Decided on March 18,2020

Pahal Coal Traders Pvt. Ltd. Appellant


H.S. Thangkhiew,J. - (1.) This instant writ petition along with other connected matters being similar with the same subject matter in issue, are proposed to be disposed of by this common judgment and order.
(2.) The central issue in these writ petitions is the challenge made to the auction notice dated 14.11.2019, the sale pursuant to the auction conducted on 29.11.2019, as well as subsequent orders passed by the respondent authority relating to the auction notice dated 14.11.2019. Directions have also been prayed for issuance of a fresh tender for auction of the unclaimed seized coal in accordance with due process. The unclaimed seized coal in question, pertains to the coal put up for auction vide the impugned auction notice dated 14.11.2019, issued by the District Magistrate, South Garo Hills, Baghmara.
(3.) This Court by order dated 15.01.2020, at the motion stage, as an interim measure, after hearing the parties stopped further lifting and transportation of the auctioned coal until the next date which was fixed on 30.01.2020. Thereafter, several Misc. applications were filed by the private respondents for vacating the order dated 15.01.2020 for which objections and replies were filed by the writ petitioners. These matters i.e. the writ petitions along with the Misc. applications were then taken up on successive dates by this Court and the question in the manner on how the auction was conducted, was deliberated and argued by the respective counsels. This Court by order dated 18.02.2020 had also queried the State respondents as to whether the auction was done in compliance of Section 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. It is to be noted that this Court by order dated 12.02.2020, had also recorded the submissions of the learned Advocate General, who had proposed a formula, that in case fresh auction was to be conducted, the private respondents be allowed to transport the coal already lifted, but stopped in transit, subject to their filing an undertaking before this Court to pay the differential amount between what was paid by them, and the higher price if any received, if fresh auction was conducted, and if the bid received in the fresh auction is for lesser amount, the coal be allowed to be lifted or transported at the same price.;

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