1. The petitioner's application for the renewal of a mining lease for fire-clay over an area of 802.21 acres in villages Jatwar and Majhgawan of tahsil Bandhogarh, district Shahdol, was rejected by the State Government on 22nd October, 1962. Soon after the communication of the rejection order to the petitioner on 14th November, 1962, he filed on 27th November, 1962 a revision petition under R. 54 of the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, before the Central Government against the decision of the State Government. The State Government was informed by a letter, dated 10th September, 1963 addressed by the Under Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Mines and Fuels that the Central Government had set aside the order of the State Government refusing renewal of the petitioner's lease and had directed the Slate Government to renew the mining lease for a period of 20 years in favour of the petitioner in accordance with the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960. As the opponent State has not yet complied with the order passed by the Central Government in the revision petition filed by the petitioner, this application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution has been (sic) for the issue of a direction to the State Government commanding it to carry out the order of the Central Government and directing it to renew the petitioner's lease.
2. In the return filed on behalf of the State it is not denied that the Central Government did set aside the State Government's decision refusing to renew the petitioner's lease and had directed it to renew the lease for a period of 20 years in accordance with the Rules. An attempt has, however been made in the return to justify the non-compliance of the Central Government's order by saying that by a letter, dated 18th November, 1963 the State Government sought a clarification from the Government of India with regard to the contradictory decisions passed by it in the present case and in the matter of lease which is the subject-matter of Misc. Petition No. 337 of 1964 disposed of by us today.
3. In our judgment, this application must be granted. When the Central Government had set aside the opponent's order refusing to renew the petitioner's lease and directed it to renew it in accordance with the Rules, the State Government had no other alternative but to renew the lease in accordance with the order passed by the Central Government. At that stage, the effectual and final order was of the Central Government and a duty was cast on the State Government under the Rules to cany it out. We are unable to appreciate the justification given by the State Government for its inaction in carrying out till now the order passed by the Central Government in November, 1963. The order of the Central Government setting aside the State Government's decision refusing to renew the lease and directing it to renew it was clear enough and did not require any clarification. What the State Government required from the Central Government was not really a clarification, but, what one may call, an explanation from the Central Government in regard to the alleged contradictory orders passed by it in the matter of renewal of two leases held by the petitioner. The clarification sought by the State Government cannot even be regarded as a step for a review of the order passed by the Central Government, The Rules do not give any power to the Central Government to review either suo motu or on the application of any party an order passed by it on a revision application under R. 54. In asking the Central Government to clarify as to how contradictory orders came to be passed by it in two cases, the State Government undoubtedly adopted a lese-maieste conduct. The postponement by the State Government of the compliance of the Central Government's order appears to us no different in kind than the virtual refusal in the case of Bhopal Sugar Industries, Ltd. v. Income-tax Officer. Bhopal, AIR 1961 SC 182, of the Income-tax Officer to carry out clear and unambiguous directions of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Bombay, and which refusal the Supreme Court characterized as 'destructive of one of the basic principles in the administration of justice based as it is in this country on a hierarchy of Courts' In the case of Bhopal Sugar Industries the Judicial Commissioner of Bhopal dismissed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution made by the Bhopal Sugar Industries, Limited, for the issue of a direction in the nature of a writ of mandamus to compel the Income-lax Officer to carry out certain directions given by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Bombay. The Supreme Court set aside the decision of the Judicial Commissioner, Bhopal, and issued an order directing the Income-tax Officer to cany out the directions given by the Appellate Tribunal, Bombay, in its judgment and order, dated 22nd April, 1954. If, as held by the Supreme Court in Shivji Nathubhai v. Union of India, AIR 1960 SC 606 : (1960) 2 SCR 775 and Brajlal Manilal and Co. v. Union of India, Civil Appeals Nos. 115 and 116 of 1963, dated 10-3-1964: 1964 MPLJ 576: (AIR 1984 SC 1643), in disposing of an application for revision under R. 54 the Central Government acts as a quasi-judicial authority, it is plain enough that the State Government as an inferior authority is bound to carry out the direction or directions of the Central Government contained in the order disposing of the revision petition.
4. For these reasons, this petition is allowed;and an order directing the respondent State tocarry out on or before the 31st October, 1964 theCentral Government's order directing the renewalof the petitioner's lease is issued. The petitionershall have costs of this application. Counsel's feeis fixed at Rs. 200. The outstanding amount of thesecurity deposit shall be refunded to the petitioner.