Decided on October 03,1996

Uttam Kumar Roy And Others Appellant
State of West Bengal and Others Respondents


Ruma Pal, J. - (1.)The applicants have all applied for grant of licence to the District Magistrate, Burdwan for exhibition of films VCR/VCP, commonly known as Video Licence. The applicants application was rejected on 10th Jan., 1996 by the District Magistrate on the ground that there was an order of High Court to maintain status quo in respect of issuing tree Video Licences. As such the prayer for grant of Video Licence was not entertained at all No particulars of the proceedings in such order of status quo had been passed nor indeed the date of the order was given by the District Magistrate. After making enquiries the applicants came to learn of the following facts:-
The applicant are licence holders for Video shows under West Bengal Cinemas (Regulation) Act. 1954 (West Bengal Act 1 of 1954). They filed a writ application on in Oct. 1995 challenging that the steps taken by the respondents to issue licences for new Video holder is at Kalna Sub division in the District of Burdwan. An order of status quo was passed on 13th Oct., 1995 which was directed to continue until the writ application was decided.

(2.)The applicants have submitted before this Court that the interim order should be vacated on inter alia the following grounds:-
(1) The writ petitioners had no locus standi to challenge the grant of licence on the ground that they are merely competitors in the field. Reliance has been placed on the decisions reported in AIR 1971 SC 246, The Nagar Rice & Flour Mills & Ors. Vs. N. Teekappa Gowda & Bros & Ors ; AIR 1976 SC 578, J.M. Dasal Vs. Roshan Kumar Haji Bashir Ahmed and Ors ; AIR 1992 SC 443, Mithilesh Garg Vs. Union of India & Ors. and AIR 1995 Allahabad 447, Hari Prakash Gupta Vs. Zilla Panchaiat (Zilla Parishad).

(2) The next ground as far as the writ petitioners are concerned is that initially a writ application had been filed in 1993 by the writ petitioners being C O. No. 12766 (W)/1993. Interim orders had been passed by S.K Sen J. on 3.3.93 and 27.7.93. both interim orders will vacated by Shree Rang Mishra on 9.11.84. An appeal was preferred from this order by (he writ petitioners. The appeal was disposed of on 10.2 .95 by directing the authorities concerned to decide the matter in accordance with law. It is also submitted that a second writ application bad been filed before B P. Banerjee, J. which has been dismissed. These was another proceeding, this time initiated by the applicants herein being C.O. No 2999 (W)/95. This writ application was disposed of in favour of the applicants by an order dated 25th Aug., 1995 by N. Batabyal, J. who held that the refusal of the authorities to grant Video Licence to the applicants was arbitrary and who directed the grant of the Video Licence to the applicants within a period of 4 weeks The appeal from this order dated 25th Aug., 1995 by the writ petitioners intervenors has been dismissed on 27th Sept., 1996.

(3.)The learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the State has submitted that the State Government has nothing to say in the matter.

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