The Supreme Court has observed that any license holder doing business in a respective shop cannot as a matter of right claim allotment of the auction platform at a particular place.

The Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna observed that “... to do business in the shop and to carry on business on the auction platform, are both different and distinct. Merely because a person is having a licence and doing business in a particular shop, he is not entitled to the auction platform as a matter of right and that too, in front of and/or adjacent to his shop.”

Senior Advocate P.S. Patwalia appeared for the appellant and Advocate Vatsal Joshi appeared for the respondent- Chandigarh Market Committee.

In this case, the appeal had been preferred against the impugned judgment and order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court whereby the order passed by the Single judge dismissing the writ petition was upheld on the ground that in the absence of any specific right in favour of the appellant, the respondent No. 5 was entitled to use the platform in front of shop owned by the appellant.

The appellant was owner of a shop situated in the Agricultural Produce Market, Chandigarh. Respondent no. 5 was the tenant of the said shop. The respondent no. 5 was ejected of the said shop and therefore, was allotted some other shop on rent. Thereafter, the Licence Committee constituted under Licensing of Auction Platform Rules, 1981 decided that the site in the platform would be allotted based on “One Site One Shop” and the name of respondent No. 5 was shown as co­-allottee along with the appellant. Aggrieved with this, the appellant filed a writ petition before the High Court.

The Apex Court noted that the appellant had claimed shed/auction platform which was just adjacent to shop which the appellant owned and/or at any other place. However, the appellant was unable to establish or show any specific rules or regulations with respect to the allotment of the shed/auction platform and that too, just adjacent or in front of shop in which a particular person was carrying on the business.

The Court further noted that the respondent no. 5 had been holding the license and doing business since 1970 whereas the appellant got the license in the year 2007 after the sheds in the market committee collapsed. Thereafter, sheds were allotted as per the principles and guidelines issued by the Secretary, Agriculture whereby at the first instance, all those allottees, who were allotted sheds for working prior to collapse of sheds in 2007 were entitled to be allotted shed/space as they existed on the date when the shed collapsed.

"Under the circumstances, the appellant is not entitled to any preferential treatment and/or allotment dehors observance of principles and guidelines issued by the Secretary regarding allotment of the auction platforms. The appellant is to be treated at par and equally with other persons doing business in the market and on the auction platform." Observed the Apex Court.

The Apex Court further observed that “Therefore, in the absence of any specific right in his favour, the appellant could not have prayed for the allotment of shed/auction platform just adjacent to and/or in front of his shop No. 27.”

Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed and the order of the High Court was upheld.

Cause Title- Gurjit Singh (D) Through LRs v. Union Territory, Chandigarh & Ors

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