FIR Hosting, Criminal Proceedings Pending No Reason for Canceling Fair Price Store License: Allahabad High Court
The Allahabad High Court observed that the filing of FIRs, as well as the wait for a criminal case, cannot be a stand-alone reason for the cancellation of the fair-price store license.
Essentially, the Bench of Judge Neeraj Tiwari heard the plea of a Jagdamba Prasad, who had asked the court to argue that due to the registration of a criminal case against him, his fair-price store license was canceled by the sub-divisional magistrate, Meja, Allahabad in October 2017.
The High Court subsequently suspended the stay order in November 2017.
The Applicant argued before the Court that to date no investigation had been initiated and no proceedings were pending against the Applicant, and in the above-mentioned criminal case, too, he was released on bail.
Significantly, the petitioner also argued that under the government decree of August 2002, awarding a fair price to a person against whom a criminal case is registered is prohibited.
However, it has been argued that under the said government decree, there is no provision to cancel the license of a fair-price store in the event of involvement in a criminal case after the license has been awarded.
Finally, it was asserted that there were no allegations of food grain abuse or black marketing thereof and that the only ground for suspension of the Fair Priced Store license is the expectation of criminal proceedings against the petitioner.
From the outset, the court noted that in matters of Anil Kumar Dubey versus. State of the UP and others; (Civil Divers Writ Petition No. 16723 of 2010), the Allahabad High Court had ruled that the mere waiting of a criminal case and the filing of an indictment cannot be a reason for canceling a fair price store license until there is a sentencing order, therefore, the stay order is wrong and likely to be overturned.
In this context, the Court observed that in this case, the the fair price store license was canceled only on the grounds of filing an FIR as well as pending a criminal case.
“Other than this, there are no claims regarding the black market or the misuse of food grains, therefore, this cannot be grounds for canceling the Fair Price Store license.“the Court ruled while setting aside the order made by the sub-divisional magistrate and the motion for brief was granted.
Since the High Court had already suspended the effect and operation of the SDM order and the petitioner had run the store at the right price to date, the Court therefore added that no further order was required to the reinstatement of the license and the store at the right price.
Case title – Jagdamba Prasad v. State Of UP and 4 others
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