MoD notification mandates NCDFI affiliation for milk suppliers in J&K
Srinagar: A division bench of J&K High Court has upheld a single single bench’ order dismissing objections to regulations mandating affiliation with National Corporation Diary Federation of India (NCDFI) for milk suppliers to military farms in J&K.
The division bench of Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Alok Aradhe dismissed the petitions filed by The Milk Producers Cooperative Marketing Processing Ltd and Jammu & Kashmir Cooperative Union Limited by stating that no merit has been found in the petitions which challenge the single bench order of this court.
The single bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar had dismissed the petition filed by milk federation and societies seeking overturning of government order making affiliation with NCDFI mandatory for suppliers.
The single bench had held that Ministry of Defence’s order was in nature of a policy decision, “not suffering from any perversity or irrationality, could not be interfered with”.
It held that the decision to require affiliation with NCDFI was regulatory in nature and did not amount to any unreasonable restriction on the fundamental right of the petitioner to carry on trade of dairy guaranteed to him under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
In communication vide order dated 12-07-2017, Ministry of Defence has issued a notification that it has restricted the eligibility to enter into a contract for supplying fresh milk to the army in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Only such corporative milk societies /federation belonging to the state of Jammu and Kashmir which are affiliated to National Corporation Diary Federation of India (NCDFI) are eligible to participate into the contract for supplying milk and milk products to military,” it reads.
The petitioners challenged the single bench order by pleading that many cooperative societies will be deprived of their livelihood.
AH Naik and M A Qayoom, representing petitioners had submitted before the court that the communication has the effects of depriving the other cooperative societies of the state and the right of petitioner to enter into the contract with the army to supply of milk and milk products.
Tahir Majid Shamsi and Pranav Kohli, appearing for Union of India had opposed the petition on the grounds that award of government contracts fall in the realm of public policy and cannot be challenged in a writ petition under Article 226.
They said that there was no bar for the J&K Cooperatives to become a member of NCDFI as the petitioners would not lose their registration in the state.