Union of India & Ors Vs. S.J. Thanawalla
& Anr  INSC 317 (26 February 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
1996 SCALE (2)909
O R D
appeal by special leave arises from the order of the Division Bench of the
Bombay High Court made on July 29, 1991
in Writ Petition No.2333/83. The admitted position is that one Hanumanbux had
been running salt works at Bombay.
established salt factory at Bhandup Circle
on land admeasuring 138 acres 17 gunthas and seabed etc. on the basis of a
lease which was due for renewal on July 1, 1983.
notice was issued by the appellants on June 30, 1983 calling upon the licensees to
execute a lease deed admitting the title of the appellants, they resisted the
action in the above writ petition. The High Court in the impugned order stated
that whether the respondents are owners of the property or a lessees and
consequently whether the Government can compel the licensees to concede to
their title are jurisdictional issues. Since the Collector had already decided
that the respondents had title to the property, which is a condition for grant
of a valid license, it was for the Government to consider the renewal of the
licensees provided all the requisite conditions for renewal of the licence were
complied with. We are informed that the appeal has already been filed against
the order of the Collector and is pending. It is for the Government to have the
matter disposed of.
not in dispute that for grant of renewal, title to the property or title under
a lease is a condition precedent. The Government asserted its title to the
property and called upon the respondents to accept their title and have a
license issued from them. On the other hand, the respondents asserted to have
title to the property and claimed that they had a right under the order passed
by the Collector which is subject matter in the appeal. The High Court,
therefore, rightly has not gone into the question of title and relegated the
parties to the decision of the appellate Tribunal and to take action in
furtherance thereof. The view taken by the High Court, therefore, cannot be
said to be unjustified on the facts of the case. However, it will be subject to
the result in the appeal and the action of the appellants would be in
then, the interim order passed by the High Court would continue. It would be
open to the appellants to have the appeal disposed of as expeditiously as
possible and have the matter decided accordingly.
appeal is dismissed. No costs.