All HC | Procedure prescribed under law to be followed strictly while cancelling license; Cancellation set aside where Inspection Committee improperly constituted

Allahabad High Court: A Division Bench of Ramesh Sinha and Ajit Kumar, JJ. set aside the impugned order since it was passed on the basis of the inspection report of the Committee constituted by the respondents. However, it was found that the said Committee was not formed in consonance with the Rules, therefore, the impugned order is illegal in law.

In the present case, the petitioner has challenged the legality and propriety involved in the order whereby the petitioner’s licence of the cattle fare/cattle market on his own land has come to be cancelled. The petitioner was initially aggrieved by the notice whereby the running of the cattle market over the land of the petitioner was stopped on certain grounds regarding the sanitation of the place over which the cattle market was being run and that too as a serious threat to the environment and the public at large. The petitioner rushed to this Court and this Court had passed an order directing the respondent to consider the reply of the petitioner to get the spot inspection done of the place where the market was being run and take a decision. The District Magistrate constituted a five-member Committee to get the inspection done of the aforesaid place. Some report was submitted and recommended for action impugned as the cleanliness was not found to the satisfaction, canceling the license of the petitioner.

The Court found that the Committee as had been constituted by District Magistrate was completely de hors the rules prescribed i.e. Rule 3 of the Act of 1960 , and therefore, the constitution of the Committee was per se illegal and cannot result in any recommendation legally enforceable. The Court relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in Deepak Babaria v. State of Gujarat, (2014) 3 SCC 502 wherein the Court had held that when a thing is required to be done in a particular manner the same shall be done in that manner alone. Therefore, the Court held that in the present case not only the procedure as prescribed for has not been followed but even the rule of natural justice has come to be violated which has been duly incorporated under Rule 16 of the Rules of 2018 and therefore, the impugned order is set aside. [Mufeed Ali v. State of U.P., 2019 SCC OnLine All 5818, decided on 10-12-2019]

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