R. C. Lahoti, J. -
(1.)The State of Uttar Pradesh took a policy decision as evidenced by G.O. dated 25-5-1995 for remission of the lease of the river bed Yamuna where sand and moram along with bajri bolder, reta or anyone of them is found in mixed condition. The policy decision contemplates such areas as are completely new and have been searched by the applicant himself being leased out on first come first serve basis. As provided by the G.O. based on the opinion of Directorate of Geology and Mining, the term of such lease shall normally be between three to five years.
(2.)The petitioner applied for one such sand mining lease in accordance with the policy decision contained in the G.O. The Collector, Gautam Budh Nagar granted the said lease to the petitioner. The lease was executed for a period of one year w.e.f. 3rd June, 1998. Before the expiry of the term of the lease, the petitioner sought for a renewal for another period of two years. The Collector granted such extension vide order dated 20-12-2000; the principal consideration for granting such renewal being that the lease, as originally executed, should have been for a minimum period of three years which having not been done and erroneously the lease having been executed for a period of one year, the petitioner was entitled to such extension for two years.
(3.)It appears that around the time when the petitioner was allowed the extension of two years, the Government had taken a decision to hold an auction of the sand mining lease. The respondent No. 3, a competitor aspirant of the petitioner, preferred a revision before the State Government against the order of the Collector dated 20-12-2000. The revision was filed after expiry of one year and four months from the date of the order of extension. The State Government condoned the delay in filing the revision on the ground that the revision was filed within the period of limitation calculated from the date of the knowledge of the respondent No. 3. The issue as to locus standi was also decided in favour of respondent No. 3. The State Government, vide its order dated 22-4-2002, set aside the order of the Collector influenced mainly by the consideration that the State Government having decided to hold an auction of the mining rights, the State Government was likely to gain higher revenue and, therefore, it was in public interest to transfer mining rights by holding an auction.