Decided on March 01,1996

UNION OF INDIA Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



B.M.Mitra, J. - (1.)In this writ proceeding a preliminary objection has been taken at the instance of the Central Government and also on behalf of the State of Orissa about the territorial jurisdiction of this High Court to be in seisin of the controversy in question. At the point of threshold before embarking into a journey with regard to the merits of the pending writ proceeding, the parties wanted the preliminary point to be thrust out threadbare, as according to the respondents, such preliminary point to of serious consequence it has been attempted to be contended in no uncertain tern by the concerned respondent that this High Court has got no territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter in question. From the Cause Title of the writ petition, it appears that, apart from Union of India, State of Orissa and its office bearers have been impleaded as respondents having their respective offices at New Delhi and in different places in Orissa. This Court while hearing the matter on the point of maintainability, first wanted to ascertain as to what is the subject matter of challenge in the ,pending controversy. In answer to the query made from this Court, attention has been drawn to paragraph 53 and reading from paragraph 53 as a prefix to the ground it appears that the subject matter of the challenge in the writ proceeding is mainly two Annexure's being Annexure 'Q' and Annexure 'R' as appended to the writ petition. This Court on its own has also perused the prayers contained in the writ petition and it is of prima fade view that prayers have not been couched in a happy language. To repel the observations from the Court, Mr. B.C.Roy, the learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the writ petitioner, has tried to impress this Court that the Court should not be too serious and technical in taking into account the language of the prayer itself, and on the contrary it should confine its attention to the subject matter of challenge before the writ court to assess and/or to ascertain the question of territorial jurisdiction. This Court is of its own reminded a celebrated observation of a Supreme Court decision where the apex Court has occasion to observe and opined that pleadings should not be read in rigid terms and some relaxation should be made keeping in view the low literacy of the litigant public and inarticulate type of drafting. The Court instead of being bogged up with the technicalities of the prayer, finds that the substantial relief claimed in the writ petition is against Annexure'Q' and Annexure R' being appended to the writ petition. Annexure 'R' is Memo No. 9092/MG Bhubaneswar dated 5.7.1979 issued by the Deputy Secretary, Government, of Orissa and from the perusal of the said order it appears the writ petitioner has applied to the State Government for grant of renewal of their mining lease which was forwarded to the Central Government for receipt of its approval under section 8(2) of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation & Development) Act, 1957 and in fact there was a further reference contained in the said Memo about a letter of Government of India whereupon they regretted their inability to accept the proposal of the State Government to grant of renewal of Mining lease in favour of the writ petitioner. This has been stated and it appears to be admitted position as understood from the submissions of the parties concerned that the said Annexure 'R' is the reproduction of Rule 26 of the Mines and Minerals Concession Rules, 1960. Rule 26 is the format as contemplated under the Rules in compliance of the statute which is quoted hereunder :
"Rule 26:- ................ (1) The State Government may, for reasons to be recorded in writing and communicated to the applicant, refuse to grant or renew a mining lease over the whole or part of the area applied for."
According to Mr. Roy, the subject matter of Challenge being Annexure 'R' which in turn is a challenge thrown to an order in compliance of aforesaid Rule 26.
(2.)Detailed arguments have been attempted to be made with regard to the meaning of the cause of action and also with regard to some of the salient provisions of cause of action as contemplated in the Code of Civil Procedure from section 16 to section 22 onwards. This Court will probably not be required to traverse through the said provision in view of the contentions raised that here the cause of action is centered round on the construction of Rule 26 of the aforesaid Rules. Mr. Roy, the learned Advocate appearing on behalf of the writ petitioner; has draw the attention of the Court to Stroud's Judicial Dictionary, 5th Edition, in order to impress upon the meaning of the expression 'Cause of Action'. According to the said definition in Stroud's Judicial Dictionary A "cause of action is the entire set of facts that gives rise to an enforceable claim; the phrase comprises every fact which, it traversed, the plaintiff must prove to order to obtain judgement. The attention of this Court has also been drown to the definition of 'Cause of Action' as contemplated in Corpus Juris Secundum, page 982, where a cause of action has been briefly defined. In a general sense, as a claim which may be enforced ?.. " and also another of the same which tends to projects the combination of fact which gives rise or to entitle a party to sustain an action: the existence of those facts which give a party a right to judicial interference or relief in his behalf, the entire set or state of facts that give rise to an enforceable claim. This Court has also the occasion to go through that portion of definition as relied upon in a recent Supreme Court decision in the case of O.N.G.C. v Utpal Kumar Basu & Ors. reported in (1994) 4 SCC page 711 wherefrom it appears that the apex court has relied on the definition of Watson "... the cause of action has no relation whatever to the defence which may be set up by the defendant, nor does it depend upon the character of the relief prayed for by the plaintiff. It refers entirely to the ground set forth in the plaint as the cause of action, or, in other words, to the media upon which the plaintiff asks the Court to arrive at a conclusion in his favour." This Court while being made to scrutinise the question of territorial jurisdiction feels that here the cause of action in the present writ proceeding is centred round Annexure 'R' which is a reproduction of Rule 26 as aforesaid. The entire controversy can be set at rest if an attempt is made to construe the said Rule 26 and then in that case it may open the pandora's box of the cause of action even in the instant proceeding.
(3.)According to Mr. Roy, Rule 26 as read is required to be viewed carefully and Rule 26 is founded on twin limbs. namely, recording of reasons in writing and communication to the applicant. Mr. Roy while construing Rule 26, as aforesaid. and making his interpretation in the light of statutory interpretation has also extended the frontier of his submission by trying to make an indepth study even of the etymological significance of the language of Rule coupled with the right radiated therefrom either from the punctuation or from conjunction. Mr. Roy is his usual fairness has tried to impress upon this Court by drawing attention to the prefix of a composite sentence by a, comma and ending the same with a, comma and according to him, the same is required to be read as a while. According to Mr. Roy's specific term "for reasons recorded in writing and communicated to the applicant being comprised within a specified capsule with the prefix and suffix, can leave no room for doubt that there are twin elements in Rule 26, namely, one is recording of reasons in writing and another is communication to the applicant. Mr. Roy has joined issue with the submission of the learned Advocate on behalf of the Central Government for his attempt to delink the two and according to Mr. Roy, such delinking is not conceivable unless it is not by way of detailed averment of grammatical construction of a composite sentence being inhered in the Rule itself According to Mr. Roy, any attempt to delink the two limbs, namely, recording of reasons and communication will result in erosion of the Rule and in that case Rule can not be conceived of. Therefore, the sum and substance of Mr. Roy's submission is that Rule 26 as read in terms of statutory construction coupled with its etymological significance has to be inferred that so far as two parts, namely recording of reasons in writing and communication to the applicant. In support of the said submission, Mr. Roy has drawn the attention of this Court from different Annexures being appended to the writ petition, namely, Annexure 'R' and he has drawn the attention that Annexure 'R' contains within itself the stipulation that can be forwarded to M/s. Serajuddin & Co., P-16, Bentinck Street. Calcutta-1 for information. Mr. Roy has also drawn the attention of this Court to a Memo dated 2.6.78 vide No.5056 from which it appears that copy is forwarded to the writ petitioner in Calcutta. Further attention of the Court has been drawn to Annexure 'B' from which it appears that a letter addressed from the Secretary to the Government, Mining and Geology to M/s. Serajuddin & Co., the writ petitioner at Calcutta for grant of mining lease over an area i0n question. Mr. Roy has made further justification in support of his construction and he has tried to dwell on the point of legal nicely and according to Mr. Roy that even if it be assumed that order is recorded in writing by reasoning but unless it is communicated it does not ripen itself into an order. According to Mr. Roy, the order unless served on person against whom the order is supposed to be issued, anything contained in the order retains its character as a writing in Memo and it does not ripen itself in to an order. In the back drop of such interesting branch of argument of Mr. Roy, a reference may be drawn to the provisions of Order 20 Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure which contemplates that a judgement will not ripen into a judgement within the meaning of the term unless it is pronounced in open court. On the same analogy Mr. Roy wanted to impress this Court that unless the order is communicated to the person against whom it is required to be issued, the older does not assume the texture of the order and it may languish in the archives of the record of the authorities. According to Mr. Roy, the integral part of the cause of action of the instant writ proceeding is the communication to the writ petitioner in Calcutta in terms of Rule 26 of the aforesaid Rules and same is capable of being enforced for judicial remedy only when, the person is communicated of the same resulting in his anguish to ventilate is grievance before an appropriate court of law. Therefore, Mr. Roy has tried to emphasis that here the stem-typed approach to the interpretation of cause of action will not subserve the parties but here it is to be conceived of particularly in the back-drop of Rule 26 and no other exercise is required to be made in order to elucidate an inference as to the cause of action empowering a judicial authority with territorial jurisdiction.

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