CANARA MINERALS PRIVATE LTD Vs. STATE OF MYSORE
LAWS(KAR)-1966-9-18
HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA
Decided on September 06,1966

CANARA MINERALS PRIVATE LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF MYSORE BY ITS CHIEF SECRETARY, VIDHANA SOUDHA, BANGALORE Respondents




JUDGEMENT

Narayana Pai, J. - (1.)The original prayer in the writ petition was to quash or set aside a prospecting licence granted by the State Government to the fourth respondent under the Mineral Concession Rules in respect of a certain mining area of Holalkere. During the pendency of the writ petition, the State Government appears to have granted to Respondent 4, a regular mining lease covering the area or a portion of the area covered by the prospecting licence. In view of this new development the petitioner has filed I. A. No. 2 to amend the petition by adding the relevant averments and a prayer to quash the lease itself.
(2.)The few facts which are relevant for the disposal of the writ petition, including the objections raised by the contesting respondents, may first be stated. Respondent 4's application for a prospecting licence was earlier in point of time. It was made to the State Government on February 9, 1962. The petitioner's application for a prospecting licence was made nearly two years thereafter on February 6, 1964. The State Government does not appear to have disposed of these applications for a long period exceeding nine months. The result was that both the petitioner and respondant 4 acting on the rule providing that the omission to dispose of the applications within the prescribed time has the same effect as actual rejection of the applications, presented revision pentions to the Central Government under Rule 54 of the Mineral Concession Rules, The application of Respondent 4 was disposed of By the Central Government on May 31, 1965, with a direction to the State Government to consider the application and dispose it of according to law. The revision petition of the petitioner was disposed of subsequently on July 13, 1965 by passing a similar order. But, by then, the State Government having taken up respondent 1's application into consideration, had granted a licence to him on July 3, 1965.
(3.)It is not disputed, nor can it be, that the applications of both the petitioner and respondent f referred to, or were in respect of, the same area and that, therefore, according to Section 11 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulations and Development) Act, 1957, the application of respondent 4 being earlier in point of time, was entitled to priority of consideration. Hence, if both the applications were, in all respects, in accordance with the relevant rules, and were, therefore, fit for consideration, the grant of licence to respondent 4, pursuant to his earlier application, is not capable of being questioned by the petitioner. He could succeed only by making out that the application of respondent 4, though earlier in point of time, was not capable of being lawfully taken into consideration by the Government. He has made an attempt to make out such a position.


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