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The court resolves the ambiguities of § 205(a) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, 50 U.S.C.S. app. §§ 901, 925, in favor of that interpretation which affords a full opportunity for equity courts to treat enforcement proceedings under this emergency legislation in accordance with their traditional practices, as conditioned by the necessities of the public interest which Congress has sought to protect.
Plaintiff price administrator exercised its authority under § 205(a) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942 (the Act), 50 U.S.C.S. app. supp. II, §§ 901, 925, to make application to the appropriate court for an order enjoining the acts of defendant retail store that constituted a violation of the Act. The intent of the Act was to put maximum prices in place for the protection of the public. An injunction was granted at the appellate level under the assumption that it should issue as a matter of course if such violations existed or were likely to exist. Certiorari was granted.
Should an injunction issue as a matter of course if violations of the Emergency Price Control Act were found?
The Court held that under § 205 (a) of the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, the grant of an injunction, upon application of the Administrator and a showing that the defendant has engaged in acts or practices violative of § 4 of the Act, was not mandatory but was in the discretion of the court. The discretion of the court under § 205 (a) must be exercised in the light of the large objectives of the Act; for in these cases the standards of the public interest, not the requirements of private litigation, would measure the propriety and need of injunctive relief. Accordingly, the order for injunction was reversed, and the case was remanded for findings consistent with this reasoning.