Madhya Pradesh Aug 11(ILNS): The Jabalpur Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court on August 09, imposed a Cost of Ten Thousand Rupees to the state government for not filing a compliance report of the High Court order whereby Additional Collector, Katni is directed to finalize the pending proceeding within a period of one week regarding release of Petitioner’s vehicle JCB.
On March 03, the Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sanjay Dwivedi disposed of the Petition filed by Petitioner Gyarasi Sahu seeking a direction to the state government to release his vehicle JCB which was seized by the respondents as the same was found involved in illegal mining.
The Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that the order passed by the Additional Collector, Katni was assailed before the Director Mining, who in turn, vide order dated 30.12.2019 set aside the order dated 22.04.2019 and remitted the matter to the said authority for further spot inspection and to decide the same on merits. Although, the application has been moved before the Collector by the Petitioner saying that the direction issued by the Director, the Additional Collector will take time to complete the said proceeding and therefore, in the meantime his seized vehicle shall be released and custody of the same be handed over to him.
The Collector vide order dated 19.01.2021, rejected the application of release of the vehicle saying that the matter since pending before the Additional Collector, Katni, and during the course of the inquiry the physical availability of the vehicle could be required, therefore, the application was rejected directing the Additional Collector, Katni to finally decide the case so that decision of release of the vehicle could be taken.
After hearing the Counsel for the Petitioner and also the Respondents, the Court is of the view that the petition can be disposed of directing the Additional Collector, Katni to take a final decision in the pending proceeding within a period of one week from the date of submitting the copy of the order.
Later in July, the Petitioner again approached the High Court alleging that despite the order of the High Court dated 31.3.2021, the Additional Collector, Katni has not taken any decision on the prayer of the petitioner for release of the vehicle.
On August 02, the Division Bench composed of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Vijay Kumar Shukla directed the state government to file compliance reports of the order dated 31.03.2021 positively by 9.8.2021.
On Monday, Ashish Anand Barnard, Deputy Advocate General appeared on behalf of State prayed for the last opportunity of a week to file a counter-affidavit and report compliance of the order dated 31.03.2021 whereby the Court in the order has granted only a week’s time to the Additional Collector, Katni to decide the matter within a week.
The Deputy Advocate General further submitted that initially, the Additional Collector could not do so in the month of April because of Covid-19. But there is no explanation coming forth for the subsequent period, especially for the period after the matter was first listed on 23.07.2021 and thereafter on 27.07.2021 and 02.08.2021.
The High Court while considering the submission ordered that, “We, however, grant one last opportunity of seven days to the respondents on payment of the cost of Rs.10,000/- to be deposited with the Legal Services Authority to file the counter affidavit and produce the compliance report of the order dated 31.03.2021 on the next date, failing which the Additional Collector, Katni shall appear personally. List the matter on 16.08.2021”./ILNS/SS/SNG