West U.P. Sugar Mills Association vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh on 22 April, 2020


Supreme Court of India

West U.P. Sugar Mills Association vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh on 22 April, 2020

Author: M.R. Shah

                                                                                  1




                                                                   REPORTABLE
                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                CIVIL APPELLATE/ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                                    CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7508 OF 2005


                         WEST U.P. SUGAR MILLS ASSOCIATION
                         & ORS.                                   .. APPELLANTS

                                                VERSUS

                         THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ORS. .. RESPONDENTS

                         WITH
                         C.A. No. 7509­7510/2005
                         CONMT. PET. (C) NO. 169/2006 IN C.A. NO. 7508/2005
                         C.A. NO. 150/2007
                         CONMT. PET. (C) NO. 254/2007 IN C.A. NO. 7508/2005
                         CONMT. PET (C) NO. 253/2007 IN C.A. NO. 7508/2005
                         C.A. NO. 2664/2007, C.A. NO. 4026/2009
                         C.A. NO. 4014­4023/2009, C.A. NO. 4024/2009
                         C.A. NO. 4025/2009, C.A. NO. 3911­3912/2009
                         C.A. NO. 3925/2009, C.A. NO. 3996­3997/2009
                         SLP (C) NO. 18681/2008, SLP (C) NO. 19183/2008
Signature Not Verified
                         SLP (C) NO. 20206/2008, SLP (C) NO. 20205/2008
Digitally signed by
JAYANT KUMAR ARORA


                         SLP (C) NO. 21576­21581/2008,
Date: 2020.04.22
18:03:01 IST
Reason:




                         SLP (C) NO. 21585­21587/2008, SLP (C) NO. 23202/2008
                                                              2




SLP (C) NO. 26026/2008,
CONTMP. PET (C) NO. 263­264/2008 IN C.A. NO. 3996­
3997/2009
CONTMP. PET (C) NO. 267­268/2008 IN C.A. NO. 3996­
3997/2009
CONTMP. PET (C) NO. 265­266/2008 IN C.A. NO. 3996­
3997/2009
C.A. No. 4764/2009 and T.C. (C) NO. 96/2013


                      JUDGMENT

M. R. Shah, J.

1. Having noted that there is a clear conflict between the two

decisions of this Court, one in the case of Ch. Tika Ramji &

Others, Etc. vs. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Others [AIR

1956 SC 676 = 1956 SCR 393 = 1956 SCJ 625] and another

subsequent decision in the case of U.P. Cooperative Cane

Unions Federations vs. West U.P. Sugar Mills Association

and Others [(2004)5 SCC 430], a three Judge Bench of this
3

Court has referred the matter to a larger Bench proposing the

following questions of law to be considered by the larger Bench,

preferably of a Bench consisting of seven Judges of this Court:

(1) Whether by virtue of Article 246 read with
Schedule VII List III Entry 33 of the Constitution
the field is occupied by the Central legislation and
hence the Central Government has the exclusive
power to fix the price of sugarcane?

(2) Whether Section 16 or any other provision of the
U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and
Purchase) Act, 1953 confers any power upon the
State Government to fix the price at which
sugarcane can be bought or sold?

(3) If the answer to this question is in the affirmative,
then whether Section 16 or the said provision of
the U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and
Purchase) Act, 1953 is repugnant to Section 3(2)(c)
of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and
Clause 3 of the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966
[hereinafter referred to as “1966 Order”]? And if so,
the provisions of the Central enactments will
prevail over the provisions of the State enactment
and the State enactment to that extent would be
void under Article 254 of the Constitution of India.

(4) Whether the SAP fixed by the State Government in
exercise of powers under Section 16 of the U.P.
Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase)
Act
, 1953 is arbitrary, without any application of
mind or rational basis and is therefore, invalid and
illegal?

4

(5) Does the State Advised Price (for short “SAP”)
constitute a statutory fixation of price? If so, is it
within the legislative competence of the State?

(6) Whether the power to fix the price of sugarcane is
without any guidelines and suffers from
conferment of arbitrary and uncanalised power
which is violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the
Constitution of India?

2. The core issue is whether the State of U.P. has the

authority to fix the State Advised Price (SAP) [hereinafter referred

to as “SAP”], which is required to be paid over and above the

minimum price fixed by the Central Government?

3. At the outset it is required to be noted that in Tika Ramji
case (supra), a Bench of five Judges of this Court held as under:

(i) That, section 16 of the U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of
Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953 [hereinafter referred
to as “1953 U.P. Act”] does not include the power to
fix a price;

(ii) That, the price of cane fixed by the U.P. Government
only mean the price fixed by the appropriate
Government which would be the Central
Government, under Clause 3 of the Sugarcane
(Control) Order, 1955 [hereinafter referred to as
“1955 Order”];

(iii) That, even the provisions in behalf of the agreement
5

contained in Clauses 3 and 4 of the U.P. Sugarcane
(Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Order, 1954
[hereinafter referred to as “1954 U.P. Order”] provided
that the price was to be the minimum price to be
notified by the Government subject to such
deduction, if any, as may be notified by the
Government from time to time, meaning thereby the
Central Government, the State Government not
having made any provision in that behalf at any time
whatsoever;

(iv) That, there is no power to fix a price for sugarcane
under the U.P. Sugarcane Act or Rules and the
Orders made thereunder;

It is to be noted that in Tika Ramji case(supra), this

Court did not comment on whether a power which the State

Government exercised under Section 16 of the 1953 U.P. Act

would be repugnant to the Central legislation, since this Court

found no such power exercised by the State Government.

4. However, subsequently, another five Judges Bench of this

Court in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations

(Supra) has specifically gone into the question of repugnancy

and held that the inconsistency or repugnancy will rise if the

State Government fixes a price which is lower than that fixed by

the Central Government. But, if the price fixed by the State
6

Government is higher than that fixed by the Central

Government, there will be no occasion for any inconsistency or

repugnancy as it is possible for both the orders to operate

simultaneously and to comply with both of them. A higher price

fixed by the State Government would automatically comply with

the provisions of clause 3(2) of 1966 Order. Therefore, any price

fixed by the State Government which is higher than that fixed by

the Central Government cannot lead to any kind of repugnancy.

In the case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations (Supra),

this Court held that the State Government has power to fix the

price which may be higher than the minimum price fixed by the

Central Government.

This Court in the reference order observed that to the

aforesaid extent there is a difference of opinion and/or conflict.

5. We have called upon the learned Counsel appearing on

behalf of the respective parties to first address on whether in fact

there is any conflict between the decisions of this Court in the

case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and U.P. Coop. Cane Unions

Federations (Supra) or not and whether there is a need to refer
7

the matter to a larger Bench of seven Judges?

6. Shri Jayant Bhushan, learned Senior Advocate appearing

on behalf of the appellants has submitted that this case raises

the following important issues.

(1) Whether the State Government / Cane Commissioner
has any power or authority under the 1953 U.P. Act
or the Rules and the Orders made thereunder to fix
the sugarcane price?

(2) If the State of U.P. had such a power, would such
legislation be repugnant to the Central legislation i.e.
Essential Commodities Act and the 1966 Order?

(3) Whether there is any conflict between the
Constitution Bench judgment of this Court in the
case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and in the case of U.P.
Coop. Cane Unions Federations (Supra)?

6.1 So far as the question No.1 is concerned, it is submitted

that the power to regulate the distribution, sale or purchase of

cane under Section 16 of the 1953 U.P. Act does not include the

power to fix the price. It is submitted that this aspect has been

comprehensively dealt with in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra)

which analyzed the legislative history of laws relating to sugar

and sugarcane both Central and State and came to the specific
8

conclusion that the power reserved to the State Government to

fix the minimum price of sugarcane which existed in U.P. Act 1

of 1938 was deleted from the 1953 U.P. Act since that power was

being exercised by the Centre under Clause 3 of Sugar and Gur

Control Order, 1950. Reliance is placed upon paragraph 34 of

decision in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra).

6.1.1 It is submitted that in the aforesaid decision it has

specifically been held that the 1953 U.P. Act or the Rules and the

Orders made thereunder made no provision for fixation of price

of sugarcane whatsoever and therefore, there was no question of

repugnancy with the Central law. It is submitted that in the case

of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations (Supra), this Court did

not quote paragraph 34 and relevant paragraphs of the decision

in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and erroneously holds that

Tika Ramji (Supra) only held that the State did not in fact

exercise the power to fix the price.

6.1.2 It is submitted that the argument that Tika Ramji

(Supra) only hold that the State Government did not fix the price
9

as this was fixed for the first time in 1973, is totally misplaced. It

is submitted that Tika Ramji case has specifically held that there

was no power to fix the price for sugarcane under the 1953 U.P.

Act or the Rules and the Orders made thereunder. It is

submitted that although the judgment in Tika Ramji (Supra)

does not specifically quote section 16 of the 1953 U.P. Act, it is

clear from the judgment that every section and every Rule was

examined to see whether there was any power to fix cane price or

any provision relating to price of cane. It is urged that the only

provision that was found on detailed scrutiny of the 1953 U.P.

Act and the Rules was Rule 94 which provided for a notice

showing the minimum price fixed by the Government, which was

held by the Constitution Bench to mean price fixed by the

Central Government.

6.2 Now, so far as question No.2 is concerned, it is argued that

even if such a power exists under Section 16 of the 1953 U.P.

Act, such power would be totally repugnant to the power of

Central Government to fix the minimum price under Clause 3 of

the 1955 Order and thereafter under 1966 Order. It is submitted
10

that although Tika Ramji case (supra) has not commented on

whether such a power with the State Government would be

repugnant to the Central Legislation, since it found no such

power exercised by the State Government, the majority in the

later Constitution Bench judgment in the case of U.P. Coop.

Cane Unions Federations (Supra) held that this would not be

repugnant to the Central Legislation. It is argued that basis for

holding that there is no repugnancy is that it is possible for both

the orders to operate simultaneously and to comply with both of

them. It is argued that in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions

Federations (Supra), subsequently it is held that any price fixed

by the State Government which is higher than that fixed by the

Central Government cannot lead to any kind of repugnancy. It is

argued that this conclusion and its use for determining

repugnancy is incorrect and contrary to the earlier Constitution

Bench judgment including in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra). It

is argued that therefore this issue also needs to be referred to a

larger Bench to resolve the conflict. Reliance is placed on some of

the observations in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra); in the case
11

of State of Orissa vs. M.A. Tulloch & Co. [1964 (4) SCR 461]

and in the case of M. Karunanidhi vs. Union of India [(1979)3

SCC 431].

6.2.1 It is argued that therefore there cannot be two minimum

prices, one fixed by the Central Government as minimum price

and other fixed by the State Government as SAP, which is also a

minimum price. It is submitted that once the Centre has fixed a

minimum price, any other price whether minimum price or SAP

would be repugnant to the Centre’s decision and the Centre’s

power and such power of the State Government would therefore

have to yield to the Central legislation under Article 254 of the

Constitution, both legislations being under the Concurrent List.

6.3 It is urged that there is a direct conflict between the

Constitution Bench Judgment of this Court in the case of Tika

Ramji (Supra) on one hand and the later Judgment also of the

Constitution Bench in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions

Federations (Supra), which needs to be referred to the larger
12

Bench of seven Judges.

7. On the other hand, Shri Krishnan Venugopal, learned

Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the State of U.P. has

vehemently argued that as such there is no apparent conflict

between the two decisions of Constitution Bench of this Court in

the case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and U.P. Coop. Cane Unions

Federations (Supra). In support, he has made the following

submissions.

(1) That, there is a sea change in the law prevailing and
considered by this Court in the case of Tika Ramji
(Supra) and thereafter in the case of U.P. Coop.
Cane Unions Federations (Supra);

(2) That, by the time of the challenge to the 1953 U.P.

Act and the 1954 U.P. Order made under Section 16
of the 1953 U.P. Act in the U.P. Coop. Cane Unions
Federations (Supra), there was a fundamental
change in the substratum on which Tika Ramji case
was decided to the extent that the Central
Government had repealed and substituted the 1955
Order by the 1966 Order. The 1966 Order issued
under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act,
1955 expressly left room for the State to advise a
price higher than the minimum price fixed by the
Central Government under Clause 3(1) of the 1966
Order at which agreements for cane procurement
could be reached between farmers or cooperative
13

societies, especially in the context of the reservation
of cane­growing areas for exclusive procurement by
sugar factories.

(3) That, the ratio of Tika Ramji (Supra) is not premised
solely on the complete absence of power under the
1953 U.P. Act to fix prices. It is submitted that if so,
there was no need for this Court to hold premise its
reasoning on the “fact” that the State of U.P. had not
actually fixed the price for sugarcane.

(4) That, in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra), though
there is a brief mention of section 16 of the impugned
1953 U.P. Act, neither was the issue raised and the
issue No.(iii) was whether section 16 of the Essential
Commodities Act read with clause 7 of 1955 Order
could have purported to repeal Section 16 of the 1953
U.P. Act and the 1954 U.P. Order in light of the
proviso to Article 254(2) of the Constitution of India,
neither was the issue raised nor was there any
argument or discussion on the effect or implications
of section 16 of the 1953 U.P. Act on the fixation of
the “minimum price” under the 1955 Order in the
context of the discussion of repugnancy of 1953 U.P.
Act
.

(5) That, there has been a sea change in the law relating
to repugnancy between Central law and State law in
the context of laws made under the Concurrent List,
List III in the VII Schedule to the Constitution of
India, where both, the Union and the States have
power to make law.

(6) That, being fully aware of the judgment of this Court
in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra), the Central
Government retreated from the field of fixing “the
price” of sugarcane and only retain the power to fix
“the minimum price” while permitting an agreement
14

for fixing higher price for sugarcane. It is submitted
that therefore, the Central Government left it open for
the State to fix the price above the minimum price for
purposes of the agreement to be reached between the
sugarcane growers and sugarcane cooperative
society, on the one hand, and the sugarcane
factories, on the other. It is submitted that therefore
the Central Government expressly indicated its intent
to vacate a particular portion of the field of price
fixation in relation to sugarcane and left it open to the
State, the doctrine of occupied field has no
application whatsoever.

(7) It is submitted that the reliance placed upon the
decision of this Court in the case of M.A. Tulloch &
Co. (Supra) on the occupied field doctrine shall not
be applicable to the facts of the case on hand as that
case relates to regulation of mines and mineral
development and the regulation which involves the
relationship between the Entry 23 in List II and Entry
54 in List I of the Seventh Schedule, both of which
make it clear that the field of legislation can be taken
over by Parliament by making the declaration to that
effect.

7.1 Shri Venugopal, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the

respondent ­ State of U.P. has made following submissions in

support of his submission that there has been a fundamental

change in the provisions of the 1955 Order to the extent that it

was repealed by the 1966 Order.

(1) That, Clause 3 of the 1955 Order empowered the
Central Government to fix “the price or the minimum
15

price” to be paid by a producer of sugar for sugarcane
purchased by him. The 1955 Order has been repealed
by the 1966 Order and clause 3 of the 1966 Order
provides that the Central Government may fix “the
minimum price” of sugarcane to be paid by producers
of sugar.

(2) That, there is a difference between “the price” which
is a fixed amount and “the minimum price” which
only indicates the lowest­permissible rate. The 1966
Order was further amended in 1976 and 1978 and
clauses 3(3) and 3­A were introduced, which now
contemplated an “agreed price”. In view of the
prohibition in clause 3(2) on transacting below the
minimum price, the “agreed price” necessarily had to
be higher than the “minimum price” fixed under
clause 3(1).

(3) That, it is evident from the amended provisions of the
1966 Order, as amended in 1976 and again in 1978,
that the Central Government intentionally vacated
space in favour of the State Legislature to regulate
the price at which agreements could be reached
between sugarcane farmers and cooperative societies
of sugarcane farmers for procurement of sugarcane,
especially in the context of reservation of areas for
procurement by sugar factories.

(4) That, therefore, it is clear that as long as the State
Advised Price fixed by the State Government of Uttar
Pradesh by exercising powers under Section 16 of the
1953 U.P. Act remains over and above the minimum
price fixed by the Central legislature under the 1966
Order, there is no repugnancy to the extent that both
laws can be obeyed without infringing the other.

7.2 It is further argued that in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane
16

Unions Federations (Supra), this Court has rightly observed

and held that so long both, the Union law and the State law can

be obeyed, the State law does not become repugnant to the

Union law when both the laws can operate in the same field

without conflict. In support, heavy reliance has been placed

upon the decision of this Court in the case of Dr. Preeti

Srivastava vs. State of M.P. [(1999) 7 SCC 120].

7.3 It is further argued that in the case of M. Karunanidhi

(Supra), while examining the issue of repugnancy with respect to

State enactment of Tamil Nadu Public Men (Criminal

Misconduct) Act, 1973 in light of the Central enactments of

Indian Penal Code, 1860, Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and

the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1952 and after considering

the relevant Entries in List I, List II and Concurrent List – List III

and Article 254 of the Constitution of India, it is held that so far

as Clause (1) of Article 254 is concerned, it clearly lays down that

where there is a direct collision between a provision of a law

made by the State and that made by the Parliament with respect
17

to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List, then,

subject to the provisions of clause (2), the State law would be

void to the extent of the repugnancy. It is submitted that it is

further held that so far as the Concurrent List is concerned,

both, Parliament and the State Legislatures are entitled to

legislate in regard to any of the Entries appearing therein, but

that is subject to the condition laid down by Article 254(1). It is

submitted that in the aforesaid decision it is held that (1)Where

the provisions of a Central Act and a State Act in the Concurrent

List are fully inconsistent and are absolutely irreconcilable, the

Central Act will prevail and the State Act will become void in view

of the repugnancy; (2) Where, however a law passed by the State

comes into collision with a law passed by the Parliament on an

Entry in the Concurrent List, the State Act shall prevail to the

extent of the repugnancy and the provisions of the Central Act

would become void provided the State Act has been passed in

accordance with clause (2) of Article 254; (3) Where, a law passed

by the State Legislature while being substantially within the

scope of the entries in the State List entrenches upon any of the

Entries in the Central List the constitutionality of the law may be
18

upheld by invoking the doctrine of pith and substance if on an

analysis of the provisions of the Act it appears that by and large

the law falls within the four corners of the State List an

entrenchment, if any, is purely incidental or inconsequential; (4)

Where, however, a law made by the State Legislature on a

subject covered by the Concurrent List is inconsistent with and

repugnant to a previous law made by Parliament, then such a

law can be protected by obtaining the assent of the President

under Article 254(2) of the Constitution. The result of obtaining

the assent of the President would be that so far as the State Act

is concerned, it will prevail in the State and overrule the

provisions of the Central Act in their applicability to the State

only. Such a state of affairs will exist only until Parliament may

at any time make a law adding to, or amending, varying or

repealing the law made by the State Legislature under the

proviso to Article 254.

7.4 It is submitted that therefore applying the law laid down by

this Court in the case of M. Karunanidhi (Supra) to the facts of

the case on hand, it is clear that in the present case, as the
19

Essential Commodities Act and the 1966 Order, on the one

hand, and 1953 U.P. Act and the 1954 U.P. Order, have both

been enacted under the Concurrent List, and there is no direct

conflict between the fixation of the minimum price by the Central

Government under Clause 3 of the 1955 Order and the fixation

of a higher SAP by the State of U.P., there is no real and

irreconcilable conflict between the provisions of the two Acts to

the extent that both can be obeyed without violating the order.

Therefore, it is submitted that the decision of this Court in

the case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations (Supra) must

be upheld as there is no conflict with the decision in the case of

Tika Ramji (Supra).

8. While considering whether there is any apparent conflict

between the decisions of the Constitution Bench of this Court in

the case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and U.P. Coop. Cane Unions

Federations (Supra) and whether the matter requires to be

referred to the larger Bench of seven Judges, the legislative

history as well as the chronology of lists and events which led to
20

the controversy in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and U.P.

Coop. Cane Unions Federations (Supra) and the relevant

provisions which fell for consideration before this Court are

required to be referred to, which are noted in U.P. Coop. Cane

Unions Federations (Supra) , as under:

a. On 8th April, 1932, the Central Legislature, in the
then British India, passed the Sugar Industry
(Protection) Act, 1932 [Act 13 of 1932] to provide for
the fostering and development of Sugar Industry in
India. This led to a large number of farmers taking up
sugarcane cultivation and the establishment of a
number of sugar factories coming up, particularly in
the then Province of U.P. To protect the interest of the
sugarcane­growers’, and for the purpose of assuring
them a fair price, the Central Legislature enacted on
1st May, 1934 the Sugarcane Act, 1934, 1934 [Act 15
of 1934] to regulate the price at which sugarcane
intended for manufacture of sugar could be
purchased by or for the factories. Since, sugarcane
was grown in various Provinces and the Sugarcane
Act
, 1934 left the declaration of controlled areas and
the fixing of minimum price for the purchase of
sugarcane in any controlled area to the discretion of
the Provincial Governments, the Provincial
Governments were also empowered to make rules for
the purpose of carrying into effect the objects of the
Act.

b. As a result of the Government of India Act, 1935,
there was a distribution of legislative powers between
21

the Dominion Legislature and the Provincial
Legislatures. Consequently, the entire subject matter
of Act 15 of 1934 fell within the Provincial Legislative
List. It was felt that Act 15 of 1934 was not
sufficiently comprehensive for dealing with the
problems of the sugar industry. The Governments of
U.P. and Bihar decided to introduce legislation on
similar lines in both the provinces since, between
them, they accounted for nearly 85% of production of
sugar in India.

c. The U.P. Legislature enacted on 10th February, 1938
the U.P. Sugar Factories Control Act, 1938 [U.P. Act I
of 1938]. This Act provided for (i) licensing of sugar
factories, (ii) regulation of the supply of sugarcane
intended for use in such factories, (iii) the minimum
price for sugarcane, (iv) the establishment of Sugar
Control Board and Advisory Committee, and (v) a tax
on the sale of sugarcane intended for use in factories.
Though this Act was to remain in force initially until
30th June, 1947, its life was extended from time to
time and finally up to 30th June 1952. Parallel
developments during this period were the outbreak of
the Second World War and the legislative measures
taken to meet the situation by the then Government
of India for controlling the production, regulation of
distribution and supply of essential commodities. The
Dominion Legislature acquired the power to make
laws for the Provinces with respect to any of the
matters enumerated in the Provincial Legislative List.
Under the Defence of India Act, sugar was made a
controlled commodity in the year 1942 and its
production and distribution as well as the fixation of
sugar prices were regulated by the Sugar Controller.
The proclamation of emergency was revoked by the
Governor General on 1st April 1946. Simultaneously,
the laws made by the Dominion Legislature in the
field of the Provincial Legislative List were to cease to
22

be effective after 30th September 1946.

d. On 26th March 1946, the British Parliament enacted
the India (Central Government and Legislature) Act,
1946 [9 & 10 Geo.6, Chapter 39] which provided that,
notwithstanding anything in the Government of India
Act, 1935, the Indian Legislature shall during the
periods specified in Section 4 of the Act have the
power to make laws with respect, inter alia, to
“foodstuffs”. Though the period provided in Section 4
was one year from the expiration of the declaration of
the emergency by the Governor General, this period
was extended from time to time and would have
ended on 31st March 1948.

e. On 18th July 1947, the Indian Independence Act came
to be passed leading to the Indian (Central
Government and Legislature) Act, 1946 which by way
of adaptation provided that the powers of the
Dominion Legislature shall be exercised by the
Constituent Assembly. With the Constitution coming
into force on 26th January 1950, Article 369 invested
Parliament with the power for a period of 5 years from
the commencement of the Constitution to make laws
with respect to some of the matters as if they were
enumerated in the Concurrent List. One such matter
was “trade and commerce within a State in, and the
production, supply and distribution of, …..foodstuffs
(including edible oil seeds and oil), ……”

f. On 7th October 1950, the Central Government, in
exercise of the powers conferred upon it by Section 3
of the Act, promulgated the Sugar and Gur Control
Order, 1950 which, inter alia, empowered it to
prohibit movement of sugarcane from any area and
also to direct that no gur or sugar should be
manufactured from sugarcane except under and in
accordance with a licence issued by it. Power was
23

also given to the Central Government to fix the
minimum price of sugarcane and no person was to
sell or agree to sell sugarcane to a producer and no
producer was to purchase or agree to purchase
sugarcane at a price lower than that notified. This
power of fixing the price of sugarcane was exercised
by the Central Government from time to time by
issuing notifications which fixed the minimum price
to be paid by the producer of sugar by vacuum pan
process. An Act for similar purposes, by name, Bihar
Sugar Factories Control Act 7 of 1937 came to be
enacted in the State of Bihar. As a result of the
recommendations of the Khaitan Committee, the
report of the Indian Tariff Board in the year 1938 and
the U.P. Sugar Industry Enquiry Committee, 1951
[Swaminathan Committee], it was desired that the
U.P. Act I of 1938 should be amended in order to
make regulation of the supply of sugarcane possible.

g. The Industries (Development and Regulation Act,
1951 [Act 65 of 1951] was brought into effect from 8 th
May 1952. In view of this Act coming into force,
certain provisions of the U.P. Act I of 1938 became
inoperative. The U.P. Legislature passed on 29th June,
1952, the U.P. Sugar Factories Control (Amendment)
Act, 1952, deleting those provisions and putting the
amended Act permanently on the Statute Book. The
U.P. Act
I of 1938, thus amended, continued in force
till it was repealed by the U.P. Sugarcane Act, 1953.
The object of the enactment of the 1953 Act is stated
thus:

“With the promulgation of the Industries
(Development and Regulation Act, 1951
with effect from 8th May 1952, the
regulation of the sugar industry has
become exclusively a Central subject. The
State Governments are now only concerned
24

with the supply of sugarcane to the sugar
factories. The Bill is being introduced in
order to provide for a rational distribution
of sugarcane to factories, for its
development on organised scientific lines,
to protect the interests of the cane­growers
and of the industry and to put the new Act
permanently on the Statute Book”

In exercise of the rule making power conferred by
Section 28 of the Act, the U.P. Government made the
U.P. Sugarcane Rules, 1954 and also in exercise of
the powers conferred by Section 16 of the Act,
promulgated the U.P. Sugarcane Order, 1954.

h. On 1st April 1955, Parliament enacted the Essential
Commodities Act
, 1955 [Act 10 of 1955] to provide in
the interests of the general public “for the control of
production, supply and distribution of, and trade and
commerce in, certain commodities”. This Act defines
“essential commodity” in Section 2(a)(v) to be any
“foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils”. By
clause (b), “food­crops” is defined to include crops of
sugarcane. By clause (a)(xi), the definition of
“essential commodity” extends to any other class of
commodity which the Central Government may
declare to be an essential commodity for the purpose
of the Act, being a commodity with respect to which
Parliament has power to make laws by virtue of Entry
33 in List III in the Seventh Schedule to the
Constitution.

i. Section 3(1) empowers the Central Government, if
necessary or expedient to do so “for maintaining or
increasing the supplies of any essential commodity or
for securing their equitable distribution and
availability at fair prices”, by an order to provide “for
25

regulating or prohibiting the production, supply and
distribution thereof and trade and commerce
therein.” Under clause (c) of sub­section (2) of Section
3
, such an order may provide for controlling the price
at which essential commodity may be bought or sold.
j. In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the
Essential Commodities Act, the Central Government
promulgated on 27th August 1955, the Sugar Control
Order, 1955 and the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955.
Clause 3(a) of the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955
empowers the Central Government, after consultation
with appropriate authorities, to fix in respect of any
area ‘the price or the minimum price’ to be paid by a
producer of sugar for sugarcane purchased by him in
that area. It also empowers fixation of different prices
for different areas or different qualities of sugarcane
or on the basis of recovery of sugar from sugarcane
having regard to various factors enumerated therein.
Clause 3(2) provides that no person shall sell or agree
to sell sugarcane to a producer of sugar or factory
and no producer or factory shall purchase or agree to
purchase sugarcane at a price lower than that
notified under this clause. Clause (4) empowers the
Central Government to prohibit or restrict or
otherwise regulate the export of sugarcane from any
area for supply to different factories and also to direct
that no gur or sugar shall be manufactured from
sugarcane except under and in accordance with the
conditions specified in a licence issued in this behalf.
Clause (5) requires every producer or factory to
comply with the directions made under the order. By
clause (7) of this order, the Sugar and Gur Control
Order, 1950 was repealed.

k. On 16th July, 1966, the Central Government notified
the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966. Clause 2(g)
defines “price” to mean the price or the minimum
price fixed by the Central Government, from time to
time, for sugarcane delivered, inter alia, to a sugar
26

factory. Clauses 3 and 3­A bear reproduction and
read thus :­
“3: Minimum price of sugarcane payable by
producer of sugar­ (1) The Central
Government may, after consultation with such
authorities, bodies or associations as it may
deem fit, by notification in the official Gazette,
from time to time, fix the minimum price of
sugarcane to be paid by producers of sugar or
their agents for the sugarcane purchased by
them, having regard to ­

(a) the cost of production of sugarcane;

(b) the return to the grower from alternative
crops and the general trend of prices of
agricultural commodities;

(c) the availability of sugar to the consumer at
a fair price;

(d) the price at which sugar produced from
sugarcane is sold by producers of sugar; and

(e) the recovery of sugar from sugarcane :

Provided that the Central Government or, with the
approval of the Central Government, the State
Government, may, in such circumstances and subject
to such conditions as specified in Clause 3­A, allow a
suitable rebate in the price so fixed.]
Explanation ­ (1) Different prices may be fixed for
different areas or different qualities or varieties of
sugarcane. (2) No person shall sell or agree to sell
sugarcane to a producer of sugar or his agent, and no
such producer or agent shall purchase or agree to
purchase sugarcane, at a price lower than that fixed
under sub­clause (1). (3) Where a producer of sugar
purchases any sugarcane from a grower of sugarcane
or from a Sugarcane­grower’s Co­operative Society,
27

the producer shall, unless there is an agreement in
writing to the contrary between the parties, pay
within fourteen days from the date of delivery of the
sugarcane to the seller or tender to him the price of
the cane sold at the rate agreed to between the
producer and the sugarcane­ grower or Sugarcane­
growers’ Co­operative Society or that fixed under sub­
clause (1), as the case may be, either at the gate of
the factory or at the cane collection centre or transfer
or deposit the necessary amount in the bank account
of the seller or the co­operative society, as the case
may be. [Subs. by G.S.R. 945, dated 18.5.1968] (3­A).
Where a producer of sugar or his agent fails to make
payment for the sugarcane purchased within 14 days
of the date of delivery, he shall pay interest on the
amount due at the rate of 15 per cent per annum for
the period of such delay beyond 14 days. Where
payment of interest on delayed payment is made to a
cane­growers’ society, the society shall pass on the
interest to the cane­growers concerned after
deducting administrative charges, if any, permitted
by the rules of the said society. [Ins. by G.S.R. 62(E)
dated 2.2.1978].

(4) Where sugarcane is purchased through an agent,
the producer or the agent shall pay or tender
payment of such price within the period and in the
manner aforesaid and if neither of them has so paid
or tendered payment, each of them shall be deemed
to have contravened the provisions of this clause.
(5) At the time of payment at the gate of the factory or
at the cane collection centre, receipts, if any, given by
the purchaser, shall be surrendered by the cane­
grower or co­operative society. (6) Where payment has
been made by transfer or deposit of the amount to the
bank account of the seller or the co­operative society
as the case may be, the receipt given by the
purchaser, if any, to the grower or the co­ operative
society if not returned to the purchaser, shall become
28

invalid. (7) In case, the price of the sugarcane
remains unpaid on the last day of the sugar year in
which cane supply was made to the factory on
account of the suppliers of cane not coming forward
with their claims therefore or for any other reason, it
shall be deposited by the producer of sugar with the
Collector of the district in which the factory is
situated, within three months of the close of the
sugar year. The Collector shall pay, out of the amount
so deposited, all claims, considered payable by him
and preferred before him within three years of the
close of the sugar year in which the cane was
supplied to the factory. The amount still remaining
undisbursed with the Collector, after meeting the
claims from the suppliers, shall be credited by him to
the Consolidated Fund of the State, immediately after
the expiry of the time limit of 3 years within which
claims therefore could be preferred by the suppliers.
The State Government shall, as far as possible, utilise
such amounts, for development of sugarcane in the
State.

3­A. Rebate that can be deducted from the price paid
for sugarcane ­ A producer of sugar or his agent shall
pay, for the sugarcane purchased by him, to the
sugarcane­grower or the sugarcane­ growers’ co­
operative society, either the minimum price of
sugarcane fixed under Clause 3, or the price agreed
to between the producer or his agent and the
sugarcane­grower or the sugarcane­growers’ co­
operative society, as the case may be (hereinafter
referred to as the agreed price)*** [Ins. by G.S.R.
815(E) dated 24.9.1976]”
Clause 4 empowers the Central Government “or a
State Government, with the concurrence of the
Central Government”, to fix the minimum price or the
price of sugarcane to be paid by producers of the
khandsari sugar for the sugarcane purchased by
them with the proviso that the minimum price or the
29

price of sugarcane so fixed shall not exceed the
minimum price of sugarcane fixed by producers of
sugar in the region with a further proviso that no
person shall sell or agree to sell sugarcane to a
producer of khandsari sugar or his agent, and no
such producer or his agent shall purchase or agree to
purchase sugarcane, “at a price lower than that fixed
under clause (4)”.

Clause 5­A provides that where a producer of sugar
purchases sugarcane, from a sugarcane­grower
during each sugar year, he shall be liable to pay, in
addition to the minimum sugarcane price fixed under
Clause 3, an additional price, if found due in
accordance with the formula enumerated in Second
Schedule to the Order.

Under sub­clause (2) of Clause 5­A, an appropriate
authority may be authorised to determine the
additional price payable under sub­ clause (1) who
shall intimate the same in writing to the producer of
sugar and the sugarcane­grower.

Under sub­clause (4), the manner of payment of the
additional price may be prescribed as directed by the
Central Government or the State Government, from
time to time.

Under sub­clause (5), no additional price determined
under sub­ clause (2) or sub­clause (3) is required to
be paid by a producer of sugar who pays a price
higher than the minimum price fixed under Clause 3
to the sugarcane­grower, provided that, “the price so
paid is not less than the total price comprising the
minimum sugarcane price fixed under Clause 3 and
the additional price determined under sub­clause (2)
or sub­clause (3).”
Under sub­clause (6), it is provided that any extra
price paid by the producer of sugar to the sugarcane­
grower over and above the minimum sugarcane price
fixed under Clause 3, shall be adjusted against the
30

additional sugarcane price determined under sub­
clause (2) or sub­clause (3) and the balance, if any,
shall be paid to the sugarcane­ grower.

Sub­clause (7) provides that, additional price shall be
payable to the sugarcane­grower if he, in performance
of his agreement with a producer of sugar, has
supplied not less than 85% of the sugarcane so
agreed.

Clause 6 empowers the Central Government to: (i)
reserve areas where sugarcane is grown to determine
the quantity of sugarcane which a factory will require
for crushing during any year; (ii) to fix, with respect
to any specified sugarcane­grower or sugarcane­
growers generally in a reserved area, the quantity or
percentage of sugarcane which he by himself or as a
member of a co­operative society of sugarcane­
growers operating in such area, shall supply to the
factory concerned; (iii) direct a sugarcane­grower or a
sugarcane­growers’ co­ operative society, supplying
sugarcane to a factory, and the factory concerned, to
enter into an agreement to supply or purchase the
quantity of sugarcane fixed; (iv) direct that no gur or
khandsari sugar shall be manufactured from
sugarcane except in accordance with the conditions
specified in the licence; and (v) “prohibit or restrict or
otherwise regulate” the export of sugarcane from any
area (including a reserved area) except under and in
accordance with a permit issued in his behalf. Sub­
clause (2) makes it obligatory on every sugarcane­
grower, Sugarcane­growers’ Co­operative Society and
factory, to whom an order is issued under sub­clause
(1), to supply or purchase the quantity of sugarcane
covered by the agreement entered into. Any wilful
failure on the part of the sugarcane­grower,
sugarcane­growers’ co­ operative society and factory
to do so, is constituted a breach of the provisions of
the Order.

31

Under Clause 11, the powers under the Order shall,
subject to specified conditions, be exercisable also by
an officer or authority of the Central Government and
the State Government or any officer or authority of
the State Government.

8.1 The provisions of Section 16 of the Act of 1953 read as

under:

16. Regulation of purchase and supply of cane in the
reserved and assigned areas –(1) The State
Government may, for maintaining supplies, by order,
regulate­

(a) the distribution, sale or purchase of any case in
any reserved or assigned area; and

(b) purchase of cane in any area other than a
reserved or assigned area.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing powers such order may provide for­

(a) the quantity of cane to be supplied by each
Cane­grower or Cane­growers’ Co­operative Society in
such area to the factory for which the area has so
been reserved or assigned;

(b) the manner in which cane grown in the reserved
area or the assigned area, shall be purchased by the
factory for which the area has been so reserved or
assigned and the circumstance in which the cane
grown by a cane­grower shall not be purchased
except through a Cane­growers’ Co­operative Society;

(c) the form and the terms and conditions of the
agreement to be executed by the occupier or manager
of the factory for which an area is reserved or
assigned for the purchase of cane offered for sale;

(d) the circumstances under which permission may
32

be granted­

(i) for the purchase of cane grown in reserved
or assigned area by a [Gur, Rab or Khandsari
Manufacturing Unit or any person or factory]
(Substituted by UP ACT IV of 1964) other than the
factory for which area has been reserved or
assigned; and

(ii) for the sale of cane grown in a reserved or
assigned area to a [Gur, Rab or Khandsari
Manufacturing Unit or any person or factory]
(Substituted by UP ACT IV of 1964) other than the
factory for which the area is reserved or assigned;

(e) such incidental and consequential matters as
may appear to be necessary or desirable for this
purpose.

9. Thus, from the legislative history and the relevant

provisions of Essential Commodities Act, 1953 U.P. Act, 1954

U.P. Order, 1955 Order, 1966 Order which fell for consideration

by this Court in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and U.P. Coop.

Cane Unions Federations (Supra), it appears that as such there

has been a sea change in the law and the relevant provisions

which can be summarized as under:

a. That, the Central Government repealed and
substituted the 1955 Order by 1966 Order;

b. That, in the 1966 Order issued under Section 3 of the
Essential Commodities Act, from the word “price and
33

the minimum price”, word “price” came to be deleted
and the power to fix “minimum price” came to be
retained;

c. Clause 3 of the 1955 Order empowered the Central
Government to fix “price” or “minimum price” to be
paid by the producer of sugar for sugarcane
purchased by him. However, 1955 Order came to be
repealed by the 1966 Order and Clause 3 of 1966
Order provides that the Central Government may fix
the “minimum price” of sugarcane to be paid by the
producers of the sugar;

d. That, 1966 Order came to be further amended in
1976 and 1978 and Clauses 3(3) and 3­A came to be
introduced which now contemplates “agreed price”;

9.1 Considering the Clause 3 of the 1955 Order by which the

Central Government was empowered to fix “price” or the

“minimum price” which fell for consideration by this Court in the

case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and as even the time when the matter

was decided by this Court in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra), no

price was determined and/or fixed by the State and therefore,

having felt there is no repugnancy and/or conflict, this Court in

the case of Tika Ramji (Supra) did not as such enter into the

question of repugnancy. Therefore, as such in the case of Tika

Ramji (Supra), this Court considered Clause 3 of 1955 Order
34

which specifically empowered the Central Government to fix the

“price or minimum price” and also considered that the State

Government has not exercised the power by fixing the price and

therefore, the question of conflict does not arise. However, in the

case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations (Supra), this

Court was considering the subsequent change in law more

particularly the 1966 Order and Clause 3 of the 1966 Order and

other relevant Clauses of 1966 Order.

10. The relevant observations and findings recorded by this

Court in the case of Tika Ramji (Supra) and in the case of U.P.

Coop. Cane Unions Federations (Supra) are as under:

10.1 RELEVANT EXTRACTS AND OBSERVATIONS IN THE
CASE OF TIKA RAMJI

“..…It is clear, therefore, that all the Acts and the
notifications issued thereunder by the Centre in regard
to sugar and sugarcane were enacted in exercise of the
concurrent jurisdiction. The exercise of such concurrent
jurisdiction would not deprive the Provincial Legislatures
of similar powers which they had under the Provincial
Legislative List and there would, therefore, be no question
of legislative incompetence qua the Provincial Legislatures
35

in regard to similar pieces of legislation enacted by the
latter. The Provincial Legislatures as well as the
Central Legislature would be competent to enact such
pieces of legislation and no question of legislative
competence would arise. It also follows as a necessary
corollary that, even though sugar industry was a
controlled industry, none of these Acts enacted by the
Centre was in exercise of its jurisdiction under Entry 52 of
List I. Industry in the wide sense of the term would be
capable of comprising three different aspects: (1) raw
materials which are an integral part of the industrial
process, (2) the process of manufacture or production, and
(3) the distribution of the products of the industry. The
raw materials would be goods which would be comprised
in Entry 27 of List II. The process of manufacture or
production would be comprised in Entry 24 of List II
except where the industry was a controlled industry when
it would fall within Entry 52 of List I and the products of
the industry would also be comprised in Entry 27 of List II
except where they were the products of the controlled
industries when they would fall within Entry 33 of List III.
This being the position, it cannot be said that the
legislation which was enacted by the Centre in regard
to sugar and sugarcane could fall within Entry 52 of
List I. Before sugar industry became a controlled industry,
both sugar and sugarcane fell within Entry 27 of List II
but, after a declaration was made by Parliament in 1951
by Act LXV of 1951, sugar industry became a controlled
industry and the product of that industry, viz., sugar was
comprised in Entry 33 of List III taking it out of Entry 27
of List II. Even so, the Centre as well as the Provincial
Legislatures had concurrent jurisdiction in regard to the
same. In no event could the legislation in regard to
sugar and sugarcane be thus included within Entry 52
of List 1. The pith and substance argument also cannot
be imported here for the simple reason that, when
both the Centre as well as the State Legislatures were
36

operating in the concurrent field, there was no
question of any trespass upon the exclusive
jurisdiction vested in the Centre under Entry 52 of
List 1, the only question which survived being
whether, putting both the pieces of legislation enacted
by the Centre and the State Legislature together, there
was any repugnancy, a contention which will be dealt
with hereafter.

“…..A more effective answer is furnished by
comparison of the terms of the U.P. Act I of 1938 with
those of the impugned Act. Whereas the U.P. Act I of 1938
covered both sugarcane and sugar within its compass, the
impugned Act was confined only to sugarcane, thus
relegating sugar to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Centre
thereby eliminating all argument with regard to the
encroachment by the U.P. State Legislature on the field
occupied by the Centre. The U.P. Act I of 1938 provided for
the establishment of a Sugar Control Board, the Sugar
Commissioner, the Sugar Commission and the Cane
Commissioner. The impugned Act provided for the
establishment of a Sugarcane Board. The Sugar
Commissioner was named as such but his functions
under rules 106 and 107 were confined to getting
information which would lead to the regulation of the
supply and purchase of sugarcane required for use in
sugar factories and had nothing to do with the production
or the disposal of sugar produced in the factories. The
Sugar Commission was not provided for but the Cane
Commissioner was the authority invested with all the
powers in regard to the supply and purchase of sugarcane.
The Inspectors appointed under the U.P. Act I of 1938 had
no doubt powers to examine records maintained at the
factories showing the amount of sugarcane purchased and
crushed but they were there with a view to check the
production or manufacture of sugar whereas the
Inspectors appointed under the impugned Act were, by
rule 20, to confine their activities to the regulation of the
37

supply and purchase of sugarcane without having
anything to do with the further process of the manufacture
or production of sugar. Chapter 3 of U.P. Act I of 1938,
dealing with the construction and extension of sugar
factories, licensing of factories for crushing sugarcane,
fixing of the price of sugar, etc., was deleted from the
impugned Act. The power of licensing new industrial
undertakings was thereafter exercised by the Centre under
Act LXV of 1951 as amended by Act XXVI of 1953, vide
sections 11(a), 12 and 13, and the power of fixation of
price of sugar was exercised by the Centre under
section 3 of Act XXIV of 1946 by issuing the Sugar
Control Order, 1950. Even the power reserved to the
State Government to fix minimum prices of sugarcane
under Chapter V of U.P. Act I of 1938 was deleted from the
impugned Act the same being exercised by the Centre
under clause 3 of Sugar and Gur Control Order, 1950,
issued by it in exercise of the powers conferred under
section 3 of Act XXIV of 1946. The prices fixed by the
Centre were adopted by the State Government and the
only thing which the State Government required under
rule 94 was that the occupier of a factory or the
purchasing agent should cause to be put up at each
purchasing centre a notice showing the minimum price of
cane fixed by the Government meaning thereby the centre.
The State Government also incorporated these prices
which were notified by the Centre from time to time in the
forms of the agreements which were to be entered between
the cane growers, the cane growers co­operative societies,
the factories and their purchasing agents for the supply
and purchase of sugarcane as provided in the U.P.
Sugarcane Supply and Purchase Order, 1954. The only
provision which was retained by the State Government in
the impugned Act for the protection of the sugarcane
growers was that contained in section 17 which provided
for the payment of price of sugarcane by the occupier of a
factory to the sugarcane growers. It could be recovered
from such occupier as if it were an arrear of land revenue.

38

This comparison goes to show that the impugned Act
merely confined itself to the regulation of the supply and
purchase of sugarcane required for use in sugar factories
and did not concern itself at all with the controlling or
licensing of the sugar factories, with the production or
manufacture of sugar or with the trade and commerce in,
and the production, supply and distribution of, sugar. If
that was so, there was no question whatever of its
trenching upon the jurisdiction of the Centre in regard to
sugar industry which was a controlled industry within
Entry 52 of List I and the U.P. Legislature had jurisdiction
to enact the law with regard to sugarcane and had
legislative competence to enact the impugned Act.”

“..…It was next contended that the provisions of the
impugned Act were repugnant to the provisions of Act LXV
of 1951 and Act X of 1955 which were enacted by
Parliament and, therefore, the law made by Parliament
should prevail and the impugned Act should, to the extent
of the repugnancy, be void. Before dealing with this
contention it is necessary to clear the ground by defining
the exact connotation of the term “repugnancy”.
Repugnancy falls to be considered when the law made by
Parliament and the law made by the State Legislature
occupy the same field because, if both these pieces of
legislation deal with separate and distinct matters though
of a cognate and allied character, repugnancy does not
arise.”

“…..We are concerned here with the repugnancy, if any,
arising by reason of both Parliament and the State
Legislature having operated in the same field in respect of
a matter enumerated in the Concurrent List, i.e.,
foodstuffs comprised in Entry 33 of List III.”

“…..The Calcutta High Court in G. P. Stewart v. B. K. Roy
Chaudhury
had occasion to consider the meaning of
39

repugnancy and B. N. Rau, J. who delivered the judgment
of the Court observed at page 632:

“It is sometimes said that two laws cannot be said
to be properly repugnant unless there is a direct
conflict between them, as when one says ‘do” and
the other “don’t”, there is no true repugnancy,
according to this view, if it is possible to obey both
the laws. For reasons which we shall set forth
presently, we think that this is too narrow a test:
there may well be cases of repugnancy where both
laws say “don’t” but in different ways. For
example, one law may say, “No person shall sell
liquor by retail, that is, in quantities of less than
five gallons at a time” and another law may say,
“No person shall sell liquor by retail, that is, in
quantities of less than ten gallons at a time”. Here,
it is obviously possible to obey both laws, by
obeying the more stringent of the two, namely the
second one; yet it is equally obvious that the two
laws are repugnant, for to the extent to which a
citizen is compelled to obey one of them, the other,
though not actually disobeyed, is nullified”.

The learned Judge then discussed the various authorities which

laid down the test of repugnancy in Australia, Canada, and

England and concluded at page 634:

“The principle deducible from the English cases,
as from the Canadian cases, seems therefore to be
the same as that enunciated by Isaacs, J. in the
Australian 44 hour case (37 C.L.R. 466) if the
dominant law has expressly or impliedly evinced
its intention to cover the whole field, then a
subordinate law in the same field is repugnant
40

and therefore inoperative. Whether and to what
extent in a given case, the dominant law evinces
such an intention must necessarily depend on the
language of the particular law”.

“…..In the instant case, there is no question of any
inconsistency in the actual terms of the Acts enacted by
Parliament and the impugned Act. The only questions that
arise are whether Parliament and the State Legislature
sought to exercise their powers over the same subject­
matter or whether the laws enacted by Parliament were
intended to be a complete exhaustive code or, in other
words, expressly or impliedly evinced an intention to cover
the whole field.”
“…..Act X of 1955 included within the definition of
essential commodity food stuffs which we have seen above
would include sugar as well as sugarcane. This Act was
enacted by Parliament in exercise of the concurrent
legislative power under Entry 33 of List III as amended by
the Constitution Third Amendment Act, 1954. Foodcrops
were there defined as including crops of sugarcane and
section 3(1) gave the Central Government powers to
control the production, supply and distribution of
essential commodities and trade and commerce therein for
maintaining or increasing the supplies thereof or for
securing their equitable distribution and availability at fair
prices. Section 3(2)(b) empowered the Central Government
to provide inter alia for bringing under cultivation any
waste or arable land whether appurtenant to a building or
not for growing thereon of foodcrops generally or specified
foodcrops and section 3(2)(c) gave the Central Government
power for controlling the price at which any essential
commodity may be bought or sold. These provisions would
certainly bring within the scope of Central legislation the
regulation of the production of sugarcane as also the
controlling of the price at which sugarcane may be bought
or sold, and in addition to the Sugar Control Order, 1955
which was issued by the Central Government on 27th
41

August, 1955, it also issued the Sugarcane Control Order,
1955, on the same date investing it with the power to fix
the price of sugarcane and direct payment thereof as also
the power to regulate the movement of sugarcane.”

“…..Parliament was well within its powers in
legislating in regard to sugarcane and the Central
Government was also well within its powers in issuing
the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955 in the manner it
did because all this was in exercise of the concurrent
power of legislation under Entry 33 of List III. That,
however, did not affect the legislative competence of
the U. P. State Legislature to enact the law in regard to
sugarcane and the only question which remained to be
considered was whether there was any repugnancy
between the provisions of the Central legislation and
the U. P. State legislation in this behalf. As we have
noted above, the U. P. State Government. did not at all
provide for the fixation of minimum prices for
sugarcane nor did it provide for the regulation of
movement of sugarcane as was done by the Central
Government in clauses (3) and (4) of the Sugarcane
Control Order, 1955. The impugned Act did not make
any provision for the same and the only provision in
regard to the price of sugarcane which was to be found
in the U. P. Sugarcane Rules, 1954, was contained in
Rule 94 which provided that a notice of suitable size
in clear bold lines showing the minimum price of cane
fixed by the Government and the rates at which the
cane is being purchased by the centre was to be put up
by an occupier of a factory or the purchasing agent as
the case may be at each purchasing centre. The price
of cane fixed by Government here only meant the
price fixed by the appropriate Government which
would be the Central Government, under clause 3 of
42

the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955, because in fact the
U. P. State Government never fixed the price of
sugarcane to be purchased by the factories. Even the
provisions in behalf of the agreements contained in
clauses 3 and 4 of the U. P. Sugarcane Regulation of
Supply and Purchase Order, 1954, provided that the
price was to be the minimum price to be notified by
the Government subject to such deductions, if any, as
may be notified by the Government from time to time
meaning thereby the Central Government, the State
Government not having made any provision in that
behalf at any time whatever. The provisions thus made
by the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955, did not find
their place either in the impugned Act or the Rules
made thereunder or the U.P. Sugarcane Regulation of
Supply and Purchase Order, 1954, and the provision
contained in section 17 of the impugned Act in regard
to the payment of sugarcane price and recovery
thereof as if it was an arrear of land revenue did not
find its place in the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955.
These provisions, therefore, were mutually exclusive
and did not impinge upon each other there being thus
no trenching upon the field of one Legislature by the
other. Our attention was drawn to the several
provisions contained in the Sugarcane Control Order,
1955 and the U.P. Sugarcane Regulation of Supply and
Purchase Order, 1954 and the agreements annexed
thereto and it was pointed out that they differed in
material particulars, the provisions of the latter being
more stringent than those of the former. It is not
necessary to refer to these provisions in any detail.
Suffice it to say that none of these provisions do
overlap, the Centre being silent with regard to some of
the provisions which have been enacted by the State
and the State being silent with regard to some of the
43

Provisions which have been enacted by the Centre.
There is no repugnancy whatever between these
provisions and the impugned Act and the Rules framed
thereunder as also the U.P. Sugarcane Regulation of
Supply and Purchase Order, 1954 do not trench upon
the field covered by Act X of 1955. There being no
repugnancy at all, therefore, no question arises of the
operation of article 254(2) of the Constitution and no
provision of the impugned Act and the Rules made
thereunder is invalidated by any provision contained
in Act LXV of 1951 as amended by Act XXVI of 1953 or
Act X of 1955 and the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955
issued thereunder.”

11. RELEVANT EXTRACTS AND OBSERVATIONS IN THE
CASE OF U.P. COOPERATIVE CANE UNIONS
FEDERATIONS:

“27. It has been urged by learned counsel for the
respondents that the expression “at the minimum price
notified by Government” used in the proforma of the
agreement which is to be executed between a cane­grower
and the occupier of the factory as given in Form B and that
which is to be executed between a cane­growers’
cooperative society and the occupier of the factory as given
in Form C in the appendix to the 1954 Order indicates that
it is only the minimum price fixed by the Central
Government which can be the consideration or price for the
sale of sugarcane to the sugar factory. Strong reliance in
support of this submission has been placed upon certain
observations made by this Court in Tika Ramji v. State of
U.P. The
proforma of agreement viz. Forms B and C are
contained in the appendix to U.P. Sugarcane Supply and
Purchase Order, 1954. This Order has been made by U.P.

44

Government in exercise of the power conferred by Section
16
of the 1953 Act, which provides that the State
Government may for maintaining supplies by Order
regulate the distribution, sale or purchase of cane in any
reserved or assigned area, etc. The Order having been
made by the State Government in exercise of a power
conferred by an Act made by U.P. legislature, the only
logical inference which can be drawn is that the word
“Government” refers to State Government. There is no
indication in the proforma of the agreement or in the 1954
Order that the word “Government” would refer to Central
Government. If the State Government is prescribing a
proforma of an agreement which is to be executed by a
cane­grower or a cane­growers’ cooperative society and the
occupier of the factory regarding sale and purchase of
sugarcane wherein the word “Government” is used, it can
only mean the State Government and not the Central
Government unless there is clear indication to the
contrary.

28. The observations made in Tika Ramji, strong
reliance on which is placed by learned counsel for the
respondents, have to be understood in the context in which
they were made. It may be noted that the writ petitions in
the said case were filed in this Court in the year 1954 and
the judgment was delivered on 24­4­1956. At the relevant
time, it was the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1955 which
was in operation. Clause 3 of this Order empowered the
Central Government to fix the price or the minimum price to
be paid by a producer of sugar for sugarcane purchased by
him. The 1955 Order has been repealed by Sugarcane
(Control) Order, 1966 and Clause 3 of this Order provides
that the Central Government may fix the minimum price of
sugarcane to be paid by producers of sugar. There is a
difference between “the price” which is a fixed amount and
“the minimum price” which only indicates the lowest­
permissible rate. The 1966 Order which itself was made by
the Central Government more than a decade after the
judgment was rendered in Tika Ramji was amended in
45

1978 and Clauses 3(3) and 3­A thereof contemplate an
“agreed price” which in view of the mandate of Clause 3(2)
is bound to be higher than the “minimum price” fixed
under Clause 3(1). Naturally it is this “agreed price” which
is to be mentioned in the agreements for sale and purchase
of sugarcane in Forms B and C otherwise the very purpose
of entering into agreements would be defeated. The State
Government had not fixed any price for the sugarcane
under its regulatory power by the time Tika Ramji was
decided by this Court in April, 1956 and only the Central
Government had taken a step for fixing the price. It was in
these circumstances that it was observed that the “price
fixed by the Government” would mean “the Central
Government”. The observations relied upon by the learned
counsel for the respondents were made while considering
the question whether there was any repugnancy between
the provisions of the Sugarcane Control Order 1955 and
the 1953 Act, the Rules and 1954 Order and they should
be understood in that context. The relevant portion of the
judgment on SCR p.434 is being reproduced below:
(AIR p.704, para 36)

“The price of cane fixed by Government here
only meant the price fixed by the appropriate
Government which would be the Central
Government, under clause 3 of the Sugarcane
Control Order, 1955, because in fact the U.P. State
Government never fixed the price of sugarcane to
be purchased by the factories. Even the provisions
in behalf of the agreements contained in clauses 3
and 4 of the U.P. Sugarcane Regulation of Supply
and Purchase Order, 1954, provided that the price
was to be the minimum price to be notified by the
Government subject to such deductions, if any, as
may be notified by the Government from time to
time meaning thereby the Central Government,
the State Government not having made any
provision in that behalf at any time whatever.

46

The provisions thus made by the Sugarcane
Control Order, 1955, did not find their place either
in the impugned Act or the Rules made
thereunder or the U.P. Sugarcane Regulation of
Supply and Purchase Order, 1954; and the
provision contained in Section 17 of the impugned
Act in regard to the payment of sugarcane price
and recovery thereof as if it was an arrear of land
revenue did not find its place in the Sugarcane
Control Order, 1955.”
“28.1 Having regard to the factual situation then
existing that U.P. Government had not fixed the price of
the sugarcane, it was held that the price of the cane fixed
by the Government could only mean “Central
Government”. It has not been laid down as a principle of
law that the words “minimum price notified by
Government” must necessarily mean the minimum price
fixed by the Central Government or that under no
circumstances it can mean the price fixed by the State
Government.

“34. Learned Senior Counsel for the respondents has
strenuously urged that the Central Government having
made the 1966 Order which contains a specific provision
for fixation of price of sugarcane, under Clause 3(1)
thereof, the regulatory power under the 1953 Act cannot
embrace within its fold the same power of fixation of price
as this will be clearly repugnant to a law made by the
Parliament and would be void in view of Article 254(1) of
the Constitution. In Tika Ramji it has been held that the
EC Act under which the Central Government made the
1966 Order and the 1953 Act made by U.P. Legislature
have been enacted with reference to Entry 33 of List III of
the Seventh Schedule. The constitutional validity of the
1953 Act was upheld by the Constitution Bench in the
said decision. On p. 437 of the Reports (SCR) the Court
quoted with approval the following passage from the
judgment of Sulaiman J. in Shyamakant Lal v. Rambhajan
Singh (FCR at p. 212 : AIR at p. 83) for the principle of
47

construction in regard to repugnancy : (AIR p. 700, para

32)
“When the question is whether a Provincial
legislation is repugnant to an existing Indian law,
the onus of showing its repugnancy and the extent
to which it is repugnant should be on the party
attacking its validity. There ought to be a
presumption in favour of its validity, and every
effort should be made to reconcile them and
construe both so as to avoid their being repugnant
to each other; and care should be taken to see
whether the two do not really operate in different
fields without encroachment. Further, repugnancy
must exist in fact, and not depend merely on a
possibility:”
(Emphasis supplied)
And then went to hold : (AIR p. 700, para 33)

“33. In the instant case, there is no question
of any inconsistency in the actual terms of the
Acts enacted by Parliament and the impugned Act.
The only questions that arise are whether
Parliament and the State Legislature sought to
exercise their powers over the same subject­matter
or whether the laws enacted by Parliament were
intended to be a complete exhaustive code or, in
other words, expressly or impliedly evinced an
intention to cover the whole field.”

35. In M. Karunanidhi v. Union of India, the
principles to be applied for determining repugnancy
between a law made by Parliament and law made by State
legislature were considered by a Constitution Bench. In
pursuance of an FIR lodged against Shri M. Karunanidhi
the CBI after investigation had submitted chargesheet
against him under Section 161, 468 and 471 IPC and
Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention of
Corruption Act. The Madras Legislature had passed an Act
48

known as Tamil Nadu Public Men (Criminal Misconduct)
Act, 1973 which had received the assent of the President.
It was contended that by virtue of Article 254(2) of the
Constitution, the provisions of Indian Penal Code,
Prevention of Corruption Act and Criminal Law
Amendment Act
stood repealed. After review of all the
earlier authorities Court laid down the following tests :
(SCC pp.448­49, para 35)
“35. 1. That in order to decide the question
of repugnancy it must be shown that the two
enactments contain inconsistent and
irreconcilable provisions, so that they cannot
stand together or operate in the same field.

2. That there can be no repeal by implication
unless the inconsistency appears on the face of
the two statutes.

3. That where the two statutes occupy a particular
field, but there is room or possibility of both the
statutes operating in the same field without
coming into collision with each other, no
repugnancy results.

4. That where there is no inconsistency but a
statute occupying the same field seeks to create
distinct and separate offences, no question of
repugnancy arises and both the statutes continue
to operate in the same field.”

“37. Under Sub­section (1) of Clause 3 of the 1966
Order, the Central Government can only fix a minimum
price of sugarcane. This clause should be read along with
Sub­clause (2) which creates an embargo or prohibition
that no person shall sell or agree to sell sugarcane to a
producer of sugar and no such producer shall purchase or
agree to purchase sugarcane at a price lower than that
fixed under Sub­clause (1). The inconsistency or
repugnancy will arise if the State Government fixed a price
49

which is lower than that fixed by the Central Government.
But, if the price fixed by the State Government is higher
than that fixed by the Central Government, there will be
no occasion for any inconsistency or repugnancy as it is
possible for both the orders to operate simultaneously and
to comply with both of them. A higher price fixed by the
State Government would automatically comply with the
provisions of Sub­clause (2) of Clause 3 of 1966 Order.
Therefore, any price fixed by the State Government which
is higher than that fixed by the Central Government
cannot lead to any kind of repugnancy.”
“39. …..that under the 1966 Order the Central
Government only fixes the minimum price and it is always
open to the State Government to fix a higher price. Under
the enactments made by the State Legislatures areas are
reserved for the sugar factories and the cane­growers
therein are compelled to supply sugarcane to them and
therefore the State Government has incidental power to fix
the price of sugarcane which will also be statutory price.
They further lay down that the Cane Commissioner can
direct the cane­growers and the sugar factories to enter
into agreements for purchase of sugarcane at a price fixed
by the State Government and such agreements cannot be
branded as having been obtained by force or compulsion.”
“43. One of the main reasons given by the High
Court for allowing the writ petition and quashing the order
of fixation of State Advised Price is that power to fix
sugarcane price had been given to the State Government
under the Sugarcane Act, 1934 and hence it would be
redundancy to say that the same power to fix cane price
also flows from Section 16 of the 1953 Act. The High Court
has also held that when the 1953 Act was enacted there
was already a law, viz., the Sugarcane Act, 1934, which
enabled the State Government to fix the minimum cane
price and hence, it could not have been the intention of
the U.P. Legislature while enacting 1953 Act that Section
16
thereof would include the power to fix the minimum
cane price as such a power was already there with the
50

State Government under Section 3(2) of the Sugarcane
Act, 1934. The High Court, therefore, concluded that
Section 16 of the 1953 Act only gave power to the State
Government to regulate the supply and purchase of
sugarcane in the narrower sense and not in the wider
sense so as to include the power to fix the minimum price.
This reasoning of the High Court proceeds on the footing
that the Sugarcane Act, 1934 was in existence and was in
operation when the 1953 Act was enacted by U.P.
Legislature. It appears that the correct legal position was
not brought to the notice of the learned judges. The
Sugarcane Act
, 1934 was repealed by U.P. Sugar Factories
Control Act, 1938 (UP Act 1 of 1938). Section 26 of U.P.
Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply & Purchase) Act, 1953
repealed the U.P. Sugar Factories Control Act, 1938. With
the enforcement of the Government of India Act, 1935,
there was distribution of legislative powers between the
Dominion Legislature and the Provincial Legislature and
the entire subject matter of Sugarcane Act, 1934 fell
within the Provincial Legislative list. It was in these
circumstances that the U.P. Legislature enacted the U.P.
Sugar Factories Control Act, 1938 which repealed the
Sugarcane Act, 1934 in its application in the State of U.P.
This position has been noticed in Tika Ramji v. State of
U.P., SCR
at pp. 400, 401 and 417. Therefore, the
aforesaid reasoning given by the High Court has no legal
basis.”
“44. The second reasoning given by the High Court is
that even if the State Government had the power to fix the
minimum cane price under Section 16 of the 1953 Act,
this power came to an end in view of Article 254(1) of the
Constitution on the enactment of the EC Act and the
promulgation of the Sugarcane Control Order, 1955 (later
replaced by the 1966 Order), which now gives exclusive
power to the Central Government to fix the minimum
price. As discussed earlier we are not in agreement with
the aforesaid reasoning as the question of repugnancy
does not arise. The High Court has also held that the
51

Central Government, while fixing the price of the sugar
under Section 3(3­C) of the EC Act, takes into
consideration the minimum price of sugarcane fixed under
1966 Order and if the sugar mills are compelled to pay a
higher price than that fixed by the Central Government, it
will disturb the price of the levy sugar and such an
eventuality could not have been contemplated by the
legislature. Over a period of time, the quota of levy sugar
has gone down from 40 per cent to 10 per cent of the total
production of sugar and the sugar mills are now free to
sell 90 per cent of their production in open market. Under
Section 3(3­C) of the EC Act, the Central Government has
to determine the price of the levy sugar having regard to
several factors enumerated in the sub­section and the
minimum price fixed under 1966 Order is only one of the
factors. The manufacturing cost of sugar and securing of
reasonable return on the capital employed in the business
of manufacturing sugar are also relevant factors under
Clauses (b) and (d) of Section 3(3­) EC Act and, therefore,
the fixation of higher price for sugarcane by the State
Government by itself cannot have any major or substantial
impact on the fixation of the price of the levy sugar by the
Central Government.”

12. The question involved in Ch. Tika Ramji & Ors., etc. v. The

State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. AIR 1956 SC 676 was concerning

the validity of the Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply

and Purchase) Act, 1953 (for short, “Act of 1953”) and

notifications dated 27.9.1954 and 9.11.1955 issued by the

Government of Uttar Pradesh thereunder. The notification dated

27.9.1954 was issued in exercise of the powers/ conferred under
52

sub­section 1(a) read with sub­section 2(b) of Section 16 of the

Act of 1953 which provided that not less than 3/4 of the cane

growers of the area of operation of a Cane Growers Cooperative

Society to be members of the society. The occupier of the factory

for which the area is assigned shall not purchase or enter into an

agreement to purchase cane grown by a cane grower except

through such Cane Growers Co­operative Society.

13. The notification dated 9.11.1955 which was issued in

exercise of the powers conferred by section 15 of the Act of 1953,

reserved or assigned to the sugar factories mentioned in column

2 of the Schedule annexed to it, the cane purchasing centers,

with the authorities attached to them, specified against them in

column 3 for the supply of sugarcane during the crushing

season 1955­56. Thus, it is apparent that the notification dated

27.9.1954 related to the agency of supply of sugar cane to the

factories and the notification dated 9.11.1955 related to the

creation of the zones for particular factories were questioned.

Various submissions were raised to assail the validity of the Act

and the notification.

14. Firstly, it was urged that the State of Uttar Pradesh had no
53

power to enact the Act of 1953 as it relates to the subject of

industries, the control of which by the Union is declared by

Parliament by law to be expedient in the public interest within

the meaning of Entry 52 of List I. The Act of 1953 was repugnant

to Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and the Industries

Development Regulation Act, 1951. The Act of 1953 infringes the

fundamental right carved out under Article 14 as vast powers

were given to the Cane Commissioner, which could be used in a

discriminatory manner. The notification dated 27.9.1954 violated

the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(c). The

cane growers were compelled to become a member of the society

before they could sell sugarcane to a factory. The Act of 1953

and the notifications infringe the fundamental right guaranteed

by Article 19(1)(f) and (g) and Article 31 of the Constitution.

15. This Court held that the State of Uttar Pradesh had the

legislative competence to enact the Act, and there was no

repugnancy of the Act of 1953 with the Act of 1951 or the

Essential Commodities Act, 1955. This Court upheld the validity

of the Act and notifications and also held that there was no

unreasonable restriction imposed. There was no violation of
54

fundamental right under Article 19(1)(f) and (g) and Article 31 of

the Constitution.

16. The question of fixation of price by the State Government

under the Act of 1953 did not fall for consideration in Ch. Tika

Ram (supra). This Court noted that the Uttar Pradesh

Government had never fixed the price of sugarcane to be

purchased by the factories by the time the decision was

rendered. While examining the repugnancy, passing reference

has been made to the provisions contained in the Act of 1954.

17. During the pendency of petitions, the Sugar Control Order,

1955, was issued on 27.8.1955, which was referred to in the

judgment. It was not even submission raised or considered that

the power of regulation under Section 16 of the Act would

include the power to fix the advised price of sugarcane. The

concept of fixation of minimum price by Central Government vis

a vis to State Advised Price to be fixed by State Government,

never fell for consideration of this Court in the said decision. The

ratio of decision has to be considered in the light of questions

considered and answered. In Tika Ramji (supra), it was held that

there was no repugnancy in the Act of 1953 with Act of 1955 or
55

with the Act of 1951, and notifications which were impugned did

not infringe the fundamental rights.

18. Thus, from the above, it is clear that the factual matrix and

the relevant provisions which fell for consideration before this

Court in the case of Tika Ramji (supra) and which fell for

consideration by this Court in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane

Unions Federations(supra) were altogether different. As

observed hereinabove, Clause 3 of 1955 Order empowered the

Central Government to fix “the price or the minimum price”. The

aforesaid Clause 3 of 1955 Order was under consideration by

this Court in the case of Tika Ramji(supra). However,

subsequently, 1955 Order has been repealed by 1966 Order and

Clause 3 of 1966 Order provides that the Central Government

may fix “the minimum price” of the sugarcane. Therefore, when

the legislature consciously deleted the word “the price” and

retained the power with the Central Government to fix “the

minimum price”, some meaning has to be given to such a

deletion. The intention of the legislature is also required to be

considered when certain words in the provisions of a statute are
56

deleted or added and/or substituted. In the case of Tika

Ramji(supra), this Court though specifically observed and held

that in the field of sugar and sugarcane, both, the Parliament

and the State legislature would have the concurrent Jurisdiction

as the same will fall under Entry 33 in the Concurrent List of

seventh Schedule. Considering the fact that the State

Government did not exercise the power of fixing the price,

though the powers were available and the Central Government

fixed the price/minimum price which came to be adopted by the

State Government, this Court in Tika Ramji’s case(supra) held

that in such a situation there is no conflict and the question of

repugnancy does not arise. Therefore, we are of the opinion that

as such there is no apparent conflict between the decisions in

Tika Ramji’s case and U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations,

which require to be referred to a larger Bench of seven Judges.

19. Under clause 3 of the 1966 order, the minimum price can

be fixed. Under clause 3A of the said order, as amended in 1978,

the agreed price is to be mentioned in the agreement, which can

be higher than the minimum price and not less than that. Under
57

clause 3(2), no person shall sell or agree to sell sugarcane to a

producer of sugar or his agent, and no such producer or agent

shall purchase or agree to purchase sugarcane at a price lower

than that fixed under sub­clause (1). Thus, the price fixed under

clause 3(1) has to be treated as a minimum price. Under clause

3(A), as inserted on 2.2.1978, agreement in writing is required,

and the price has to be paid as agreed to within 14 days.

20. Even otherwise and on merits and for the reasons stated

hereinbelow, we are in complete agreement with the view taken

by this Court in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations,

which lays down that the inconsistency or repugnancy will

arise if the State Government fixed a price which is lower

than that fixed by the Central Government. But, if the price

fixed by the State Government is higher than that fixed by

the Central Government, there will be no occasion for any

inconsistency or repugnancy as it is possible for both the

orders to operate simultaneously and to comply with both of

them. A higher price fixed by the State Government would

automatically comply with the provisions of Sub­clause (2) of
58

Clause 3 of 1966 Order. Therefore, any price fixed by the

State Government which is higher than that fixed by the

Central Government cannot lead to any kind of repugnancy.

20.1 Question of repugnancy under Article 254 of the

Constitution:

Concerning laws in List III of the Seventh Schedule of the

Constitution of India, where both the Union and the States have

the power to enact a law, the question of repugnancy arises only

in a case where there is an actual irreconcilable conflict between

the two laws. Inconsistency between the two laws is

irreconcilable, then the question of repugnancy arises. It is

necessary to find the dominant intention of both the legislatures,

partial or incidental coverage of the same area in a different

context, and to achieve a different purpose, does not attract the

doctrine of repugnancy. In Rajiv Sarin v. State of Uttarakhand,

(2011) 8 SCC 708, the Court held :

“33. It is trite law that the plea of repugnancy would
be attracted only if both the legislations fall under the
Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule to the
Constitution. Under Article 254 of the Constitution, a
59

State law passed in respect of a subject-matter
comprised in List III i.e., the Concurrent List of the
Seventh Schedule to the Constitution would be invalid if
its provisions are repugnant to a law passed on the same
subject by Parliament and that too only in a situation if
both the laws i.e., one made by the State Legislature and
another made by Parliament cannot exist together. In
other words, the question of repugnancy under Article
254
of the Constitution arises when the provisions of
both laws are completely inconsistent with each other or
when the provisions of both laws are absolutely
irreconcilable with each other, and it is impossible
without disturbing the other provision, or conflicting
interpretations resulted into when both the statutes
covering the same field are applied to a given set of
facts. That is to say, in simple words, repugnancy
between the two statutes would arise if there is a direct
conflict between the two provisions and the law made by
Parliament and the law made by the State Legislature
occupies the same field. Hence, whenever the issue of
repugnancy between the law passed by Parliament and
of State Legislature are raised, it becomes quite
necessary to examine as to whether the two legislations
cover or relate to the same subject-matter or different.

xxx

45. For repugnancy under Article 254 of the
Constitution, there is a twin requirement, which is to be
fulfilled: firstly, there has to be a “repugnancy” between
a Central and State Act; and secondly, the Presidential
assent has to be held as being non-existent. The test for
determining such repugnancy is indeed to find out the
dominant intention of both the legislations and whether
such dominant intentions of both the legislations are
alike or different. To put it simply, a provision in one
legislation in order to give effect to its dominant purpose
may incidentally be on the same subject as covered by
the provision of the other legislation, but such partial or
incidental coverage of the same area in a different
context and to achieve a different purpose does not
attract the doctrine of repugnancy. In a nutshell, in order
to attract the doctrine of repugnancy, both the
60

legislations must be substantially on the same subject.”

20.2 In M. Karunanidhi v. Union of India & Anr., (1979) 3 SCC

431, the Court opined that where there is a direct collision

between the law made by the State and the law made by the

Parliament, State law would be void to the extent of repugnancy.

It is only when the provisions are irreconcilable. The Court held:

“8. It would be seen that so far as clause (1) of Article
254
is concerned it clearly lays down that where there is a
direct collision between a provision of a law made by the
State and that made by Parliament with respect to one of
the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List, then,
subject to the provisions of clause (2), the State law would
be void to the extent of the repugnancy. This naturally
means that where both the State and Parliament occupy
the field contemplated by the Concurrent List then the Act
passed by Parliament being prior in point of time will
prevail, and consequently, the State Act will have to yield
to the Central Act. In fact, the scheme of the Constitution is
a scientific and equitable distribution of legislative powers
between Parliament and the State Legislatures. First,
regarding the matters contained in List I, i.e., the Union List
to the Seventh Schedule, Parliament alone is empowered to
legislate, and the State Legislatures have no authority to
make any law in respect of the Entries contained in List I.

Secondly, so far as the Concurrent List is concerned, both
Parliament and the State Legislatures are entitled to
legislate in regard to any of the Entries appearing therein,
but that is subject to the condition laid down by Article
254(1)
discussed above. Thirdly, so far as the matters in
List II, i.e., the State List are concerned, the State
Legislatures alone are competent to legislate on them, and
only under certain conditions, Parliament can do so. It is,
therefore, obvious that in such matters, repugnancy may
61

result from the following circumstances:

1. Where the provisions of a Central Act and a State Act
in the Concurrent List are fully inconsistent and are
absolutely irreconcilable, the Central Act will prevail, and
the State Act will become void in view of the repugnancy.

2. Where however a law passed by the State comes into
collision with a law passed by Parliament on an Entry in the
Concurrent List, the State Act shall prevail to the extent of
the repugnancy and the provisions of the Central Act would
become void provided the State Act has been passed in
accordance with clause (2) of Article 254.

3. Where a law passed by the State Legislature while
being substantially within the scope of the entries in the
State List entrenches upon any of the Entries in the Central
List the constitutionality of the law may be upheld by
invoking the doctrine of pith and substance if on an
analysis of the provisions of the Act it appears that by and
large the law falls within the four corners of the State List
and entrenchment, if any, is purely incidental or
inconsequential.

4. Where, however, a law made by the State Legislature
on a subject covered by the Concurrent List is inconsistent
with and repugnant to a previous law made by Parliament,
then such a law can be protected by obtaining the assent
of the President under Article 254(2) of the Constitution.
The result of obtaining the assent of the President would be
that so far as the State Act is concerned, it will prevail in
the State and overrule the provisions of the Central Act in
their applicability to the State only. Such a state of affairs
will exist only until Parliament may at any time make a law
adding to, or amending, varying or repealing the law made
by the State Legislature under the proviso to Article 254.

So far as the present State Act is concerned, we are called
upon to consider the various shades of the constitutional
validity of the same under Article 254(2) of the
Constitution.

Xxx

24. It is well settled that the presumption is always in
62

favour of the constitutionality of a statute and the onus lies
on the person assailing the Act to prove that it is
unconstitutional. Prima facie, there does not appear to us
to be any inconsistency between the State Act and the
Central Acts. Before any repugnancy can arise, the
following conditions must be satisfied:

1. That there is a clear and direct inconsistency between
the Central Act and the State Act.

2. That such an inconsistency is absolutely
irreconcilable.

3. That the inconsistency between the provisions of the
two Acts is of such nature as to bring the two Acts into
direct collision with each other and a situation is reached
where it is impossible to obey the one without disobeying
the other.”

20.3 Clause (1) of Article 254 of the Constitution gives primacy

to central legislations in case of conflict with State laws whether

enacted before or after. The central law operates only in case of

repugnancy and not in a case of mere possibility when such an

order might be issued under state law, as opined in Belsund

Sugar Co. Ltd. v. State of Bihar & Ors., (1999) 9 SCC 620;

Punjab Dairy Development Board & Anr. v. Cepham Milk

Specialities Ltd. & Ors, (2004) 8 SCC 621; Southern

Petrochemicals Industries Ltd. v. Electricity Inspector and ETIO

& Ors., (2007) 5 SCC 447 and Bharat Hydro Power Corporation

Ltd. & Ors. v. State of Assam & Anr. (2004) 2 SCC 553.

63

20.4 It is apparent that in U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions

Federations (supra), a Constitution Bench has rightly opined

that under section 16 of the Act of 1953, there is the power to fix

a price with State, which is State advised price. It cannot be said

that the Central legislation occupies the field, the Essential

Commodities Act, 1955, and the Order of 1966 issued

thereunder deals with minimum price. The Central Government

has the power to fix the minimum price in clause 3. The State

Government is not denuded of the power under the Act of 1953

to fix the “State Advised Price” under section 16 as held in U.P.

Cooperative Cane Unions Federations (supra). The power to

regulate includes the power to fix the price. But State advised

price has to be higher than the minimum price fixed by Central

Government. But the exercise of the power under section 16 of

the Act of 1953 to fix State Advised Price, cannot be said to be

irreconcilable with the minimum price fixation under section 3(2)

(c) of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and clause 3 of the

Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966. The power of fixation of State

advised price under section 16 of the Act of 1953 cannot be said

to be arbitrary or illegal in any manner.

64

20.4.1 In the case of U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions

Federations (supra), this Court had an occasion to consider the

ambit, scope and import of Section 16 of the Act. The question

involved was as to whether the State Government had the power

to fix SAP for sugarcane or it was only the Central Government,

which could fix the minimum price or so to say, whether the

fixation of SAP was covered by the Central Legislation or was it

open to the State to fix the price different than the price fixed by

the Central Government and whether there was repugnancy in

view of Article 254 of the Constitution.

20.4.2 From the close scrutiny of the judgment passed by

this Court in the case of U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions

Federations (supra), it did appear that this Court took into

consideration the effect, scope and impact of Section 16 under

the Act. This Court considered in detail Section 16 of the Act –

the provision to regulate purchase and supply of sugarcane in

the reserved and assigned area, under which the State

Government is vested with the power to regulate the distribution,

sale or purchase of sugarcane in any reserved or assigned area
65

and purchase of cane in any area other than a reserved or

assigned area by issuing an order to that effect. Thereafter, this

Court has held that the power to regulate includes the power to

fix the SAP. This Court has also specifically observed and held

that there was no repugnancy.

20.4.3 From the judgment of the Constitution Bench in the

case of U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions Federations (supra), it

further appears that this Court took into account the relevance,

importance, purpose and object, its impact, implication and

reasons for enacting Section 16 of the Act and after taking into

account all the relevant considerations this Court has

specifically held that the SAP is a price higher than that

determined by the Central Government which is known as

Statutory Minimum Price (SMP). Thus, in the case of U.P.

Cooperative Cane Unions Federations (supra), this Court has

specifically upheld the power of the State Government to fix the

SAP under Section 16 of the Act.

20.5 Now, so far as the fixation of the SAP by the State

Government is concerned, from the counter affidavit before the
66

High Court filed in Writ Petition No. 8548 (MB) of 2007 it

appears that as per the State Government, the following factors

are the relevant facts for determination of SAP.

(i) The cost of cultivation of sugarcane.

(ii) The cost of transport of sugarcane by cane growers

from the field to purchase center or to mill gate as the

case may be.

(iii) A reasonable return on the aforesaid amount of his

produce to cane growers.

(iv) Availability of the cane area, demand of sugarcane by

industries, profitability of the industries by selling

sugar, and other bye products etc.

(v) The price of sugarcane paid by sugar factories in the

proceeding year.

(vi) The factors necessary to avoid diversion of sugarcane

from sugar industries to other consumers like Kolhu

and Khandsari Units.

It also appears that determination and fixation of the SAP is a

Cabinet decision which has been fixed after considering several

factors, including the cost of cultivation/production of the
67

sugarcane etc. and after taking into consideration the relevant

factors as above and including increasing of national economic

growth, cost of production of sugarcane, increase in the cost of

seeds, fertilizers, labour charges, irrigation etc., including the

profit earned by sugar factories from the produces from bye­

products, power projects etc. Thus it appears that that authority

is guided by all relevant factors while determining such price –

SAP.

20.5.1 In the case of U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions

Federations (supra), the Constitution Bench has upheld the

power and authority of the State Government to fix the SAP after

precisely observing that the Act of 1953 has been enacted to

regulate the SAP and purchase of sugarcane required by the

sugar factories and that the word ‘regulate’ would also include

the right to fix the price. It has also declared that the SAP fixed

by the State Government has to be higher than the minimum

price fixed by the Central Government. In a given case, the SAP

price may be an agreed price.

68

20.6 At this stage, is required to be noted that in the case of

U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions Federations (supra), this Court

specifically negatived the submission on behalf of the sugar

factories that they cannot be compelled to enter into agreements

with the cane growers and cane­growers’ cooperative society in

forms B and C, wherein the State­advised price is mentioned.

This Court also negatived the submission on behalf of the sugar

factories that as the consent cannot be said to be a voluntary

consent and as the consent was obtained under compulsion or

duress and, therefore, the sugar factories cannot be compelled to

pay such State­advised price even though it may have been

mentioned in the forms or in the purchase and therefore it

cannot be said to be a sale. Negativating the aforesaid

submission and after considering the entire scheme, this Court

in paragraph 33 observed and held as under:

“33. As discussed earlier, the reservation or
assignment of area is made for the benefit of a sugar
factory. The agreements executed by the cane­
growers or cane­growers’ cooperative society in
favour of occupier of a factory are also for the benefit
of the sugar factory as by such agreements it gets an
assurance of a continuous supply of freshly
harvested sugarcane on the days indicated in the
69

requisition slips issued by it so that there may not be
any problem in getting optimum quantity of raw
material throughout the crushing season. In absence
of the agreements the sugar factory will also be a
loser as it may face great problem in getting the
supply of sugarcane according to its requirement.
The occupiers of the factory are themselves keen for
execution of the agreements but their only objection
is to the mention of State Advised Price. The
agreement is one composite transaction and it is not
open to them to contend that the terms thereof
which are to their advantage should be enforced but
the term relating to price notified by the State
Government should not be enforced as their consent
in that regard was not a voluntary act. In our
opinion, having regard to the advantages derived by
the sugar factories, they are fully bound by the
agreement wherein the State Advised Price may be
mentioned and it is not open to them to assail the
clause relating to price of the sugarcane on the
ground that their consent was not voluntary or was
obtained under some kind of duress.

It further lays down the proposition that having regard to the

advantages derived from the sugar factories, they are fully bound

by the agreement, wherein the State­advised price may be

mentioned and it is not open to them to assail the clause relating

to price of the sugar cane on the ground that their consent was

not voluntary or was obtained under some kind of duress.

20.7 As observed herein above, in the 1966 Order the word “the

price” has been deleted and Clause 3 of 1966 Order provides that
70

the Central Government may fix “the minimum price” of the

sugarcane to be paid by the producer of sugar. As rightly

submitted by the learned Counsel on behalf of the State, there is

a difference between “the price” and “the minimum price”. The

aforesaid shall be apparent from the relevant Clauses of the

1966 Order.

20.7.1 The provision of State advised price has been made to

protect the interests of the sugarcane growers who are not in a

position to negotiate. In Sukhnandan Saran Dinesh Kumar &

Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., (1982) 2 SCC 150, this Court

opined:

“22. The statutory prescription of quantum of rebate for
binding material has been prescribed for the benefit of
sugarcane growers. Producers of sugar and khandsari
sugar constitute a powerful trade lobby, the fact of which
one can take judicial notice. Sugar being an essential
commodity occasionally kept in short supply and being a
commodity needed for consumption by almost the entire
population, the powerful industry magnates in this field are
in a position to dominate both the growers of sugarcane as
also the consumers of the essential commodity. Number of
regulations have been enacted almost since the dawn of
independence to regulate this powerful combination of
manufacturers of sugar and khandsari sugar all over the
country for the ultimate benefit of consumers on the one
hand and on the other hand the farmers and the growers of
sugarcane with their small holdings and raising a
perishable food crop. The marginal farmers are unable to
71

stand up against the organised industry. It does not require
long argument in this predominantly agricultural society
that the farmers having small holdings need protection for
selling at fair price their meagre agricultural produce. As
far back as 1953, the U.P. Legislature enacted U.P.

Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953,
for rational distribution of sugarcane to factories, for its
development on the organised scientific line, to protect the
interest of cane growers and of the industry, etc.
Constitutionality of this Act was challenged on various
grounds including one under Article 19(1)(g). In Ch. Tika
Ramji v. State of U.P
. this Court repelled the challenge
under Article 19(1)(g) holding that the restriction which is
imposed upon the cane growers in regard to sale of their
sugarcane to the occupiers of factories in areas where the
membership of the cane growers’ cooperative society is
not less than 75 per cent of the total cane growers within
the area, is a reasonable restriction in the public interest
designed for safeguarding the interest of the large majority
of growers of sugarcane in the area and works for the
greatest good of the greatest number. The proposition is
now beyond the pale of controversy that the State can
impose a restriction in the interest of general public on the
right of a party to contract where in the opinion of the
Government the contracting parties are unable to
negotiate on the footing of equality. Constitutional validity
of statutes prescribing minimum wages has been founded
on this proposition. The principle can be effectively
extended to the powerful sugar industry and the cane
growers because the cane growers admittedly are at a
comparative disadvantage to the producers of sugar and
khandsari sugar who were described in the course of
arguments as sugar barons. It does not require an
elaborate discussion to reach an affirmative conclusion that
sugarcane growers who are farmers cannot negotiate on
the footing of the equality with the producers of sugar and
khandsari sugar. The State action for the protection of the
weaker sections is not only justified but absolutely
necessary unless the restriction imposed is excessive.”

20.7.2 Clause 3(1) empowers the Central Government to fix
72

the minimum price of sugarcane to be paid by the producers of

sugar or their agents for the sugarcane purchased by them.

Clause 3(2) provides that no person shall sell or agree to sell

sugarcane to a producer of sugar or his agent, and no such

producer or agent shall purchase or agree to purchase

sugarcane, at a price lower than that fixed under sub­clause (1).

As per Clause 3(3), where a producer of sugar purchases any

sugarcane from a grower of sugarcane or from a Sugarcane­

grower’s Co­operative Society, the producer shall, unless there

is an agreement in writing to the contrary between the

parties, pay within fourteen days from the date of delivery of the

sugarcane to the seller or tender to him the price of the cane sold

at the rate agreed to between the producer and the

sugarcane­ grower or Sugarcane­ growers’ Co­operative

Society or that fixed under sub­clause (1), as the case may be.

Clause (3­A) provides that a producer of sugar or his agent shall

pay, for the sugarcane purchased by him, to the sugarcane

grower or the sugarcane growers’ coopearative society, either

the minimum price of sugarcane fixed under Clause 3, or the
73

price agreed to between the producer or his agent and the

sugarcane grower or the sugarcane growers’ cooperative

society, as the case may be (agreed price). Agreed Price to be

paid under the Agreement may be even SAP fixed and/or

determined by the State Government. Clause (5­A) provides that

where a producer of sugar purchases sugarcane, from a

sugarcane­grower during each sugar year, he shall be liable to

pay, in addition to the minimum sugarcane price fixed under

Clause 3, an additional price. Sub­clause (2) of Clause 5­A

authorizes the appropriate authority to determine the additional

price. Sub­clause (5) further provides that no additional price

determined under sub­clause (2) or sub­clause (3) is required to

be paid by a producer of sugar who pays a price higher than the

minimum price fixed under Clause 3 to the sugarcane­grower,

provided that, “the price so paid is not less than the total

price comprising the minimum sugarcane price fixed under

Clause 3 and the additional price determined under sub­

clause (2) or sub­clause (3).”
74

21. As held by this Court in the case of U.P. Cooperative Cane

Unions Federations (supra), the State has the competence to

determine and fix the State Advised Price fixed under section 16

and therefore fixation of SAP by the State Government cannot be

said to be beyond the purview of legislative competence. Once

the fixation of State Advised Price has been done, the Cane

Commissioner can direct the parties to follow the same as held

in U.P. Cooperative Cane Growers Federation (supra). It cannot

be said that fixation of price under the regulatory measure

provided in section 16 suffers from arbitrariness, nor can it be

termed to be uncanalised power. Thus, we are of the considered

opinion that the decision in Tika Ramji (supra) is not in conflict

with the decision in U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions Federations

(supra) and the decision in the latter case is not required to be

revisited by a larger Bench of seven Judges.

22. Thus, considering the entire scheme of 1966 Order, it

provides for “the minimum price” and “the additional price” or

“the advised price”. Considering the aforesaid provisions under

1966 Order, there cannot be any sugarcane price (advised price)
75

below “the minimum price”. As per the agreement entered into

the “advised price” necessarily had to be higher than the

“minimum price”. Thus, there is a difference between “the price”

and the “the minimum price”. As per Clause 3 of 1966 Order, it

empowers the Central Government to fix the “minimum price”

and the State Government is authorized to fix the Advised Price

which as observed hereinabove is always higher than the

“minimum price” fixed by the Central Government. Therefore, as

rightly observed by this Court in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane

Unions Federations, there is no conflict in exercise of powers by

the Central Government in fixing the “minimum price” and in

fixing the “advised price” by the State Government which is

higher than the “minimum price” fixed by the Central

Government. Therefore, as rightly observed by this Court in the

case of U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations, there is no

inconsistency or repugnancy in fixing the “advised price” or

“remunerative price” by the State Government and the

“minimum price” fixed by the Central Government. As rightly

held, if the price fixed by the State Government is higher than

that fixed by the Central Government, there will be no occasion
76

for any inconsistency or repugnancy as it is possible for both the

orders to operate simultaneously and to comply with both of

them.

23. Thus, it is held that the view taken by the Constitution

Bench of this Court in the subsequent decision in the case of

U.P. Coop. Cane Unions Federations (supra) is the correct law.

There is no conflict between the two decisions of this Court in

the case of Tika Ramji and in the case of U.P. Coop. Cane

Unions Federations and therefore, there is no necessity to refer

the matter to the larger Bench consisting of seven Judges.

Therefore, our final conclusions are as under:

a. By virtue of Entries 33 and 34 List III of seventh
Schedule, both the Central Government as well as the
State Government have the power to fix the price of
sugarcane. The Central Government having exercised
the power and fixed the “minimum price”, the State
Government cannot fix the “minimum price” of
sugarcane. However, at the same time, it is always
open for the State Government to fix the “advised
price” which is always higher than the “minimum
77

price”, in view of the relevant provisions of the
Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966, which has been
issued in exercise of powers under Section 16 of the
U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of Supply and Purchase)
Act
, 1953;

b. The Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 which has been
issued under Section 16 of the U.P. Sugarcane
(Regulation of Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953
confers power upon the State Government to fix the
remunerative/advised price at which sugarcane can
be bought or sold which shall always be higher than
the minimum price fixed by the Central Government;

c. Section 16 of the U.P. Sugarcane (Regulation of
Supply and Purchase) Act, 1953 is not repugnant to
Section 3(2)(c) of the Essential Commodities Act,
1955 and Clause 3 of the Sugarcane (Control) Order,
1966 as, as observed hereinabove, the price which is
fixed by the Central Government is the “minimum
price” and the price which is fixed by the State
Government is the “advised price” which is always
higher than the “minimum price” fixed by the Central
Government and therefore, there is no conflict. It is
only in a case where the “advised price” fixed by the
State Government is lower than the “minimum price”
fixed by the Central Government, the provisions of
78

the Central enactments will prevail and the
“minimum price” fixed by the Central Government
would prevail. So long as the “advised price” fixed by
the State Government is higher than the “minimum
price” fixed by the Central Government, the same
cannot be said to be void under Article 254 of the
Constitution of India.

d. The view taken by the Constitution Bench of this
Court in the case of U.P. Cooperative Cane Unions
Federations vs. West U.P. Sugar Mills Association and
Others
is the correct law.

24. The Reference is answered accordingly. Now the Registry

to notify all these matters before the Court taking up such

matters forthwith, for disposal.

………..………………….J.

(ARUN MISHRA)

………………………….J.

(INDIRA BANERJEE)

………………………….J.

79

(VINEET SARAN)

………………………….J.

(M.R. SHAH)

………………………….J.

(ANIRUDDHA BOSE)
New Delhi,
April 22, 2020



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