Bishambhar Dayal, C.J.
1. This is a petition by the Kanhan Valley Coal Company Private Limited, Nagpur. The petitioner had made an application for grant of a mining lease on 6th March 1952 over an area of 488.08 acres of land. Correspondence between the State Government and the petitioner continued upto 1967 and the State Government several times asked the petitioner whether it was agreeable to take a lease of only 148-38 acres of land. The petitioner always gave its consent to take the lease of that much of land but never made a fresh application for grant of a lease. Ultimately, on 23rd June 1967, the petitioner enquired as to what happened to its application for lease made in 1952. In reply dated 4th September 1967 the petitioner's attention was drawn to Rule 24 (3) of the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, made under the Mining Act. This rule is as follows:--
'If any application is not disposed of within the period specified in Sub-rule (1), it shall be deemed to have been refused.' Accordingly, the application was deemed refused. The effect was that there was no application on which a lease could be granted after the expiry of the period.
2. Under Rule 54 of the said Rules a revision lies to the Central Government against any order of the State Government refusing to grant a lease, and by the explanation added to the rule, such a deemed refusal of the application is taken to be an order refusing to grant a lease. Such revision lies within two months from the date of communication of the order. The petitioner filed such a revision which also was rejected on 4th December 1967 as having no force. It was held that under the rules the petitioner's application must be deemed refused after the expiry of 9 months from 11th November 1960. The revision was also rejected on the ground of limitation.
3. In this petition the first contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that Rule 24 of the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 did not apply to this case, as these Rules had been made in 1960 while the application had been made in 1952 when there was no such rule of deemed rejection. There is no force in this contention in view of Rule 38 of these Rules which is as follows: 'An application for the grant or renewal of a mining lease pending on the commencement of these Rules shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.'
Thus all pending applications were to be deemed to have been made on the date when the 1960 Rules came into force and, on that basis, if no orders were passed on any application within 90 days from that date, the application would lapse tinder Rule 24 (3) ibid.
4. The learned counsel for the petitioner also contended that such a rule was beyond the intendment of the Act and was, therefore, ultra vires. We are unable to agree. Section 10(3) of the Mines and Minerals Act, 1957 provides:
'On receipt of an application under this section the State Government may, having regard to the provisions of this Act and any rules made thereunder, grant or refuse the licence or lease.'
Thus, under the Act the power to grant is subject to Rules and if under the Rules an application is deemed to have lapsed after a period of time, there remains no application for grant. The provision is thus consistent with the Act and there is, therefore, no force in this contention also.
5. The petition is accordingly dismissed. The parties will bear their own costs. The amount of security deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.