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Friday, April 25, 2014

Contempt petition - whether the petitioners would be entitled to the benefit of judgment dated 14.3.2012 passed in the case of BPSL or not. - three petitioners pray that the same directions as given in favour of BPSL in judgment dated 14.3.2012, be passed in their cases as well. This they claim on the basis of parity with BPSL. However, we are constrained to hold that, on the basis of such an argument, they cannot approach this court directly under Article 32 of the Constitution by filing writ petitions. - Apex court dismissed the writs leaving the issue open = Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd. ..... Appellant(s) Versus Rajesh Verma & Ors.. ..... Respondent (s) = 2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41444

   Contempt petition -   whether the petitioners would  be  entitled  to  the benefit of judgment dated 14.3.2012 passed in the case of BPSL or  not. - three petitioners pray that the same directions as given in  favour  of BPSL in judgment dated 14.3.2012, be passed in  their  cases  as  well. This they claim on the basis of  parity  with  BPSL.  However,  we  are constrained to hold that, on the basis of such an argument, they cannot approach this court directly under Article 32 of  the  Constitution  by filing writ petitions. - Apex court dismissed the writs leaving the issue open =

in Supreme Court  Bar  Association  v.  Union  of India & Anr.; (1998) 4 SCC 409;
           “42.  The contempt of court is  a  special  jurisdiction  to  be
           exercised sparingly and with caution whenever an  act  adversely
           affects the administration of justice or which tends  to  impede
           its course or tends to shake public confidence in  the  judicial
           institutions. This jurisdiction may also be exercised  when  the
           act complained of  adversely  affects  the  majesty  of  law  or
           dignity of the courts. The purpose of contempt  jurisdiction  is
           to uphold the majesty and dignity of the courts of law. It is an
           unusual type of jurisdiction combining “the jury, the judge  and
           the hangman” and it is so because the court is not  adjudicating
           upon any claim between litigating parties. This jurisdiction  is
           not exercised to protect the dignity of an individual judge  but
           to  protect   the   administration   of   justice   from   being
           [pic]maligned. In the general interest of the  community  it  is
           imperative that the authority of courts should not be imperilled
           and  there  should  be  no  unjustifiable  interference  in  the
           administration of justice. It is a matter between the court  and
           the  contemner  and  third  parties  cannot  intervene.  It   is
           exercised in a summary manner in aid of  the  administration  of
           justice, the majesty of law and the dignity of  the  courts.  No
           such act can be permitted which may have the tendency  to  shake
           the public confidence in the fairness and  impartiality  of  the
           administration of justice”.


     27.    As a consequence, we hold that the Respondents/  Contemners  are

     in contempt of orders dated 14.3.2012  passed  by  this  Court  in  not
     complying with the directions in respect of Keora area. However, we are
     giving  one  final  opportunity  to  them  to  purge  the  contempt  by
     transmitting requisite recommendations to the  Central  Government.  It
     would  be  for  the   Central   Government   to   consider   the   said
     recommendations on its own merits and in accordance with law.  In  case
     the recommendation is sent within one month from the date  of  copy  of
     receipt of this order, we propose not to take any  further  action  and
     the respondents/ contemners shall stand discharged from  this  Contempt
     Petition. However, in case the respondents do not purge in  the  manner
     mentioned above, it would be open to the petitioners to point  out  the
     same to this Court by moving appropriate application and in that  event
     the Contemners shall be proceeded against.
     28.    With this, I.A. No. 14 in C.A. NO. 2790 of 2012 and I.A.  No.  2
     in I.A. NO. 14 in C.A. NO. 2790 of 2012 also stand disposed of.
     Writ Petitions
     29.    In so far as three writ petitions are concerned we need  not  go
     into the detailed arguments advanced by Counsel for the petitioners  in
     those petitions. As already noted above, for their own reasons all  the
     three petitioners pray that the same directions as given in  favour  of
     BPSL in judgment dated 14.3.2012, be passed in  their  cases  as  well.
     This they claim on the basis of  parity  with  BPSL.  However,  we  are
     constrained to hold that, on the basis of such an argument, they cannot
     approach this court directly under Article 32 of  the  Constitution  by
     filing writ petitions. It has already been  authoritatively  determined
     that  no  fundamental  right  of  the  petitioners  is   violated.   No
     fundamental right is violated by non-granting  of  mining  lease.  
    we  dismiss  these petitions giving liberty to the petitioners to approach the High  Court
     in the first instance and/ or any other forum which  is  available,  as
     per law. We make it clear  that  in  so  far  as  these  petitions  are
     concerned we have not dealt with the issues  on  merits.  Wherever  the
     petitions are filed, it would be open to the said forum  to  deal  with
     the question as to whether the petitioners would  be  entitled  to  the
     benefit of judgment dated 14.3.2012 passed in the case of BPSL or  not.
     All other issues  are  also  kept  open  to  be     agitated  in  those
     proceedings. Writ petitions are dismissed with liberty as aforesaid.  


2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41444
SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, A.K. SIKRI                                                

REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
     CONMT. PET. (C) No. 374 of 2012 In C.A. No. 2790 of 2012


     Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd.                    ..... Appellant(s)


     Versus


     Rajesh Verma & Ors..                          ..... Respondent (s)


     WITH


     W.P. (C) No. 60 of 2013
     W.P. (C) No. 194 of 2013
     W.P. (C) No. 837 of 2013
     I.A. No. 14 & I.A. NO. 2 IN I.A. No. 14
     IN CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2790 OF 2012




                               J U D G M E N T


     A.K SIKRI, J.


  1. All the aforesaid matters were heard analogously  as  they  are  inter-
     connected. In fact, it is the judgment dated 14.3.2012 passed  in  C.A.
     No. 2790 of 2012 which has become the trigger point of all other cases.
     C.A. No. 2790 of 2012 was filed by M/s. Bhushan Power  and  Steel  Ltd.
     (formerly  known  as  Bhushan  Limited)  (hereinafter  referred  to  as
     'BPSL'). That was an appeal against the judgment passed by  High  Court
     of Orissa whereby the High Court had dismissed the writ petition of the
     BPSL. Before proceeding further, we would like to narrate the nature of
     different cases and the background in which they came to be filed.
     CCP No. 374 of 2012
  2. The erstwhile Bhushan Limited had proposed setting up of plant in  some
     identified villages in the District  of  Sambalpur,  Orissa.  For  this
     purpose it had made a request for acquisition of land,  measuring  1250
     acres, which was acquired for Bhushan Limited. It had also applied  for
     grant of lease of mining of iron ore for use  in  the  proposed  plant.
     These applications were favourably considered by the  State  Government
     which agreed to accord due priority to Bhushan  Limited  for  grant  of
     suitable iron ore areas and also agreed to recommend  the  proposal  to
     the Government of India for grant of a  Coal  Block.  Even  a  MOU  was
     entered  into  between  the  State  Government  and   Bhushan   Limited
     containing the commitment of the State Government to recommend  to  the
     Central Government, grant of  iron  ore  mines  for  its  use  in   the
     proposed plant. For this purpose area earmarked for recommendation were
     Thakurani area with 96 million tonnes iron ore reserves and Keora Area,
     District Sundargarh for additional 128 million tonnes of iron ore; both
     for 50 years requirement of the plant.  Though  various  statutory  and
     other permissions required for setting up of the plant were granted and
     the plant was also set up, but due to some in-fight between the  family
     members who owned Bhushan Limited, it faced difficulties in getting the
     grant of iron ore lease.
  3. In so far as granting of mining lease  of  iron  ore  reserves  in  the
     aforesaid areas is concerned, it fell into rough weather.  It  resulted
     into show cause notice dated 18.1..2006 by the State  Government  which
     led to the decision that mining lease over the Thakurani area could not
     be allowed on various grounds  and  the  application  made  by  Bhushan
     Limited was premature. Thereafter, the  Government  of  Orissa  made  a
     recommendation to the Central Government on 9.2.2006  to  grant  mining
     lease in favour of one M/s Neepaz Metallics (P)  Ltd. in relaxation  of
     Rule 59(1) of the Mining Rules, for a period of 30  years.  Challenging
     these orders, Bhushan Limited filed the writ petition in the High Court
     on 8.5.2006. This Writ Petition was dismissed  by  the  High  Court  on
     14.12.2007 and challenging this decision  Special  Leave  Petition  was
     filed which was granted converting the SLP  into  C.A.  No.  2790/2012.
     This appeal was allowed by this Court  vide  judgment  dated  14.3.2012
     with the following directions:
           “Accordingly, we allow the appeal and set aside the judgment and
           order of the High Court of Orissa and also the decision  of  the
           State Government dated 9.2.2006, rejecting the Appellant's claim
           for grant of mining lease. During the course of hearing, we have
           been informed that Thakurani Block A has large reserves of  iron
           ore, in which the  Appellants  can  also  be  accommodated.  We,
           accordingly, direct the State  of  Orissa  to  take  appropriate
           steps to act in terms of the MOU dated 15.5.2002,  as  also  its
           earlier commitments to recommend the case of the  Appellants  to
           the Central Government for grant of adequate iron  ore  reserves
           to meet the requirements of the Appellants in their steel  plant
           at Lapanga”.
  4. It would be pertinent to mention that State of Orissa had filed  Review
     Petition seeking review of this judgment but  the  same  was  rejected.
     Pursuant to the aforesaid directions, though the BPSL  has  been  given
     Thakurani Block A, the  order  has  not  been  implemented  qua  Keora,
     District Sundargarh. That is precisely the cause  for  filing  Contempt
     Petition (Civil) No. 374 of 2012 by BPSL.
     I.A. No. 14 of 2013
     5.     The State of Orissa and  its  officials  who  are  impleaded  as
     Contemners in the CCP have filed their replies to  the  CCP  expressing
     certain difficulties because of which they claim  that  the  directions
     given in the judgment are  incapable  of  enforcement.  Simultaneously,
     Respondent No. 1/ State of Orissa has filed instant I.A. No. 14 of 2013
     as well, in which certain  subsequent  developments  which  have  taken
     place after the passing of the judgment dated 12.3.2012 are  traversed.
     It is highlighted that there are certain other  and  legal  proceedings
     filed by them are pending at various stages in the  High  Court  or  in
     this Court and the area claimed by  them  in  those  legal  proceedings
     overlap with the area which is the subject matter of grant to  BPSL.  A
     reference is also made to subsequent judgment in  the  case  of  Sandur
     Manganese & Iron Ore v. State of Karnataka; (2010) 13 SCC 1  which  has
     changed the legal position thereby making it difficult for the State to
     recommend the case of the petitioner. It is also stated that the  issue
     which is dealt with by this Court in Sandur Manganese (Supra)  was  not
     raised in the Writ proceedings/ Civil Appeal of the BPSL. On the  basis
     of the aforesaid averment prayer made in the I.A. reads as under:-
           “Pass appropriate directions with regard  to  implementation  of
           the directions contained  in  final  order  and  judgment  dated
           14.3.2012 passed by this Hon'ble Court in Civil Appeal No.  2790
           of 2012 in so far as it relates to the mining lease applications
           of the petitioner for an additional 128 million tonnes  of  iron
           ore over lands in Keora area of Sundergarh District”.


     I.A. NO. 2 OF 2013 IN I.A. NO. 14 OF 2013
     6.     In I.A. No. 14 of 2013, this I.A.  is  preferred  by  M/s.  Shri
     Mahavir Ferro Alloys Pvt. Ltd.  The  grievance  of  this  applicant  is
     against the status quo order dated 21.4.2008 passed in the applications
     filed by the BPSL. It  is  alleged  that  the  applicant  has  filed  9
     applications for grant of Iron Ore Mining  Lease  of  different  areas,
     notified  as  well  as  non-notified,  including  the  Thakurani  area.
     However, because of the  status  quo  order  the  applications  of  the
     applicant not  being  considered  by  the  State  Government  which  is
     adversely affecting the interest of the applicant.
     WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 60 OF 2013
     7.     While narrating the facts of C.A. No. 2790 of 2012 in brief,  we
     had mentioned about the inter se disputes between the family members of
     erstwhile Bhushan Limited because of which BPSL faced  difficulties  in
     getting the grant of iron ore lease. It so  happened  that  during  the
     pendency of the aforesaid appeal, the  family  members  resolved  their
     disputes. On 28.2.2006, Bhushan Limited altered its name to BPSL. Other
     group got incorporated a company named as M/s.  Bhushan  Steel  Limited
     (BSL). BSL is the petitioner in the instant petition. This  significant
     development was taken note of in the judgment dated  14.3.2012  in  the
     following manner:-
           “As indicated hereinbefore,  on  21st  April,  2008,  this  Court
           passed an interim order in the Special Leave  Petition  filed  by
           Bhushan Limited directing the parties to maintain status quo with
           regard to the lands indicated in the  application  filed  by  the
           appellants for grant of mining lease. However, one  of  the  most
           significant developments that subsequently took place was that on
           25th November, 2011, Shri B.B. Singhal and Shri  Neeraj  Singhal,
           Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Bhushan Steel  and  Strips
           Ltd. filed affidavits withdrawing all their claims and rights  in
           the  MOU  dated  15th  May,  2002,  executed  between  the  State
           Government and Bhushan Limited and declaring that  the  said  MOU
           was and had always been in favour of Bhushan power &  Steel  Ltd.
           The above named persons also prayed for deletion of  their  names
           from the array of parties.”
                                   XXXXXXX
           The mutual settlement of the disputes between the members of  the
           Bhushan Group has altered the situation considerably, since  BSSL
           has withdrawn its claim under the MOU dated 15th  May,  2002  and
           has declared that the said MOU was and had always  been  executed
           by the State Government in favour of Bhushan Power & Steel  Ltd.,
           which had set  up  its  steel  plant  at  Lapanga.  As  indicated
           hereinbefore, although, the MOU was entered  into  by  the  State
           Government with the Bhushan Group for setting up a steel plant at
           Lapanga, at a later stage, BSSL also laid claim under the MOU for
           setting  up  a  separate  steel  plant  at  Mehramandali  and   a
           suggestion was also made for execution of a fresh MOU between the
           State Government and BSSL to this effect.”
     8.     It is the case of the BSL in the present Writ Petition that  BSL
     was a part of the then Bhushan Group. It executed a MOU dated 15.5.2002
     with the State of Orissa.  Consequent  to  a  family  settlement,  M/s.
     Bhushan Steel and Strips Ltd. (BSSL)  executed  a  separate  MOA  dated
     3.11.2005 in which  the  State  of  Orissa  had  identical  duties  and
     obligations as those contained in 2002 MOU. On 12.4.2007, BSSL was  re-
     named as BSL herein.  It  is  thus  claimed  that  BSL  is  identically
     situated as BPSL  and,  therefore,  the  benefit  given  to  BPSL  vide
     judgment dated 14.3.2012 needs to be extended to the BSL as  well.  The
     direction in the nature of mandamus is sought to implement the decision
     of 12th IIAC Meeting dated 27.8.2003 and terms of MOA  dated  3.11.2005
     against the State Government by making  appropriate  recommendation  to
     the Central Government  for  allotment  of  the  remaining  portion  in
     Thakurani RF Block A, District Keonjhar i.e. 601.500  hectares  applied
     while ML Application No. 882 and the areas applied vide ML  Application
     No.  1079  i.e.  722.30  hectares  approximately  in  village  Kadalia,
     Kuriyakudar, Mithirda etc. under Bonai sub-division, District Sundegarh
     to meet the captive requirements of BSL plants.
     9.     In essence, the petitioner wants same treatment as is  given  to
     BPSL and, therefore, has prayed for the extension  of  the  benefit  of
     judgment dated 12.3.2012 to BSL as well.
     WRIT PETITION (C) NO.  194 OF 2013
     10.    This Writ Petition is filed by Jindal Steel  and  Power  Limited
     (hereinafter referred to as 'Jindal Steel'). It had  entered  into  MOU
     with the State of Orissa on 8.5.2002. It is stated in the writ petition
     that this petitioner became an intervenor in C.A. No. 2790 of  2012  to
     protect its interest which has been duly taken note of in the  judgment
     dated 14.3.2012 in the following manner:-
           “Appearing for the Intervener, M/s. Jindal Steels Ltd., Mr. K.V.
           Vishwanathan, learned Senior Advocate, submitted that so long as
           any allotment made in favour of the Appellants did  not  impinge
           on the allotment made in favour of M/s. Jindal Steels  Ltd;,  it
           could have no grievance against a separate allotment being  made
           in favour of the Appellants.”
 11. It is pleaded that the case of Jindal Steel is even on a better footing
     for grant of mining lease, application for which  purpose  are  pending
     with the State of Orissa. It had also signed the MOU for setting up  an
     integrated Steel Plant wherein similar promise was made  by  the  State
     Government for grant of a mining lease. Additionally, Jindal Steel  had
     the advantage of being an earlier applicant for  the  mining  lease  in
     regard to Thakurani RF Block A area which was also a part of an MOU  by
     BPSL. It is further mentioned that 16 mining  lease  applications  were
     received in respect of the said area and the Director of Mines vide his
     report dated 8.11.2002 rejected all other applications except  that  of
     Jindal Steel herein, BPSL and three other applicants. In  the  case  of
     Jindal Steel, recommendation was for 264 hectares in Thakurani RF Block
     A as against 383 Hectare in respect of BPSL. It  is  also  stated  that
     even when recommendation in respect of BPSL in Thakurani area  is  made
     by  the  State  Government  and  approved  by  the  Union   of   India,
     recommendation  of  Jindal  Steel  is  still  pending  with  the  State
     Government. It is thus, pleaded that the case of the petitioner, Jindal
     Steel, is squarely covered by judgment dated 14.3.2012 passed  in  C.A.
     NO. 2790 of 2012 and benefit thereof be extended to this petitioner  as
     well.
     WRIT PETITION (C) NO. 837 OF 2013
     12.    This Writ Petition is filed by Shri Mahavir  Ferro  Alloys  Pvt.
     Ltd. It has also proposed to set up a   0.35  MTPA  Captive  Integrated
     Steel Plant with additional facilities and 60 MW Captive Power Plant in
     Sundargarh district had an overall investment of Rs. 435  crores.  This
     petitioner claims that pursuant to MOU  entered  into  with  the  State
     Government for grant of mining leases, it had submitted its application
     in this behalf. However, more than 10 years have elapsed but the  State
     Government has not recommended its case, primarily  because  of  status
     quo orders passed by this Court in C.A. NO. 2790 of 2012. It is pointed
     out that for this reason this petitioner has already filed I.A.  No.  2
     in I.A. NO. 14  of  2013  in  C.A.  NO.  290  of  2012.  Case  of  this
     petitioner, again, is that it is equally circumscribed  and  placed  as
     BPSL as well as Jindal Steel and, therefore, entitled to the  grant  of
     mining lease as done in favour of BPSL  by  this  Court  vide  judgment
     dated 14.3.2012.
 13. We have reproduced, hereinabove gist of the cases  filed  by  different
     parties to get the favour of the proceedings. It  becomes  obvious  and
     can be readily understood that in so far as BPSL is concerned, by means
     of Contempt Petition, it is seeking the enforcement of  the  directions
     contained in its favour in the judgment dated 14.3.2012 passed in  C.A.
     NO. 2790 of 2012. Three other parties  namely  BSL,  Jindal  Steel  and
     Mahavir Ferro Alloys (P) Ltd. have filed Writ Petitions  claiming  same
     relief as given to the BPSL vide judgment dated 14.3.2012 on the ground
     that they are placed in the similar or even better position  than  BPSL
     and, therefore, entitled to same treatment. Further, as already pointed
     out  above,  the  State  Government  has  ventured   to   exhibit   its
     helplessness in carrying out the directions contained in  the  judgment
     dated 14.3.2012 even qua the beneficiary of the  said  judgment  namely
     BPSL. In so far as other three writ petitioners are concerned, not only
     same difficulties are sought to be projected, it is also mentioned that
     are precluded from seeking same relief as given  to  BPSL  for  various
     reasons. That apart, even the maintainability  of  the  writ  petitions
     under Article 32 of the Constitution  filed  by  these  petitioners  is
     questioned. In such a scenario it is apposite to first  deal  with  the
     CCP filed by BPSL.
     CONTEMPT PETITION (C) NO. 374 OF 2012 In
     C.A. No. 2790 OF 2012


     14.    We have already narrated the gist of factual background in which
     BPSL approached the High Court and thereafter this Court for  grant  of
     mining leases of iron ore. As already mentioned,  in  the  MOU  entered
     into between  the  parties,  the  State  Government  had  committed  to
     recommend to the Central Government, for grant of iron ore mines to the
     BPSL for its use in the plant to be set up at Lapanga. In  this  behalf
     it was agreed to make the  following  recommendations  to  the  Central
     Government:-
           (a)   For grant of  96  million  tonnes  iron  ore  reserves  in
           Joda Barbil Sector of Keonjhar (Thakurani area)   for  50  years
           requirement of the plant.
           (b)   For additional 128 million tonnes of iron ore     reserves
           in Keora, District Sundergarh, to meet a     requirement of 1.6.
           million tonnes for 50 years.
     15.    It is not necessary to set out the  detailed  facts  which  have
     been noted in judgment dated 14.3.2012,  pertaining  to  the  grant  of
     permissions by various authorities  enabling  BPSL  to  get  the  land,
     electricity, permission for installation of a Captive Power Plant  etc.
     etc. Armed with those permission, the BPSL set up the plant in  Lapanga
     in the district of Sambalpur, Orissa. BPSL claims that is has  invested
     Rs. 25,000 crores in this project. It is  further  mentioned  that  for
     running of this steel  plant,  uninterrupted  supply  of  iron  ore  is
     essential. This plant was set up in a backward area of Orissa  persuant
     to the scheme of the State Government. It is for this reason  that  the
     State Government agreed to grant mining rights of  iron  ore  reserves,
     keeping in view a total requirement of 200 million tonnes over a period
     of 50 years for the smooth running of the said plant. For  this  reason
     MOU dated 15.5.2002 was entered into. Since the grant of  mining  lease
     is by the Central Government under the  Mining  Act,  State  Government
     which is a recommendatory authority had agreed to recommend the case of
     the BPSL. There was deadlock for some period because of infight  within
     Bhushan family. However, this impasse came to be resolved. Taking  note
     of these developments the Court was of the opinion that there were  two
     issues which arose for considerations namely:
           (a)   Whether the Memorandum  of  Understanding      dated  15th
           May, 2002 continues to subsist in      favour of the appellants?
           (b)    Whether  the  State  Government  is   obliged   to   make
           recommendations for the grant of iron ore mines    in  terms  of
           the stipulations contained in the      aforesaid  MOU dated 15th
           May, 2002 and    whether in respect of the areas which  had  not
           been notified under Rule 59(1), the State    Government can make
           a recommendation for  relaxation of Rule 59(1) under Rule 59(2).
     16.    The Court deliberated at length on these issues and  decided  in
     favour of BPSL holding that MOU  dated  15.5.2002  still  subsisted  in
     favour of the BPSL and also that State Government was under  obligation
     to make recommendations as per the said MOU. The most relevant part  of
     discussion, in this behalf, reads as under:
           “Pursuant to the MOU with Bhushan Limited, the State  Government
           had not only allotted land for the setting up of the steel plant
           at Lapanga, it had even extended all help for the  commissioning
           of the plant, which, in fact, had already  started  functioning.
           However, it is the claim made by BSSL under the MOU executed  on
           15th May, 2002, that had created obstructions in the setting  up
           of the steel plant at Lapanga. Despite having allotted land  and
           granted  sanction  to  Bhushan  Limited  to   take   steps   for
           construction of the said plant, it  was  subsequently  contended
           that the application filed by Bhushan Limited was premature  and
           could not, therefore, be acted  upon.  Specific  instances  have
           been mentioned hereinabove of the steps  taken  by  the  various
           departments in extending cooperation to Bhushan Limited  to  set
           up its steel plant at Lapanga. To now turn  around  and  take  a
           stand  that  the  application  made  by  Bhushan   Limited   was
           premature, is not only unreasonable, but  completely  unfair  to
           Bhushan Limited, who have already invested large sums  of  money
           in setting up the plant. The State Government had,  on  its  own
           , entered into the MOU with Bhushan Limited on 15th  May,  2002,
           and had even agreed to request the Central Government  to  allot
           mining areas and coal blocks  for  operating  the  steel  plant.
           Whatever differences that may have resulted on  account  of  the
           dispute within the Bhushan Group, which could have  led  to  the
           rethinking on the part of the State Government,  have  now  been
           laid to rest by virtue of the settlement arrived at between  the
           Bhushan Limited (now BPSL) and BSSL. The  State  Government  has
           also accepted the said position. In addition to the  above,  the
           action taken by the State Government appears to us to be  highly
           unreasonable and arbitrary and also  attracts  the  doctrine  of
           legitimate expectation. There is no denying the  fact  that  the
           Appellants have altered their position  to  their  detriment  in
           accordance with the MOU dated 15th May, 2002. whatever may  have
           been the arrangement subsequently arrived at between  the  State
           Government and BSSL, the original  MOU  dated  15th  May,  2002,
           continued to be in existence and remained operative”.
     17.    In so far as reserve  of  96  million  tonnes  of  iron  ore  in
     Thakurani mines are  concerned,  the  State  Government  had  made  the
     recommendation to the Central Government, which has also  approved  the
     same in favour of the BPSL. The dispute now relates to Keora mines  for
     a reserve of 128 million tonnes.
     18.    Respondents/ Contemners do not dispute (and in fact there is  no
     scope for any dispute) that the aforesaid directions contained  in  the
     judgment have become final. Review Petition  was  filed  by  the  State
     Government  but  unsuccessfully.  One  would,  therefore,  command  for
     obeying these directions. However,  the  State  Government/  Contemners
     have pleaded their  helplessness  by  narrating  certain  circumstances
     which are captured herein below.
           “(a)  These areas fall almost entirely within the areas notified
           on 23.8.1991 under Rule 59(1) of the   Mineral Concession Rules,
           1960. The validity of the notification  dated  23.8.1991  is  an
           issue in SLP(c)No. 31593 of 2010 and connected cases  which  are
           now listed for hearing on  17.01.2013  before  another  Division
           Bench of this Hon'ble Court.


           (b)   Further, it is seen that the applied area  is  overlapping
           with the applied area of  several  other  applicants,  including
           M/s. Larsen & Toubro Limited and M/s. Tata Iron  and  Steel  Co.
           Limited.
           (c)   It is also pointed out that earlier on 21.10.1997 an  area
           of 998.93 hectares overlapping with applied  area of  the  BPSL,
           was recommended in  favour  of  M/s  Larsen  &  Toubro  Ltd.  in
           puruance with the     said company. However, this recommendation
           was withdrawn for certain   reasons.  Thereafter,  even  revised
           ML/ PL application of M/s. Larsen and Toubro Ltd. Were rejected.
           The said company challenged the order of  rejection  before  the
           Revisional Authority  i.e.    Central  Government  which  passed
           orders  dated      10.7.2003  wherein  direction  is  given   to
           consider application of M/s.  Larsen  &  Toubro  Ltd.  Alongwith
           about 196 applications for  grant  of  mining  lease  and  after
           granting an  opportunity  of  hearing  to  all  the  applicants.
           However, BPSL is outside the 196 applications that  were  to  be
           considered afresh.
           (d)   M/s. Larsen and Toubro Ltd has  challenged  the  aforesaid
           orders of the Central Government by filing Writ Petition in  the
           High Court which was dismissed by the Single Judge of Delhi High
           Court. Appeal thereagainst was dismissed by the  Division  Bench
           on 3.7.2012. Order of the Division Bench of  the High  Court  is
           challenged by filing SLP (C) NO.  33812 of 2012 in which  notice
           has been issued  and  as  the  matter  is  sub-judice  in  those
           proceedings it is difficult to pass any orders qua      BPSL  at
           this stage.
           (e)   It is further pointed out  that  in  the  case  of  Sandur
           Mangnese (Supra) this Court has  considered  the  provisions  of
           Section 11(4) of  the  MMDR  Act  and  has  concluded  that  all
           applications filed over areas  notified under Rule 59(1) of  the
           Mineral   Concession   Rules,    1960    deserve    simultaneous
           consideration. As per the mandate of Section 11(4)       of  the
           MMDR Act, the State Government may grant a mining lease  over  a
           notified area to such one of the simultaneous  applicants  after
           considering the matters specified in sub-section  (3) of Section
           11.  The  process   of   simultaneous   consideration   of   the
           applications filed  over  Khajhurdihi  R.F.  In  Sundergarh  and
           Rakma, Marsuanand  Tiriba  of  Keonjhar  district  had  remained
           stalled due to the various stay  orders  passed  in  litigations
           concerning such area.  Subject    to the orders, if any,  passed
           by this Hon'ble  Court  in  this  application,  the  process  of
           simultaneous      consideration  of   applications   will   take
           considerable time in view of the large number     of overlapping
           applications  over  the  areas  in  question.  Each   of   these
           applicants is required to be given an  opportunity  of  personal
           hearing and credentials of these applicants are required  to  be
           evaluated for assessment  of  relative  merits  in     terms  of
           Section 11(3) of the MMDR Act.”
    19.    It is thus, argued that the developments narrated above and  the
    statutory mandate embodied in Section 11(4) of the MMDR Act, 1957  have
    come in the way of the Respondent State in implementing the final order
    and judgment dated 14.3.2012 in so far it relates to the Keora area  of
    Sundergarh district. It is also sought to be argued that  the  question
    of entitlement of the petitioner to the recommendation of mines in  the
    Keora area, which are almost entirely covered under notification issued
    under Rule 59(1) of MC Rules, 1960 with specific reference to  Sections
    11(4) and 11(3) of the MMDR Act was not raised in the Writ Proceedings/
    Civil Appeal.  During the course of the implementation of the order  of
    this Hon'ble Court dated 14.3.2012 passed in Civil Appeal No.  2790  of
    2012, the Respondent No. 1 is faced with the difficulties  with  regard
    to the Keora area as enumerated  above.  Hence,  this  application  for
    appropriate directions.
20. The question is as to whether such  a  plea  can  be  raised  to  avoid
    implementation of the directions contained in the judgment? Our  answer
    is in the negative, having regard to the categorical and  authoritative
    principle of law enunciated by various judgments of  this  Court.  From
    the reading of these judgments  one  can  comfortably  get  a  complete
    answer to the so-called difficulties feigned by the  State  Government/
    Contemners.
    21.    First judgment which needs to be noticed is in the case of  T.R.
    Dhananjaya v. J. Vasudevan; (1995) 5 SCC 619. The following  discussion
    contained in the said judgment squarely applies here:-
           “10.   When  this  order  was  passed,  what  remained  for  the
           respondent was only implementation of the order passed  by  this
           Court in furtherance of  the  action  taken  thereunder  by  the
           Corporation. It is now clear that instead  of  implementing  the
           order, an attempt has been made to circumvent the same and  deny
           the  benefits  to  the  petitioner.  As  stated   earlier,   the
           petitioner is a  Corporation  employee  and  the  stand  of  the
           Government appears to be to give benefit to their employees. So,
           an attempt has now been made to get into the rule  position  and
           to find whether the petitioner is eligible to be considered  for
           promotion to the  post  of  Executive  Engineer,  Superintending
           Engineer and Chief Engineer. It is now stated that according  to
           the  rules  the   petitioner   would   be   eligible   only   as
           superintending  engineer  and  not  as  Chief   Engineer.   When
           direction was given in LA. 3 of 1993, Government was a party  to
           the proceedings and it was never brought to our notice that  the
           petitioner was not eligible. On the  other  hand,  the  Division
           Bench of Karnataka High Court upheld the right of the petitioner
           which became final.
           11.   Question is whether it is open to the respondent  to  take
           at this stage this volte-face step. It is seen that all  through
           Government was a party, when the direction was given in LA.  No.
           3 filed by the petitioner, it was not brought to out notice that
           the petitioner was not eligible for promotion, in  contradiction
           with Dasegowda, or any other. When the claim inter se  had  been
           adjudicated and the claim of the petitioner had become final and
           that of Dasegowda was negatived, it is no  longer  open  to  the
           Government to go behind the order and truncate the effect of the
           orders passed by this Court by hovering over the  rules  to  get
           round the result, to legitimise legal alibi  to  circumvent  the
           orders passed  by  this  Court.  Thus,  it  is  clear  that  the
           concerned officers have deliberately made  concerted  effort  to
           disobey the orders passed by this court to deny the benefits  to
           the petitioner. So, we are left with no option but to hold  that
           the respondent has deliberately and wilfully, with an  intention
           to defeat the orders of this Court, passed the impugned order.”
    22.    Another judgment cited at the bar is Prithawi Nath Ram v.  State
    of Jharkhand and Others; (2004) 7 SCC 261. Para 8 of the said  judgment
    makes the following reading:
           “8.   If any party concerned is aggrieved by the order which  in
           its opinion is wrong or against rules or its  implementation  is
           neither  practicable  nor  feasible,  it  should  always  either
           approach the court that passed the order or invoke  jurisdiction
           of the appellate court. Rightness  or  wrongness  of  the  order
           cannot be urged in contempt proceedings.  Right  or  wrong,  the
           order has to be obeyed. Flouting an order  of  the  court  would
           render the party liable for  contempt.  While  dealing  with  an
           application for contempt the court cannot  traverse  beyond  the
           order, non-compliance with which is alleged. In other words,  it
           cannot say what should not have been done or  what  should  have
           been done. In cannot traverse beyond the order. It  cannot  test
           correctness  or  otherwise  of  the  order  or  give  additional
           direction or delete any  direction.  That  would  be  exercising
           review  jurisdiction  while  dealing  with  an  application  for
           initiation  of  contempt  proceedings.   The   same   would   be
           impermissible and indefensible. In that view of the matter,  the
           order of the High Court is set aside and the matter is  remitted
           for fresh consideration. It shall deal with the  application  in
           its proper perspective in accordance with law afresh. We make it
           clear  that  we  have  not  expressed  any   opinion   regarding
           acceptability or otherwise of the application for initiation  of
           contempt proceedings”.
    23.    This very principle has been  reiterated  by  in  Bihar  Finance
    Service H.C. Coop. Soc. Ltd. v. Gautam Goswami and Ors.; (2008)  5  SCC
    339 in the following words:
           “32.       While exercising the  said  jurisdiction  this  Court
           does not intend to re-open the  issues  which  could  have  been
           raised in the original proceeding nor shall it embark upon other
           questions including the plea of equities which  could  fall  for
           consideration only in the original proceedings. The Court is not
           concerned with as to whether the original  order  was  right  or
           wrong. The court must not take  a  different  view  or  traverse
           beyond  the  same.  It  cannot  ordinarily  give  an  additional
           direction or delete a direction issued. In short, it will not do
           anything  which  would  amount  to  exercise   of   its   review
           jurisdiction”.
    24.    We cannot lose sight of the fact that there is a judgment, inter
    parties, which has become final. Even when the Civil Appeal  was  being
    heard, certain other parties claiming  their  interest  in  these  very
    lands had moved intervention applications which were dismissed. At that
    time also it was mentioned that  there  are  195  applicants.  However,
    notwithstanding the same, this Court  issued  firm  directions  to  the
    State Government to recommend the case of the  petitioners  for  mining
    lease in both the areas. In view of such  categorical  and  unambiguous
    directions given in the judgment which has  attained  finality,  merely
    because another judgment has been delivered by  this  Court  in  Sandur
    Manganese case, cannot be a ground to undo the directions contained  in
    the judgment dated 14.3.2012. In so far as  law  laid  down  in  Sandur
    Manganese (Supra) is concerned, that may be applied and followed by the
    State Government in respect  of  other  applications  which  are  still
    pending.  However,  that  cannot  be  pressed  into  service  qua   the
    petitioner whose rights have been crystallised by the judgment rendered
    in its favour. It cannot  be  re-opened,  that  too  at  the  stage  of
    implementation of the said judgment.
    25.    We would like to place on record the arguments of learned Senior
    Counsel for the petitioner that the total area  under  notification  is
    731.67 sq. kms. and out of this 406 sq. km. is yet to be allotted.  The
    area which comes to the share of the petitioner under MOU is 13.91  sq.
    km.  which  is  barely  3  percent  of  406  sq.  km   and,   therefore
    recommendation by the State Government  in  favour  of  the  petitioner
    cannot be stalled or put to  naught  only  on  the  basis  of  inchoate
    applications, fate whereof is yet to be decided. It is also pointed out
    that in so far as the petitioners in other writ petitions are concerned
    area claimed by them is not overlapping  with  the  petitioner's  area.
    However, it may not even be necessary to go into these  contentions  in
    detail. Once we hold that the respondents are bound  to  implement  the
    direction contained in judgment dated 14.3.2012, in so far as the State
    Government is concerned, it is obliged to  comply  therewith  and  such
    matters, alongwith other relevant considerations, can be  left  to  the
    wisdom of the  Central  Government  while  taking  a  decision  on  the
    recommendation of the State Government.
    26.    In so far as intervention applications  by  Tatas  and  LNT  are
    concerned these are dismissed as non maintainable, in view of law  laid
    down in by this Court in Supreme Court  Bar  Association  v.  Union  of
    India & Anr.; (1998) 4 SCC 409;
           “42.  The contempt of court is  a  special  jurisdiction  to  be
           exercised sparingly and with caution whenever an  act  adversely
           affects the administration of justice or which tends  to  impede
           its course or tends to shake public confidence in  the  judicial
           institutions. This jurisdiction may also be exercised  when  the
           act complained of  adversely  affects  the  majesty  of  law  or
           dignity of the courts. The purpose of contempt  jurisdiction  is
           to uphold the majesty and dignity of the courts of law. It is an
           unusual type of jurisdiction combining “the jury, the judge  and
           the hangman” and it is so because the court is not  adjudicating
           upon any claim between litigating parties. This jurisdiction  is
           not exercised to protect the dignity of an individual judge  but
           to  protect   the   administration   of   justice   from   being
           [pic]maligned. In the general interest of the  community  it  is
           imperative that the authority of courts should not be imperilled
           and  there  should  be  no  unjustifiable  interference  in  the
           administration of justice. It is a matter between the court  and
           the  contemner  and  third  parties  cannot  intervene.  It   is
           exercised in a summary manner in aid of  the  administration  of
           justice, the majesty of law and the dignity of  the  courts.  No
           such act can be permitted which may have the tendency  to  shake
           the public confidence in the fairness and  impartiality  of  the
           administration of justice”.


     27.    As a consequence, we hold that the Respondents/  Contemners  are
     in contempt of orders dated 14.3.2012  passed  by  this  Court  in  not
     complying with the directions in respect of Keora area. However, we are
     giving  one  final  opportunity  to  them  to  purge  the  contempt  by
     transmitting requisite recommendations to the  Central  Government.  It
     would  be  for  the   Central   Government   to   consider   the   said
     recommendations on its own merits and in accordance with law.  In  case
     the recommendation is sent within one month from the date  of  copy  of
     receipt of this order, we propose not to take any  further  action  and
     the respondents/ contemners shall stand discharged from  this  Contempt
     Petition. However, in case the respondents do not purge in  the  manner
     mentioned above, it would be open to the petitioners to point  out  the
     same to this Court by moving appropriate application and in that  event
     the Contemners shall be proceeded against.
     28.    With this, I.A. No. 14 in C.A. NO. 2790 of 2012 and I.A.  No.  2
     in I.A. NO. 14 in C.A. NO. 2790 of 2012 also stand disposed of.
     Writ Petitions
     29.    In so far as three writ petitions are concerned we need  not  go
     into the detailed arguments advanced by Counsel for the petitioners  in
     those petitions. As already noted above, for their own reasons all  the
     three petitioners pray that the same directions as given in  favour  of
     BPSL in judgment dated 14.3.2012, be passed in  their  cases  as  well.
     This they claim on the basis of  parity  with  BPSL.  However,  we  are
     constrained to hold that, on the basis of such an argument, they cannot
     approach this court directly under Article 32 of  the  Constitution  by
     filing writ petitions. It has already been  authoritatively  determined
     that  no  fundamental  right  of  the  petitioners  is   violated.   No
     fundamental right is violated by non-granting  of  mining  lease.  (See
     (2012) 11 SCC 1 and (1973) 1 SCC 584).
     30.    That apart, there are few other aspects, aptly  pointed  out  by
     Mr.  L.  Nageswara  Rao,  learned  ASG,  which  come  in  the  way   of
     maintainability of the instant petitions.  He,  inter  alia,  submitted
     that atleast in respect of applications which are still pending and yet
     to be decided, judgment in Sandur Manganese (Supra) shall  have  to  be
     applied as it does not remain virgin area, which was the position  when
     the case of BPSL was decided. He had made various other submissions  on
     merit as well. Without going into all these issues,  we  dismiss  these
     petitions giving liberty to the petitioners to approach the High  Court
     in the first instance and/ or any other forum which  is  available,  as
     per law. We make it clear  that  in  so  far  as  these  petitions  are
     concerned we have not dealt with the issues  on  merits.  Wherever  the
     petitions are filed, it would be open to the said forum  to  deal  with
     the question as to whether the petitioners would  be  entitled  to  the
     benefit of judgment dated 14.3.2012 passed in the case of BPSL or  not.
     All other issues  are  also  kept  open  to  be     agitated  in  those
     proceedings. Writ petitions are dismissed with liberty as aforesaid.
                                         …................................J.
                                                     [Surinder Singh Nijjar]






                                         …................................J.
                                                                [A.K. SIKRI]


     New Delhi
     April 22, 2014



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