Allahabad High Court: This petition was filed before the Division Bench of Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava, JJ. challenging the order passed by District Magistrate, Banda where the claim of petitioner and other leaseholders with regard to grant of extension of mining lease for the ‘obstructed period’ was rejected.

Facts of the case were such that petitioner’s work was obstructed in absence of requisite environment clearance certificate and later the obstruction was removed on submission of the same but by then the time period of lease for three years was over. In exercise of powers under Rule 23(1) of the U.P. Minor Minerals (Concession) Rules, 1963 notification was issued by which lease was given by auction cum tender. Petitioner prayed the Court to extend the lease for the period when the mining act was obstructed but the same was rejected by District Magistrate. Hence, this writ petition was filed. Respondent had referred to a catena of cases where a petition for extension of the period of the lease were rejected. Court mentioned that no such permission to continue with mining activity can be given where lease has outlived its life. Rule 68 of the Rules mentioned above was referred to by which the State Government had the discretion to grant relaxation.

High Court was of the view that power to grant relaxation under Rule 68 could not be granted in the present case as the same can only be invoked where State Government is of the opinion that in the interest of mineral development it is necessary to do so, and passes an order in writing with reasons. Therefore, due to lack of any specific provision to extend the lease, this petition was dismissed. [Arti Dwivedi v. State of U.P., 2019 SCC OnLine All 1811, Order dated 18-02-2019]

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