Hindustan Zinc Ltd Vs. Bhagwan Singh Bhati & Ors  INSC 400 (10 March 2008)
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT & P. SATHASIVAM CIVIL APPEAL Nos. 2869-2876 OF 2005 with Civil Appeal No. 7424/2005 Dr.
ARIJIT PASAYAT, J
1. Challenge in these appeals is to the order passed by a Division Bench of
the Rajasthan High Court dismissing the Civil Special Appeals filed by the
appellant. The appeals were directed against the order of learned Single Judge
2. The respondents had filed the writ petitions seeking directions to the
present appellants for giving employment to members of the families of persons
whose lands were acquired at the instance of appellant M/s. Hindustan Zinc Ltd.
According to them, there was an agreement with the company whereby the
company had agreed to give compensation for the land acquired and also to give
employment to one member of the family of the land owners.
3. The learned Single Judge taking note of the submissions of the company
that there was no such agreement for giving employment but in view of the
policy some preference was to be given, disposed of the writ petitions. It was
the stand of the company that the only direction that is to be given was to
consider cases of the writ petitioners in consonance with the applicable rules of
the company. The High Court referred to an earlier order and allowed the
4. Stand of the present appellant was that there was no such agreement as
contended. In fact the document which has been produced to project the claim
that there was any agreement to give employment as claimed was a doctored one.
The Division Bench did not attach any importance to the same and directed
that in view of the earlier decision dated 21st November, 1996, the Writ
Petitioners were entitled to the relief claimed.
5. In support of the appeals, learned counsel for the appellant submitted
that two types of agreements were entered into for acquisition of land. One
category related to the land acquired for the plant and the other for the
residential colonies. So far as the land acquired for plant is concerned there
was a specific clause i.e. Clause 6 which read as follows:
"Those cultivators whose land is being acquired, one member of the
family of that cultivator or his legal heirs shall be given employment according
to his qualification by Hindustan Zinc in its Institution."
6. It is pointed out that so far as the land acquired for the residential
colonies is concerned there was no stipulation and fraudulently a para was
inserted which did not even bear the signature of any representative of the
company. Though this document was produced before the High Court, the same was
totally ignored. It is further pointed out that even for the lands acquired for
the plant is concerned, if one family member has been given employment, no
further claim can be entertained. The High Court did not also take note of the
fact that the writ petitions were filed after about a decade. The land was
acquired sometime in 1988 whereas the writ petitions were filed in 1998. In
view of the Central Government's directives, employment can be given only as
per the guidelines.
The High Court has completely lost sight of these facts.
7. In response, learned counsel for the respondents submitted that since in
one case relief has been granted by application of parity, the respondents were
also entitled to similar relief.
8. It appears that various points urged by the appellant have not been taken
note of; more particularly the stand that the document relied upon i.e. the
purported agreement was a fabricated one and there was an insertion
un authorizedly by manipulation. It is to be noted that the factual scenario of
the order on which the Division Bench of the High Court placed reliance was
rendered in a factually different scenario. It is also stated that reliance
should not have been placed on the order in a routine manner.
9. The High Court has not indicated as to how the factual scenario is
similar. No finding has also been recorded on the stand that the writ petition
not only was belated but also was founded on a fabricated document. It is
therefore appropriate to set aside the impugned order of the High Court and
remit the matter to it for fresh consideration in accordance with law.
The High Court is requested to explore the possibility of disposing of the
appeal by the end of July, 2008.
10. The appeals are allowed to the aforesaid extent.