Decided on November 10,2016

Manganese Ore India Ltd. Appellant
State of M.P. and Ors. Respondents


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 follows:- "3. Mines (other than captive 40 mines of cement industry)" ;

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