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1971 (1) TMI 123

ry of Steel, Mines and Metals rejecting an application for revision by the appellant under Rule 54 of the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960. The substantial grievance of the appellant is that it had a preferential right under Section 11 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 to have a mining lease in respect of an area advertised for regrant by the State of Mysore and that the respondent without properly applying its mind to the facts of the case turned down its application for revision without Riving any reasons for the order passer 2. The facts are as follows The appellant is a firm which claims to have an established business house engaged in the business of large-scale mining of iron and manganese ores. It was granted a prospecting licence in respect of an area of Ac. 1770-00 in Section No. 17(1) part of village Palade, Taluk Supa Petha, North Kanara District which was then in the territory of the State of Bombay. It was granted a certificate of approval by the Bombay Government on 27th October, 1961: Thereafter, as a result of the Re-organisation of the States the area mentioned above became a part of the territory of the State of Mysore. The appellant m .....

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e Mineral Concession Rules on the 21st July 1966. In terms of the said rule the Union of India asked for comments from the State of Mysore on the appellant's revision application. The State submitted its comments on September 30, 1966. On receipt of the same the appellant filed its reply to the said comments before the Central Government on November 29, 1966. On April 4, 1967 the impugned order was passed by the Central Government over the signature of an Under Secretary of which the text is as follows: 6. I am directed to refer to your revision application dated 21-7-1966 and letter dated 28-11-1966 on the above subject and to say that after careful consideration of the grounds stated therein, the Central Government have come to the conclusion that there is no valid ground for interfering with the decision of the Government of Mysore to reject your application for grant of mining lease for manganese and iron ore over an area of 774 acres in village Palade, taluk Supe Petta, District North Canara. Your application for revision is therefore rejected. 3. The contention urged on behalf of the appellant is that the order was not a speaking order inasmuch as it gave no reasons for t .....

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y being the wiser for the review by the Central Government. If the State Government gives a number of reasons some of which are good and some are not, and the Central Government merely endorses the order of the State Government without specifying those reasons which according to it are sufficient to uphold the order of the State Government, this Court, In appeal, may find it difficult to ascertain which are the grounds which weighed with the Central Government In upholding the order of the State Government. In such circumstances, what is known as a "speaking order" Is called for. 5. Counsel for the appellant! cited the above decision as also the one in Travancore Rayon Ltd. v. Union of India 1978(2)ELT378(SC) and urged that the reasons which impelled this Court to allow the appeal in Bhagat Raja's case are also present in the instant case. 6. The State Government made no order on the application of the appellant dated July 27, 1968 claiming a preferential right under Section 11. In its comments on the revision application of the appellant to the Central Government dated 27th May 1966 the following points were said to be brought out: 1. The appellant who was holding a .....

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cancelled the lease granted to Suthankar it was necessary for the State Government to consider the applications for the regrant on their merits and the Directorate of Mines and Geology should have considered the claims of the parties to such a grant and should not have directed the issue of a grant in favour of Suthankar merely because he claimed to have invested money in developing the mines and mining approach roads on the basis of a lease which was not properly granted. Suthankar never held the area under a prospecting licence nor had he done any prospecting operations in the area. 8. Reference may be made to Section 11 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 which deals with preferential right in respect of certain persons. Under Sub-section (1): Where a prospecting licence has been granted in respect of any land, the licensee shall have a preferential right for obtaining a mining lease in respect of that land over any other person. This is however subject to a proviso that the State Government must be satisfied that the licensee had not committed any breach of the terms and conditions of the prospecting licence and was otherwise a fit person for being .....

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eemed to be rejected because no order had been passed thereon for the space of nine months. Further according to learned Counsel there was no reference to the comments of the State Government made on the revision application of the appellant and the order apparently was not based on the grounds given in such comment, unless it be held that a reference to the appellant's letter dated 29th November, 1966 indirectly brought in the comments of the State Government. 11. There is a striking similarity between the impugned order passed in this case and the one which was quashed in Bhagat Raja's case. It will be noted that excepting for the difference in the dates and the details of the lands in respect of which the lease was claimed the texts of the two orders are identical. One cannot but remark that orders rejecting such applications appear to be made on a formula which is well known to the department. In our view Departments cannot be allowed to perform their tasks so perfunctorily in disposing of claims of parties to valuable rights and it is incumbent on them to indicate the grounds on which the revision applications are disposed of unless the State Government had already in .....

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