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M/s. Shanti Sugar Industries Thru' A.K. Maheshwari v. Union Of India Thru' Secretary, Ministry Of Consumer Affairs - WRIT - C No. 11916 of 2006  RD-AH 4723 (28 February 2006)
Court No. 34
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 11916 of 2006
M/s. Shanti Sugar Industries,
Union of India & Ors,.
Hon. Dr. B.S. Chauhan, J.
Hon. Dilip Gupta, J.
This writ petition has been filed for a direction upon the Chief Director (Sugar), Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and P.D., Department of Food and P.D., Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi to decide the application dated 11th May, 2005 filed by the petitioner.
The petitioner claims to be running Khandsari Unit in village Kareem Nagar Pargana Dara Nagar, Tehsil and district Bijnor, which is outside the reserved area of Sugar Mills running in district Bijnor. Pursuant to the Incentive Scheme framed by the Central Government in 1997, the petitioner submitted an application on 11th May, 2003 to the Chief Director (Sugar) for permitting the petitioner to change the process of manufacture from Open Pan Process to Vacuum Pan Technology and grant the No Objection Certificate/ License. The petitioner also submitted a letter dated 17th August, 2004 making reference to the earlier letter dated 11th May, 2003 and also requested for rejection of the claim setup by M/s. Bajaj Hindustan Ltd., for setting up a factory at Bhillai which was only 12.3 KMs. from village Kareem Nagar Uledha on the ground that it had violated the press note dated 31st August, 1998 issued by the Government of India.
M/s. Bajaj Hindustan Ltd. also submitted an application for setting up of a sugar factory at village Bilal, Tehsil Haldour, district Bijnor.
The Chief Director (Sugar) by his order dated 30th November, 2004/1st December, 2004 passed the following order:-
"(a) The IEM dated 5.4.2004 of M/s. Bajaj Hindustan Ltd. has primacy over the two IEMs filed by M/s. Shanti Sugar Industries and/or Shri A.K. Maheswari;
(b) The IEMs filed by M/s. Shanti Sugar Industries and/or Shri A.K. Maheswari are rendered infructuous and they are directed to modify their IEMs in consonance with the Press Note 1 of 1997 dated 10.1.1997, Press Note 6 of 1997 dated 28.5.1997 and Press Note 12 of 1998 dated 31.8.1998.
(c) No incentive to Khandsari unit of M/s. Shanti Sugar Industries is accorded."
It has been stated in the petition that after the aforesaid order came to the knowledge of the petitioner it filed an application on 11th May, 2005 before the Chief Director (Sugar) for reconsideration/recall of the aforesaid order dated 30th November, 2004/1st December, 2004 and thereafter various other reminders were also sent but since no order was passed on the said application, the present petition has been filed for a direction to the Chief Director (Sugar) to decide the application.
We have heard Sri Anil Sharma learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri K.C. Sinha learned Assistant Solicitor General of India for respondent nos. 1 and 2 and Sri V.K. Upadhayaya and Sri Kunal Ravi Singh for the respondent no. 3 M/s. Bajaj Hindustan Ltd.
The aforesaid facts clearly indicates that the sole prayer made in this petition is for deciding the application dated 11th May, 2005 which has been filed by the petitioner for reconsideration/recall of the order dated 30th November, 2004/1st December, 2004 passed by the Chief Director (Sugar). Learned counsel for the petitioner has not been able to point any provision under which such an application was maintainable and in the absence thereof, we fail to understand how any relief can be granted to the petitioner. It was for the petitioner to have challenged the order dated 30th November, 2004/1st December, 2004, but that has not been done.
Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that no opportunity had been granted to him by the Chief Director (Sugar) before passing the order. Sri V.K. Upadhayaya learned counsel appearing for the respondents has placed the aforesaid order before us and has contended that from a bare reading of the order it is clear that more than ample opportunities had been granted to the petitioner but it failed to avail the said opportunities and, therefore, it is not open to it to contend that the principles of natural justice had been violated.
We find considerable force in the contention advanced by the learned counsel for the respondents. In paragraph-4 of the order it has been clearly mentioned that the letter dated 24th September, 2004 was issued to the petitioner advising it to submit certain information and they were also directed to appear for personal hearing on 8th October, 2004. On 8th October, 2004 only the representative of M/s. Bajaj Hindustan Ltd., appeared but no representative of the petitioner appeared. The Chief Director (Sugar) then issued a Registered letter dated 8.10.2005 on 11th October, 2004 granting the petitioner another opportunity to place oral submissions together with all documentary evidence and written submissions on any working day between 11th and 21st October, 2004 failing which it would be presumed that it had nothing further to submit and necessary order would be passed on the basis of the fact and submissions on record. In spite of the aforesaid letter, the petitioner did not respond. It is in these circumstances that the order was passed after examining the records. It has been stated in the petition that the petitioner did not receive the letter dated 24th September, 2004 or the letter dated 8th October, 2004. The records indicate that the letter dated 8th October, 2004 was sent by Registered Post on 11th October, 2004. It was for the petitioner, therefore, to have obtained information from the Post Office as to whether the letter was actually sent or not and mere denial of having not received the said letter does not serve the purpose. Thus, in our considered opinion, it was for the petitioner to have availed of the opportunities granted to it by the Chief Director (Sugar) and it does not lie in its mouth to now contend that the principles of natural justice had been violated.
We are further of the considered opinion that the petition suffers from inordinate laches. The order was passed on 30th November, 2004/1st December, 2004 while this petition was filed on 23rd February, 2006. Sri V.K. Upadhayaya learned counsel appearing for the private respondent no. 3 M/s. Bajaj Hindustan Ltd. has stated that pursuant to the order passed by the Chief Director (Sugar) their plant has been established. The petitioner, for reasons best known to it, has deliberately slept over the matter for a considerable period of time and on this account also no relief can be granted to the petitioner.
For all the reasons stated, there is no merit in this petition. It is, accordingly, dismissed.
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