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Total No. of Cases: 4

2016 SCCL.COM 101(Case No: Civil Appeal No. 3783 of 2016)
Delhi Development Authority Appellant versus M/s Anant Raj Agencies Pvt. Ltd. Respondent
Date of Decision(mm/dd/yy): 4/12/2016.
Judge(s): Hon'ble Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Hon'ble Justice Arun Mishra.
Subject Index: Renewal of lease – the Delhi Improvement Trust vide lease deed granted lease of plot no.2, Jhandewalan “E” Block, Delhi in favour of original lessee , however, the DDA terminated the lease of the said land on account of non-observation of the terms and conditions contained in the lease deed – the order passed by the High Court holding that acceptance of rent by the DDA pursuant to a demand made by it amounts to a renewal of lease in respect of the property in question – in challenge – the property in question, vested in the DDA, is a Nazul land and as per clause III(b) of the lease deed and Sections 21 and 22 of the DD Act read with Rule 43 of the Nazul Land Rules there cannot be an automatic renewal of lease in favour of the original lessee once it stands terminated by efflux of time and also by issuing notice terminating the lease. Since, the power conferred by the DD Act upon DDA to grant lease includes renewal of lease and in the absence of such a renewal of lease of the property in question in favour of the original lessee, as required in law, there cannot be an automatic renewal of the same in his favour – the sale of the property in question to give effect to the compromise decree in aforesaid suit is void ab initio in law for the reason that the original lessee, in the absence of renewal of lease in his favour himself had no right, title or interest, at the time of execution of sale deed, in respect of the property in question, thus, the very concept of conversion of leasehold rights to freehold rights is not applicable to the fact situation – the impugned judgment and decree of the High Court affirming the judgments of the First Appellate Court and the Trial Court set aside – appeal allowed. Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 – section 7 – the original lessee has been in unauthorised occupation of the property in question for around 30 years (till he executed a sale deed in favour of the respondent) and the respondent has been illegally inducted in possession of the same, by the original lessee, who himself was in unauthorised possession of the property. For around 17 years the respondent has been enjoying the property in question without any right, title or interest. Thus, both are liable to pay the damages for unauthorised occupation.

2016 SCCL.COM 109(Case No: Writ Petition (C) No. 382 of 2014)
Centre for Public Interest Litigation Petitioner versus Union of India and others Respondents
Date of Decision(mm/dd/yy): 4/8/2016.
Judge(s): Hon'ble Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Hon'ble Justice A.K. Sikri and Hon'ble Justice R. Banumathi.
Subject Index: Unified Licence fee/entry fee – the petitioner challenges the decision of the Government of India, taken sometime in March 2013, allowing voice telephony to respondent No. 2 on payment of Rs.1,658 crores entry fee. Allegation of the petitioner is that the aforesaid amount at which the license for voice telephony is granted to R-2 is a pittance inasmuch as in normal course grant of this license would have fetched a whopping sum of Rs.25000 crores approximately, hence, an undue favour is given to R-2 by charging abysmally less entry fee and demanding much lesser SUC, thereby causing loss of revenue to the Government over 20 years license period – the decision of the Government permitting migration of telecom licenses to UL regime is valid, legal and without any blemish. Once a policy decision is taken to allow such a migration to all those who were holding BWA spectrum, R-2 also became entitled to avail the benefit of the said decision – the license is delinked from the spectrum and having auctioned spectrum by allowing those who did not possess license to bid, it became necessary for the Government of India to come out with a regime for grant of licenses for providing various telecom services. A policy decision was taken, for migration to new telecom service license, i.e., Unified License (UL) for ISP licensees with BWA spectrum and in its wisdom, this decision facilitated those having data services to acquire license thereby covering voice-telephony as well – there is no discrimination on the part of the government authorities nor it aim at undue favoritism to R-2. As per the new policy/regime, R-2 was eligible to apply for UL from BWL spectrum, therefore, it cannot be treated as a case of back door entry of R-2 – the fee of Rs. 1,658 crores charged from R-2 is in no way less or that it has caused any wrongful loss to the Government and wrongful gain to R-2 or that the Government would have fetched much more price – the decision, namely, SUC be fixed at 1% AGR was based on relevant considerations not only by TRAI, rather, there was an in depth examination of this recommendation of the TRAI by Government before accepting the same – writ petition dismissed.

2016 SCCL.COM 102(Case No: Civil Appeal Nos. 3608-3610 of 2016)
State of Kerela and others Appellants versus M/s Kerala Rare Earth and Minerals Ltd. and others Respondents
Date of Decision(mm/dd/yy): 4/8/2016.
Judge(s): Hon'ble Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Hon'ble Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Hon'ble Justice R. Banumathi.
Subject Index: T.S. THAKUR, CJI. Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 – the Government of Kerala sanctioned the grant of mining leases for Ilmenite, Rutile, Leucoxene, Zircon and Sillimanite (non-scheduled mineral) for a period of 20 years and was preceded by the approval of the Government of India, however, shortly after the issue of the sanction order, the State Government by another order addressed to the respondent-company stating in no uncertain terms that the Government of Kerala did not consider it necessary to grant mining leases for mineral sand to private parties – writ petitions filed – the High Court quashed the order by which further action in the matter was stayed by the Government with a direction to the Government to consider the applications pending with it in accordance with law – the appeal – whether the State Government was justified in declining the applications for grant of leases in favour of the respondent-company on the ground that the mineral wealth found in the coastal regions of the State was vested in the State Government and that it was in exercise of its right of ownership over the said deposits entitled to reserve in its own favour or in favour of State owned companies or corporations the right to exploit such deposits – to consider – there was no reservation made in favour of any State owned corporation or agency for the minerals in question and that is perhaps the reason why the Government of India had granted approval to the State Governments recommendations on some of the applications filed by the respondents. While the State Government is the owner of the mineral deposits in the lands which vest in the Government, the Parliament has by reason of the declaration made in Section 2 of the 1957 Act acquired complete dominion over the legislative field covered by the said legislation – the State Government have not issued any notification of reservation in terms of Section 17A, the Industrial Policy -2007 of the Kerala with the approval of the Central Government specifying boundaries of the area and mineral or minerals in respect of which such areas will be reserved, thus, the State Government does not have the effect of making a valid reservation within the comprehension of Section 17A – appeals dismissed. R. BANUMATHI, J . Reservation – of mining of beach sand along coastal stretches for exploitation of minerals-ilmenite, rutile,leucoxene, zircon (and sillimanite- non scheduled mineral) by State/Central Public Sector Undertakings – in question – the State has a discretion to grant or refuse to grant any mining lease and no person can claim any right in any land belonging to the Government or in any mines except the rights created under MMDR Act and the Mineral Concession Rules – the Supreme Court held that the State Government being owner of the minerals lying within its territory by virtue of the powers conferred under Sections 10 and 17A(2) and having regard to the aforesaid clauses in the National Policy granting liberty to the State to select the companies/entrepreneurs of its choice for setting up projects/ plants for exploitation of beach sand minerals, the policy of the State Government, reserving the area for mining of the mineral sand done through State/Central Public Sector Undertakings cannot be said to be in derogation of MMDR Act and MC Rules. It cannot be contended that the State has no legislative competence and the Executive has no power to frame a policy reserving the area for exploitation of beach sand mineral by State/Central Public Sector Undertakings – the State Government’s decision to reserve mining lease of beach sand minerals to State/Central Public Sector Undertakings is stated to be in larger public interest and the policy adopted by the State of Kerala is well in consonance with the National Mineral policy – Prior approval of the Central Government before reserving any area by the State Government for the public sector undertaking is not required and the State Government may seek approval of the Central Government even after the framing of the policy – the State cannot be faulted for the alleged “institutional insubordination”, as observed by the High Court – impugned common judgment of the High Court set aside – appeals allowed. ORDER: In view of the majority of opinion, the appeals fail and are dismissed.

2016 SCCL.COM 103(Case No: Civil Appeal No. 3486 of 2016)
Narayan Appellant versus Babasaheb and others Respondents
Date of Decision(mm/dd/yy): 4/5/2016.
Judge(s): Hon'ble Justice Madan B. Lokur and Hon'ble Justice N.V. Ramana.
Subject Index: Limitation Act, 1963 – Article 60 – Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 – transfer of property by the guardian of ward – the plaintiff/respondents 1 to 5 filed suit against defendants/appellants seeking the relief of partition and for a declaration that the sale deed dated 20.01.1982 and 28.11.1988 executed by defendant No.2 in favour of defendant No.1 are not binding and to set aside the same and also for recovery of possession of the Suit schedule property and for mesne profits – whether the Suit filed in the year 1989 for setting aside the sale deed dated 20.01.1982 is governed under which Article of the Limitation Act and whether the same is within limitation or not – to consider – the transaction which takes place in the name of the minor in contravention of the 1956 Act and which is not done for legal necessity, such transaction is voidable and unless such a transaction is sought to be impeached or set aside, the question of recovery of possession of that property does not arise – the Supreme Court opined that a quondam minor plaintiff challenging the transfer of an immovable property made by his guardian in contravention of Section 8(1)(2) of the 1956 Act and who seeks possession of property can file the Suit only within the limitation prescribed under Article 60 of the Act. When one of several persons who are jointly entitled to institute a Suit or make an application for the execution of the decree and a discharge can be given without the concurrence of such person, time will run against all of them but when no such discharge can be given, time will not run against all of them until one of them becomes capable of giving discharge – appeal dismissed.

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