The legal consensus is that executive orders cannot be implemented retroactively- Punjab high court

TITLE: Kissan Rice Mills V State of Punjab

Decided On-: July 24, 2023


CORAM: Hon’ble Justice Mr. Jasijth Singh Bedi

INTRODUCTION- By filing this petition pursuant to Articles 226 and 227 of the Indian Constitution, the petitioner is requesting the reversal of two orders: one in which the petitioner’s appeal was denied, and the other in which the director reduced the mill’s installed capacity.


In 2007, the petitioner built a rice mill. Guidelines dated 10.09.2007 regarding the calculation of rice mill capacity were in effect at that time. Based on directives the respondent determined the petitioner’s capacity. The mill’s 4 MT capacity was established. The fifth of the five parameters used to calculate a mill’s capacity is land. The instructions stated that the land might be leased close to the mill or owned by the owner of the mill. From 2007 to 2020, the petitioner’s capacity was assessed as 4 MT; however, in response to the complaint, the respondent reduced the petitioner’s rice mill’s capacity from 4 MT to 2 MT by order dated September 26, 2022  This Court limited the petitioner’s options to an appeal. A week after the petitioner appears before the relevant authority, the appellate authority was instructed to make a decision. When the petitioner appeared before the appellate authority, the appeal was ultimately dismissed by the order in question.


Knowledgeable counsel for the petitioner asserts that the rice mill was installed in 2007 in accordance with the regulations in force at the time. The petitioner was required to have 3.5 acres of land, which could either be leased or owned by the owners or partners, according to the instructions. By means of instructions dated 20.08.2010, which were provided, the instructions were changed in 2010 to specify that land should be owned by the owner or a partner and should not be leased. The capacity of the petitioner’s mill could not have been reevaluated by the respondent because the instructions were changed but not retroactively.

counsel for the respondents claims that the claim of the petitioner has been rejected due to parameters changed by instructions dated 20.08.2010 as well as due to the petitioner’s lack of the necessary plant and machinery. Because the State has the authority to amend its rules, the petitioner was obligated to follow the new rules.

The contested order regarding the land question is quashed in light of the aforementioned discussion and conclusions, but the parties are instructed to conduct a joint inspection of the machinery and plant. The respondents have four weeks from today to conduct a joint inspection. The respondent must swiftly pass a new order regarding capacity after completing physical verification.

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Written by-  Steffi Desousa

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