IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION No. 11227 of 2007 For Approval and Signature:
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE AKSHAY H.MEHTA ========================================================= 1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to see the judgment ?
2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ?
3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of the judgment ?
4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the constitution of India, 1950 or any order made thereunder ?
5 Whether it is to be circulated to the civil judge ?
========================================================= VIJAYKUMAR G DAVE - Petitioner(s) Versus THE STATE OF GUJARAT & 2 - Respondent(s) ========================================================= Appearance :
MR KIRTIDEV R DAVE : MR RAHUL K DAVE for Petitioner(s) : 1, MR NEERAJ SONI A.G.P. for Respondent(s) : 1-3 ========================================================= CORAM : HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE AKSHAY H.MEHTA Date : 26/04/2007 ORAL JUDGMENT
1. RULE. Mr. Neeraj Soni learned A.G.P., waives service of rule on behalf of the respondents. At the request of the learned advocates for the respective
parties, the matter is taken up for final hearing today itself.
2. The petitioner has made a grievance that his license for vending stamps has been cancelled by respondent no. 3 by order dated 6th March, 2007, without affording any opportunity of hearing to him. He has further averred that even the appellate authority, namely respondent no. 2 by communication addressed to the petitioner dated 7th April, 2007 informed the petitioner that the relief claimed by him in the appeal cannot be granted and thereby, he has disposed of the appeal without assigning any reasons or even affording any opportunity of hearing to the petitioner.
2.1. It appears from the record that the petitioner was issued license for vending judicial and non-judicial stamps bearing no. 16/1989, which was renewed up to 31st March, 2007. In respect of the same, one Mr. P.J. Parmar, Convener, Harijan Cell, Thangadh, submitted an application to the authority and in pursuance of the same, on 20th February, 2007, a surprise checking was made and the petitioner was not found at the place of his stamp vending. Hence, respondent no. 3 passed the aforesaid order dated 6th March, 2007 observing that the petitioner was not remaining present regularly at the place of stamp vending. He was also not forwarding monthly statements regarding sale of stamps regularly. He further observed that the petitioner was not regular in discharging his duty. He, therefore, cancelled license bearing no. 16/1989 for vending judicial and non-judicial stamps. He directed the petitioner to hand over the unsold stamps to another stamp vendor, namely Shri Navinchandra Shantilal Mehta. The petitioner thereafter preferred an appeal, which was disposed of by respondent no. 2 by making the aforesaid observations.
2.2. It is submitted by Mr. Dave learned advocate for the petitioner that both the orders have been passed by the respondents without affording any opportunity of hearing to the petitioner. He has further submitted that at the time when the inspection was made the petitioner had sustained fracture of the hand. He was not found because he had severe pain in his hand. However, the authority has not even made any effort to find out the cause of his absence. Mr. Dave has further submitted that both the orders have been passed without application of mind. As against that Mr. Neeraj Soni learned A.G.P., appearing for the respondents has supported the orders and has submitted that because of the defaults committed by the petitioner, the license were cancelled and the respondents were well within their limits to pass such orders.
3. I have closely perused the record of this petition and in particular, the impugned orders. In the order of respondent no. 3 it is not mentioned that the petitioner was heard before passing the said order. It only reflects that while considering the case of the petitioner, only the application filed by Mr. P.J. Parmar was kept in view. Therefore, it is obvious that the petitioner was not given any opportunity of hearing. Same is the case with the communication addressed to the petitioner by respondent no. 2. This amounts to gross violation of principles of natural justice. Even, these orders do not adequately reflect the details of the defaults of the petitioner. In view of the same, they are passed without proper application of mind. It may be noted here, that respondent no. 3 has taken into consideration even the order cancelling the license of the petitioner in the year 2002, which was subsequently quashed and set aside by the appellate authority.
4. In the aforesaid circumstances, both these orders have to go and they are hereby quashed and set aside. The case is remitted to respondent no. 3 for reconsideration. Respondent no. 3 will issue proper show cause notice setting out all the allegations that the authority may propose to level against the petitioner and after affording to him proper opportunity of hearing and to produce necessary material to defend his interest, the decision may be taken in accordance with law and on merits of the case. The exercise to be completed on or before 30th June, 2007.
5. The petition is, therefore, allowed. Rule is made absolute with no order as to costs.
[Akshay H. Mehta, J.] /phalguni/