MANGANESE ORE INDIA LTD. Vs. STATE OF M.P. & ORS.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Manganese Ore India Ltd.
State of M.P. and Ors.
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DIPAK MISRA,J. -
(1.) In this batch of appeals, by special leave, the
appellants have assailed the legal tenability of separate orders dated
01.12.2011 passed in Writ Petition No. 9017 of 2010 which relates to the writ petition filed by Manganese Ore India Ltd. and M.P. No. 2821 of
1988, M.P. No. 3827 of 1993 and W.P. No. 3103 of 1994 preferred by Hindustan Copper Limited.
(2.) As the commonality of controversy centres around interpretation of the terms "mineral" and "processing" under the definition of "mine" as
defined under Explanation (b) of Part-B of Madhya Pradesh Electricity
Duty Act, 1949 (for brevity, "the Act"), we shall enumerate the scheme of
the Act and the various litigations that have taken place and thereafter
advert to the facts in each case. For brevity and to avoid repetition, we
have initially referred to the litigation and different orders passed in
the case of Hindustan Copper Limited.
(3.) The erstwhile Central Provinces and Berar Legislative Assembly had enacted the CP and Berar Electricity Duty Act, 1949 which was adopted in
the State of Madhya Pradesh and has come to be known as the Madhya
Pradesh Electricity Duty Act, 1949. The Preamble to the Act as amended by
the State Legislature provides that it is an Act for the levy of duty on
sale or consumption of electrical energy. Section 3(1) of the Act
accordingly provides for levy of duty on sale or consumption of
electrical energy. It stipulates that subject to the exceptions specified
in Section 3-A, every distributor of electrical energy and every producer
shall pay every month to the State Government at the prescribed time and
in the prescribed manner a duty calculated at the rates specified in the
table below on the units of electrical energy sold or supplied to a
consumer or consumed by himself for his own purposes or for purposes of
his township or colony, during the preceding month. The table to Section
3(1) prescribes different rates of duty depending for the purpose for which the electrical energy is sold. Part-B of the table provides for
different rates of duty for the electrical energy sold, supplied or
consumed for the purposes therein. Item 3 to the said table reads as
"3. Mines (other than captive 40 mines of cement industry)" ;
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