The Rajasthan High Court imposed a Cost of Rs.50,000/- on the Petitioner and dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that the expression of interest vide notice dated 04.08.2022 is for grant of mining lease without undertaking any survey and acquisition proceedings.
The counsel for the respondents however brought the attention of the Court to Clause 9(iv) of the Expression of Interest which reads as under:-
“9. Guidelines for prospective Bidders:
(iv) The successful bidders shall facilitate RSMML in the acquisition of the land within the lease area for mining and RSMML shall pay land acquisition cost as per the Government approved rates to the Khatedars. Alternatively, the successful bidder shall facilitate RSMML in obtaining consent from land owners and RSMML shall bear compensation charges at mutually agreed terms and price between RSMML and the owners.”
The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Justice Kuldeep Mathur noted that it is quite clear that the notice only seeks to invite bids and the successful bidder will only facilitate Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals limited (RSMML) in the acquisition of the land within the lease area for mining and the RSMML shall pay the land acquisition cost as per the Government approved rates to the Khatedars.
It has also been clearly stated that the successful bidder shall facilitate RSMML in obtaining consent from the land owners and RSMML shall bear the compensation charges at mutually agreed terms and price between the RSMML and the owners.
The Bench further noted that the lease was earlier granted to a private entrepreneur and later on the lease has been transferred in favour of the instrumentality of the State .
Thus the Bench observed that this PIL has been filed without proper research and is a calculated attempt to mislead the Court by misusing the forum of public interest litigation.
“Therefore, this PIL is dismissed with a cost of Rs.50,000/-. The cost shall be deposited within a period of one month failing which the recovery proceedings shall be drawn against the petitioners”, the order reads.