Sambasiva Rao, J. -
(1.)The Appellant is a Forest Contractor. The Divisional Forest Officer, Nagarkurnool, Mahboobnagar District, who is the third respondent published a notification dated 10th July, 1968 in R. C. No. 3469/-3/68, in which the sale conditions as well as the special conditions for sale of certain bamboo coupes were notified. Accordingly, he conducted a public auction in respect of various bamboo coupes mentioned in the notification, on 12th August, 1968. The appellant happened to be the highest bidder for Meadervote coupe, which belongs to the Kollapur Range and which was item No. 9 in the list appended to the notification dated 10th July, 1968. Besides, he was the highest bidder for some other coupes also. The highest bid amount for the Meadervote coupe was Rs. 35,000. In accordance with the auction conditions, the appellant deposited 1/3rd of the amount, soon after the auction. Condition No. 9 of the General Sale Conditions, published on 10th July, 1968, requires that the sale had to be confirmed by the Conservator of Forests, who is the second respondent, as the bid amount was above Rs. 20,000. This confirmation is usually done within 30 days after the sale. However, no such confirmation was received by the appellant. He made representations in this regard and during his enquiries, he came to know that the Bamboo Co-operative Society, Kollampalli Village, which is the 4th respondent, had applied before the Honb'le Minister for Forests, even before the auctions were held, but after the notification dated 10th July, 1968, for allotment of this coupe to it as per instructions contained in G.O.Ms. No. 1049 dated 6th April, 1964. That Government Order was issued by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, who is the first respondent, in furtherance of the policy of encouraging Co-operative Societies in proper utilisation of forest wealth of the State.
(2.)The declared object of the order is to grant forest coupes to various Co-operative Societies on concessional terms. In fact, formulae on the basis of which these concessional financial terms should be worked out were also appended to the Government Order. Though that Government Order was directed to be in force upto 31st March, 1966, it is now common case that it was further extended and was in force at the time the coupes in question were auctioned. It was in pursuance of this Government Order that the fourth respondent had applied to the Hon'ble Minister for Forests, for allotment of this particular coupe to it. This application should be made through the District Committee, consisting of the Collector, the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies and the District Forest Officer concerned three months in advance to the date of the sale of the coupes. Application not preferred within the stipulated period are summarily rejected. It is only when the application is received from a co-operative society duly recommended by the District Committee within the prescribed time limit the coupes should be allotted to the society, fixing rentals as per rules." Such coupes are not put to auction.
(3.)The Chief Conservator of Forests is required to fix the rentals, adopting one of the formulae applicable to the coupe as indicated in the appendix to the Government Order and to submit proposals to the Government for final orders. These are all the requirements of G. O. Ms. No. 1049.