Clause 17 of the Form of Authorisation (Form No.II) of the Control Order is based on Clause 12(ix) of the Guidelines thereof. Clause 12(ix) thereof specifically states that submitting resignation by the dealer, shall result in forfeiture of the trade deposit made by him. In the instant case, obviously there are no proceedings showing that the trade deposit remitted by the petitioner has been forfeited on account of relinquishment of dealership by the petitioner. Though this Court is not supposed to evaluate the evidence, while exercising jurisdiction under Article 22 of the Constitution, can examine the controversial facts basing on the material placed on either side to appreciate the contentions urged by both the parties to arrive at appropriate conclusion. From the aforesaid mentioned facts, it does not obviously appear that the petitioner tendered any resignation. Further, the resignation has to be submitted to the Revenue Divisional Officer, who is the competent authority. In the instant case, it is stated that the petitioner submitted resignation to the Tahasildar. The statement of the petitioner as well as the resignation letter submitted by him are in the handwriting of the Revenue Inspector. The contention of the petitioner is that the resignation was brought into existence so as to not to renew his authorisation for the further period. For the foregoing reasons, this Court is thoroughly convinced that the petitioner did not, in fact, submit any resignation voluntarily and therefore, he is entitled to continue as Dealer of Fair Price Shop No.21 of Kallepalli Village, Srikakulam Mandal and District, during the subsistence of his authorisation. The suspension of authorisation of the petitioner in the aforesaid circumstances is arbitrary and illegal and the same is set aside and the respondents are directed to allot the essential commodities to the petitioners Fair Price Shop as long as his authorisation is in force.

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE R.KANTHA RAO        

WRIT PETITION No.2413 of 2015  

23-02-2015

Nakka Krishna Rao. Petitioner.

The State of Andhra Pradesh represented by its Principal Secretary, Civil
Supplies Department, Hyderabad and others.Respondents.  

Counsel for petitioner:Sri K.B.Ramanna Dora

Counsel for Respondents 1 to 6 :  GP for Civil Supplies (AP)

<GIST:

>HEAD NOTE:  

?Cases referred

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE R.KANTHA RAO        

WRIT PETITION No.2413 of 2015  

ORDER:

      Heard Sri K.B.Ramanna Dora, learned counsel for the petitioner,
and learned Government Pleader for Civil Supplies (A.P.).

      The petitioner was appointed as an Authorised Dealer to Fair
Price Shop No.21 of Kallepalli Village, Srikakulam Mandal & District, to
supply essential commodities vide authorization, dated 11.03.1989,
which is valid till 31.03.2015.

      It is submitted by the petitioner that the respondents are not
supplying the essential commodities to his Fair Price Shop, on the
ground that he allegedly submitted resignation letter, on 25.11.2014.
According to him, he is not aware of the reasons for stopping the supply
of essential commodities and he has been making repeated requests to
the Revenue Authorities to allot the essential commodities, but the
authorities have not been supplying the same and they have also not
been providing any information on the ground on which the supplies
were stopped.  Ultimately, the petitioner sought information under the
Right to Information Act, 2005 (for short the RI Act), vide letter, dated
25.11.2014, pursuant to which, respondent No.6 informed that the
petitioner worked as a Fair Price Shop Dealer for Shop No.21 till August,
2014; that there was no allegation against him at any point of time and
that he resigned for the dealership of Fair Price from the month of
August, 2014, and therefore, supplies have been stopped and that the
authorities have granted permission to supply the commodities to one
Smt.Mukalla Chandrakala, w/o Venkata Ramana of Kallepalli Village.

      It is submitted by the petitioner that he was shocked on receiving
the said information furnished by the respondent authorities, and
thereafter, he submitted a letter informing that he never submitted any
resignation voluntarily, as alleged in the letter.  According to the
petitioner, the Revenue Inspector in his own handwriting created and
fabricated the said resignation letter probably with an intention not to
renew his authorisation, which is going to expire on 31.03.2015.

      It is the version of the petitioner that fabricating the resignation
letter and not supplying the commodities without cancelling his
authorisation and suspending his dealership by allotting the same to
another person on the ground that he submitted resignation, is illegal,
arbitrary and highly objectionable.  He further submits that all the stock
registers and supply registers are with him and cancellation of his
authorisation and not allowing him as Fair Price Shop Dealer on the
ground that he had allegedly submitted resignation to Shop No.21, is
deliberate, intentional, motivated and in colourable exercise of power.

      The petitioner, therefore, filed the present writ petition to declare
the action of the respondents in not allowing him to discharge the duties
as Fair Price Dealer for Shop No.21 of Kallepalli Village, Srikakulam
Mandal and District and supplying the essential commodities to some
other individual, as illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional and direct the
respondents to continue him as Fair Price Shop Dealer.
      A counter-affidavit has been filed by the respondents contending
inter alia as follows:

      The petitioner on 28.08.2014 tendered his resignation, to the Fair
Price Shop Dealership, to the Tahsildar, Srikakulam.  Thereafter, the
Tahsildar, Srikakulam, made an enquiry into the matter.  During
enquiry, the petitioner has given statement on 28.08.2014, stating that
he is resident of Kallepalli Village and due to his personal problems, he
could not distribute the essential commodities to the cardholders and he
will distribute the stock up to the month of August, 2014 and quit the
distribution of the essential commodities from September, 2014.
Therefore, he is tendering resignation on his own will and pleasure, but
not on the pressure of anybody.

      It is contended that basing on the said statement given by the
petitioner pursuant to the resignation submitted by him earlier, the
Tahsildar submitted a report to the Revenue Divisional officer,
Srikakulam, on 13.12.2014, and on the above report, the resignation of
the petitioner was accepted by the Revenue Divisional Officer, who is
the competent authority vide proceedings, dated 24.12.2014.
Subsequent to the acceptance of the resignation, the cardholders of Fair
Price Shop No.21 have been allotted temporarily to Sri Margadarsi Self
Help Group, Kallepalli-I with effect from January, 2015 to avoid
inconvenience to the cardholders and the said Group is continuing as on
today.  It is further contended that since the resignation of the
petitioner for the Dealership of Fair Price Shop has been accepted by
the competent authority, there is no provision under the Essential
Commodities Act or the Rules made thereunder for distribution of
essential commodities to the cardholders.  On these grounds, the
respondents pray for dismissal of the writ petition.

      The crucial question requires to be considered having regard to
the facts and circumstances of the case and in the light of the material
placed on record by both the parties is, as to, whether the petitioner
has, in fact, voluntarily submitted resignation to the Dealership of Fair
Price Shop No.21, Kallepalli-I, Srikakulam Mandal and District.

      This issue has to be examined with reference to the assertions
made by both the parties and the material placed on record by both of
them.  The version of the respondents is that the petitioner submitted
his resignation on 28.08.2014 and the Tahsildar conducted an enquiry
on the very same day, which does not seem to be convincing.  During
the course of the enquiry, the statement of the petitioner was recorded
on 28.08.2014 itself, whereunder he supposedly stated that he
voluntarily submitted the resignation due to some personal problems.
Thus, as per the contention made in the counter, the submission of
resignation as well as the conducting of enquiry are on the very same
date.  In the statement, it is stated that the petitioner undertook to
distribute the commodities till the month of August, 2014 and then he
wanted to quit the duty of distribution of essential commodities from the
month of September, 2014.

      The documents filed by the petitioner reveal that he made an
application on 25.11.2014, under the RI Act, seeking to furnish certain
information before the Tahsildar, Srikakulam Mandal.  In the said
application, he asked the Tahsildar as to whether there were any
allegations against him during his tenure as Fair Price Shop Dealer and
also asked as to why the essential commodities have not been supplied
to him from September, 2014.  The Tahsildar made an endorsement,
dated 24.12.2014, furnishing the information required by the petitioner,
wherein it is specifically stated that there are no allegations against him
and also that the petitioner acted as a dealer till August, 2014 and
thereafter, voluntarily resigned for the post of Fair Price Shop Dealer,
and therefore, the distribution of essential commodities were entrusted
to one Smt.Mukalla Chandrakala, who is the member of Margadarsi Self
Help Group, Kallepalli-I.  The information furnished to the petitioner on
his application under the RI Act is not in consonance with the facts
stated in the counter-affidavit filed by the respondents.  In the counter-
affidavit, the respondents have specifically stated that on the
resignation made by the petitioner, the Tahasildar submitted a report to
the Revenue Divisional Officer, on 13.12.2014, and the resignation was
accepted by the competent authority i.e. the Revenue Divisional Officer,
on 24.12.2014.  It is specifically mentioned in the counter-affidavit that
pursuant to the acceptance of resignation of the petitioner, the
cardholders of the Fair Price Shop have been allotted temporarily to the
Self Help Group with effect from January, 2015.  The counter does not
indicate that allotment of essential commodities was made to
Smt.Mukalla Chandrakala even prior to January, 2015.

      For the aforesaid reasons, it is obvious that the petitioner was
not aware as to why the supply of essential commodities were stopped
to his Fair Price Shop, and therefore, he made an application under the
RI Act, requiring information.  If he really resigned, he ought not to
have submitted such application.

      Further, Clause 17 of the Form of Authorisation (Form No.II) of
the Andhra Pradesh State Public Distribution System (Control) Order,
2008 (for short the Control Order), reads as follows:

       The holders of this authorisation shall work for a
minimum period of five years, unless suspended or cancelled
by competent authority.  Resignations etc. seeking to leave
the dealership shall not be accepted within this minimum
period of five years.

      From the aforesaid Clause, it is clear that the resignation shall
not be accepted within the minimum period of five years of dealership.

      Clause 12 (ix) of the Guidelines for Selection and Appointment
etc. of Fair price Shop Dealers under Andhra Pradesh State Public
Distribution System (Control) Order 2008, reads as follows:

       Every candidate appointed as F.P. Shop dealer shall
be required to work a minimum period of 5 (five) years
unless the authorisation of the F.P. shop is suspended or
cancelled by Competent authority.  Resignations etc. seeking
to relinquish the dealership shall not be accepted within the
minimum period of 5 (five) years.  Failure to adhere to this
condition, shall result in forfeiture of the trade deposit
remitted by the dealers.

      It seems that Clause 17 of the Form of Authorisation (Form
No.II) of the Control Order is based on Clause 12(ix) of the Guidelines
thereof.  Clause 12(ix) thereof specifically states that submitting
resignation by the dealer, shall result in forfeiture of the trade deposit
made by him.  In the instant case, obviously there are no proceedings
showing that the trade deposit remitted by the petitioner has been
forfeited on account of relinquishment of dealership by the petitioner.

      Though this Court is not supposed to evaluate the evidence,
while exercising jurisdiction under Article 22 of the Constitution, can
examine the controversial facts basing on the material placed on either
side to appreciate the contentions urged by both the parties to arrive at
appropriate conclusion.  From the aforesaid mentioned facts, it does not
obviously appear that the petitioner tendered any resignation.  Further,
the resignation has to be submitted to the Revenue Divisional Officer,
who is the competent authority.  In the instant case, it is stated that the
petitioner submitted resignation to the Tahasildar.  The statement of the
petitioner as well as the resignation letter submitted by him are in the
handwriting of the Revenue Inspector.  The contention of the petitioner
is that the resignation was brought into existence so as to not to renew
his authorisation for the further period.

      For the foregoing reasons, this Court is thoroughly convinced that
the petitioner did not, in fact, submit any resignation voluntarily and
therefore, he is entitled to continue as Dealer of Fair Price Shop No.21
of Kallepalli Village, Srikakulam Mandal and District, during the
subsistence of his authorisation.   The suspension of authorisation of the
petitioner in the aforesaid circumstances is arbitrary and illegal and the
same is set aside and the respondents are directed to allot the essential
commodities to the petitioners Fair Price Shop as long as his
authorisation is in force.

      The Writ Petition is accordingly allowed.  No order as to costs.
The miscellaneous petitions pending, if any, shall stand closed.
________________  
R.KANTHA RAO, J  
Date: 23.02.2015 

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