chatterjee, J. -
(1.)BY consent of parties these writ petitions are taken up for hearing. In these writ applications the writ petitioners have come up to this Court for a direction upon the Customs Authorities to consider the applications of the petitioners in accordance with Clause 8 of the Customs House Agents [Licensing] Regulation, 1984 (hereinafter referred to as the Regulation of 1984). It is not in dispute that the aforesaid Regulation particularly Clause 8 was found to be invalid by a Division Bench of this Court. Union of India and also some of the writ petitioners have filed a Special Leave Petition before the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. Notice was issued on those SLPs as well as on the application for condonation of delay in filing the same. The Hon'ble Supreme Court passed an order granting interim stay of operation of the judgment and/or order of the Division Bench until further orders. When the said interim order was continuing another application was made on behalf of the Union of India for modification of the interim order of stay of operation of the judgment and order of the Division Bench. On that application for modification, the Hon'ble Supreme Court by an order dated August 8, 1994 modified the earlier interim order to one of status quo, that is to say, status quo as on that date, i.e., August 8, 1994 was directed to be continued pending disposal of the SLPs. This order, as noted hereinabove, was passed on August 8,1994. Since the several orders were passed by different learned Judges of this Court directing the authorities to dispose of the application for grant of licence within a specified period of time. In fact licences have been granted by the Customs Authorities on the basis of directions made by this Court in different matters since 1994. In view of the fact that by the original order of the Division Bench Rule 8 of the said Regulation was found to be invalid which was stayed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India by granting stay of operation of the judgment and subsequently status quo as on 8th of August, 1994 was passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, I do not find any reason, considering the above aspect of the matter that the order of status quo as on 8th of August, 1994 passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India shall mean that the pending applications filed under the said regulation cannot be disposed of by the Customs Authorities. It is also an admitted fact that the Customs Authorities also disposed of such applications on merits since 8th August, 1994 treating the said order of status quo as if they were entitled to hear out the applications of the applicants. In my view also, the status quo order which was passed by the Supreme Court of India does not prevent the authorities from considering the applications filed by the writ petitioners. Therefore, I do not find any difficulty to direct the Customs Authorities to consider the application filed by the writ petitioners for CHA licence under [Regulation] 8 of the Customs House Agents [Licensing] Regulation, 1984. Accordingly I dispose of these writ applications by directing the Customs authorities to dispose of the writ applications for grant of temporary licence under Rule 8 in accordance with law within a month from this date.
(2.)I make it clear, however, this direction to consider the applications of the writ petitioners for issuance of the temporary CHA licence under Regulation 8 of the Customs House Agents [Licensing] Regulation, 1984 shall not create any precedence and shall not also create any right in favour of the writ petitioners in future. Since no affidavit-in-opposition to the writ applications have been filed the allegations made in the writ petitions must not be deemed to have been admitted. The writ applications are thus disposed of. There will be no order as to costs. All parties concerned to act on a signed copy, this dictated order on the usual undertaking.
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