BARAKAR COAL CO LTD Vs. N C MEHTA
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
BARAKAR COAL CO LTD
N C MEHTA
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(1.)THIS Rule is directed against order No. 31 dated September 16, 1974 passed by the learned Judge 4th Bench, City Civil Court, Calcutta in Money Suit No. 49 of 1973 holding that the Court had jurisdiction to try the suit. The facts are that on January 17, 1973 the opposite party instituted the suit in the City Civil Court, Calcutta for recovery of Rs. 30743. 38 against Barakar Coal Co. Ltd. the petitioner before us. The amount is stated to be the balance outstanding out of the amount advanced by the said opposite party to the petitioner for supply of premium hard coke from its Loyabad Coke Plant after giving credit to the supplies made to him by the petitioner from time to time. It appears that in the month of October, 1971, Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Ordinance 1971, followed by the Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1971 were brought into force whereby the management of the coking coal mines and coke oven plants in or about the said mines were taken over and vested in the Central Government with all assets pending nationalization and a custodian was appointed for the general management of the said mines and coke oven plants. As a result the management of the Loyabad Coke Plant of the petitioner was taken over with all assets and vested in the Central government. Thereafter Coking Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1972 was promulgated on August 17, 1972 whereby the interest of the owners in coking coal mines and coke oven plants or about the said mines vested in the Central Government from the appointed day defined as May 1, 1972. The said mines and plants had since been managed by and vested in the Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. , a Government Company under the provisions of the said Act. The said company impleaded as the defendant No. 2 in the suit, is now the opposite party No. 2 in this rule and it issued a certificate on February 23, 1972 stating that the amount claimed in the suit had been shown as per list of suspense account of the petitioner to the credit of the plaintiff. As inspite of demands the amount was not forthcoming the suit was instituted as already stated in the City Civil Court for a decree for the amount claimed therein against the petitioner. No relief was claimed against the said Government Company.
(2.)THE written statement was duly filed by the petitioner on January 14, 1974 and the specific defence taken was that the suit should be dismissed with cost against the petitioner in view of the provisions of the Coking Coal mines (Nationalization) Act.
(3.)EARLIER on September 19, 1973 an application was filed on behalf of the petitioner contending that the court had no jurisdiction to proceed 2. with the suit in view of the provisions of the Coking Coal Mines (Nationalization)Act, 1972. The Act provided for the appointment of a Commissioner of Payments for payment of the dues of the Coking Coal Mines and Coke Oven Plants arising prior to the appointed clay, May 1, 1972. All such claims are to be lodged with the commissioner for payment out of the amount paid to him by the Central Government on account of the nationalization of the mines and coke oven plants. Accordingly, the court has no jurisdiction to proceed with the said suit. The court framed two issues on jurisdiction namely (i) Has the court no jurisdiction to try the suit on account of the provision of item 10 of the first schedule of the City Civil Court Act ? (ii) Has the jurisdiction of the Civil Court to entertain and try such suit been ousted by the provisions of the Coking Coal Mines (Nationalization)Act, 1972 ? In respect of the first issue the court following Robindra Nath Ganguly v. Calcutta Dock Labour Board, 74 C. W. N. 313 held that the court had jurisdiction to try the suit. In respect of the second issue, the court held that there was no ouster of the jurisdiction of" the Civil Court under the provisions of the said Act. The rule is against this order.
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