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Home > SC > Criminal Law > Essential Commodities Act > DISTRICT COLLECTOR CHITTOOR & ORS. Vs. CHITTOOR DISTRICT GROUNDNUT TRADERSASSOCIATION & ORS. ETC.



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DISTRICT COLLECTOR CHITTOOR & ORS. Vs. CHITTOOR DISTRICT GROUNDNUT TRADERSASSOCIATION & ORS. ETC.

Posted on 22 June 2009 by jyoti

Title

DISTRICT COLLECTOR CHITTOOR & ORS. Vs. CHITTOOR DISTRICT GROUNDNUT TRADERSASSOCIATION & ORS. ETC.



Coram

SINGH, K.N. (J)



Act

Essential Commodities Act



Subject

Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Dealers (Licensing
and Distribution) Order 1982: Clauses 3 and 12--State Gov-
ernment Circular Order dated June 21, 1985--Restrictions
imposed on transport of groundnut oil seeds and oil--Compul-
sory levy requiring millers and traders to supply oil to
State Government at a fixed price--Held ultra vires, illegal
and invalid--In excess of power under Section 3(1) of Essen-
tial Commodities Act 1955--No prior concurrence under sec-
tion 3(2) (f) of 1955 Act obtained.
Essential Commodities Act 1955: Section 3(1) and 3(2)(f)
and Central Government Notification GSR 800 dated June 9,
1978-Validity of Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Deal-
ers (Licensing and Distribution) Order 1982--State Govern-
ment not authorised to place restrictions on movement of
groundnut oil and seeds and subject traders to compulsory
levy-Object of obtaining prior concurrence of Central Gov-
ernment--Explained.
Administrative Law: Delegation of power--Delegate not
entitled to exercise powers in excess or in contravention of
delegated powers.





Citation

1989 AIR 989, 1989( 1 )SCR 243, 1989( 2 )SCC 58, 1989( 1 )SCALE146 , 1989( 1 )JT 139



Head Notes

The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 is a Central Enact-
ment providing for the control of the production, supply and
distribution, trade and commerce in certain specified essen-
tial commodities, Section 3 of the Act confers power on the
Central Government to provide for regulating or prohibiting
the production, supply and distribution thereof and trade
and commerce therein, if it is of the opinion that it is
necessary or expedient so to do for maintaining or increas-
ing supply of any essential commodities or of securing their
equal distribution and availability on fair price.
The Central Government issued the Notification No, GSR
800 dated June 9, 1978 delegating its powers under section
3(1) of the Act to the State Governments to make orders in
respect of the matters specified in the various sub-clauses
of sub-section (2) of section 3 in
relation to foodstuffs subject to certain conditions speci-
fied therein. By clause (2) of the Notification the Central
Government while delegating its powers under section 3 to
the State Government for issuing orders in respect of mat-
ters specified therein, expressly placed restriction on the
State Government relating to any matters specified in
clauses (a), (c), (d) and (f) of sub-section (2) of section
3 to the extent that while making an order pertaining to any
of the matters specified in the said clauses, the State
Government shall obtain prior concurrence of the Central
Government.
The State Government of Andhra Pradesh in exercise of
its powers under section 3(1) of the Act as delegated to it
by the Notification GSR 800 dated June 9, 1978 made the
Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Dealers (Licensing and
Distribution) Order, 1982 after obtaining prior concurrence
of the Central Government. This order sought to regulate the
sale and purchase of scheduled commodities as specified in
schedule I to the Order. Edible oil seeds and edible oil
were included in the said Schedule.
The State Government issued a circular order dated June
21, 1985, containing directions regulating the transport and
export of groundnut seeds and oil outside the State.
The oil millers and traders were permitted to export oil
and groundnut seeds only on the condition that they deliver
oil to the State Government at a fixed price in proportion
of one tome of oil for every three tonnes to be transported
outside the State. Similar conditions were imposed in re-
spect of groundnut seeds. The oil millers and traders were
required to execute undertaking for complying with the
directions issued by the State Government.
The respondents who were oil millers and traders carry-
ing on business in the sale and purchase of groundnut seed
and groundnut oil which is edible challenged the validity of
the 1982 Order and the 1985 Circular in writ petitions to
the High Court. A Single Judge quashed the order of the
State Government on the findings that the directions con-
tained therein violated Articles 19(1)(g) and 301. On appeal
by the State Government a Division Bench held that the order
of the government was violative of section 3(2)(f), section
3(31-B) and section 3(5) of the Essential Commodities Act,
1955 as the directions contained in the order amounted to
imposition of levy which could not be done without obtaining
the prior concurrence of the Central Government in terms of
section 3(2)(f) of Act. It further held that the directions
contained in the
Government Order were outside the purview of the State
Government under clause 12 of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled
Commodities Dealers (Licensing and Distribution) Order,
1982. No finding was however recorded on the question wheth-
er the Order violated the constitutional guarantee of free
trade under Art. 301.
In the appeals to this Court, it was contended on behalf
of the appellants that the directions contained in the
Government Order dated 21st June, 1985 were issued by the
State Government in exercise of its powers under clause
12(2) of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Dealers
(Licensing and Distribution) Order, 1982 which had been made
by the State Government with the prior concurrence of the
Central Government in exercise of powers conferred by sec-
tion 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and that the
directions were legal and valid.
Dismissing the appeals,
HELD: 1. The High Court has rightly struck down the
directions issued by the State Government. The directions
contained in the Government Circular Order dated June 21,
1985 are illegal and void as the same have been issued in
exercise of and in contravention of the power delegated to
the State Government under the Notification No. GSR 800
dated June 9, 1978. [256E; 253F]
2. The 1982 Order which was framed by the State Govern-
ment in exercise of the delegated powers does not contain
any provision placing any restriction on the transport or
movement of edible oil or oil seeds nor it provides for
imposition of compulsory levy further it does not fix any
price. [253C-D]
3. The directions issued by the State Government by its
Circular Order dated June 21, 1985 placing restrictions on
the movement of oil seeds and oil and imposing compulsory
levy and requiring millers and traders to sell oil seeds and
oil at a price fixed by it, are outside the purview of 1982
Order. These directions have no sanction of law. [253D-E]
4. If the State Government was facing any problem it
could have made amendments to the 1982 Order regulating
matters specified in clauses (d) and (f) of section 3(2) of
the Act after obtaining prior concurrence of the Central
Government. No such course was followed. [253E-F]
5. The State Government's directions requiring the
millers and traders to sell groundnut oil to the State
Government is a matter directly specified within the terms
of section 3(2)(f) of the Act. The State Government had no
authority to place any such restriction without the prior
concurrence of the Central Government. [254G-H]
6. The purpose and object for obtaining prior concur-
rence is to ensure availability of essential commodity
throughout the country. The State Governments are not autho-
rised to impose restrictions on the movement of the essen-
tial commodities as it would have reflection in other States
both in regard to the price and in regard to the availabili-
ty of the commodity for distribution. The Central Government
has the responsibility of maintaining a balance between the
interest of the various States and ensuring the availability
of essential commodities for distribution at a fair price in
other States also. All relevant aspects are necessary to be
scrutinised by the Central Government in giving or refusing
its concurrence not merely from the point of view of the
State imposing restrictions but bearing in mind the condi-
tions of trade and industry and the demand and supply of the
concerned commodities in other States. Unless the Central
Government is satisfied that it would be in the interest of
all concerned, it may withhold concurrence for imposing
restrictions on free movement of essential commodities.
[254C-E]
7. A delegate is not entitled to exercise powers in
excess or in contravention of the delegated powers. If any
order is issued or framed in excess of the powers delegated
to the authorities, such order would be illegal and void.
[251B-C]
8. The power of the authorities specified in sub-clause
1(1) of clause 12 of the Order to issue instructions and
directions is limited to the subject matter of the 1982
Order. Such directions and instructions cannot pertain to
regulate matters which are not covered or dealt with by the
1982 Order. Such directions and instructions cannot pertain
to regulate matters which are not covered or dealt with by
the 1982 Order. [255F-G]
9. The State Government could not impose any restriction
on the export of groundnut seed or oil to outside the State
and further it could not issue directions for the compulsory
levy at the specified price in view of the limitations
placed on exercise of its powers under the notification
dated June 9, 1978. What it could not do directly could not
be permitted to be done indirectly by virtue of clause 12 of
the 1982 Order. The scope and ambit of clause 12(2) of the
1982 Order did not authorise the State
Government to impose the restrictions in the Circular Order
dated June 21, 1985. [256B-C]



Judgment Made On

18/01/1989

JUDGMENT:
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal Nos. 2591-
2597 of 1987.
From the Judgment and Order dated 11.2. 1987 of the
Andhra Pradesh High Court in Writ Appeal Nos. 1418 to 1424
of 1986.
P.A. Choudhary, T.V.S.N. Chari, Ms. Sunita Rao and Badri
Nath for the Appellants.
A.K. Ganguli, C.V. Subba Rao, E. Ayyapu Reddy, G. Nara-
simhulu and A. Subba Rao for the Respondents.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
SINGH, J. These appeals are directed against the judg-
ment and order of a Division Bench of the High Court of
Andhra Pradesh dated 11.2.1987 affirming the judgment of a
learned single Judge of that Court allowing the respondents'
writ petitions made under Article 226 of the constitution
and quashing the State Government's Order dated 21.6.1985.
The respondents are oil millers and traders who carry on
business in the sale and purchase of groundnut seed and
groundnut seed oil which is edible. The millers purchase
groundnuts and manufacture oil in their mills thereafter
they sell the same in the State and outside the State.
Similarly the traders purchase the groundnut seed and
groundnut oil and sell the same in the State and outside the
State of Andhra Pradesh. The State Government issued a
Circular Order dated 21.6.1985 containing directions regu-
lating the transport and export of groundnut seeds and oil
outside the State. The oil millers and traders were permit-
ted to export oil and groundnut seeds only on the condition
contained in the Order according to which all millers and
traders were required to deliver oil to the State Government
at a fixed price in proportion of one tonne of oil for every
three tonnes to be transported outside the State and simi-
larly a trader was required to supply to the State Govern-
ment one tonne of oil for every five tonnes of groundnut
seeds proposed to be transported outside the State on the
price fixed by the State Government. The oil millers and
traders were required to execute undertaking for complying
with the directions issued by the State Government. The
Government Order warned the oil millers and
248
traders that action would be taken against them if they
failed to comply with the directions of the Government. In
substance the State Government imposed compulsory levy on
oil millers and traders on the transport and export of
groundnut oil and seeds. The respondents challenged the
validity of the Order of the State Government by means of
writ petitions before the Andhra Pradesh High Court. A
learned single Judge quashed the Order of the State Govern-
ment on the findings that the directions contained therein
violate Articles 19(1)(g) and 301 of the Constitution. On
appeal by the State Government a Division Bench of the High
Court held that the Government Order was violative of Sec-
tion 3(2)(f), Section 3(3)-B and Section 3(5) of the Essen-
tial Commodities Act 1955 (hereinafter referred to as the
Act) as the directions contained in the Order amounted to
imposition of levy which could not be done without obtaining
prior concurrence of the Central Government in terms of
Section 3(2)(f) of the Act. The Bench further held that the
directions contained in the impugned Government Order are
outside the power of the State Government under clause 12 of
the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Dealers (Licensing
& Distribution) Order 1982. The Division Bench did not
record any finding on the question whether the Government
Order violated the constitutional guarantee of free trade
under Article 301 of the Constitution.
Mr. Chaudhary, learned counsel for the appellants con-
tended that the directions contained in the Government Memo
dated 21.6.1985 were issued by the State Government in
exercise of its powers under clause 12(2) of the Andhra
Pradesh Scheduled Commodities Dealers (Licencing & Distribu-
tion) Order 1982 (hereinafter referred to as the 1982 Order)
which had been made by the State Government with the prior
concurrence of the Central Government in exercise of the
powers conferred by Section 3 of the Act. The impugned
directions are legal and valid as the same are within the
purview of 1982 Order. Having given our anxious considera-
tion to the submissions made on behalf of the appellants we
find no merit in these appeals.
The 1982 Order was framed by the State Government in
exercise of delegated powers under Section 3(1) of the Act
with the prior concurrence of the Central Government. The
Act is a central enactment providing for the control of the
production, supply and distribution, trade and commerce in
certain specified essential commodities. Section 3 confers
power on the Central Government to provide for regulating or
prohibiting the production, supply and distribution thereof
and trade and commerce therein if it is of opinion that it
is necessary or
249
expedient so to do for maintaining or increasing supplies of
any essential commodity or for securing their equitable
distribution and availability at fair prices. The Central
Government has the legal sanction to issue orders under the
aforesaid provisions for securing the aforesaid objectives
which may include control of price, regulation of production
and manufacture of any essential commodity, regulation,
movement, transport, sale and distribution of the essential
commodities and other allied matters. Section 5 empowers the
Central Government to delegate its powers under Section 3
for issuing orders or notifications to such officers or
authorities subordinate to the Central Government or to
State Government or such officers or authorities subordinate
to State Government as may be specified in the order in
relation to such matters and subject to such condition as it
may specify in the order. The Central Government is compe-
tent to delegate powers to the State Government or its
officers and it may further specify restrictions and condi-
tions for the exercise of the delegated power. Any order
issued under Section 3 of the Act is legislative in nature
and is required to be notified in the official gazette under
Section 3(5) of the Act. The Central Government in the
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Department of Food)
issued the Notification No. GSR 800 dated 9th June 1973
delegating its powers under Section 3(1) of the Act to the
State Government to make orders in respect of the matters
specified in various sub-clauses of sub-section (2) of
Section 3 in relation to foodstuffs subject to certain
conditions specified therein. The Notification is as under:
"PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE OF INDIA (PART) II
SECTION 3 SUB-SECTION (i) DATED 17TH JUNE,
1978/27 JYAISTHA, 1900 (SAKA).
................
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE & IRRIGATION
(DEPARTMENT OF FOOD)
.............
ORDER
New Delhi, the 9th June, 1978.
G.S.R. 800--In exercise of the powers con-
ferred by Section 5 of the Essential Commodi-
ties Act, 1955 (10 of 1955),
250
and in supersession of the Order of the Gov-
ernment of India in the late Ministry of
Agriculture, (Department of Food) No. GSR,
315(E) dated the 20th June 1972, the Central
Government hereby directs that the powers
conferred on it by sub-section (1) of Section
3 of the said Act to make orders to provide
for the matters specified in clauses (a), (b),
(c), (d), (e), (f), (h), (i) and (j) of sub-
section 2 thereof shall, in relation to food-
stuffs be exercisable also by a State Govern-
ment subject to the conditions:
(1) that such powers shall be exer-
cised by a State Government subject to such
directions, if any, as may be issued by the
Central Government in this behalf;
(2) that before making an order
relating to any matter specified in the said
clauses (a), (c) or (f) or in regard to dis-
tribution of disposal of foodstuffs to places
outside the State or in regard to regulation
of transport of any foodstuff, under the said
clause (d), the State Government shall also
obtain the prior concurrence of the Central
Government; and
(3) that in making an order relating
to any of the matters specified in the said
clause (j), the State Government shall autho-
rise only an officer of the Government.
sd/-
(K. Balakrishnan)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India.
No. 3 (Genl)(1)-D & R(1)-59"
By Clause (2) of the Notification the Central Government
while delegating its powers under Section 3 of the Act to
the State Government for issuing orders in respect of the
matters specified therein, expressly placed restriction on
the State Government relating to any matters specified in
clauses (a), (c), (d) and (f) of sub-section (2) of Section
3 of the Act to the extent that while making an order per-
taining to any matters specified in the aforesaid clauses
the State Government shall obtain prior concurrence of the
Central Government. The Notification is manifestly clear
that the Central Government did not delegate to the State
Government its general power to pass any order
251
under Section 3(1) of the Act for regulating or prohibiting
the production, supply and distribution of the specified
essential commodities and trade and commerce therein. On the
other hand the State Government was delegated limited power
to make orders in relation to foodstuffs subject to certain
conditions specified in the Notification after obtaining
prior sanction of the Central Government. Any order made by
the State Government regulating matters specified in clause
(2) of the Notification without obtaining the prior sanction
of the Central Government would be in contravention of the
delegated power. A delegate is not entitled to exercise
powers in excess or in contravention of the delegated pow-
ers. If any order is issued or framed in excess of the
powers delegated to the authorities, such order would be
illegal and void.
In the instant case the State Government in exercise of
its powers conferred by Section 3 of Essential Commodities
Act as delegated to it by Notification GSR-800 dated 9th
June, 1978 made the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Commodities
Dealers (Licencing and Distribution) Order 1982, after
obtaining prior concurrence of the Central Government. This
Order seeks to regulate the sale and purchase of scheduled
commodities as specified in Schedule 1 to the Order. Edible
oil seeds and edible oil are included in Schedule 1 to the
Order. Clause 3 of the Order provides that no person shall
carry on business as a dealer except under and in accordance
with the terms and conditions of a licence issued by the
licensing authority. Other provisions relate to the proce-
dure for grant, renewal, and cancellation of licence. Clause
11 places restriction on storing of scheduled commodities,
it provides for the maximum quantity which is permitted to
be stored by a licence. Clause 13 provides that the Govern-
ment/Commissioner/Collector may direct a dealer to convert
edible oil seeds into edible oils stored or held by him.
Clause 14 provides that a licence holder transacting busi-
ness in purchase and sale of scheduled commodities shall not
purchase commodities at prices lower than the notified
procurement price from farmers. Similarly, clause 115 pro-
vides that the licencee shall not sell the scheduled commod-
ities at a price higher than the maximum price fixed if any
by the Central Government or by the State Government. It is
not necessary for the purpose of the present cases to refer
to the other clauses of the Order. There is no dispute that
the provisions of the Order do not place any restriction on
the movement or transport of groundnut oil seeds or oil
outside the State nor the Order fixes any price for the
edible oil. It appears that a number of millers, traders
were exporting.groundnut seeds and oil outside the State of
Andhra Pradesh. The State Government issued directions to
the Collectors
252
and Licensing Authorities to ensure that groundnut seeds and
oil produced in a District is sold within the District and
in the State and the same is not permitted to be moved out
of the State. The oil millers and traders were told to
ensure that the price of edible oils are maintained around
Rs. 14 per k.g. in the retail market. By a circular letter
dated 6th December, 1983 the State Government directed the
licensing authorities, Collectors and other officers of the
State to ensure that producers, millers and traders are not
permitted to transport the groundnut seeds or oil outside
the State and it further directed that the restriction
imposed on movement of groundnut be removed with immediate
effect so far as bona fide farmers are concerned but so far
as the millers and traders were concerned movement of oil
seeds and oil was subject to their agreement to supply
certain quantities of groundnuts seeds and oil to the State
Government at the price fixed by it. Since there was problem
of storage the millers and traders were required to give
undertaking in writing that they would deliver the quanti-
ties due from them whenever demanded and on the basis of
such undertakings they were permitted to transport three
times quantity of oil for which undertaking was furnished.
The policy as set out in the Government's Order dated
6.12.1983 was enforced for the year 198384. For the year
1984-85 the Government took policy decision details of which
were communicated to the licensing authorities, Collectors
and other authorities of the State under its circular letter
dated 21.6.1985. Under the revised policy bona fide farmers
were permitted to move and sell groundnut produced in their
own field without any restriction anywhere in the country.
But the policy requiring the oil millers and traders to
deliver to the State Civil Supply Corporation, a specified
quantity of oil enabling them to transport oil and groundnut
seeds outside the State was continued. By the Government
Order dated 6.12.1985 the policy adopted for the year 1984-
85 was directed to be continued for the year 1985-86.
The policy decision taken by the State Government and
enforced under the aforesaid circular letter placed restric-
tion on the transport and movement of edible oil and oil
seeds and it further imposed compulsory levy requiring the
millers and traders to supply oil to the State Government at
the price fixed by it. There is no doubt that these steps
were taken bona fide to ensure availability of the edible
oil and oil seeds for public distribution at fair price but
the steps taken by the State Government were not permissible
in law as the 1982 Order did not confer power on the Govern-
ment to place such restrictions. Section 3(2)(d) provides
for regulating by licence, permits or otherwise the storage
transport, distribution, disposal, acquisition, use or con-
253
sumption Of any essential commodity. Clause (f) of Section
3(2) of the Act confers power for making an order requiting
any person holding in stock or engaged in the production or
in the business of buying or selling of any essential com-
modity to sell the whole or specified part of quantity held
in or produced or received by him to the Government or to an
officer or agent of the Government. Clause (d) among other
things provides for regulating transport and movement of an
essential commodity while clause (f) confers power to impose
compulsory levy on a person holding the essential commodity
in stock by selling the same to the Government. Section 3(3)
provides that a person selling any essential commodity to
the Government in compliance with the Order made with refer-
ence to clause (f) of sub-section (2) shall be paid con-
trolled price if any fixed by the Government or agreed
between the parties and in the absence of agreement the
price payable would be at the market rate prevailing in the
locality on the date of sale. The 1982 Order which was
framed by the State Government in exercise of the delegated
powers does not contain any provision placing any restric-
tion on the transport or movement of the edible oil or oil
seeds nor it provide for imposition of compulsory levy,
further it does not fix any price. The directions issued by
the Government placing restriction on the movement of oil
seeds and oil and imposing compulsory levy and requiting
millers and traders to sell oil seeds and oil at a price
fixed by it, are outside the purview of the 1982 Order.
Those directions have no sanction of law. If the State
Government was facing any problem it could have made amend-
ments in the 1982 Order regulating matters specified in
clauses (d) and (f) of Section 3(2) of the Act after obtain-
ing the prior concurrence of the Central Government. No such
course was followed. There is therefore no escape from the
conclusion that the directions contained in the impugned
Government Order are illegal and void as the same have been
issued in exercise of and in contravention of the power
delegated to the State Government under the Notification
dated 9.6.1978.
Learned counsel for the appellants urged that the direc-
tions issued by the State Government placing restriction on
the transport, movement and compulsory levy on the edible
oils and oil seeds were placed with the prior concurrence of
the Central Government. We find no merit in the submission.
The State Government failed to place any material before the
Court to show that the prior concurrence of the Central
Government as contemplated by clause (2) of the Notification
dated 9.6.1978 issued by the Government of India, was ob-
tained. The State Government while issuing or making orders
in respect of the essential commodities under Section 3 of
the Act could make provision
254
to the extent and subject to the conditions specified in the
Notification dated 9.6.1978, it had no power to make any
order in respect of matters for which it had not been autho-
rised to exercise powers under Section 3 of the Act. The
State Government clearly transgressed the legislative au-
thority in issuing the directions are contained in its
circular letters dated 6.12.1983 and 21.6.1985. In fact an
affidavit was filed on behalf of the Central Government
stating that no concurrence of the Central Government had
been obtained and the State Government had not competence to
exercise powers in respect of matters specified in clauses
(d) and (f) of Section 3(2) of the Act. The purpose and
object for obtaining prior concurrence is to ensure avail-
ability of essential commodity throughout the country. The
State Governments are not authorised to impose restrictions
on the movement of the essential commodities as it would
have reflection in other States both in regard to the price
and in regard to the availability of the commodity for
distribution. The Central Government has the responsibility
of maintaining a balance between the interest of the various
States and it has to ensure the availability of essential
commodities for distribution at a fair price in other States
also. All relevant aspects are necessary to be scrutinised
by the Central Government in giving or refusing its concur-
rence not merely from the point of view of the State impos-
ing restrictions but beating in mind the conditions of trade
and industry and the demand and supply of the concerned
commodities in other States. Unless the Central Government
is satisfied that it would be in the interest of all con-
cerned, it may withhold concurrence for imposing restric-
tions on free movement of essential commodities. It is in
this context that while delegating the powers to the State
Government under Section 3 of the Act for making orders in
respect of the matters specified in Section 3 of the Act the
Central Government placed limitations in respect of matters
specified in clause (f) of Section 3(2) of the Act by pro-
viding that such power shall not be exercised by the State
Government without obtaining its prior concurrence. Before
the learned single judge the entire correspondence which
passed between the State Government and the Central Govern-
ment was placed and on perusal of the same the learned
Single Judge recorded a positive finding that the Central
Government was opposed to restrictions on export of ground-
nut seeds and groundnut oil. The State Government's direc-
tions requiring the millers and traders to sell groundnut
oil to the State Government is a matter directly specified
within the terms of Section 3(2)(f) of the Act it is there-
fore clear that the State Government had no authority to
place any such restriction without the prior concurrence of
the Central Government.
255
Learned counsel for the appellants then urged that
impugned restrictions could validly be placed by the State
Government in public interest in exercise of its powers
under clause 12 of the 1982 Order which had been framed with
the prior concurrence of the Central Government. There is no
dispute that clause 12 of the 1982 Order was framed by the
State Government with the prior concurrence of the Central
Government but the question is as to whether clause 12 of
the 1982 Order confers any authority on the State Government
to place restriction on the movement and transport of edible
oil and seeds or to subject the millers and traders to
compulsory levy. Clause 12 of the Order is as under:
"12. Power to issue directions:
(1) The Government, the Commissioner, the
Collector or the licensing authority may issue
instructions or directions on all matters
covered by the provisions of this order and
all dealers shall comply with the same.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing power such directions may be issued
to any dealer that all or any of the commodi-
ties mentioned in Schedule I to this Order may
be sold to only such persons or institutions,
in such quantities and at such intervals as
the Commissioner, Collector, or the licensing
authority may by general or special order,
direct."
Sub-clause ( 1 ) of Clause 12 authorises the Government,
Commissioner, Collector or the licensing authority to issue
instructions and directions in matters covered by the provi-
sions of the 1982 Order it further provides that such direc-
tions shall be complied by all dealers. The power of the
authorities specified in sub-clause (1) to issue instruc-
tions and directions is limited to the subject matter of the
1982 Order. Such directions and instructions cannot pertain
to regulate matters which are not covered or dealt with by
the 1982 Order. Sub-clause (2) of Clause 12 of the Order
provides that directions may be issued to any dealer to sell
an essential commodity (as mentioned in Schedule 1 to the
Order) only to such persons or institutions in such quanti-
ties as may be directed by the Commissioner, Collector or
the licensing authority. This clause regulates the sale of
essential commodity to the specified persons and institu-
tions in such quantities as may be directed by the authori-
ties. None of these two clauses confer any power on the
authorities to impose levy or to fix price for the essential
commodities
256
supplied to the Government. As already noticed, restriction
on transport, imposition of levy and fixation of price was
not the subject matter of the 1982 Order therefore the State
Government had no authority in law to issue orders in re-
spect of the aforesaid matters in exercise of its powers
under Clause 12 of the 1982 Order. If the submissions made
on behalf of the State Government are accepted it would
nullify the restrictions and limitations placed by the
Notification dated 9th June 1978 delegating legislative
power to the State Government. The State Government could
not impose any restriction on the export of groundnut seed
or oil to outside State and further it could not issue
directions for the compulsory levy at the specified price in
view of the limitations placed on exercise of its powers
under the Notification dated 9th June 1978. What it could
not do directly could not be permitted to be done indirectly
by virtue of clause 12 of the 1982 Order. The scope and
ambit of clause 12(2) of the 1982 Order could not and did
not authorise the State Government to impose the impugned
restrictions.
We are therefore of the opinion that no exception can be
taken to the view taken by the High Court that the impugned
restrictions placed by the State Government are ultra vires
of its powers. The High Court has rightly struck down the
directions issued by the State Government. We find no merit
in these appeals and the same are accordingly dismissed with
costs.
N.V.K. Appeals dis-
missed.
257





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