Decided on October 26,1967

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.) BY this application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the petitioner radha Devi Sharma seeks a writ of certiorari for quashing an order of the Central government passed in January 1967 where by the Central Government, purporting to act In exercise of its powers under Rule 56 of the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 (hereinafter called the Rules), corrected its earlier order made in June 1966 holding that a revision application dated the 27th December 1965 of the respondent No. 3, Sarladevi Shukla, was time-barred, and directed the respondent no 2, the State of Madhya Pradesh, to grant a mining lease for bauxite over an area of 225 37 acres in Khasra No. 187 of village Tikaria, Tehsil Murwara, Jabalpur district to the said Sarladevi Shukla.
(2.) THE matter arises thus. On 28th June 1963 the State Government, in exercise of its powers under Rule 58 (b) of the Rules notified for general informattion that certain areas of Khasra No. 187 in village Tikaria specified in the notification would be available for "obtaining prospecting licence and mining lease with effect from 3rd August 1963". In response to this notice, the respondent No. 3 Sarladevi made an application for the grant of a mining lease over a total area of 225. 37 acres in survey No. 187 of village Tikaria. Tehsil Murwara, District Jabalpur. This application was not disposed of by the State Government within nine months from the date of its receipt as required by Rule 24 (1) of the Rules. As, under Sub-rule (3) of Rule 24, if an application for the grant of a mining lease is not disposed of within the period specified in Sub-Rule (1) it is deemed to have been refused, sarladevi filed a revision petition under Rule 54 before the Central Government on 27th December 1965 against the "deemed" rejection of her application dated the 3rd August 1963. On 27th December 1965, the petitioner Radha Devi Sharma also made two applications to the State Government for the grant of two mining leases, one in respect of 114. 23 acres, and the other in respect of 74 77 acres, of Survey no. 187 of Mouza Tikaria An area of 189 acres was common in the applications of the petitioner and the respondent No 3. The petitioner's applications were also not disposed of by the State Government within nine months' time prescribed by Rule 24 (1) of the Rules, She, therefore, filed two revision petitions under Rule 54 before the Central Government against the "deemed" refusal of her applications. One revision petition was filed by her on 10th October 1966 and another on 12th october 1966. Both these petitions are still pending before the Central government.
(3.) BY a letter dated the 16th June, 1966, the Under-Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Mines and Metals informed the respondent No. 3, sarladevi, that her revision petition dated the 27th December 1965 had been rejected by the Central Government. That letter was as follows:- "i am directed to refer to your revision application dated 27-12-1965 on the above subject and to say that the application Is against the failure of the State Government to pass an order on your Mining lease application dated 3-8-1963 within nine months. This being so, you should have filed your revision application within a period of two months from the date on which It was deemed to have been rejected i. e. before 3-7-1964. Your application is therefore clearly time-barred and there are no sufficient grounds for condonation of delay. The Central Government is therefore to reject your application. ";

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