The High Court on Saturday directed the Mysuru and Dakshina Kannada district administrations to release the dal, pulses seized from nine wholesale traders, who had filed a writ petition, agreed to furnish appropriate security, by way of bank guarantee or such security to the satisfaction of the authorities.
The HC bench directed the authorities to release the pulses, stored well within the prescribed quantity, and asked the State not to sell excess quantity seized from the petitioners till the disposal of the petition.
The petitions were filed by nine wholesale traders from Mysuru and Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district. Justice Anand Byrareddy passed the interim order. The petitioners are MV Traders, Rajesh Traders, K Umashankar, Gopi and Company, Sha Uttamchand Bhawarlal and Company, Sha Mangilal Heerachand, Piyush K Sha, SSA Industries from Bandipalya in Mysuru and Asha Trading Company from Mangaluru.
The petitioners contended that the State government had issued a notification dated October 17, 2015 under the provisions of the Karnataka Essential Commodities Licensing Order, 1986, by including “pulses, edible oil and edible oil seeds” in the scheduled category.
The notification has prescribed the quantity of retail and wholesale commodity that can be stored in warehouses. The notification was followed by another order dated October 19, 2015, for seizure if the commodities are stored in excess. The petitioners stated that the maximum quantity of pulses that can be stored is 500 quintals.
Since the authorities are all set to auction the seized commodity, the petitioners approached the High Court. Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna justified the seizure and said that it was done in the interest of the public and to regulate the artificial escalation of prices. The counsels appearing for the petitioners stated that under Clause-3 of the 1986 order, the petitioners were entitled to apply and obtain a licence in respect of the commodities prescribed for a period of 30 days.
The court ordered issuance of emergent notices to respondents - Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Department of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Government of Karnataka, the Deputy Commissioners of Mysuru and Dakshina Kannada.
SHRC order stayed
The High Court has stayed the order of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission which imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on five city policemen for illegally detaining and torturing a person. The court was hearing a petition by D Devaraj, who is presently posted in Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force.
Justice Anand Byrareddy stayed the Commission’s order dated September 28, 2015 and ordered issuance of emergent notice. The SHRC had directed the City Police Commissioner to recover the fine from five officers to be given to the victim Owais Sabir Hussain, the brother of whistle blower H M Farooq.
The fine amount was to be contributed by SP D Devaraj, Assistant Commissioner of Police H Siddappa, police inspector R Puneeth Kumar, sub-inspector V R Deepak and constable Hanumeshi. These officers were working with Central Crime Branch in the city. The SHRC had concluded that the officers had barged into the house of Owais on February 27, 2013, and assaulted him. He was also falsely implicated in a case.