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1997 (4) TMI 515 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

1997 (4) TMI 515 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA - 1997 AIR 2252, 1997 (3) SCR 774, 1997 (4) SCC 552, 1997 (10) JT 653, 1997 (3) SCALE 522 - 14748 OF 1996 - Dated:- 9-4-1997 - J.S. VERMA, AND B.N. KIRPAL, JJ. JUDGMENT: KIRPAL, J. The appellant had, under the provisions of Uttar Pradesh Minor Minerals (Concession) Rules, 1963 (for short the Rules') on 17th September, 1977, been granted a lease of a plot of land admeasuring 10 acres in Mahoba Tehsil, Hamirpur District. This lease was for a period of .....

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of area for re- grant to be notified- (i) If any area, which was held under a mining lease under Chapter II or on reserved under Section 17-A of the Act, becomes available for re-grant on mining lease the District officer shall notify the availability of the area through a notice inviting applications for grant of mining lease specifying a date, which shall not be earlier than thirty days from the date of the notice and giving description of such area and a copy of such notice shall be displayed .....

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riod for seven more working days and if even thereafter, the number of applications remains less than three, the District Officer shall notify the availability of the area afresh in accordance with the said sub-rule. (iii) An application for grant of mining lease for such area which is already held under a lease or notified under sub-rule (1) of Rule 23 or reserved under Section 17-A of the Act and whose availability has not been notified under sub- rule (1), shall be premature and shall not be .....

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2nd May, 1995, nine applications including that of the appellant, for the grant of the mining lease were filed. The District Magistrate vide his order dated 6th May, 1995, informed the appellant that his application for grant of the mining lease had been approved. The appellant was required, in token of acceptance of the terms of the lease, to submit an agreement along with a treasury challan of ₹ 30,000/- to enable the execution of the lease deed. According to the appellant the needful wa .....

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mmunicated to the appellant vide order dated 6th May, 1995. During the pendency of the aforesaid writ petition the District Magistrate, Mahoba, issued a fresh notification dated 30th may 1995. According to the respondents the state Government had arrived at the conclusion that the first notice dated 31st March, 1995 was not in accordance with the provisions of Rule 72 inasmuchas the seven days time for acceptance of the application for grant of the mining lease as contemplated by Rule 72 inasmuc .....

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n No. 15338 of 1995, seeking a writ of mandamus restraining the respondents from executing a lease in favour of the appellant herein and he also prayed for a restraining the respondents from executing a lease in favour of the appellant here in and he also prayed for a direction to the respondent to grant the mining lease in his favour. The Division Bench of the High Court by common judgment dated 24th April, 1996 dismissed the three writ petitions. It came to the conclusion that the requirement .....

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h Court did not think it necessary to consider the claim of Achintya Kumar Tripathi in his writ petition. Direction was issued that as the fresh notice dated 30th may, 1995 had expired the respondents should issue a fresh notice in accordance with the provisions of Rule 72 and invite fresh applications. Challenging the correctness of the aforesaid decision of the Allahabad High Court it was submitted by the learned counsel for the appellant that Rule 72 did not require that the notice should its .....

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der sub-rule (1) of Rule 9 of the Rules. Notice for the grant of mining lease is issued under sub-rule (i) of Rule 72. This sub-rule requires the notice to invite applications for re-grant of mining lease specifying a date which was not to be earlier than thirty days from the date of the notice. The notice is required to give the description of the area where the re-grant of the mining lease is available. Sub-rule (i) does not require the period within which the application for grant of lease ca .....

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995. If the number of applications are less than three then this sub-rule requires the District officer to further extend the period for seven more working days. If again the number of applications remains less than three then the availability of the area has to be notified afresh. In our opinion, while mentioning of the dates within which the applications may be filed may be desirable but non mentioning of the same will not in any way invalidate the said notice. Reading the rule as a whole it i .....

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within which the applications could be filed. There is, however, one other reason why no relief could have been granted to the appellant. As we have already noted by notice dated 31st March, 1995 the specified date was 2nd May, 1995. On that day itself nine applications were filed. According to sub-rule (ii) of 72 applications could be filed during a period of seven days, i.e., by 9th May, 1995. The District Magistrate did not, however , wait and by order dated 6th May, 1995 he communicated to t .....

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that the appellant had a preference to get the lease and in fact on the very first date itself, i.e., 2nd May, 1995 nine applications were received. It was further submitted that even though by order dated 6th May, 1995 the appellants application was approved in actual fact no further applications were received till 9th May, 1995 or even thereafter. It was, therefore, submitted that by not waiting till after 9th May, 1995 and by according sanction on 6th May, 1995 the District Magistrate had com .....

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applicant whose application was received later. Provided that where such applications are received on the same day, the state Government may, after taking into consideration the matters specified below grant the mining lease to such one of the applicants as it may deem fit: (a) past experience; (b) financial resources; (c) nature and quality of the technical staff employed or to be employed by the applicant; (d) the conduct of the applicant in carrying out mining operations on the basis of any .....

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rule (1) of Rule 9 states that where two or more persons apply for a mining lease in respect of the same land, then the application received earlier shall have a preferential right for the grant of lease over an applicant whose application was received later. But this is subject to the provisions of sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (3) of Rule 9, to which we will presently refer. The proviso to sub-rule (1) deals with a situation where two or more persons apply for a mining lease in respect of the same .....

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ile deciding on 6th May, 1995 to grant the mining lease to the appellant. While an application received earlier in point of time has a preference over a later application, as provided by sub-rule(1) of Rule 9, nevertheless the State Government has been given the power under Sub-rule (2) of Rule 9 to grant a mining lease to an applicant whose application was received later in preference to an application whose application was received earlier. This can be done for special reason which have to be .....

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r in point of time. we, however, make it clear that a later application which could be considered under sub-rule (2) or cub-rule (3) can only be that whose application which has been filed within the period specified by Rule 72(ii). For example an application received after 9th May, 1995, pursuant to the earlier notice dated 31st March, 1995, could not have been considered by the State Government either under sub-rule (2) or(3). An application received after the prescribed period of time will no .....

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epting an application could have been taken by the District Magistrate by considering the preference under Rule 9(1) before the period of seven days had elapsed. Had order dated 6th May, 1995 not been passed, it is possible that a more deserving applicant than the appellant herein may have filed an application by 9th May, 1995 on the consideration of which the state Government , for reasons to the recorded, could have been pursuaded to grant a mining lease. A provision like sub-rule (2) of Rule .....

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