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Balraj Suri and ors. Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Misc. Writ No. 818 of 1977
Judge
Reported inAIR1978All321; [1978(36)FLR168]
ActsUttar Pradesh Minor Minerals (Concession) Rules, 1963 - Rules 14 and 22
AppellantBalraj Suri and ors.
RespondentState of Uttar Pradesh and ors.
Appellant AdvocateR.N. Bhalla and ;S.N. Kakkar, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
civil - dead rent - clause (2) of part (2) form mm 3 schedule iii and rules 22 and 14 of u.p. minor minerals (concession) rules, 1963 - at the stage of execution of lease the licensing authority may specify dead rent - it is the amount that shall be paid by the lessee till revised by the government - the state government has the power to revise the rate of dead rent. - - as a result of clause (2) quoted above, the state government clearly hag the right to revise the rate of dead rent. since they were parties to the agreement and had agreed to the reservation of power to the state government to vary the dead rent, they cannot be heard to complain if the state government has chosen to exercise that right......were introduced in the rules. the second schedule as it then existed was amended and the dead rent payable was increased by ten times. since before the amendment of the rules the royalty payable by the petitioner was higher than the dead rent at the prevailing rates they paid no dead rent relying on the proviso to rule 22. after the amendment the petitioners became liable to pay dead rent because the royalty that they had been paying was of a lesser amount. aggrieved by this action of the state government, the petitioners filed this writ petition challenging the legality of the notification dated 14th september, 1976. 2. learned counsel for the petitioners hag contended that the amendment to the rules brought about by the notification dated 14th september, 1976 could not be.....
Judgment:

Yashoda Nandan, J.

1. The petitioners obtained lease deeds from the State of U. P. under the provisions of the U. P. Minor Minerals (Concession) Rules, 1963, (hereinafter called the Rules) for varying terms for extracting certain minor minerals. By means of a notification dated 14th September, 1976 published in U. P. Gazette Extraordinary dated 15th September, 1976 certain amendments were introduced in the Rules. The Second Schedule as it then existed was amended and the dead rent payable was increased by ten times. Since before the amendment of the Rules the royalty payable by the petitioner was higher than the dead rent at the prevailing rates they paid no dead rent relying on the proviso to Rule 22. After the amendment the petitioners became liable to pay dead rent because the royalty that they had been paying was of a lesser amount. Aggrieved by this action of the State Government, the petitioners filed this writ petition challenging the legality of the notification dated 14th September, 1976.

2. Learned counsel for the petitioners hag contended that the amendment to the Rules brought about by the notification dated 14th September, 1976 could not be given retrospective effect since it was a piece of subordinate legislation so as to make enhanced dead rent payable in respect of lease-deeds executed prior to 14th September, 1976. It was also contended that Rule 22 which provided for payment of dead rent within the limits specified in the Second Schedule must be read as controlling Clause (2) of Part 2 of Form MM3 contained in the Third Schedule of the Rules. In our opinion both these contentions are misconceived. 3. Rule 22 runs as follows:--'22 Dead rent -- The holder of mining lease shall during the term of the lease pay, for every year, other than the first year of the lease, such amount as dead rent as may within the limits specified in the Second Schedule to these rules be specified in the lease by the State Government and if the lease permits the working of more than one mineral in the same area, the said dead rent will be paid separately for each such mineral:

Provided that the lessee shall be liable to pay the dead rent or royalty in respect of each mineral whichever be higher in amount but not both.'

It deals with the stage at which the lease deed is initially executed in our opinion. The rule provides that in between the two limits in the Second Schedule the licensing authority may choose a figure in accordance with the conditions prevailing at the tune and specify it in the lease deed. Rule 14 (1) of the Rules provides that:

'Where an order has been made for the grant of a mining lease, a lease deed in Form MM3 or in a form as near thereto as the circumstances of each case may require, shall be executed within three months of the communication of the said order or within such further period as the State Government may allow in this behalf ... ... ...'

Clauses (1) and (2) of Part II of Form MM3 run as follows:--

'Rents and Royalties reserved by this lease to pay dead rent or royalty whichever is greater (1) The lessee shall pay, for every year, except the first year of the lease yearly dead rent as specified in Clause (2) of this part in respect of each mineral:

Provided that the lessee shall be liable to pay the dead rent or royalty in respect of each mineral, whichever is higher In amount, but not both.

Rate and mode of payment of dead rent (2) Subject to the provision of Clause (1) of this part during the subsistence of the lease, the lessees shall pay to the State Government annual dead rent at the following rate/rates, or at such revised rate/rates which may be communicated in writing to the lessee/ lessees by the State Government, per mineral per acre of the lands demised and described in Part I of this Schedule ... ... ... ...'

Form MM3 is part of the Rules and hence Clauses (1) and (2) of Part II thereof are statutory in character. Rule 22 and Rule 14 read with Form MM3 including Clauses (1) and (2) of Part II thereof must be read as harmonising with each other. Thus construed the position that emerges is that at the stage of execution of the lease, the licencing authority may specify therein as dead rent an amount in between the two limits mentioned in the Second Schedule. It is the amount thus specified that shall be payable by the lessee till such time as it is not varied by the State Government in exercise of powers reserved to it under Clause (2) of Part II of Form MM3. As a result of Clause (2) quoted above, the State Government clearly hag the right to revise the rate of dead rent.

4. It may further be noticed that the petitioners were all licencees who had obtained licences under Form MM-3 subject to the conditions of Clause (2), Part II of the same. Since they were parties to the agreement and had agreed to the reservation of power to the State Government to vary the dead rent, they cannot be heard to complain if the State Government has chosen to exercise that right.

5. For the reasons given above, there is no merit in this petition. It is accordingly dismissed. Petitioners shall pay costs of this petition to the respondents.


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