Man moves HC challenging APMC Act amendment

Nagpur: Terming the amendment to Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, effected from June 13 last year, by Maharashtra government through an ordinance as bad in law, a petitioner has approached Nagpur bench of Bombay high court praying for its quashing. The petitioner also sought directives to respondents to conduct elections of APMC’s executive committee in the city.
A division bench comprising Justice Ravi Deshpande and Justice Vinay Joshi, on Monday, issued notices to respondents, including the government, asking them to reply within eight weeks.

Ahmedbhai Sheikh, through counsel Ajay Ghare, demanded holding APMC polls in accordance with unamended APMC Act and setting aside the Maharashtra Agricultural Procedure Market Rules, published on December 18 last year.

The last APMC polls were held on February 23, 2012, in which the petitioner was elected on the executive body. After expiry of the term, the executive body published the new poll schedule and everything was set except the publication of voter list. However, the government extended APMC’s body’s tenure by five years on January 10, 2017.

Thereafter, the governor again promulgated ordinance No. XVII of 2017, thereby changing the authority to conduct the APMC elections in the state by amending Section 13. As per the amendment, agriculturists having 10 hectares of land in area of operation of the APMC were granted voting rights, subject to condition that s/he has sold specified agricultural produce three times in last five years.

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