Decided on July 09,1973



- (1.) THE petitioner is a forest contractor. He had taken lease of Jarada Bamboo coupe No. 'a'. Lot No, 71 of 1972-73 of Parlakhemedi Division on highest bid for rs. 17,000/- in an auction, held on 21-8-1972. According to rules, he deposited ten per cent, of the bid money. i. e. Rs. 1700/- as security deposit. To cut the matter short the Divisional Forest Officer (Opp. Party No. 3) under annexure-3 dated 22-3-1973 cancelled the lease under Rule 12 of the Orissa forest Contract Rules as the petitioner "failed to take delivery of the said coupe within 1. 1/2 months from the date of issue of ratification order. " It is this annexure-3 which is sought to be quashed in this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. When the petition was filed on 9-4-73, there were three opposite parties. Later, by an amendment dated 10-5-1973, opposite party No. 4 (one N. Bhagaban Pradhan)was impleaded as opposite Party No. 4. After cancellation of the lease in favour of the petitioner, the coupe in question, was resold on 26-3-1973 and it was settled with opposite party No. 4 as the highest bidder for a sum of Rs. 9,600/-In due course, opposite party No. 4 received the ratification order on 13-4-1973; submitted the coupe delivery receipt on 15-4-l'973: paid the first instalment of Rs. 3,200/- on 16-4-1973 (Annexure A/4): and made the second deposit of Rs. 3,200/-on 12-5-1973 (Annexure-B/4 ). Under Annexure C/4, the period of lease is going to expire by the 30th June, i. e. the day following when the hearing of this writ petition was concluded. The petitioner had prayed for an injunction which was granted on 10-3-1973, but later vacated on 17-5-1973 subject to the condition that the opposite party No. 4 "will keep accounts of the bamboos sold under the direct supervision of the D. F. O. (O. P. No. 3) of the area" Originally, the prayer was for quashing of Annexure 3 and for stay of re-sale of the coupe in question and if the sale had already taken place, staying delivery of the coupe. Later by Order No. 5 dated 10-5-1973 some more prayers were added of which the material one is regarding quashing the resale of the coupe in favour of opposite party No. 4.
(2.) IN the writ petition, certain facts have been mentioned which are said to have stood in the wav of the petitioner in working the coupe or paving the royalty due in time, but they are otiose for the purpose of disposal of this petition hence need not be referred to.
(3.) IN the counter of opposite Party Nos. 1 to 3, it is stated that the petitioner made fictitious allegations about the heavy damage of the coupe by cyclone: mischievously wanted the extension of contract period beyond 30th June. 1973 which is contrary to the provisions of Rule 28; did not Pay the instalment due as per the ratification order issued to him on 11-12-1972; and lastly, instead of fulfilling his part of the contract submitted a self-serving declaration not in conformity with Rule 12 of the Orissa Forest Contract Rules, of 1966 necessitating cancellation and resale of the coupe in favour Of opposite party No. 4.;

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