Union of India Vs. Shri Puranmal Lalchand Mundra & Anr  INSC 485
(2 April 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.Patnaik, R.C. (J)
1996 SCALE (3)506
have heard learned counsel on both sides.
respondents had applied for renewal of the licence under the Salt Act. The
appellant insisted upon the respondents for grant of renewal of the licence
either to concede to the title of the land of the Government or to obtain any
lease from the owners. Challenging the order, the respondents filed the writ
petitions in the High Court. In similar cases, the Division Bench of the Bombay
High Court directed that the appellant would not insist upon conceding to the
title to the property. But appropriate authority was directed to dispose of the
pending matter on title in appeal. Till then the direction was issued to grant
renewal of the licence subject to the result in the appeal.
similar matters have come up, this Court in two cases where the title of the licences
were upheld by the primary authority but appeals are pending, had directed that
pending disposal of the appeals, renewal of the licences under Salt Act would
be granted subject to the result in the appeals. In other cases, this Court
directed the respondents to make application before the competent Authority
namely, the District Collector who was directed to dispose of the application
whether the respondent has title to the property. This Court also directed to
consider the statutory vesting of the salt lands in the State and also all
other relevant documents that may be filed by the respondents in the
adjudication. A further direction was issued to the appellant to file the
objections before the original authority was directed to dispose of the matter
after hearing parties within a period of six months from the date of the
receipt of that order In this case, the latter situation arises, namely, the
respondents had not filed any application before any authority to establish
their title. It is settled law that the respondents must be either the owner or
the lessee from the owner to seek renewal of the licence.
view of the fact that the title is yet to be decided, the respondents are
directed to make an application before the District Collector. The District Collector
is directed to enquire whether the respondents have title to the property
taking into account the statutory vesting under the provisions of the Act as
also any other documents to be produced by the respondents or the State
Government or the appellant, as the case may be After hearing the parties and
giving opportunity, the matter will be disposed of within a period of six
months from the date of the receipt of this order Until then, the appellant is
directed to renew the licence under the Salt Act. It will be subject to the
result in those title suits.
appeal is accordingly disposed of, No costs.