MR Distributorship license

Supreme Court: In a matter concerning the Modified Rationing Distributorship License (‘MR Distributorship’) in Murshidabad district in West Bengal, the division bench of J.K. Maheshwari and Sanjay Karol, JJ. opined that the order passed by the High Court does not warrant any interference, and further vacated the stay order passed on 07-11-2023.


The petitioner has challenged the judgment and order dated 23-09-2022 passed by the Division Bench of Calcutta High Court, wherein it upheld the Single Judge judgment directing the respondent authorities to issue license in favour of the National Consumers Co-operative Stores Ltd. in accordance with West Bengal Public Distribution System (Maintenance and Control) Order, 2003 (‘2003 Control Order’).

The West Bengal Government, F&S Department accorded approval for declaration of vacancy of MR Distributorship. Thereafter, the District Collector (‘DC’) declared a vacancy. The petitioner along with others submitted the application dated 23-04-2007 with all required documents and fees. The Sub-Divisional Controller prepared a report citing the eligibility of candidates, in which the petitioner was mentioned as a suitable candidate.

While the application of the respective candidate was in process, West Bengal Government vide a notification promulgated West Bengal Public Distribution System (Maintenance and Control) Order, 2013 (‘2013 Control Order’) by repealing the West Bengal Public Distribution System (Maintenance and Control) Order, 2003. Thus, the Deputy Secretary passed an order cancelling the vacancy declaration notice of 2007. However, it also directed DC for declaration of fresh vacancy under Order 2013. Thereafter, fresh vacancies were notified under the provision of Control Order, 2013.

National Consumers Cooperative Stores Ltd. (NCCS) filed a writ challenging the Fresh Vacancy Notice before the Single Judge of Calcutta High Court, wherein the Court directed the State to grant M.R. Distributorship license in favour of the NCCS under the provision of Control Order, 2003.

The petitioner challenged the Single Judge Order, before the Division Bench of the High Court, wherein the Court refused to grant leave to the petitioner to prefer the appeal on the grounds that he cannot be said to have been an ‘aggrieved person’. Thus, the petitioner filed the present SLP, wherein the Court in its Order dated 07-11-2023 passed with following observations and directions:

  • Amendment allowed.

  • Delay Condoned.

  • Notice issued with a direction to the parties to maintain status quo as it exists today.


The petitioner contended that the High Court has wrongly held that the petitioner was not an aggrieved person by only relying on the fact that the writ petition filed by the Petitioner had been disposed of. The High Court failed to consider that the Control Order, 2003 stands repealed and replaced by Control Order, 2013. Further, the High Court failed to appreciate that the Petitioner being one of the applicants in the vacancy issued under new control order of 2013, should have been heard before setting aside the vacancy notification and further granting the MR Distributorship license in favor of the NCCS under the old Control Order of 2003 which was already repealed.

NCCS contended that the Petitioner is ineligible under Section 26(iib) sub-clause (a) & (f) of the Control Order, 2013, and has also suppressed the amendment to Clause 42 of the Control Order, 2013. It was also submitted that the State Government has already accepted the order of the Single Judge dated 19-05-2022 and has issued the license in favour of NCCS on 02-11-2023 vide notification dated 17-10-2023. Thus, the present SLP should be dismissed.

Courts order:

The Court opined that the order passed by the High Court does not warrant any interference in this special leave petition. In consequence, the Court vacated the stay order passed on 07-11-2023.

[Hossain Mohd. Kizer v. National Consumers Co-Opertaive Stores Ltd, 2024 SCC OnLine SC 490, Order dated 01-04-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner(s): Maninder Singh, Sr. Adv. Zoheb Hossain, AOR Abhipirya, Adv. . Pingal, Adv.

For Respondent(s): PS Patwalia, Sr. Adv. Malvika Trivedi, Sr. Adv. Swarnendu Chatterjee, AOR Arkadipta Sengupta, Adv. Deepakshi Garg, Adv. Sujal Gupta, Adv. Shailendra Slaria, Adv. . Ayushi Mukherjee, Adv. Jaideep Gupta, Sr. Adv. Astha Sharma, AOR Anju Thomas, Adv. Shreyas Awasthi, Adv. Lihzu Shiney Konyak, Adv.

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