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M/S Jaswant Sugar Mill Maliana Through Director v. State Of U.P. Through Secy. Sugar Industries And Cane Devl. - WRIT - C No. 39530 of 1996  RD-AH 2816 (7 February 2006)
Court no. 31
Civil Misc. Writ Petition no. 39530 of 1996
M/s. Jaswant Sugar Mill Maliana, Meerut
State of U.P. & ors.
Hon'ble Bharati Sapru, J.
This writ petition was filed by the petitioner seeking a writ of certiorari quashing the order dated 23.11.1996 passed by the Cane Commissioner acting as Prescribed Authority under U.P. Sugar Undertakings (Acquisition Act) 1971.
The case on facts is that the petitioner company had a sugar factory at Maliana in district Meerut which was acquired by the State Government and vested to the U.P. State Sugar Corporation Limited.
The petitioner, therefore, became entitled to compensation after determination of other statutory demands due against the petitioner factory. The sugar factory of the petitioner company having been acquired; possession of the sugar unit was taken over by the U.P. State Sugar Corporation Ltd., in the year 1984.
The determination of compensation payable to the petitioner company was to be done under the provisions of section 7 of the Act, 1971. The Act of 1971 also envisages the appointment of Prescribed Authority. The State Government by means of notifications issued by it from time to time notified the Prescribed Authority under the Act aforesaid.
It is the petitioner's case that normally the District Judge was appointed as Prescribed Authority under the Act but by means of notification dated 13.5.1995, State Government notified an officer other than the District Judge to be the Prescribed Authority. By the said notification, the Managing Director of the U.P. State Sugar Corporation Ltd., was appointed as the Prescribed Authority under the Act.
An issue was raised that the Managing Director of the U.P. State Sugar Corporation Ltd., could not have been appointed as the Prescribed Authority under the Act as he was an interested party and as such a writ petition was filed being writ petition no. 20086 of 1995 challenging the said notification. This Court quashed the notification and the writ petition was allowed.
Thereafter, the State Government issued another notification dated 4.10.1995 (Annexure 3 to the writ petition) by which the State Government notified the Cane Commissioner to act as the Prescribed Authority under the Act. This notification was also challenged in the writ petition no. 41083 of 1996 in which this Hon'ble Court passed the judgment and order on 22.4.1997 by which it held as under:
.......... "Therefore, under the said Act, the Cane Commissioner is an instrumentality in furnishing information with regard to the amount so to be deducted by the State Government. It is the Cane Commissioner who having been appointed Prescribed Authority would be required to determine the amount payable and as to the validity of the deduction so made by the State Government if it is so challenged. It might be a case that the claimant may also challenge the veracity or validity of the information furnished by the Cane Commissioner and in such case, the Prescribed Authority would be called upon to decide and determine the same even if while acting as an officer, it is expected and normally it is so done by such officer dispassionately but still then there might be scope of suspicion in the mind of the claimant that the Commissioner may develop bias and he might be a judge in his own cause in respect of such information furnished by him to the State Government."
In the result, this Court quashed the notification dated 4.10.1995 and allowed the writ petition. As such the judgment in the writ petition has become final.
Learned standing counsel was allowed an opportunity to seek instructions in the said matter but has not filed any reply to the affidavit filed by the petitioner, by which he has brought this fact on record of the case.
In the present case, it was the Cane Commissioner who had assumed the jurisdiction as the Prescribed Authority by virtue of the notification dated 4.10.1995. The said notification appointing the Cane Commissioner in this case Dr. Om Prakash as the Prescribed Authority under the Act has been quashed.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has, therefore, rightly contended that since the notification itself, which gives jurisdiction to the Prescribed Authority i.e. Cane Commissioner to assume powers under the said Act and to act as the Prescribed Authority, has been quashed, any proceedings held by him as Prescribed Authority under the Act also must fail and to be quashed.
The impugned order dated 23.11.1996 was also an order passed by the Casne Commissioner acting as Prescribed Authority under the Act. There is no doubt that the order was wholly without jurisdiction and therefore the order is declared to be null and void.
The order dated 23.11.1996 passed by the Cane Commissioner/Prescribed Authority is hereby quashed.
The writ petition is allowed but there will be no order as to costs.
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