Nakkuda Ali v M F De S Jayaratne: PC 1951

(Ceylon) The section provided that ‘where the Controller has reasonable grounds to believe that any dealer is unfit to be allowed to continue as a dealer’ the Controller could exercise power to cancel the dealer’s licence given to him by the relevant Regulations in force in Ceylon.
Held: The words must be construed to mean that there must in fact exist reasonable grounds, known to the Controller, before he could validly exercise the power.
Liversidge v Anderson should be regarded as an authority for the meaning of that phrase in the particular regulation considered alone. Lord Radcliffe said ‘Their Lordships therefore treat the words in regulation 62 . . as imposing a condition that there must in fact exist such reasonable grounds, known to the Controller, before he can validly exercise the power of cancellation.’ and ‘It is not difficult to think of circumstances in which the Controller might in the ordinary sense of the words, have reasonable grounds of belief without having ever confronted the licence holder with the information which is the source of his belief. It is a long step in the argument to say that because a man is enjoined that he must not take action unless he has reasonable ground for believing something he can only arrive at that belief by a course of conduct analogous to the judicial process . . In truth when he cancels a licence he is not determining a question; he is taking executive action to withdraw a privilege because he believes, and has reasonable grounds to believe that the holder is unfit to retain it.’amlet


Lord Radcliffe


[1951] AC 66


Defence (Control of Textiles) Regulations 1945 62


Dissenting Judgment appliedLiversidge v Sir John Anderson HL 3-Nov-1941
The plaintiff sought damages for false imprisonment. The Secretary of State had refused to disclose certain documents. The question was as to the need for the defendant to justify the use of his powers by disclosing the documents.
Held: The . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Inland Revenue Commissioners ex parte Rossminster Ltd HL 13-Dec-1979
The House considered the power of an officer of the Board of Inland Revenue to seize and remove materials found on premises which a warrant obtained on application to the Common Serjeant authorised him to enter and search; but where the source of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Administrative

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.416368