UT home secretary-cum-secretary agriculture has set aside an order passed by UT deputy commissioner-cum-secretary state agriculture marketing board, wherein he had suspended the licence of a firm belonging to marketing committee chairman.
The deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin, in an order dated August 20, had suspended the licence of Mahajan Trading Company for six months on charges of evasion of market fee in tune of Rs 25 lakh.
Challenging the decision, Dhanesh Kumar Mahajan, chairman market committee, and his partner Kawal Kishore Mahajan filed an appeal before home secretary-cum-secretary agriculture Anil Kumar.
Mahajan submitted that the licence was suspended on extraneous considerations and the due process of law, as prescribed in the Act, had not been followed.
For detection of evasion of market fee, an inspection team was constituted by secretary state agriculture marketing board. The team assessed an evasion of `25,59, 228. The assessment was challenged on the grounds that the inspection team constituted was in violation of the provisions of the Punjab Agriculture Produce Marketing Act, 1961, as adopted by Chandigarh administration.
Mahajan also contended that secretary state agriculture marketing board had no authority to constitute such a team and an assessment committee constituted by the market committee had not found any evasion of market fee against the firm.
Anil Kumar’s oders stated: “I set aside the order passed by the secretary, state agriculture marketing board and restore the licence of the firm with immediate effect. However, if later-on, any evasion of market fee is detected against the firm, the market committee is directed to follow proper procedure laid down under the Act.”
Vigilance probe to ascertain correct assessment
As huge difference in assessment amount has been observed in the assessment done by the inspection team constituted by the secretary state agriculture marking board and team constituted by the market committee, Anil Kumar has asked the agriculture department to get an vigilance department inquiry conducted to ascertain which of the two assessments is correct.