A bench of Justice VK Jain issued notice to the Delhi Milk Scheme (DMS) on a petition filed by Santosh Kumar Jha challenging the cancellation of booth alloted to him and the milk supply to it depriving him of his livelihood.
    
"Issue notice to the respondent for February 26," the bench said.
    
DMS is a subordinate office of Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries with objective of supplying wholesome milk in Delhi at reasonable price.

Jha's counsel Jagdeep Sharma had told the bench that DMS had stopped the milk supply to the booth allotted to Jha and cancelled the allotment on hypothetical grounds accusing him of selling tobacco products and keeping an LPG cylinder in the booth.

The counsel said no show cause notice was given to him and the DMS did not even obey the high court order on his earlier petition asking them to give a reasoned order and not to stop milk supply.
    
In his petition, Jha said on July 15, 2004, he was allotted a DMS booth at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on depositing a bank guarantee and two sureties of Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively.
    
The booth was removed from the area after some time and in May 2007 he was allotted another booth in Bharti Nagar, New Delhi. Till November 29, 2012, Jha "continued to run the booth and generate business for DMS by selling their products like milk and other dairy products".

Jha said in his petition that "as his business started flourishing, some field level employees of DMS started demanding undue monetary benefits and started harassing him on one pretext or the other by finding faults in the manner in which he was running the booth."

In November, 2012, Jha received a show cause notice from DMS stating that he has not deposited the electricity bill and had kept an LPG cylinder in the booth.
    
Jha submitted in his clarification that he has already paid the bill and the LPG cylinder was kept for fixing leaking packets of milk and also to prepare tea for himself but the same has now been removed.
    
In March this year, he received an order stating that his booth allotment has been cancelled but on a visit to DMS office, Jha learnt that no such order had been issued and he continues to run the booth.
    
In August 2013, Jha was asked to handover the charge to the next allottee who had by then started selling DMS products from outside the same booth.
    
It was then that Jha moved high court for the first time. The high court quashed the office order and directed DMS to pass a fresh speaking order and till that time allow Jha to run the booth.
    
Once again another order was passed asserting the correctness of the previous order, without giving Jha a chance to be heard and against the principle of natural justice. He also said that he was not given any show cause notices prior to cancellation of his allotment.

(Agencies)

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