KURRA KOTESWARA RAO VIJAYAWADA AND Vs. DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF MINES AND GEOLOGY GUNTUR
LAWS(APH)-1992-2-71
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on February 21,1992

KURRA KOTESWARA RAO, VIJAYAWADA Appellant
VERSUS
DY. DIRECTOR OF MINES AND GEOLOGY, GUNTUR,DY.DIRECTOR OF MINES AND GEOLOGY, GUNTUR Respondents




JUDGEMENT

S.Parvatha Rao, J. - (1.)This batch of writ petitions turns upon the interpretation of Rule 12, and the validity of sub-rule (3) of Rule 12 and clause (xiv) of Rule 31 of the Andhra Pradesh Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1966 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Rules') as amended by G.O.Ms. No. 528, Industries & Commerce (M-IV) Department, dated 7-12-1987 published in the Andhra Pradesh Gazette dated 31-12-1987.
(2.)Some of the petitioners in these writ petitions were granted mining leases under the Rules for quarrying Road Metal and/or Ballast and they applied for renewal of the same. Some others applied for fresh grant of mining leases for quarrying Road Metal and/ or Ballast. Some of them made the said applications whether for renewal or for fresh leases prior to the amendments effected by the said G.O.Ms. No. 528; others made the said applications subsequent to the said amendments. None of the petitioners are Waddaras or co-operative societies consisting exclusively of Waddaras. Their applications were rejected or not considered by the authorities concerned on the ground that under Rule 12 as amended by the said G.O. Ms. No. 528 they could hot be granted the mining leases. In some writ petitions, the petitioners ques^ tioned notices issued to them for showing cause as to why the mining leases already renewed or grannted to them should not be cancelled on the ground that they were granted contrary to the amended Rule 12; in some, the petitioners questioned the cancel lation of their mining leases pursuant to such notices.
(3.)The Rules are made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 15 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') enacted by the Parliament. They regulate the grant of mining leases in respect of minor minerals in the State of Andhra Pradesh. Prior to the amendment effected by the said G.O.Ms. No. 528, the relevant portion of Rule 12 was as follows:--
"12. Grant of lease:-- (1) A quarry lease may be granted by auctioning the areas notified under Rule 9-B and in respect of other areas subject to provision of sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (2A) on application and each such application for grant of quarry lease shall be accompanied by a treasury or bank chaltan for rupees one hundred in token of the remittance towards fees. (2) Whenever more than one application are received for grant of a quarry lease, the Deputy Director shall dispose of the applications in order of preference specified below:-- (i) Applications of Government Department and Government Corporations and Companies; (ii) Applications of Labour Contract Cooperative Societies; (iii) Applications of unemployed persons who possess any recognised qualification in Geology, Geophysics, or Mining Engineering or any other allied subjects; (iv) Other applications; xxxxx (3) In cases where the quarry lease holders fail to apply for renewal of the lease of the areas within ninety days before the expiry of the lease held by them, as required under sub-rule (2) of Rule 13, fresh application for grant of quarry lease, in respect of those areas, will be entertained thirty days before the expiry of the lease." Prior to the said amendment clause (xiv) of Rule 31 was as follows:-- "If the lessee to whom a quarry lease is granted has duly observed all the conditions of his lease or permit and given ninety days previous notice in writing to the Deputy Director, requesting grant of the renewal of the lease or permit, the Deputy Director shall, except for the sand quarries grant renewals for not more than two times to the period of quarry lease." After the amendment effected by the said G.O.Ms. No. 528, Rule 12 and clause (xiv) of Rule 31, to the extent they are relevant, are as follows:-- "12. (1) A quarry lease may be granted subject to the provision of sub-rule (2) or (3) as the case may be on application and each such application for grant of quarry lease shall be accompanied by a treasury or bank challan for Rs. 100/- in token of the remittance towards fee. (2) Wherever more than one application are received for grant of a quarry lease, the Deputy Director shall dispose of the applications in order to preference specified below:-- (i) Applications of Government Department and Government Corporations and Companies; (ii) Applications of Labour Contract Cooperative Societies; (iii) Applications of unemployed persons who possess any recognised qualification in Geology, Geophysics, or Mining Engineering or any other allied subjects; (iv) Other applications. (3) The quarry lease applications for Minor Minerals under item No. I of Schedule I under Rule 10 shall be disposed of by the Deputy Director in the order specified below: (i) Applications of Co-operative Societies consisting exclusively of Professional/Traditional Stone Cutters (Waddaras, etc.) who work either by the manual labour of their own and their family members or by use of machinery. (ii) Applications of individual Professional/Traditional Stone Cutters (Waddaras, etc.). (iii) Applications of Government Departments and Government Corporations and Government Companies provided they directly undertaken quarrying departmental-ly without sub-contracting the work to others. (4) In cases where the quarry leases holders fail to apply for renewal of the lease the areas within ninety days before the expiry of the lease held by them, as required under sub-rule(2) of Rule 13, fresh applications for grant of quarry lease, in respect of those areas, will be entertained 30 days before the expiry of the lease. Clause (xiv) of Rule 31:-- If the lessee to whom a quarry lease is granted has duly pbserved all the conditions of his lease or permit and given ninety days previous notice in writing to the Deputy Director, requesting grant of the renewal of the lease or permit, the Deputy Director shall except for the sand quarries grant renewals for not more than two times to the period of quarry lease, provided they fall within the category of applicants and areas under sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (3) of Rule 12 as the case may be." Item No. 1 of Schedule-I under Rule 10 referred to in sub-rule (3) of Rule 12 is "building stone including stone used for Road Metal, Ballast, concrete and other construction purpose".

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