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Itc Limited v. State Of U.P. And Others - WRIT - C No. 22696 of 2006  RD-AH 10179 (24 May 2006)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.22696 of 2006
ITC Limited, Saharanpur
State of U.P. & Ors.
Hon'ble Dr. B.S. Chauhan, J.
Hon'ble Dilip Gupta, J.
The petitioner has prayed for quashing the order dated 31st March, 2006 whereby the respondent Krishi Utpadan Mandi Samiti, Saharanpur has imposed a levy of Rs. 5,71,80,200 as market fee and Rs. 1,42,95,050 as development cess on the value of tobacco brought by the petitioner from States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to its factory at Saharanpur. It was merely a transfer of stock by the petitioner Company. The levy is under the provisions of Section 17 (iii) (b) of the U.P. Krishi Utpadan Mandi Adhiniyam, 1964 (hereinafter referred to as the ''Act').
The petition was entertained as a fresh matter on 26.04.2006 and an interim order was granted fixing the matter for admission/final disposal on 22.05.2006. In between, the parties exchanged affidavits which are on record.
On 22nd May, 2006, the hearing commenced and Shri B.D. Mandhyan, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the respondent Mandi Samiti raised a preliminary objection regarding maintainability of the writ petition pointing out that as the impugned order is revisable under Section 32 of the Act. The writ petition should not be entertained.
Replying to the aforesaid preliminary objection, Shri Shanti Bhushan, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner advanced his arguments in respect of the preliminary objections raised by Shri Mandhyan, which was principally to the effect that imposition of levy was patently, without jurisdiction and the revisional authority does not have a power to grant interim relief. More so, the revision lies to the Board which constitutes large number of persons including Secretaries of large number of departments, Registrar of the Cooperative Societies, Director of Horticulture, Director of Agriculture, Director of Agricultural Marketing, Vice Chancellor of one of the Universities established under the U.P. Krishi Evam Prodyogic Vishwa Vidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1958, six persons appointed by the State Government from out of the producers elected as members of the Market Committee, two persons appointed by the State Government from out of the traders or commission agents and the Director of Mandis etc., and thus, it is difficult to hold its meeting. Therefore, the alternative remedy suggested by Shri Mandhyan is not an efficacious alternative remedy. In support of his submissions, large number of judgments of the Hon'ble Supreme Court were cited. Therefore, he submitted that the preliminary objection deserves to be overruled. He further advanced his submissions on the merits of the case as well and since the hearing could not conclude on 22.05.2006, the matter was adjourned for today. Shri Shanti Bhushan, learned Senior Counsel proceeded with his submissions at length where after the Court called upon Shri Mandhyan to reply to his submissions.
What happened thereafter deserves to be recorded which we are constrained to indicate in our order. Shri B.D. Mandhyan urged that there are large number of judgments of this Court including one of this Bench itself holding that a petition cannot be entertained by this Court in view of the remedy available under Section 32 of the Act. However, Shri Mandhyan did not stop short there. He proceeded to comment upon the Court directly by stating that the Court was hearing the matter only because the petitioner happens to be a big Company. In his utterances, Shri Mandhyan further stated that the matter was being heard because Mr. Shanti Bhushan, who is a Senior Counsel of the Supreme Court, was appearing in the matter.
Unfortunately, in our opinion, the said allegations have been made for some oblique reason, to avoid the hearing of the matter. The aforesaid utterances of Shri Mandhyan are against the high traditions of this Court, which cannot be appreciated in any way. We are not only surprised but also shocked at the comments of Shri Mandhyan which we do not find any good reason to accept. Such utterances coming from a Senior Counsel of this Court are not expected at all when the Court is hearing him and when he was not even interrupted by us during his submissions.
In view of the said unsavoury atmosphere created due to the aspersions cast on the Court and in the circumstances indicated above, we would like to refrain from hearing the matter any further. The matter may be placed before Hon'ble The Chief Justice for appropriate nomination to a Bench of which we are not members.
Till the next date of listing, the interim order passed earlier is extended.
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