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Court blow to potato traders

Calcutta, Nov. 27: A division bench of Calcutta High Court today vacated an interim order by a single bench that stayed the government’s notification restraining traders from exporting potatoes to other states.

The division bench of Justices Ashim Banerjee and Debangshu Basak said Justice Sanjib Banerjee of the single bench would dispose of the matter after a detailed hearing on December 3.

Till then, the government notification would remain operative.

On November 25, a section of potato traders moved the single bench seeking a stay on the government order.

Moving the petition on behalf of the traders, advocate Arunava Ghosh had said: “As potato is not included in the list of essential commodities, the state has no power to issue such an order.”

The lawyer had argued that the potato traders were incurring losses because of the notification as they had accepted payments from wholesalers in other states.

Justice Sanjib Banerjee issued the interim stay on the government order and fixed the hearing for December 3.

Today, advocate-general Bimal Chatterjee moved an appeal against the interim stay before the division bench.

Chatterjee said the government had issued the ban because of the scarcity of potato. “Because of the unavailability of potato, its prices in the market rocketed and common people suffered a lot. So, the government took the decision. If the ban is lifted, the people will face the same problem,” he said.

Hearing the advocate-general's plea, the division bench vacated the stay order.