Orissa Minor Minerals Concession Rules- Rule 51(7) Doesn’t Apply Where An Invalid Solvency Certificate Was Produced During Bid Submission: SC
The Supreme Court has observed that the Rule 51 (7) of the Orissa Minor Minerals Concession Rules (OMMCR) shall be applicable in case of breach of any condition of the lease deed and not in a case of producing invalid solvency certificate at the time of submission of the bid.
The bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna made this observation while dealing with an appeal challenging the High Court’s Order setting aside the Order cancelling the lease which was in favour of the original writ petitioner.
The High Court had set aside the Order cancelling the lease on the grounds that the order passed by the Collector cancelling the lease deed was without authority under the law as under Rule 51(7) of the OMMCR, 2016 and that the original solvency certificate produced by the original writ petitioner, produced along with the bid was issued in his favour by mistake.
Senior Advocate R. Basant appeared for appellant and Senior Advocate A.N.S. Nadkarni appeared for the Respondent.
The Supreme Court noted that the case is not a case of breach of any condition of the lease deed, but a case of producing invalid solvency certificate at the time of submission of the bid. Therefore, Rule 51(7) shall not be applicable at all to the facts of the case at hand.
The Court further observed that it appeared that the original writ petitioner deliberately and willfully obtained the solvency certificate in his own name though the property belonged to the Trust and the solvency certificate was required to be issued in the name of the Trust.
“He misused/used the solvency certificate dated 07.12.2017 for his own benefit illegally and submitted the same along with his bid and on the basis of the said solvency certificate he got the lease bid. Under the circumstances, the bid by using the solvency certificate dated 07.12.2017 by respondent no.1 was nonest and void ab initio and therefore, the lease in his favour on the basis of such solvency certificate was rightly cancelled by the Collector.”, the Court held.
Thus the Court observed that the High Court committed a serious error in quashing and setting aside the order cancelling the lease deed which was in favour of the original writ petitioner.
Accordingly the Court set aside the Order passed by the High Court and restored the Order passed by the Collector. “On the impugned judgment and order being set aside the fresh lease deed in favour of respondent no.1 also deserves to be set aside and is accordingly set aside.”, the Court concluded.
Cause Title- Debidutta Mohanty v. Ranjan Kumar Pattnaik & Ors