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M/S Dhanaura Filling And Service Station & Another v. Chief Divisional Manager I.B.P. Co. Ltd. & Others - WRIT - C No. - 40939 of 1998  RD-AH 15555 (14 September 2007)
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.40939 of 1998
M/s Dhanaura Filling and Service Station, Mandi Dhanaura, District Jyotibaphule Nagar and another ............ Petitioners
Chief Divisional Manager, I.B.P. Company Limited,
Divisional Office, 3rd Floor, Jeevan Prakash, Block-I
Sanjay Palace, Agra and others ............. Respondents
Hon'ble Anjani Kumar, J.
Hon'ble Sabhajeet Yadav, J.
By this petition, the petitioners have challenged the order dated 5.11.1998 and 23.11.1998 contained in Annexures 3 and 6 respectively to this petition.
Petitioner no.1 is the firm and authorised dealer of petroleum products of the I.B.P. Company Ltd. and petitioner no.2 is the sole proprietor. They are carrying on the business of sale of petroleum products of the respondent company including diesel, petroleum and lube from its pumping station situated at Mandi Dhanaura in district Jyotiba phule Nagar. The Officers of the respondent company has made an inspection of the retail outlet of the petitioners on 17.7.1998. On the basis of inspection report a show cause notice dated 24.7.1998 was given to the petitioners, wherein it was stated that on account of missing of totaliser seal the petitioners are guilty of breach of prevalent marketing diesel discipline guidelines. The petitioners gave reply to the said notice on 5.8.1998. Thereafter an order dated 5.11.1998 has been passed in a very cryptic manner, whereunder penalties of Rs.2000 has been imposed upon the petitioners and supply of petroleum products was suspended for 15 days. Immediately thereafter on 23.11.1998 without any subsequent inspection and without any show cause notice, the aforesaid penalties already imposed, have been enhanced from Rs.2000/- to Rs.70,000/- and the period of suspension of supply was also enhanced from 15 days to further 30 days. The petitioners have challenged both the orders dated 5.11.1998 and 23.11.1998 on the ground that the aforesaid orders have been passed without opportunity of hearing to them to have their say in the matter. Accordingly, the orders are nonest, nullity and in utter violation of principles of natural justice.
We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner and also perused the impugned orders. No counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of the respondents. From the perusal of impugned order dated 23.11.1998 contained in Annexure-6 of the writ petition, there is nothing to indicate that after imposition of penalty on 5.11.1998, the respondent company has made any subsequent inspection and any subsequent show cause notice has been given to the petitioners, rather the penalties imposed earlier have been enhanced without any rhyme or reason and in utter violation of principles of natural justice. Therefore, in our opinion the impugned order suffers from vice of violation of principles of natural justice and cannot be sustained. Accordingly, the impugned order dated 23.11.1998 is hereby quashed. However, the respondents are at a liberty to pass fresh order after affording opportunity of hearing to the petitioners.
With the aforesaid observation, the writ petition succeeds and is allowed to the extend indicated hereinabove.
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