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Gopal Prasad Gupta v. D.F.O. Dudhi - WRIT - C No. 5265 of 1981  RD-AH 7491 (14 December 2005)
Court No. 1
Writ Petition No. 5265 of 1981
GP Gupta vs. DFO and others
Hon'ble Yatindra Singh, J
Hon'ble RK Rastogi, J
1. The petitioner had submitted tender for lifting Tendu leaves in the year 1979 for unit no. 40 Dudhi range for Rs. 1,52,000/-. There was some dispute between the parties. Thereafter auction notice dated 30th June 1980 was published in which it is mentioned that apart from other persons Tendu leaves relating to the petitioner's area will also be auctioned and a recovery certificate of Rs. 64,130.50 was also issued, hence the present writ petition.
2. We have heard counsel for the petitioner and standing counsel for the respondents. Under the provisions of the agreement, if there arises any dispute between the parties then the matter is to be referred to arbitration. There arose a dispute between the parties and the matter ought to have been referred to the arbitration. This writ petition was filed in the year 1981 and is pending since then. The standing counsel has also not raised any argument that the matter at this stage be referred to arbitration. In view of this, we finally decide this writ petition.
3. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that even if any amount was due, the respondents had no jurisdiction to take away the Tendu leaves from the petitioner's godown.
4. The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner specifically pleaded in paragraph no. 12 of the writ petition that Forest Range Officer had removed 880 bags of Tendu leaves from the petitioner's godown and had kept the same in the Forest Range Officer's office and the value of those leaves was Rs. 77,000/- as stated in paragraph no. 13 of the writ petition. Then it was stated in paragraph no. 14 of the writ petition that these Tendu leaves were sold out by the Forest Range Officer. He pointed out that in the counter affidavit filed by Sri JN Singh, Deputy Forest Ranger, Sonbhadra on behalf of the respondents, it has been stated in paragraph no. 11 "that the contents of para 12 of the writ petition are not denied" and then it was stated in para 12 "that the contents of para 13 and 14 of the writ petition are not denied" and so the assertions made in the aforesaid paragraphs of the writ petition should be taken to be true. We do not find any force in the above contention. It will be useful to go through the aforesaid paragraphs 11 and 12 of the counter affidavit, which are reproduced below:
"11. That the contents of para 12 of the writ petition are not denied. To safe guard the Govt. Dues not deposited by the petitioner, the Tendu Leaves stored in his godown was detained to avoid illicit export and for ensuring recovery of the Govt. dues against the petitioner. The petitioner has admitted this fact in para 11 of the writ petition.
12. That the contents of para 13 and 14 of the writ petition are not denied. To recover the Govt. dues the remaining 880 tendu bags were tried to be auctioned but, the same could not be sold as tendu Leaves of those bags were not fit for the manufacture of biri. Hence the version of the petitioner is incorrect about the price of tendu leaves. Tendu leaves in 880 bags were still lying in the godown of the petitioner."
5. It is clear from the perusal of the contents of the aforesaid paragraphs that the case of the respondents is that the bags of tendu leaves stored in the godown of the petitioner were simply detained for ensuring recovery of the government dues and they had not been removed from the petitioner's godown and they were still lying in the godown of the petitioner on the date of swearing of the counter affidavit and they could not be auctioned as they had become unfit for manufacture of Biri. When these facts have been specifically written in paragraphs no. 11 and 12 of the counter affidavit denying the assertions made in paragraphs no.12, 13 and 14 of the writ petition, it cannot be concluded on the basis of opening sentence of the aforesaid paragraphs no. 11 and 12 of the counter affidavit that the assertions made in paragraphs no. 12, 13 and 14 of the writ petition are true. The contention of the petitioner has got no force in this regard.
6. The counsel for the petitioner has next submitted that even if any money is due, it can not be recovered as arrears of land revenue.
7. A person taking tender of Tendu leaves has to enter into an agreement. This agreement is also provided in the Rules. Sub clause (h) of clause 4 of the agreement provides that the money can be recovered as arrears of land revenue and as such there is no force in this submission of the petitioner.
8. The counsel for the petitioner next submitted that respondents are wrongly recovering a sum of Rs. 64,130.50. There is some force in this submission.
9. The petitioner has alleged in paragraph 8 of the writ petition that he has deposited a sum of Rs. 1,34,600.00. The details, as to how this amount has been deposited have also been stated. The details indicate that the amount has been deposited by demand drafts or through deposits call numbers. In reply to this paragraph, it has been mentioned that the petitioner has deposited only Rs. 1,09,600/- but there is no mention as to which of the amounts specified in para 8 has not been deposited by the petitioner. There is no specific denial. In view of this, we hold that the petitioner has deposited a sum of Rs. 1,34,600.00. After taking this deposit into consideration the remaining amount would be Rs. 1,52,000.00 - 1,34,600.00 i.e. Rs. 17,400.00 for the tender money. In the counter affidavit it is also mentioned that a sum of Rs. 12,160.00 is due toward Sales tax. The recovery certificate which shows that an amount of Rs. 42,400/- is due towards royalty of tendu leaves and that a sum of Rs. 9570/- is due towards late payment of the above amount is apparently illegal and the same is hereby quashed. The respondent no. 1 shall recalculate the due amount treating Rs. 17,400.00 only to be due towards tender money, and Rs. 12,160 to be due as Sales tax. He will also recalculate the amount for late fee and thereafter the money may be recovered in accordance with law. With these observations the writ petition is partly allowed.
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