ANJANI ENTERPRISES AND OTHERS Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL AND OTHERS
LAWS(CAL)-1996-8-40
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on August 13,1996

Anjani Enterprises And Others Appellant
VERSUS
State of West Bengal and Others Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

STATE OF U. P. V. GULSAN SUGAR AND CHEMICALS,1996 AIR [REFERRED TO]
RAMCHANDRA V. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
MAHARAJA TOURIST SERVICES V. STATE OF GUJARAT [REFERRED TO]
MANIPUR ADMINISTRATION VS. M NILA CHANDRA SINGH [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MADRAS VS. N K NATARAJA MUDALIAR [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MYSORE VS. T V SLTNDARAM IYENGAR AND SONS PRIVATE LIMITED [REFERRED TO]
P P ENTERPRISES VS. UNION OF INDIA [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Amaresh Banerjea, J. - (1.)The Writ Petitioner No. 1, which is a partnership firm and claims to be engaged in the business of export of Superfine Non-Basmati Rice to Bangladesh, has prayed, alia, for issue of a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the respondents to allow lie petitioners facility of storing of Superfine Non-Basmati Rice which are procured from outside Bengal for export to Bangladesh and for a declaration that such export of the aforesaid kind of rice procured out side West Bengal does not attract the provision of the West Bengal Rice and Paddy (Licensing and Control) Order 1967 and West Bengal Rice and Paddy Control Order 1964. The petitioner firm claims to be an allottee of Order No. issued by the Reserve Bank of India for carrying on such export business and is also an allottee of import and export code No. issued by the Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. The Central Government has made a declaration under Sec. 1 of the import, export control order and issued an import, export policy from 1992 to 1997 by which the export of a value not less than 200 US dollars of Non-Basmati Superfine Rice has been made free, which can now be exported without licence. The petitioner firm has received several letters of credit from Bangladesh for supply of superfine non-basmati rice on terms and conditions indicated n such letter of credit and rate in respect thereof in all cases are more than 200 US dollars per tonne and pursuant to such contract the petitioners are carrying the business of such export of rice to Bangladesh from time to time on receipt of purchase order from Bangladesh, after procuring such rice from out side West Bengal. For the purpose of such export of rice to Bangladesh the petitioner purchase such rice from Bihar and Orissa and transport the same by trucks which after entering into West Bengal reach the international border at Changrabandha. It is the contention of the petitioner that in course of such business often it becomes imperative at times to store the Superfine Non-basmati Rice which were procured from out side West Bengal, within West Bengal in order to tide over blackness in market demand or to avoid heavy detention/demurrage charges of lorries which is caused very often because of long delay in clearing documents by the authorities. It is contended that because of the aforesaid reason it is necessary for the petitioner to store such materials at a warehouse in order to overcome such problems. It has further been contended even when such superfine non-basmati rice procured out side West Bengal are sought to be exported to Bangladesh by railways, there being no direct railway communication between India and Bangladesh, the petitioner will have to unload the same at the last railway terminal point in India and load the same in trucks for exporting the same to Bangladesh, but often in absence of sufficient number of trucks it becomes necessary to store the aforesaid rice. It is the grievance of the petitioner that permissions for such storage are being refused by the respondents unless they take out the licence for such storage under the provision of such West Bengal Rice and Paddy (Licence Control) Order 1967. It is the contention of the petitioner however that the provision of the said control order will not be applicable to the writ petitioner as the petitioner does not intend to sell such rice within the State of West Bengal and such storage facility has been asked for export of rice to Bangladesh out side the State of West Bengal. It is the contention of the petitioner that the provision of the said control Order 1967 will be applicable only when one intends to store rice or paddy in the State for sale of rice within the State. The contention of the respondents on the other hand in their affidavit is while the petitioner will be free to export such rice to Bangladesh in view of the aforesaid Central Government policy, the State of West Bengal admittedly still being a deficit state in the matter of production of rice, is anxious to ensure that during such export there is no smuggling of common rice from West Bengal to Bangladesh and to prevent, the same it is appropriate such storage of rice will be made after obtaining license for such storage under aforesaid control order 1967. It is their further contention that provision of the aforesaid order will be applicable.
(2.)The question therefore which has come up for consideration by this Court is whether the exporter of super fine non-basmati rice which is purchased from out side West Bengal while exporting the same to Bangladesh transporting the same through West Bengal can store such rice in West Bengal for such export without obtaining any licence under the aforesaid control Order 1967.
(3.)It has been submitted by the learned counsel of the petitioner that for the purpose of carrying on business of export to Bangladesh, the necessity of storage is imperative which is incidental to export. In view of large number of exporter exporting rice the vehicles carrying the rice for customs clearance have to wait in queue and very often it takes 6/7 days for a truck to get necessary customs clearance; but trucks coming from the out side West Bengal are not willing to wait for the same and insist for immediate release but for which heavy detention charge has to be paid. When rice is exported by train, after unloading the same from the train at the last railway terminal large number of trucks are required to transport the same to Bangladesh which are not often available, because of which often heavy detention charge is to be paid to the railways for not unloading within the free time for which also it becomes necessary to store.
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