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State govt. should quash order issued by Tukaram Mundhe asking traders to obtain license: NVCC

NVCC members submitting the memorandum of their demands to Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi

NVCC members submitting the memorandum of their demands to Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi

Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC), the apex association for trade, commerce and industry for Vidarbha region, has vehemently protested Nagpur Municipal Corporation Commissioner Tukaram Mundhes order dated July 27 making it mandatory for every shop and office to obtain trade license. 

A delegation led by Ashwin Mehadia (President, NVCC) recently met Guardian Minister Dr Nitin Raut and Nagpur Mayor Sanjip Joshi and submitted a memorandum requesting for urgent intervention of state government and general body of NMC to revoke the said order. 

Mehadia said that the NMC order is arbitrary, in excess of authority conferred on Mundhe under the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, 1949 (MMC Act). The order violates the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Mehadia said that Mundhe has attempted to control all business/ commercial/ professional activities within the city limits of Nagpur, whereas the MMC Act empowers him to regulate only selective commodities and activities, which may create nuisance or are danger to public safety and property.

BC Bhartia, Past President, NVCC, said that the order is uncalled for particularly keeping in mind the present COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Bhartia said that strong resentment is brewing among the business community of the city due to this diktat of NMC and traders fear fresh unleash of inspector raj and corruption due to this order. If the order is not reversed then traders may come on streets to protest.

Advocate Sanjay K Agrawal, Vice President, NVCC, said that the order is in contravention to the provisions the MMC Act, hence void ab-initio. Agrawal stated that on conjoint reading of the order and schedule-3 to the order, it is implicit that obtaining trade license from corporation is made mandatory for all shops and offices and Mundhe under the garb of notifying terms and conditions of license has framed injudicious rules under Schedule-3 of the order.

Agrawal further said that, the Section 376 of the MMC Act, under which the order is claimed to be issued, in unequivocal terms states that only specified things, trades and operations as specified in rules can be asked to obtain a license. The list of goods, trades and operations which can be regulated by Commissioner are mentioned in Chapter XVIII of Schedule-D of the MMC Act.

The Act doesn’t allow the Commissioner to regulate the goods, trades and operations not mentioned in the said chapter.The Commissioner in his order has prohibited every trade and profession (including offices of Advocates, Engineers, Charted Accountants, Company Secretary, Banks, Insurance, Cooperative Society, etc.) within the territorial jurisdiction of Nagpur Municipal Corporation to operate without obtaining a trade license. Thus, the said order is ultra-vires to the provisions of the MMC Act, he added.


Ramawtar Totla, Secretary, NVCC said that, according to Section 386 of the MMC Act, the license fee can be charged only on the goods, trades and operations mentioned in Section 376 r/w Chapter XVIII of Schedule-D. The sub-section 2 of Section 386 of the MMC Act provides that license fee can be fixed time to time with the sanction of the Corporation (General Body), whereas in the order Commissioner has vested the right, to revise the licensee fee time to time, in himself. He further said that, there is no provision in the MMC Act which provides for giving public notice in relation to issuance of license to trade and operations specified under Section 376 or other sections of the Act. Whereas the order stipulates for giving public notice and the applicant is made liable to bear the cost of such public notice. Hence the order is arbitrary, he added.

Sachin Puniyani, Treasurer, NVCC said that, while notifying the rules under Schedle-3 of the order, though alleged to be terms and conditions, the Commissioner has circumvent the procedures prescribed under the Sections 453, 454, 455, 457, 458, 459, 460, 461, 462 and other enabling Sections of the MMC Act incorporated to make, add, alter or rescind the rules, regulations and bye-laws. Without admitting the liability to obtain trade license, he further said that, the Rules in Schedule-3 and the Order fails to provide, for the duration of the license as contemplated in the Section 386 of the MMC Act; the provisions of appeal against the order of Commissioner; procedure to suspend, revoke or withhold the license; and for refund of license fee if the application for new license is rejected by the Commissioner. Hence the order is unreasonable, he added.

Raju Makhija, PRO, NVCC, in reference to Mundhes statement in press that the trade license will enable the civic body to know the details of business and services operating in its jurisdiction and accordingly make necessary provisions in the new development plan in making, said that, introduction of new license raj is not required to gather such information, same can be procured from the Shop and Establishment Department at the click of a button. Shop and Establishment Department of our State is now fully computerised and operational, at least in Nagpur. 

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