STATE OF GUJARAT Vs. PETHALJI NATHABHAI CHAWDA
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
STATE OF GUJARAT
PETHALJI NATHABHAI CHAWDA
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B.J.DIVAN, R.C.MANKAD -
(1.) this appeal has been filed by the State of Gujarat and officers connected with Geology & Mining Department of the Government of Gujarat against the decision of A. D. Desai J. in Special Civil Application No. 1886 of 1974. The controversy between the parties is within a very narrow compass and the whole question turns upon the interpretation of Rule 44 of the Gujarat Minor Meneral Rules 1966 The petitioner is carrying on the business of quarrying limestones and in this writ petition he has challenged the order dated April 25 1974 passed by the Deputy Secretary to the Government of Gujarat Industries Mines and Power Department rejecting the revision application filed by the petitioner. There is land bearing survey No. 4 admeasuring 2 acres 29 gunthas of Dungarpur village in Junagadh District. This land has limestones. On April 1 1972 the petitioner applied for grant of quarry lease in respect of survey No. 4 of Dungarpur village and by his order dated April 4 1972 the Collector of Junagadh who is the competent officer rejected this application of the petitioner on the ground that limestone contained therein was of a high chemical grade and therefore the said land had been reserved for industrial purposes. Against this order the petitioner filed a revision application to the Director of Geology and Mining and this application was dismissed on June 27 1973 on the ground that this land was reserved for grant of Parvanas to Khanias. The Director of Geology and Mining did not agree with the reasoning of the Collector that the land was reserved for industrial purposes. On July 30 1973 against the decision of the Director Geology and Mining the petitioner preferred a revision application to the Government of Gujarat and hearing of the revision petition was fixed before the Deputy Secretary Industries Mines and Power Department on February 4 1974 February 18 1974 and March 18 1974 On these respective dates the petitioner had sent applications for adjournment on the ground of sickness and the case was adjourned accordingly. The case had been adjourned to April 25 1974 on which date also the petitioner applied for adjournment on the ground of sickness. As no certificate of a doctor was annexed to the application to prove the sickness the revision application was heard by the officer concerned namely the Deputy Secretary Industries Mines and Power Department and the Deputy Secretary confirmed the order passed by the Director Geology and Mining and that order has been challenged in the present proceedings.
(2.) The main contention before A. D. Desai J. and before us at the hearing of the appeal was in connection with a notification issued by the Government of Gujarat in purported exercise of powers under Rule 44 of the Gujarat Minor Minerals Rules 1966 The notification was issued on July 11 1963 and was issued by the Government of Gujarat in Industries Mines and Power Department. it bears No. GU/65/MMR/17-4/68/2872 and is reproduced in extenso hereinbelow:
"In exercise of the powers conferred by rule 44 of the Gujarat Minor Mineral Rules 1966 the Government of Gujarat hereby directs that the right to remove limestone building store in the area of survey Nos. 4 93 95 106 96 and 100 of Village Dungarpur of Junagadh District (hereafther referred to as the said area) ma be granted under the said rule 44 by the competent Officers subject to the following terms and conditions namely :- 1 The said area shall be divided into plots not ordinarily exceeding 2000 sq. metres as may be considered convenient by the competent officer. 2 A parwana for each of the plots shall be granted by the competent officer to persons belonging to the following categories in the order of priority as specified below namely :
(a) Individual families of Khanias who do physical work at present in excavating building stone in the said area. Preference shall be given to such Khanias who hold parwanas or sanads under the Saurashtra Quarry Rules in the said area or who held parwanas of long standing as Khanias under the Saurashtra Quarry Rules:
(b) Small merchants who held sanads or parwanas under the Saurashtra Quarry Rules:
(c) Genuine co-operative societies of Khanias:
(d) New Khanias and new small merchants.
(3.) No parwana shall be granted to any persons whose quarry lease or sanads granted under the Saurashtra Quarry Rules are in existence at the time of the grant of parwanas in the said area.;
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