JAGANNATH HANSDA Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL
LAWS(CAL)-2021-12-107
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on December 22,2021

Jagannath Hansda Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF WEST BENGAL Respondents




JUDGEMENT

SUVRA GHOSH,J - (1.)Under challenge in the present writ petition is an order passed by the Additional District Magistrate and District Land and Land Reforms Officer, Birbhum, passed on 12/2/2021, rejecting the petitioner's application for grant of short term mining licence (hereinafter referred to as STML). The contention of the petitioner, in a nutshell, is that the petitioner who belongs to the Schedule Tribe, was granted long term mining lease (here inafter referred to as LTML) in respect of plot no. 554, Mouza Dhanyagram II in 2011 which expired in 2014. Thereafter, sand quarry permit was granted to the petitioner for a period of 40 days from 10/2/2014 to 21/3/2014 and royalty was accordingly paid. Further permit was granted in favour of the petitioner from 17/6/2014 to 16/7/2014. It was reported by the Revenue Inspector that there was plenty of sand in plot no. 554 and good road connectivity to the proposed site.
(2.)The West Bengal Minor Minerals Concession Rules 2016 came into force from 29/7/2016 and the petitioner applied before the authority for short term mining licence on 10/5/2018 subject to payment of the usual royalty of Rs.3000.00 and the said amount was deposited by the petitioner by challan. In rejecting the application of the petitioner, the petitioner was advised to take part in the e-auction with regard to long term mining lease in terms of the Rules of 2016. The authority, that is, the ADM and DL and LRO, vide Memo dtd. 24/5/2018, placed reliance on a judgment dtd. 27/2/2012 of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the matter of Deepak Kumar etc. versus the State of Haryana and others and opined that lease of minor minerals, which includes extraction of sand, as well as renewal of such lease qua area of 5 hectares and below could be granted only after getting environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Such lease was recommended to be granted for a period of minimum 5 years. The petitioner submits that his plot was not included in the e-auction floated by the authority and all the leases pursuant to e-auction were granted in exclusion of plot no. 554.
(3.)The petitioner filed a writ petition being WP no. 18410 (W) of 2018 against the action of the State respondents, particularly rejection of his claim for STML and by an order dtd. 19/12/2018 a Co-ordinate Bench of this Court disposed of the writ petition with the following direction: -
"Accordingly, the respondent No. 4/the ADM and DL and LRO is directed to revisit the recommendation of the RI/the respondent No. 7 dtd. 27/1/2014 on an in situ basis and take a just decision which would be then communicated to the petitioner.

Needless to iterate the petitioner and any other person and persons, who are required to be heard, shall be so heard and both officers on the ground as well as records on the ground situation shall be considered by the Respondent No. 4/the ADM and DL and LRO.

Needless to further iterate that in the event a positive decision is taken in favour of the petitioner, the petitioner shall comply with the formalities requiring compliance.

Needless to also reiterate that the respondent No. 4/the ADM and DL and LRO shall be entitled to take a decision purely on merits.

In view of the foregoing discussion and directions, the order impugned dtd. 24/5/2018 stands permanently stayed."?

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