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Hindalco Industries Ltd v. State Of U.P. & Others - WRIT TAX No. - 1629 of 2007 [2007] RD-AH 18451 (29 November 2007)

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Writ Petition (Tax) No. 1629 of 2007

Hon'ble Sushil Harkauli, J.

Hon'ble Rakesh Sharma, J.

The question involved in this writ petition is whether 'ash' (fly ash) produced by burning coal is a 'forest produce' within the meaning of section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Coal has been held to be a 'forest produce' being a product of mines and quarries. However, whether a product of that product would still continue to remain a 'forest produce' is the issue which arises for consideration.

In the decision of Suresh Lohiya Versus State of Maharashtra and another, (1996) 10 SCC 397, while bamboo was held to be a forest produce but the items produced from bamboo which were commercially different from bamboo and which in common parlance were understood as a distinct product were held not to be included within the expression 'forest produce'.

Prima facie, the distinction between the bamboo and its products is similar to the distinction between the coal and fly ash. Therefore, prima facie the decision of the Conservator of Forest, Mirzapur that the coal is a 'forest produce' appears to be incorrect.

Standing counsel may file a counter affidavit within a month.

Till further orders, the Forest Department will not demand/charge transit fee on the transportation of the dry fly ash from Renusagar Power Plant of the petitioner to the units of M/s. Prism Cement Limited and M/s. Jaiprakash Associates Limited.

It may be mentioned here that fly ash is also considered to be a health hazard and its utilisation and earliest disposal is essential.

Dated : November 29, 2007



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