B.P.Banrejee, J. - (1.)In this writ application the petitioner challenged the validity of the order contained in Memo. No. 336 dated 15th April, 1996 and Memo. No. 7-143 LS/95/1289 dated 15th April, 1996 and for other reliefs. For along time the petitioner was doing business of vending liquor on the basis of the licences granted by the Deputy Commissioner: Andaman District by importing Indian made foreign liquor. The auction for the year 1966-67, i.e. from 1.4.96 to 31.3.97 was held on the basis of public notification whereupon an auction took place and the petitioner became the successful bidder for the bid amount of Rs. 3,09,20,000/and on 22.2.96 when the bid was held the petitioner deposited 50% of the bid amounting to Rs.1,54,60.000/- and also deposited a sum of Rs. 2,00,000/- towards security deposit.
(2.)After the auction was held, writ petition was filed by some other persons. being C.O. No. 12(14) of 1996 in each challenge was made to the auction held on 22.2.96 in terns of the notice dated 7.2.96 and no interim order was passed in the said application excepting that an order was passed to the extent that auction that was held would abide by the result of the writ application. This Court was informed that the said writ application had been dismissed.
(3.)At about 10.00 A.M. on 15.3.96 the petitioner went to the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Andaman as his presence was required to sign the agreement for the year 1996-97 to vend liquor in Andaman and Nicobar Islands since he was the highest and successful bidder in the auction held on After he has attained the office of the Deputy Commissioner, the petitioner was told by the Deputy Commissioner that some excise Inspector from Nagpur was waiting in his office to arrest the petitioner in connection with a crime case lodged at Nagpur. The petitioner was arrested there and brought before the Court of the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Port Blair and in terms of an order of warrant of arrest dated 11.3.96 passed by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate. Nagpur, the petitioner was handed over to the Police Personnel of Andaman to take him to custody and to produce him before the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nagpur. The petitioner was taken to Nagpur by Air via Calcutta and Bombay and he was granted bail at Nagpur on 18.3.96 with the condition that he should not leave the City of Nagpur as his presence was required for the purpose of investigation in respect of the said case. Immediately after the petitioner was arrested and he was kept under police custody. A notice was issued at about 10.00 A.M. by Tapan Mandal, Deputy Commissioner directing the petitioner to submit sales and stock statements of date to the full knowledge that the petitioner was arrested from his office at about 10.00 A.M. and was kept under police custody. At 5.00 P.M. on 15.3.96 a thorough search was conducted in the office of the petitioner by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and seized all the books of accounts and records from the said office. Thereafter, from 10.00 P.M. on 15.3.96 to 4.00 A.M. of 16.3.96 all the shops and godowns of the petitioner were raided papers and documents were seized and the shops and godown were sealed thereby preventing the petitioner from carrying on the business. At about 10.00 A.M. on 16.3.96 which was a Saturday, a notice was issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Andaman stating that unless all the sales and stock statements were submitted within 5.00 P.M. on 20.3.96 shops and godowns of the petitioner which was sealed in the mid-night of 15.3.96 should remain sealed. In the early hours of 18.3.96, a letter was written by an employee of the petitioner requesting the Deputy Commissioner to supply all the copies of the books of accounts, sales and stock register etc. which was seized by the Deputy Commissioner for the purpose of submission of sales and stock statements as called for by the Deputy Commissioner in his notice dated 16.3.96 and also requested that inventory of liquor at various shops and godowns of the petitioner might be made at the earliest. Such a letter was written by an employee of the petitioner in the absence of the petitioner. No step whatsoever was taken by the Deputy Commissioner to furnish the copies of the documents seized from the office of the petitioners shops and godowns for preparing the sales and stock statements in respect of which request was also made on 18.3.96. On 21.3.96 the petitioner received a letter from the office of the Deputy Commissioner in which xerox copies of sales register, stock register and permit register numbering about 13 were annexed in the said letter. The petitioner was also directed to submit monthly sales statement from 1.4.94 showing that the import, sales and closing balance, particulars of brand name, batch number and quantity in case against each consignment as well as copies of import permits issued by the office export passes issued by the distillery against the import permits and advice notes containing details of the brand name etc. On the same date, 21.3.96 the petitioner's employee wrote another letter to the Deputy Commissioner that copies of certain other vital documents seized by them were required for the production of sales and stock statement. In reply to that letter dated 21.3.96 the petitioner's employee received a letter addressed to the petitioner on 21.3.96 at about 4 P.M. regarding furnishing of documents relating to liquor sales.

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.