SAROJINI PRADHAN Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) THIS is an application for a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Central government dated 19-5-1971 rejecting the revision under the Mineral Concession rules of 1960 filed by the petitioner and for a writ of mandamus for issuing a prospecting licence for manganese and iron Ores to the petitioner in respect of 155 acres of land in the district of Keonjhar.
(2.) ON 17-5-1965, the petitioner had applied in the prescribed form under Rule 9
(1) of the Mineral Concession Rules of 1960 (hereinafter referred to as the Rules)to the opp. party No. 2 -- State through the Collector of Keonihar for the grant of a prospecting licence for iron and manganese ores in respect of the area referred to above. As no orders were passed and communicated to the petitioner on the said application within nine months from the making of it, the petitioner filed a revision under Rule 54 of the Rules before the Central Government on 12-4-1966 against the deemed rejection of her application. On receipt of the said application of the petitioner, the State Government was called upon by the Central government to offer its comments. The Central Govt. sent copies of the State government's comments to the petitioner and the petitioner also offered her own comments. In December, 1966, her revision petition was rejected. Aggrieved by such rejection the petitioner moved this court for a writ of certiorari in O. J. C. No. 121 of 1967 and this Court by its decision dated 27-11-1969: ( (1970) 36 Cut LT 369) came to hold:--
"on the very face of it, the impugned order shows that there was no application of the mind by the Central Government. It is to be noted that in this particular case the State Government gave no decision and the revision was filed against a deeming order on the expiry of the prescribed period. It is therefore difficult to imagine what the Central government meant by saving that there was careful consideration of the grounds stated in the application. That apart, the impugned order gives absolutely no reason. It does not refer to the comments and counter comments. The order is therefore wholly indefensible. " A writ of certiorari was accordingly issued quashing the order of the Central government and a writ of mandamus was also issued directing the Central government to redispose of the revision in the light of the observations contained in the judgment and in accordance with law. Thereafter it is stated that further comments were received from the State government and without communicating the same to the petitioner, the revision application was dismissed by order dated 19th of May, 1971 (Annexure-8 ). The relevant portion of the order reads thus:-"the Central Government have carefully re-considered the grounds of revision, comments of the State Government and your counter comments and also the additional comments of the State Government and those sent by you after the High Court has passed the above judgment. It is also observed that M/s. Balasore Mineral Co. applied for a prospecting licence and a mining lease for the same area. Both the applications were rejected on the ground that the area was reserved for working in the public sector. Once it is established that the area was refused on the ground that the land in question should be reserved for any purpose. Rule 59 of the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, becomes applicable and no other applications can be considered unless the area is thrown open by a notification. As the area has not vet been thrown open, it is difficult to support your claim, even if the Orissa Mining corporation had not applied or had a lower priority as compared to you. In these circumstances, the Central Government hereby reject vour application for revision. " this order of the Central Government is impugned before us.
(3.) ACCORDING to Mr. Chaterjee appearing for the petitioner, there was no order of reservation and reservation for exploitation by the Mining Corporation --a government of Orissa undertaking --is not contemplated by the Rules. In support of his contention, he relies upon a Division Bench decision of this Court in the case of State of Orissa v. Union of India ILR (1971) Cut 732 = (AIR 1972 Orissa 68 ).;
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