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Monday, March 31, 2014

Section 31 (1) (b) of the A.P.Excise Act, 1968 - selling non-duty paid beer - stock seized and license was suspended pending enquiry - Writ filed as a peremptory finding was recorded before enquiry - their lordships held that However, in the immediate next sentence he has stated as under:"Thus it calls for initiation of departmental action under Section 31 (1) (b) A.P.Excise Act, 1968, pending further enquiry in the public interest." - dismissed the writ = N.Malla Reddy The Prohibition & Excise Superintendent,Medchal, Ranga Reddy District. Counsel for the petitioner: Mr.S.Niranjan Reddy for Mr.P.Sri Harsha Reddy = 2013 (March. Part) judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/filename=9743

Section 31 (1) (b) of the A.P.Excise Act, 1968 - selling non-duty paid beer - stock seized and license was suspended pending enquiry - Writ filed as a peremptory finding was recorded before enquiry - their lordships held that However, in the immediate next sentence he has stated as under:"Thus it calls for initiation of departmental action under Section 31 (1)(b) A.P.Excise Act, 1968, pending further enquiry in the public interest." - dismissed the writ =

No doubt, if the sentence preceding the above quoted part of the order passed by
respondent No.1 is read in isolation, it would definitely give an impression
that the respondent has arrived at a final conclusion on the petitioner's
violation of license conditions.  However, if the above quoted sentence is read
along with the previous part of his order, such an impression will get
obliterated.  One needs to be conscious of the fact that the respondent is not a
judicially trained officer.
The petitioner is a retail dealer of Indian Made Liquor holding A.4 license.  On
14-03-2013, the Prohibition and Excise officials inspected the petitioner's
liquor shop and allegedly found 11 boxes of non-duty paid liquor.  Based on the
Panchanama and the report submitted by the Inspecting Officials, the respondent
has initiated proceedings against the petitioner.  Pending those proceedings, he
has initiated departmental action against the petitioner and suspended the
petitioner's license under Section 31 (1) (b) of the A.P.Excise Act, 1968 (for
short 'the Act'), pending enquiry.
under Section 63 of the Act, his client has alternative
remedies of two successive appeals and that however, the reason for the
petitioner filing this Writ Petition bypassing the said remedies is that the
respondent has recorded peremptory finding relating to his involvement in
violation of the license conditions.=
  A perusal of the impugned order would show that the respondent has made an 
observation that the petitioner is involved in violation of the license
conditions.  However, in the immediate next sentence he has stated as under:
        "Thus it calls for initiation of departmental action under Section 31 (1)
(b) A.P.Excise Act, 1968, pending further enquiry in the public interest."

No doubt, if the sentence preceding the above quoted part of the order passed by
respondent No.1 is read in isolation, it would definitely give an impression
that the respondent has arrived at a final conclusion on the petitioner's
violation of license conditions.  However, if the above quoted sentence is read
along with the previous part of his order, such an impression will get
obliterated.  One needs to be conscious of the fact that the respondent is not a
judicially trained officer.
No doubt in M/s.Sree Devi Wines ( 1 supra), a learned single Judge
of this Court has dealt with a similar order and quashed the same only on the
ground that the authority therein should not have rendered peremptory finding at
the enquiry stage.  On the facts of the present case, I am not inclined to
invalidate the impugned order passed by the respondent on that ground for the
reasons already recorded by me herein before.  Since the petitioner has a right
of appeal against the impugned order, I do not find any reason to entertain the
Writ Petition for adjudication on merits.
2013 (March. Part) judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/filename=9743


The Hon'ble Sri Justice C.V.Nagarjuna Reddy

Writ Petition No.9303 of 2013

28.03.2013

N.Malla Reddy

The Prohibition & Excise Superintendent,Medchal, Ranga Reddy District.

Counsel for the petitioner: Mr.S.Niranjan Reddy for Mr.P.Sri Harsha Reddy

Counsel for the respondent: GP for Prohibition & Excise

<Gist:

>Head Note

?Cases referred:
1995 (1) ALD 164

Order:
        This Writ Petition is filed for a Mandamus to declare the action of the
respondent, in suspending the petitioner's A.4 license, as illegal and
arbitrary.
        I have heard Mr.S.Niranjan Reddy, learned Counsel appearing for Sri P.Sri
Harsha Reddy, learned Counsel for the petitioner, and the learned Government
Pleader for Prohibition and Excise appearing for the respondent.
The petitioner is a retail dealer of Indian Made Liquor holding A.4 license.  On
14-03-2013, the Prohibition and Excise officials inspected the petitioner's
liquor shop and allegedly found 11 boxes of non-duty paid liquor.  Based on the
Panchanama and the report submitted by the Inspecting Officials, the respondent
has initiated proceedings against the petitioner.  Pending those proceedings, he
has initiated departmental action against the petitioner and suspended the
petitioner's license under Section 31 (1) (b) of the A.P.Excise Act, 1968 (for
short 'the Act'), pending enquiry.
        At the hearing, Mr.S.Niranjan Reddy, learned Counsel for the petitioner,
has not disputed that under Section 63 of the Act, his client has alternative
remedies of two successive appeals and that however, the reason for the
petitioner filing this Writ Petition bypassing the said remedies is that the
respondent has recorded peremptory finding relating to his involvement in
violation of the license conditions.  In support of his submission, the learned
Counsel placed reliance on the judgment of this Court in M/s.Sree Devi Wines vs.
The Deputy Commissioner of Excise, Kakinada and others1.
        A perusal of the impugned order would show that the respondent has made an 
observation that the petitioner is involved in violation of the license
conditions.  However, in the immediate next sentence he has stated as under:
        "Thus it calls for initiation of departmental action under Section 31 (1)
(b) A.P.Excise Act, 1968, pending further enquiry in the public interest."

No doubt, if the sentence preceding the above quoted part of the order passed by
respondent No.1 is read in isolation, it would definitely give an impression
that the respondent has arrived at a final conclusion on the petitioner's
violation of license conditions.  However, if the above quoted sentence is read
along with the previous part of his order, such an impression will get
obliterated.  One needs to be conscious of the fact that the respondent is not a
judicially trained officer.  Even though it is desirable that appropriate
expressions need to be deployed in the orders passed by the
administrative/quasi-judicial bodies, to dispel apprehensions in the minds of
the persons likely to be affected by such orders, the inadequacy in expressions
would not render the orders passed by such authorities ipso facto illegal or
invalid.  The overall circumstances under which such orders are passed and the
context in which such expressions are used need to be understood in right
perspective. No doubt in M/s.Sree Devi Wines ( 1 supra), a learned single Judge
of this Court has dealt with a similar order and quashed the same only on the
ground that the authority therein should not have rendered peremptory finding at
the enquiry stage.  On the facts of the present case, I am not inclined to
invalidate the impugned order passed by the respondent on that ground for the
reasons already recorded by me herein before.  Since the petitioner has a right
of appeal against the impugned order, I do not find any reason to entertain the
Writ Petition for adjudication on merits.
        For the above-mentioned reasons, the Writ Petition is dismissed with
liberty to the petitioner to avail the remedy of appeal,
As a sequel to dismissal of the Writ Petition, WPMP.No.11601 of 2013, filed by
the petitioner for interim relief, is disposed of as infructuous.
______________________  
C.V.Nagarjuna Reddy, J
Date: 28th March, 2013

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