Union of India & Ors, Vs. M/S Sharma
Coal Co  INSC 728 (10
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
1996 SCALE (5)199
10TH DAY OF MAY, 1996 Present:
Mr.Justice K.Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr.Justice G.B.Pattanaik C.B.Babu, B Krishna
Prasad and P.Parmeshwaran, Advs. for the appellants.
O R D
following Order of the Court was delivered:
Union of India & Ors. V. M/s. Sharma
O R D
the respondents have been served, none appears either in person or through the
counsel. We have heard counsel for the appellant.
appeal arises from the order of the Division Bench of the Guwahati High Court
in a batch of writ petitions being Civil Rule No.1153/83 and batch passed on dated
July 30, 1990. The Railway administration had
prepared a preferential traffic scheme (PTS), by general order No.71
categorizing the priority articles for carriage by railways and allotted
different priorities which are made in alphabetic orders A to E. Sponsored coal
movement was mentioned in Category C priority and priority E would include
non-sponsored coal. Subsequently by proceedings dated March 1, 1989 the Railways modified its earlier
scheme and issued general PTS Order No.77 with effect from April 1, 1989 under which priorities were redetermined.
It would appear that subsequently non-priorities coal item E was deleted from
the priority scheme. When the respondents and others challenged its validity on
the anvil of Art.19 ( g) of the Constitutions the Division Bench of the High
Court without disturbing the validity of the order had given direction
observing that after all the priorities enumerated in the scheme are exhausted
and if the wagons remains unutilised, the unutilised wagons may be kept at the
disposal of non-priority articles for carriage. Thus this appeal came to be
filed by special leave.
seen that in order No.75 priorities A to E were made which included sponsored
coal within the meaning of the order and non-sponsored coal within the meaning
of the order and non-sponsored coal provided in priority E for allotment of
wagon. With regard to non-Priority item E, it subsequently deleted as mentioned
in paragraph E of the special leave petition which reads as the Order No.77
relates to PTS for allotment of wagons which came into force from 16.7.86. but
non sponsored coat referred to in priority E of PTS No.75 was removed". It
would thus be seen that non- priority coal came to be removed from the
priorities mentioned in Items A to E. Therefore, the High Court obviously was
of the intention to direct that if after the wagons allotted for movement to
priority articles remained available, the same may be allotted for non-priority
articles for carriage. We do not think that there is any impediment in the way
of administration to give such allotment, instead of keeping them idle. It
would be in commercial interest of the Railway administration.
appeal is accordingly disposed of. No costs.