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Nusrat Ali v. State Of U.P Thru' Secretary Food & Civil Supply And Others - WRIT - C No. 24172 of 2004  RD-AH 399 (8 January 2007)
Court no. 23
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 24172 of 2004.
State of U.P. and others......................................Respondents.
Hon. S.N.Srivastava, J.
Impugned herein is the order dated 11.12.2003 passed by Sub Divisional Officer Budaun by which licence of fair price shop allotted in favour of petitioner has been revoked.
It would appear from the record that initially the fair price shop situated in village Ikhri Bisiyan District Budaun was allotted in favour of the petitioner and by means of the impugned order, the licence of the said shop was revoked and it was allotted in favour of one Malik Khan arrayed as respondent no. 4 in the writ petition.
The main brunt of the argument is that the petitioner has been afforded no opportunity of being heard; that no notice was served to the petitioner before passing the impugned order and as such he could not submit effect reply in vindication of his innocence against the allegations which were made basis for passing the impugned order. The other allied argument advanced across the bar is that political pressure was brought to bear and the impugned order was obtained due to political clout exercised by Opp. Party no. 5 in favour of opposite party no. 4. Various other pleas were also pressed into service.
Per contra, learned Standing counsel as well as learned counsel representing Opp. Party no.4 did not repudiate that notice was not served. However, much stress was laid by the counsel on the fact that the petitioner was not domiciled in village and instead he was a denizen of the city of Budaun and therefore, notice could not be served.
Upon consideration of the arguments advanced across the bar and regard being had to the materials on record, the undisputed fact remains that no notice was served to the petitioner before passing the impugned order and further that the impugned order was made without observing in compliance the principles of natural justice and in the facts and circumstances, no order could be passed without affording opportunity of hearing to the petitioner particularly when it involved cancellation of licence to run the fair price shop. No doubt, allegations against the petitioner are serious but in the absence of opportunity to the petitioner to defend himself qua the charges/complaints/allegations howsoever grave they may be, the impugned cannot be sustained.
In view of the above the petition succeeds and is allowed on this count alone that the impugned order was passed without observing the principles of natural justice. In consequence, the impugned order shall stand quashed. However, the Sub Divisional Officer is directed to decide the matter afresh in accordance with law within a period not exceeding three months from the date of presentation of a certified copy of this order of course having affording opportunity of hearing to the parties. It needs hardly be said that this Court has not expressed any opinion on merits which shall be gone into by the Sub Divisional Officer after affording opportunity of hearing to all concerned. It is made clear that the petitioner would been entitled to raise all questions of fact and law.
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