At, High Court of Orissa
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R.C. PATNAIK & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.C MOHAPATRA
For the Appearing Parties: R. Mohanty, J. Mohanty, A.K. Misra, S.B. Jena, S.K. Das, Advocates.
R.C. PATNAIK, J.
(1.) This writ application by Maa Mangala Primary Fishery Development Co-operative Society of Dhenkanal under Art.226 of the Constitution of India assails the settlement of Hirasagar 'tank' with opposite party No. 5 on lease basis for the year 1985-86.
(2.) The petitioner-society has allege
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that since 1983 it had been taking lease of the said tank annually and was engaged in the business of Pisciculture. Being a society, it was expecting grant of lease in its favour as previously. But, to its surprise and misfortune, the same was stealthily settled with opposite party No. 5 without any notice to it regarding the auction. It has assailed the settlement as contrary to the principles framed by the Government for settlement of fisheries, as communicated under letter No. 36773/R dated 27-6-1974 by the Under Secretary to the Government of Orissa in the Revenue Department to the Director of Fisheries vide Annexure-5. The sum and substance of the petitioner's contentions is that the appropriate authorities should have explored the settlement of fishery sairat with bona fide co-operative society consisting of genuine local fishermen, as laid down in the principles contained in Annexure-5.(3.) No return has been filed by opposite parties 1 to 4, the State and its officials. Opposite party No. 5, the lessee for the year 1985-86 has, however, submitted its return. Inasmuch as the year for which the settlement was made is about to expire it is unnecessary for us to go into the merits of settlement in that year. To that extent, the writ application has become infructuous. But, to avoid controversies and disputes in future, we should draw attention of the appropriate authorities to the principles governing settlement of Government fisheries as contained in Annexure-5.(4.) The 1974 Principles were framed in supersession of the principles framed by the Government in the Revenue Dept. in 1969. The Government directed that fishery sairat sources in the State would ordinarily be settled with bona fide co-operative society consisting of genuine local fishermen, and excluding middleman and speculator, wherever the same might exist or appear in future and the societies eligible should be non-defaulters and have generally a good record in settling the dues of the Government in proper time. The Government further laid down a procedure for selection of the co-operative society for settlement of fishery sources. The said principles appear to be in force inasmuch as none of the parties has alleged that the same have been superseded. We, therefore, direct that in future, settlement of fishery sources should be strictly in accordance with the principles contained in Annexure-5 until either the same are annulled, or superseded by different principles. When Government have framed principles, it behoves the instrumentalities to abide by the same. Any acting otherwise would generate distrust in the minds of the citizens in the administration. By acting according to the principles, the instrumentalities can avoid any accusation of nepotism or favouritism.(5.) With the aforesaid directions and observations, we dispose of this writ application. But, in the circumstances, there would be no order as to costs.(6.) S.C. MOHAPATRA, J. :- I agree Order accordingly.
"1987 AIR (Ori) 214"