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NAVA BHARAT FERRO ALLOYS LIMITED: versus THE SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

High Court of Madras

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Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited: v. The Secretary to Government - Writ Petition No. 15720 of 1994 and Writ Petition No. 15794 of 1994 [2002] RD-TN 579 (9 August 2002)



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS



Dated: 09/08/2002

Coram

The Hon'ble Mr. Justice P. SATHASIVAM

Writ Petition No. 15720 of 1994 and Writ Petition No. 15794 of 1994 and W.P.Nos. 15834 of 1989, 14189 of 1993 and 18540 of 1994 and

W.M.P.Nos. 22994, 23107, 23161/89, 20498/90 and 28149/94. W.P.No. 15720 of 1989

Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited:

Sugar Division, Deccan Sugars,

47, Greames Road, Madras-600 006. .. Petitioner. -Vs-

1. The Secretary to Government,

Public Works Department,

Fort St. George,

Madras-600 009.

2. The Superintending Engineer,

Public Works Department,

RC Division, Thanjavur.

3. E.I.D. Parry (India) Ltd.,

Dare House, N.S.C. Bose Road,

Madras.1.

(3rd respondent was impleaded

as per order of Court dt.19-8-98). .. Respondents. W.P.No. 15794 of 1989

Cauvery Sugars and Chemicals

Limited, Madras,

47, Greenways Road,

Madras-28.

.. Petitioner. Vs.

1. The Secretary to Government,

Public Works Department,

Fort St. George, Madras-9.

2. The Superintending Engineer,

Public Works Department,

R.C. Division, Thanjavur.

.. Respondents. W.P.No. 15834 of 1989

A. Krishnan,

Equity Shareholder in and

Wholetime Director of M/s

Cauvery Sugars & Chemicals

Ltd., 47, Greenways Road, Madras-28.

.. Petitioner. Vs.

1. The Secretary to Government,

Public Works Department,

Fort St. George, Madras-9.

2. The Superintending Engineer,

Public Works Department,

R.C. Division, Thanjavur.

.. Respondents. W.P.No. 14189 of 1993

1. The South India Textile

Processors Association,

represented by its Chairman

Mr. P. Elango, Erode.

2. S.S.M. Processing Mills,

represented by its Partner

Mrs. E. Nirmala, Komarapalayam.

3. J.K.K. Textile Processing

Mills Private Ltd.,

represented by its Managing Director,

Mr. J.K.A. Kandasamy.

4. Rajalakshmi Textiles Processors

Ltd., represented by its

General Manager, N. Duraisamy.

.. Petitioners. Vs.

1. The State of Tamil Nadu,

represented by its Secretary to

Government, Public Works

Department, Fort St. George,

Madras-600 009.

2. The Superintending Engineer,

Public Works Department,

Mettur, Salem District.

3. The Executive Engineer,

Public Works Department,

Mettur Division, Mettur Dam,

Salem District.

.. Respondents. W.P.No. 18540 of 1994

E.I.D. Parry India Ltd.,

Dare House, N.S.C. Bose Road,

Madras.

.. Petitioner. Vs.

1. The State of Tamil Nadu,

represented by the Secretary to

Government, Public Works Department,

Fort St. George, Madras-600 009.

2. The Executive Engineer P.W.D.

R.C.Division, Trichy-1.

.. Respondents. Petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of Writs of Certiorarified Mandamus as stated therein.

For petitioner in W.P.Nos. 15720,

15794, 15834/89. : Mr. V. Ravi For petitioner in W.P.14189/93. : Mr. M. Venkatachalapathy, Senior counsel for Mr. M. Sriram For petitioner in W.P.18540/94. : Mr. V. Nataraj For respondents 1 and 2 in W.P.15720, 15794,

15834/89, 18540/94 and for respondents 1 to 3 in W.P.14189/93. : Mr. R. Muthukumarasamy, Additional Advocate General Assisted by Mr. S. Kandasamy, Special Govt.,Pleader: No appearance for others.

:COMMON ORDER



Since the issue raised in all these writ petitions is one and the same, they are being disposed of by the following common order. Aggrieved by the Government instructions communicated in letter No. CP/7083/88/A1 dated 28-7-88 of the Executive Engineer, P.W.D., R.C Division, Trichy-1 regarding levy of Royalty on water drawn for their factory, Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited, Sugar Division, Deccan Sugars has filed W.P.No. 15720 of 1989 to quash the said communication and direct the respondents to levy and collect royalty from the petitioner according to the instructions contained in Board Standing Order No.11-A and at the concessional rate regardless of the erstwhile limit of 1.5 million Cubic Yards.

2. Questioning the very same communication of the Executive Engineer, R.C.Division, Trichy-1, Cauvery Sugars and Chemicals Limited, Madras-28 has filed W.P.No. 15794 of 89.

3. Questioning the same communication of the Executive Engineer, R.C.Division, Trichy-1, A. Krishnan, Equity Shareholder and wholetime Director of M/s Cauvery Sugars and Chemicals Limited has filed W.P.No. 15834 of 1989.

4. Questioning the same communication of the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, Mettur Division, Mettur Dam, South India Textile Processors Association by its Chairman, S.S.M. Processing Mills by its partner, J.K.K. Textile Processing Mills Private Limited by its Managing Director and Rajalakshmi Textiles Processors Limited, by its General Manager, Ramanathapuram Pudur P.O. Erode have filed W.P.No. 14189 of 93. 5. E.I.D. Parry India Limited, Madras-1 has filed W.P. No. 18540 of 94 seeking to issue a Writ of Mandamus calling upon the respondents to consider their application dated 11-6-93 and grant licence for drawal of water from Pugalur channel without reference to the alleged arrears from M/s Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited and the alleged dues subject matter of W.P.No. 15720/89. 6. As stated earlier, since the grievance of all the petitioners is similar and identical, for convenience I shall refer the case of the petitioner in W.P.No. 15720 of 89. The petitioner company, formerly known as the Deccan Sugar and Abkahri Company Limited is registered under the Companies Act. It is engaged in the manufacture of Sugar at its factory situate at Pugalur, Trichy District in Tamil Nadu on the bank of Pugalur channel. Eversince the factory was commissioned in 1944, it has been drawing its requirements of water for cooling purposes from the Pugalur channel which belongs to the State Government, in conformity with the instructions contained in Board Standing Order No.11A and the agreements entered into thereunder. The exact quantities of water drawn and the quantities returned to the channel are measured by Water Meters installed and duly recorded in the registers maintained under P.W.D. supervision. Board Standing Order ( hereinafter referred to as "B.S.O") No. 11A contains instructions relating to the issue of licence for the diversion or use of water from Government sources for non-irrigation purposes including industrial purposes. An industrial concern requiring a licence for drawing water has to enter into an Agreement with the Superintending Engineer concerned, in Form No.4 Appendix I (1), the Agreement being subject to renewal at the end of every 10 years. Para 5 of the B.S.O. specifies the rates chargeable as Royalty for the licence to draw water. Two different rates are prescribed, namely, the Normal Rate applicable to water taken and consumed, and a Concessional Rate for water taken and returned un-diminished and un-polluted to the Government source. Royalty is charged on the basis of the quantity of water actually drawn by the licensee and not on any notional or other basis. The licensee is entitled to take such quantity of water as the licensee shall require (and shall be available) for the purpose of the factory and shall have paid for in advance not exceeding the maximum quantity. When the factory was commissioned in 1944 with an initial crushing capacity of 20 0 tonnes cane per day, permission was obtained for drawing channel water upto a maximum limit of 1.5 million cubic metres per annum. As per B.S.O. 11A and Form 4 Agreement, ever since the very beginning both the established rule and practice was for the factory to pay in advance in April every year the royalty due on the factory's estimated drawal of water during that year, and such advance payment was subsequently adjusted with reference to the actual quantity drawn during the year. This was the procedure invariably followed both in the case of petitioner as well as all other licensees like Cauvery Sugars and Chemicals Limited drawing Cauvery River channel water. However, the entire basis of the levy and collection of royalty was radically changed by the Government with effect from the financial year 1987-88 as evidenced by Circular letter No. CP/7083/88/A1/dated 28-7-88 from the Executive Engineer (RC Division, Trichy) to all the licensees drawing water from Government water sources. The petitioner company was called upon by the Executive Engineer to pay the balance for 1987-88 calculated on the maximum permitted quantity less amounts already paid, as also the advance water charges for 1988-89 calculated on the maximum permitted quantity, within one month failing which penal interest would become payable. Against the said demand, the petitioner made an appeal to the Chief Engineer (Irrigation), Public Works Department, followed by a representation to the Government by the South Indian Sugar Mills Association (Tamil Nadu Branch). The Government in their letter dated 25-7-89 rejected their request. Being aggrieved by the demand for royalty based on the maximum quantity of water permitted from the channel instead of on the basis of water actually drawn, the petitioner has approached this court. As stated earlier, similar averments have been made by Cauvery Sugars and Chemicals, South India Textile Processors Association and E.I.D. Parry India Limited; hence I am not separately referring to their claim in this order.

7. Separate counter affidavit has been filed by the first respondent-State Government in all these writ petitions highlighting their stand. Here again, for convenience I shall refer the stand of the respondents in Writ Petition No. 15720 of 8 9. The procedure for granting permission to the industrial concerns from Government sources is laid down in Board's Standing Orders 11 A. As per para 5 in B. S.O. 11A, the consumers should enter into an agreement as per form No.4 in Appendix 1(1) to B.S.O 11-A with the Superintending Engineer of the Public Works Department Circle in whose jurisdiction the source lies. The agreement is subject to the minor modifications depending upon the cases of the licences issued and is renewable by every ten years and last such renewal of agreement was made for drawal of water by M/s Deccan Sugar and Abkari company Limited from 1-8-65 to 31-7-75. In this Writ Petition, the department is enforcing clauses 1(a) 2A and 7(c) of the agreement. M/s Deccan Sugar and Abkari Company Limited was permitted to draw water for its cooling purposes from Pugalur channel, which is a branch channel taking off from River Cauvery, in G.O.Ms.No. 1264 Revenue dated 9-7-45. In G.O.Ms.No. 787 PWD dated 25-3 -64 the company was permitted to draw an increased quantity of 80,000 cubic yards per day with an annual limit of 20 million cubic yards. While granting permission for enabling the company to draw increased quantum, the Government have fixed two tier rates. Provision for the escalation of the rate for drawal has been made in the Government Order. Hence any increase in the rates ordered by the Government for drawal of water will apply not only to the normal rates, but also to the increased proportion of 33 1/3 per cent. The intention of the Government behind the grant of permission to the petitioner company will reveal that, the licence is granted subject to the execution of the agreement as stipulated in B.S.O. 11A and the licence is valid in law up to the currency of the agreement and the licence stands automatically lapsed on the very next date if not renewed and put back into force. The company was paying the water charges at Rs.10 per 1000 metres for the water drawn for cooling purposes in actual basis and the advance sum paid had not relevancy to the permitted quantum as per the provisions of B.S.O. 11-A and the charges were paid at the flat rate for the entire quantity drawn without adopting the increased proportion of 33 1/3 per cent over the normal rates for the quantity drawn in excess of 11,50,000 cubic metres. Since the petitioner company and others have not renewed the agreement, it was necessitated to bring out the specific clauses under form No.4 in Appendix I (1) to B.S.O. 11 A. The licensees were informed that they should pay for the maximum permitted quantity and that no portion of the sum so paid was refundable due to the non-drawal for the quantity owing to dearth of supply in the canal or for any other reasons as per clause 7 (c). The water is drawn from Pugalur channel through an inlet and after use the quantity is let out through an outlet back to Pugalur channel and the quantum so drawn and let out are measured by means of masonry gauge known as "V" north and that the daily measurements are taken by the gauge readers employed by their department at the cost of the drawee company. These 'V' notches will work under certain specified conditions and it is only a temporary mean for measuring water till permanent arrangements are made. To the representation of the petitioner and South Indian Sugar Mills Association, the Government have replied their stand to the effect that, the consumers drawing water from the Government source should pay full cost of water as permitted by the Government irrespective of actual drawal and rejected the request made by the Association on behalf of the companies. In the said letter it has been stated by the Government that the licensees are quite at liberty to reduce their requirement to the realistic limits after obtaining Government permission which may ensure equitable distribution of available supply of water to all those who need it. Hence the company is at liberty to get the maximum limit of drawal sufficiently reduced to the extent of its requirement. There is no promissory estoppel as attributed by the petitioner. The State has given two options in the light of the conditional clauses as per B.S.O.11-A. Either the petitioner may seek for getting the drawal reduced to the realistic limits or pay for the maximum permitted quantity under clause 1(A) of the Condition in Form No.4 of B.S.O.11-A. There has been no agreement in force from 1-8-75 to till date of filing of the counter affidavit and therefore the petitioner is estopped from any requests under the B.S.O. 11-A and relief prayed for as the right of drawing water from the channel automatically ceased on 1-8-75. Of late, there had been dearth of flow in river Cauvery owing to various factors and many more industries have either been set up or in the offing. As such, for complying with the request of such industries, the cumulative effect of the quantum so far permitted has to be set apart for considering the grant of permission to draw water either for industrial purposes and for formulation of schemes for drinking water supply. As stated earlier, the respondents have taken a similar stand in other writ petitions by filing separate counter affidavit.

8. In the light of the above pleadings, I have heard Mr. V. Ravi, learned counsel, Mr. M. Venkatachalapathy, learned senior counsel and Mr. V. Nataraj, learned counsel for petitioners and Mr. R. Muthukumaraswami, learned Additional Advocate General for respondents-State Government. 9. The only point for consideration in these writ petitions is whether the instructions communicated in the impugned letter dated 28-7-88 are sustainable or not?

10. It is not disputed that Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited Sugar Division, Deccan Sugars Limited, subsequently amalgamated as E.I.D. Parry Limited was granted permission to draw water for cooling purposes from Pugalur channel, which is a branch channel taking off from River Cauvery. Likewise, Cauvery Sugars and Chemicals were permitted to draw water from Uyyakondan channel, a branch of River Cauvery at Pettaivaytalai, Trichy District. The South India Textile Processors Association, particularly S.S.M. Processing Mills, J.K.K. Textile Processing Mills and Rajalakshmi Textiles Processing Mills were permitted to draw water from the river Cauvery. It is also not disputed that the permission was granted subject to certain terms and conditions as provided in Boards Standing Orders. Clause 11-A of B.S.O. speaks about licences for the use of water from Government sources for domestic or industrial purposes. In other words, the procedure for granting permission to the industrial concerns from the Government sources is laid down in B.S.O 11-A. As per para 5 in BSO 11-A the consumers should enter into an agreement as per Form No.4 in Appendix I (1) to B.S.O 11-A with the Superintending Engineer of Public Works Department Circle in whose jurisdiction the source lies. It is also not disputed that the agreement is subject to the minor modifications depending upon the cases of the licenses issued and is renewable by every ten years. 11. As regards the present controversy and the question raised, we are concerned with Clauses 1(a), 2A and 7 (c) of the agreement for the use of water for industrial purposes.

"APPENDIX I (1)

No.4.

(Standing Order no. 11-A, paragraph 5.)

Form of agreement for the use of water for industrial purposes. Xx xx xxx

1. xx x xx

(a) The right to take from the said canal at the point marked??????..on the plan annexed hereto????.or at such other point as the Superintending Engineer, Public Works Department, for the time being of the ?????..circle (hereinafter called the "Superintending Engineer") shall determine and to convey across the lands of the Government (hereinafter called "the said land") by means of pipes and/or sluices and/or channels and/or by land such quantity of water as the licensee shall require (and shall be available) for the purposes of the said factory and shall have paid for in advance not exceeding the maximum quantity hereinafter mentioned or such lesser quantity as in the opinion of the Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, for the time being of the division (hereinafter called "the Executive Engineer") cannot be exceeded without interfering with irrigation or navigation or the ordinary use of the said canal by the public.

(b) xx xx

(c) xx xx

2-A. The licensee shall and will yield and pay to the Government in advance before the 10th day of April in each year the charge for water estimated to be required by the licensee during the year ending on the 31st day of March following at the following rates:-"

The amended portion of clause 2A is as follows:

"The Government in G.O.Ms.No. 540 Rev. dt. 4-4-91 has amended the clause 2A of the agreement in Appendix 4 of R.S.O. 11-A contained in Vol.I of the R.S.O. relating to the payment of water charges in advance for water drawn for industrial purposes.

Amendment

In the said R.S.O. under the heading Appendices in Form No.4 in Appendix I (1) to Para 5 of the Standing Order 11A in clause 2/A for the expression beginning with "the licensee shall and will yield" and " ending with the following rates" the following expression shall be substituted, namely:- "2A .. The licensee shall and will yield and pay to Government in advance before the 10th day of April in each year, the charge for water sanctioned to the licensee, during the year ending on 31st day of March at the following rates"

7(c). That the licensee shall not be entitled to the refund of any portion of the said annual sum paid in advance or to claim damages either on the ground that the licensee has not taken the maximum quantity of water hereinbefore mentioned or on the ground that the licensee has not been able to take such maximum quantity owing to defiant water in the said canal consequent on early or sudden closure of the said canal for repairs or otherwise." It is not disputed that the petitioners were permitted to draw water from the Government source referred above on execution of agreement in terms of Form 4 incorporating the conditions referred to above. Learned Additional Advocate General has placed the agreement duly executed by the Superintending Engineer of the area concerned and the petitioners containing the above mentioned clauses. It is clear that the petitioners are bound by the various clauses in the agreement. At this juncture, it is relevant to refer the instructions communicated in letter dated 28-7-88 (which is impugned in these proceedings) from the Executive Engineer, P.W.D., R.C. Division, Trichy-1 regarding levy of royalty on water drawn by licensees. The operative portion of the letter is as follows:

"In the letters cited, it has been instructed that the consumers licensees drawing water from a Govt. source should pay the full cost of water charges in advance every year for the quantum of water permitted by the Govt. and that the licensee shall not be entitled to the refund of any portion of the said annual sum paid in advance or to claim damages either on the ground that the licensee has not taken the maximum quantity of water herein before mentioned or on the ground that the licensee had not been able to make such maximum quantity owing to dearth of supply of water in the Govt. sources as specified in clause 7(a) in appendix of R.S.O. 11-A This revised instructions are operative from the financial year 1987-88 and advance water charges for 1988-89.

Hence pending incorporation of the above condition in the agreement as an amendment you are requested to pay the balance amount for 1987-88 based on the maximum permitted quantity by the Govt. less actuals already paid and the advance water charges for 1988-89 be paid to the maximum quantity within one month from the date of receipt of this communication, failing which interest will be charged as per rules in force.

Sd.N. Natarajan

Executive Engineer."

12. It is argued on behalf of the petitioners that neither B.S.O. 11-A nor any of the provisions of the agreement in Form 4 confers power on the Government to alter the very basis of levying royalty on water drawn by the licensee. The impugned revision of the royalty is arbitrary and unreasonable. They also contended that even if it is accepted that the Government has unlimited power to alter B.S. O. 11A as well as the terms and conditions of the agreement prescribed in Form 4, this Court will not permit the Government to exercise such power so as to introduce into the B.S.O. and the agreement thereunder "unconscionable terms and conditions". They also contended that the scope and function of para 7 (c) is totally unrelated to the basis on which royalty is to be levied; the basis can only be estimated quantity subject to adjustment with reference to actual drawal. I have already referred to the fact that the learned Additional Advocate General has placed the agreement executed by the petitioners and the Superintending Engineer concerned as well as the terms and conditions therein. As rightly argued by the learned Additional Advocate General, undoubtedly the petitioners being parties to the agreement are bound by the terms and conditions prescribed therein. It is true that the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners demonstrated before me the facts and figures, namely, the actual quantity of water drawn from Government source and the estimated requirement as sanctioned and approved by the Government. It is the claim of the petitioners that the Government is entitled to collect fee only to the extent of actual quantity of water drawn and used and not the estimated/permitted quantity by the Government. The term "estimated requirement" in clause 2-A would in effect mean the quantity of water estimated, applied for and ordered by the Government to draw water while granting licence to the licensee. Once the Government accepts their estimated requirement and fixed the quantity the licensees are bound to pay fee for water permitted/sanctioned to them by the Government and not the actual water drawn by them. In such a circumstance, in terms of clause 7 (c) they are not entitled for the refund of any portion of the annual sum paid in advance on the ground that they have not taken the maximum quantity of water for any other reason. Even as per un-amended clause 2-A, the term "estimated requirement" means the quantum estimated, applied by the licensee and ordered by the Government to draw water that much quantity while granting licence, to the licensee. In the amendment made in G.O.Ms.No. 540 Revenue dated 4-4-91, the amended clause 2-A makes it clear that the licensees are liable to pay to the Government in advance before 10th day of April in each year, the charge for water sanctioned to them. As per B.S.O.11-A and various clauses in Form 4, it is clear that the consumer should pay full cost of water charges in advance every year for the quantum of water permitted/sanctioned by the Government, even if they draw less. It is also clear that they are not permitted to draw higher quantity than the prescribed. As rightly argued by the learned Additional Advocate General, the licensees are at liberty to reduce their requirement to the realistic limit after obtaining Government permission which may ensure equitable distribution of available supply of water to all those who need it. 13. Learned Additional Advocate General has also brought to my notice that in so far as the petitioner in W.P.No. 15720 of 89 water is drawn from Pugalur channel through an inlet and after use the quantity is let out through an outlet back to Pugalur channel and the quantum so drawn and let out are measured by means of masonry gauge known as "V" notch and that the daily measurements are taken by the gauge readers employed by the department at the cost of the drawee company. However, it is stated both in the counter affidavit as well as in the course of argument that these "V" notches will work under certain specified conditions and it is only a temporary mean for measuring water. It is also explained before me that the "V" notches will give correct reading up-to the marked level of flow and when water is allowed submerging the total height of the "V" notches, the readings will not be correct. In other words, as these notches are constructed just at the very bank of the channel, if the water is allowed above the level, this will not give the correct quantum of drawal. In such a circumstance, as rightly contended on the side of the respondents, the correct or actual intake or outlet cannot be determined. That is the reason why the licensees are asked to estimate their required quantity and if the same is accepted and ordered by the Government, they are permitted to draw water to such quantity as sanctioned and they have to pay charges for the said quantity irrespective of the actual drawal.

14. The terms of the agreement also show that the Government has every liberty to revise the rates periodically and the licensees are bound by the revised rates from the date of revision. This is evident from clause 2-A of Form No. 4. Clause 1 is about the licensees who have not been permitted to draw with certain limit of drawal. Clause 2 deals with the cases of licences which has no such limit depending upon annual requirement. Clause 7 (c) of the form of agreement states that the licensee shall not entitle refund of any portion of the annual sum paid in advance or to claim damages either on the ground that the licensee has not taken the maximum quantity of water as per the agreement or on the ground that the licensee has not been able to take such maximum quantity owing to deficient water in the canal or River Cauvery. It is further clear that in the case of the licensees who have maximum limit of drawal has been prescribed, the licensee apply for the maximum drawal based on the daily requirement and in the case of licensees to whom no maximum limit has been prescribed they estimate their annual drawal to the realistic limits. Thus, the clause 1 (a), 2A and 7(c) are interdependent in nature with reference to the licence accorded under B.S.O. 11-A and have to be applied as according to the warrantees of individual cases. It is also clear that the consumer drawing water from the Government source should pay the full cost of water in advance each year for the quantum of water permitted by the Government. I have already referred to the representation of South Indian Sugar Mills Association and the reply by the Government informing that the consumers drawing water from the Government source should pay full cost of water as permitted by the Government irrespective of actual drawal. In the same reply, the Government have clarified that the licensees are at liberty to reduce their requirement to the realistic limits after obtaining permission from the Government. In this way, the licensees can get the quantity reduced to the extent of their requirements which will not be a burden for them. As rightly argued, the petitioners companies can opt to pay either for the maximum permitted quantity or to reduce the drawal limit to the extent necessary depending on their financial resources. There is no material to show that the companies have ever approached the Government for reducing the maximum drawal to the realistic limit.

15. It is not disputed that it is the responsibility of the Government to consider the request of various others including supply of water to irrigation and for drinking purpose. As rightly argued, in the yester years industries set up near River Cauvery or its subsidiary channels were very limited and the quantum required for these industries have been complied with generously. Of late, there had been dearth of flow in river Cauvery owing to various factors and many more industries have either been set up or in the offing. As such, it is the responsibility of the Government not only to safeguard the interest of the industries, but also execute various schemes for drinking water supply. In the counter affidavit filed by the Joint Secretary to Government, Public Works Department, it is pointed out that it has been the policy of the Government to give priority to water supply schemes to each and every village and therefore various schemes are under formulation to provide this basic infrastructure with the limited water available, owing to the exploitation of both surface and ground water potentials to the optimum, the need of the hour is to conserve the available water in which every one has a share. 16. Coming to the request of E.I.D. Parry India Limited, petitioner in W.P.No. 18540 of 94, as rightly argued by the learned Additional Advocate General, after amalgamation by an order of the Company Court in C.P.45/81 which inter alia envisaged the agreement industrial and other licences of the erstwhile company (Deccan Sugar and Abkari Company Limited) to be vest in with Messrs Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited without any further act, deed or order in accordance with Section 894 (2) of Companies Act, 1956. It is further seen that the Deccan Abkari Sugars Company limited drawing water from Pugalur channel which was in existence till 10-12-80 was amalgamated with Messrs Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited with yet another name "Deccan Sugars". The sugar factory has been taken over by M/s E.I.D. Parry ( India) Limited with effect from 13-11-92 from M/s Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited. Inasmuch as the petitioner company inherited the entire assets and liability of the erstwhile company without clearance of backlog of arrears of water charges, undoubtedly their application dated 11-6-93 cannot be considered by the respondents. When the present company namely E.I.D. Parry India Limited is very particular about the renewal of licence, they have to honour the commitment of its erstwhile company and discharge its liabilities. In the light of the various clauses in the transfer deed dated 30-10-92 between M/s Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys and M/s E.I.D. Parry (India) Limited, the petitioner company cannot be permitted to use the licence without clearing the dues to the Government. 17. In the light of what is stated above, I do not find any merit in these Writ Petitions; accordingly they are dismissed. No costs. Consequently, the interim injunction granted in W.M.P.Nos. 22994/89, 23107/89, and 28149/94 are vacated. W.M.P.Nos. 23161/89 and 20498/90 are closed. Index:- Yes

Internet:- Yes

R.B.

To:-

1. The Secretary to Government,

Public Works Department,

Fort St. George,

Madras-600 009.

2. The Superintending Engineer,

Public Works Department,

RC Division, Thanjavur.

3. The Superintending Engineer,

Public Works Department,

Mettur, Salem District.

4. The Executive Engineer,

Public Works Department,

Mettur Division, Mettur Dam,

Salem District.

5. The Executive Engineer, P.W.D.,

R.C. Division, Trichy-1.

P. SATHASIVAM, J.

Common Order in

W.P.Nos.15720,15794,15834

of 89, 14189 of 93 and

18540 of 94

and

WMP Nos. 22994, 23107,

23161/89,20498/90 and

28149/94.

Dt: 09-08-2002


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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