Judgement of the Day.-UNION OF INDIA V AGRICAS LLPFACTS

UNION OF INDIA V AGRICAS LLP

FACTS-

The Union of India, vide Notification dated 29 th  March 2019, had exercised the powers conferred

to it under Section 3 of the FTDR Act, and amended the import policy conditions of items of

Chapter 7 of the Indian Trade Classification (Harmonized System), 2017, Schedule-I (Import

Policy) . The Trade Notice dated 16th April 2019 issued by the DGFT had laid down the

modalities for making applications for import of Peas, beans of Moong and Urad and Pigeon

Peas. The Union of India had issued a notification dated 25th April, 2018 under Section 3 of

FTDR Act. Several traders had thereafter filed Writ Petitions before different High Courts

challenging imposition of restrictions on import of Peas and pulses and interim orders were

passed staying the notifications which had the effect of permitting imports without any

restriction as to quota or license. Various writ petitions were filed in different High Courts. Then,

petition before Supreme Court was filed.

ISSUE-

The importers had urged a new legal issue/point which was not specifically raised in the Writ

Petitions; the impugned notifications were in the nature of ‘quantitative restrictions’ under

Section 9A of the FTDR Act, which could be only imposed by the Central Government after

conducting such enquiry, as is deemed fit, and on being satisfied that the “goods are imported

into India in such quantities and under such conditions as to cause or threatens to cause serious

injury to domestic industry.”?

JUDGMENT-

The Supreme Court has observed that the Central Government has the authority to impose

quantitative restrictions by an order under Section 3(2) of the Foreign Trade (Development and

Regulation) Act, 1992. Section 9A of the FTDR Act does not elide or negate the power of the

Central Government to impose restrictions on imports under sub-section (2) to Section 3 of the

FTDR Act.

Consequently, Section 9A for the FTDR Act, is to be understood an enabling provision

empowering imposition of 'quantitative restrictions' after following the procedure in the


situations referred to therein. As a sequitur, it has to be held that notwithstanding Section 9A, the

Central Government continues and has authority to impose quantitative restrictions by an order

under Section 3(2) of the FTDR Act. Principle of Lex specialis derogat legi generali, therefore, is

not applicable to the case in hand"

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