S LAL AND CO LTD Vs. SENIOR MINING OFFICER ORISSA
LAWS(CAL)-1983-6-4
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on June 17,1983

S LAL AND CO LTD Appellant
VERSUS
SENIOR MINING OFFICER ORISSA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) THE petitioner no. 1 was the holder of five mining leases mentioned in the writ petition. The petitioners have, inter -alia, prayed for quashing the demands for the revised dead rent payable under the aforesaid leases to the Government of Orissa for the period from 30th June, 1968 upto 30th September, 1972. At the outset I may note that although the impugned revised calculations for dead rent also set out the alleged dues for the period subsequent to 30th September, 1972 such demands for dead rent for the period subsequent to 30th September, 1972 are not the subject matter of challenge in this writ petition. The respondents have contested the case by filing an affidavit and thereafter a further affidavit.
(2.) IT is undisputed that all the five mining leases held by the petitioners specified the rate of yearly dead rent payable by the lessee. At the hearing of the application the petitioners have assailed the revised calculation of the dead rent demanded by the respondents on grounds somewhat different from those averred in their writ petition ). Mr. Gupta, appearing on behalf of the petitioners, has submitted that by demanding from the petitioner No. 1 dead rent and thereafter by accepting payment the State Government must be considered to have specified the rate of dead rent payable by the petitioner in terms of Rule 27 (1) (c) of the Mineral concession Rules, 1960 read with Schedule 4 to the said Rules. Therefore, the state Government had no power to again demand at further enhanced rates the said dead rents payable without specifying the same in the manner laid down in Rule 27 (1) (c) of the Mineral concession Rules, 1960. Mr. Gupta has submitted that in any case after the schedule 4 was deleted from the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 the respondents had no further power or authority to demand ground rent at the rate specified in the deleted Schedule 4.
(3.) I may first consider the last submission made on behalf of the petitioners. With effect from 15th September, 1973, schedule 4 was deleted from the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960. In the instant case, as already mentioned, the petitioners have impugned the calculations made of the revised dead ground rent payable upto 30th September, 1972. Therefore, in deciding the rights and obligations of the parties in relation to the period in question, court ought to enforce the agreements between the parties and the provisions of the law as they stood at the said point of time when the liability to pay dead rent had accrued. Undisputedly the State Government was vested with such power to specify the dead rent payable for the said periods. Therefore, I reject this submission of the petitioners that after the deletion of the said Schedule of the Mineral concession Rules, 1960 the State Government had lost the power to specify the dead rent payable even in respect of the period upto 15th September, 1973.;


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