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Jagat Bhan Singh v. State Of U.P. & Others - WRIT - C No. 39761 of 2005  RD-AH 547 (10 January 2007)
Court no. 23
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 39761 of 2005
Jagat Bhan Singh......................................................Petitioner
State of U.P. and others..........................................Respondents.
Challenge in this petition is to the order dated 6.5.1997 passed by Sub Divisional Officer, Patiali, District Etah and also the appellate order dated 21.2.2005 passed by the Commissioner, Agra Division Agra.
The dispute in the instant writ petition revolves round the Fair Price Shop situated in Gram Panchayat Majhola Gram Sabha Musiyar Tahsil Block Patiyali District Etah being run by the petitioner. Subsequently, the licence of the said shop was initially suspended and ultimately, the licence was rescinded.
The main plank of the argument advanced across the bar is that the impugned order is a cryptic order which does not deal with the detailed reply submitted to the charge sheet by the petitioner and by this reckoning, the order passed by the Sub Divisional officer is no order in the eye of law.
It would transpire from a perusal of paragraph 8 of the counter affidavit that the petitioner was issued charge-sheet to which the petitioner submitted his reply. I have been taken through the impugned order also which is annexed to the writ petition as Annexure no.2. The order is a cryptic order, which does not reveal anything except the conclusion. The substance of the order passed by the Sub Divisional Officer is that the petitioner had not appended sale register or any other evidence which may go to confute the charges levelled against him and thereafter, the Sub Divisional Officer proceeds to rescind the licence issued in favour of the petitioner. It is not discernible from the impugned order that the Sub Divisional officer either considered the reply submitted by the petitioner objectively or he applied his mind by discussing the allegations or the contents of reply submitted by the petitioner to the charges/allegations. No finding whatsoever has been recorded by the Officer which may be eloquent of the fact that the officer reckoned with the materials on record and further what were the grounds which weighed with the officer to accept or reject the pleading of the party and ultimately the basis for the conclusions arrived at. In this connection, I would not scruple to say that the impugned order passed has its foundation in the Control order issued under the Essential Commodities Act and by this reckoning, the function performed by the Sub Divisional officer is a statutory function and he is obligated upon to reckon with and weigh with each and every averment contained in the reply submitted by the petitioner in response to the charge sheet. By means of a catena of decision, it has been stressed time and again that the officer performing statutory functions must give reasons in as much as failure to give reasons amounts to denial of justice. The right to reason is an indispensable part of a sound judicial system. To be precise, one of the salutary requirements of natural justice is spelling out reasons for the order made.
In view of the above, the petition succeeds and is allowed. The impugned order dated 6.5.1997 passed by Sub Divisional Officer, Patiali District Etah and also the appellate order dated 21.2.2005 passed by the Commissioner, Agra Division Agra are quashed. In consequence, it would follow that the petitioner's licence shall stand restored and he would be allowed to run the fair price shop accordingly.
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