Pat HC | “Whether the firm was a partnership or proprietorship would be answered by way of a declaration in a proper constituted suit”; HC dismisses appeal seeking misguided relief

Patna High Court

Patna High Court: The Division Bench of Sanjay Karol, CJ., and S. Kumar, J., denied to entertain an intra-court appeal against the order of a Single Judge.

Briefly stated the facts of the case was that M/s. Sunit Saw Mill in the District of Madhubani became operational in the year 1994 after getting licence under Section 7 of Bihar Saw Mills (Regulation) Act, 1990 in the name of its proprietor Suresh Thakur. The appellant claimed to have entered into an agreement with the said proprietor by which the ownership of the mill was transferred in his name on 24-12-2001 for the amount of rupees two lakhs.

The appellant had earlier challenged seniority of saw mill published by the Divisional Forest Officer, stating that he was holding valid licence for saw mill but his name had not been included before the licensing authority cum Divisional Forest Officer which was dismissed holding that the owner of Sunit Saw Mill was Suresh Thakur who had been granted licence and said saw mill was operational at specified location. The appellant had established a separate saw mill in the name of Sunit Saw Mill and was operating it without any valid licence which was illegal.

Challenging the order of the licensing authority the appellant had approached the Single Judge of the High Court. The counter affidavit filed by the State stated that appellant was not registered as saw mill owner of Sunit Saw mill rather Suresh Thakur was real owner of the Mill. The original Mill was running at Bhatsimer Rajnagar and appellant had illegally established another mill at Kaluahi in the name of Sunit Saw Mill, and was operating it without any valid licence which was illegal and for which direction has been issued to the concerned authority to take appropriate action against appellant.

The Single judge had dismissed the petition observing that whether the firm was a partnership or proprietorship was a disputed question which the petitioner would avail by way of a declaration in a proper constituted suit in consonance with declaration with regard to Sunit Saw Mill and then and only would be entitled to ask for any kind of licence at the end of the respondents.

Addressing the appeal against the order of the Single Judge, the Bench opined that there was no error or infirmity in the order. Accordingly, the Bench denied interfering with the same, hence, the appeal was dismissed. [Sunit Saw Mill v. State of Bihar, 2021 SCC OnLine Pat 2287, decided on 19-08-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Appellant/s: Kripa Nand Jha, Advocate

For the Respondent/s: Awanish Nandan Sinha, GP 21

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