1. In all these cases a common question of law is raised by Sri S. Venkateswara Rao, the learned Counsel for the appellants, viz., the Agricultural Market Committee, Salur. The Committee filed complaints against the respondents that they have contravened bylaw No. 24(7) inasmuch as they failed to file the returns. The lower Court held that the complaint itself is not maintainable inasmuch as the sanction granted by the Market Committee is invalid.
2. It may be mentioned here that S. 5 of the Markets Act was declared to be unconstitutional by a Division Bench of this Court in P. Chandramouli v. Govt. of Andh. Pra., (1980 (1) APLJ (HC) 120). It is under this section the Market Committee in the instance case is constituted which gave sanction.
3. The learned Magistrate held that the Market Committee is not a non-entity in view of the fact that Section 5 is struck down. The learned counsel for the appellant submits that this is a case where the doctrine of de facto is to be applied. According to the learned counsel in the year 1979 when the sanction was accorded, the Market Committee was constituted in accordance with the section and just because the section is struck down subsequently, it cannot be said that all the acts done by the Market Committee including according the sanction are invalid. The learned counsel for the appellant places reliance on a judgment of a Division Bench of this Court in I.R. Sons v. State, . That is also a case which arose under the Andhra Pradesh Markets Act. There the contention was that the Market Committee was not constituted in accordance with Section 5(1) and therefore any act done by that committee was invalid. The Division Bench repelled this contention holding that in cases of this nature the acts done are saved by the application of the doctrine of de facto. The facts in the instant case are different. Section 5 itself is struck down, as unconstitutional. The market committee no doubt was in existence in 1979 was constituted in accordance with Section 5 before it was struck down. But now the criminal proceeding is pending and the case is taken up for trial only after Section 5 was struck down. Therefore, the respondents got a right to question the validity of the sanction since Section 5 itself is struck down, and hence this is distinguishable. However, I do not think these are fit cases where the accused should be ordered to be tried again for these petty offences. The appeals are dismissed.
4. Appeals dismissed.