w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



M/s. Tirupati Food Products & Others v/s Union of India & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDIA COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN1919PTC000911

Company & Directors' Information:- TIRUPATI PRODUCTS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U34300WB1990PTC050465

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65990MH1941PTC003461

    WP (C) 227 (SH) of 2008, 228 (SH) of 2008 & 229 (SH) of 2008

    Decided On, 29 May 2009

    At, High Court of Gauhati

    By, THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE ANIMA HAZARIKA

    For the Petitioners: N. Saikia, S. Sharma, P. Mahanta, A. Saikia, Advocates. For the Respondents: S.C. Shyam, Central GA.



Judgment Text

Smt. Anima Hazarika, J.

(1) Heard Ms. N. Saikia, learned counsel for the petitioners. Also heard Mr SC Shyam. learned Central Government Counsel ('cgc' for short) for the respondents.

(2) All these three writ petitions are listed for admission hearing today. Vide order dated 22. 9. 2008, while issuing notice of motion, this Court recorded the statements made by Ms. Saikia, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners to the effect that as the other petitions, which are similarly situated with the present writ petitions have already been decided by this Court, an endeavour may be made to dispose of these writ petitions at the admission stage itself. Since similar facts and common questions of law are involved in these writ petitions, as agreed to by the learned counsel appearing for the parties, they are heard and proceeded together at the admission stage itself, pursuant to order dated 22. 9. 2008 mentioned hereinabove and disposed of by this common judgment and order.

(3) Ms. Saikia, learned counsel for the petitioners has brought to the notice of this Court the order dated 24. 10. 2008 wherein the Court recorded the statement made by Mr. Shyam, learned CGC appearing for the respondents and had passed the following order:

"wp (C) No. 227 (SH) 2008 Heard Ms N. Saikia, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. S. C. Shyam. learned CG. C.

It is pointed out by Mr. S. C. Shyam, learned CGC which is not disputed by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the judgment and order which is stated to have covered this case is under challenge in a writ appeal filed by the respondents and that the operation of the said judgment and order has also been stayed by the appellate Court. In view of this submission, it will be more expedient to defer the taking up of this case till the time the writ appeal in question is disposed of by the appellate Court. Order accordingly. "

Similar orders were passed in WP (C) No. 228 (SH)2008 and WP (C) No. 229 (SH) 2008.

(4) Referring to the above order passed by this Court Ms. Saikia has submitted that the writ appeals challenging the order dated 20. 6. 2008 passed by the learned single Judge in a batch of 7 (seven) similarly situated writ petitions filed by the Union of India have been disposed of by a Division Bench of this Court vide order dated 27. 11. 2008, whereby and whereunder the Division Bench dis-inclined to interfere with the common judgment and order dated 20. 6. 2008 thereby rejecting the writ appeals having no merit. The Division Bench further directed the concerned authorities/appellants to comply with the directions of the learned single Judge within a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of a copy of the judgment.

(5) To avoid unnecessary repetition of facts, which are almost common to all writ petitions, I shall first deal with WP (C) No. 227 (SH) 2008 in details, inasmuch as, prayer made in the writ petitions are same.

(6) In WP (C) No. 227 (SH) 2008, petitioner has prayed for a direction to the respondents to release the financial assistance under the Scheme For Promotion of industries in the North East ('spine' for short) provided by the Government of India under the 10th Plan to be paid by the North Eastern Council ('nec' for short) in terms of the letter dated 05. 05. 2006 of the Chief Division (NEC Cell), Planning and Development Department. The pleaded case of the petitioner is that the petitioner M/s. Tirupati Food Products is a proprietorship registered firm having permanent registration No. 180300435 dated 28. 9. 2003 as a S. I. unit. The petitioner 's firm has been engaged in production of mustard oil, poly packaging etc. giving employment opportunities to the local youths and thereby has earned good reputation in the business. Considering the demand, infrastructural facilities, capital investment, cost and profitability, employment potential based on socio-economic conditions, the petitioner had decided to increase the production capacity of the unit for production of mustered oil, poly-packaging etc. Presently, the unit is manufacturing permanently 1200 M. T. of mustard oil. Raw material for the unit is locally procured during the crop season only and depending on the price compatibility, sometimes, it is procured from Alwar and other areas of Rajasthan, throughout the year. The mustard oil manufactured by the unit is in great demand in the local market which is being packaged in attractive packets. Considering the demand prospect of mustard oil, the unit proposes to increase its manufacturing capacity up to 5,55,840 liters by installing additional plant and machinery.

(7) For encouraging industrialization, a special industrial policy for the North Eastern States was taken by the Planning and Development Department, Government of India for promotion of industries in the North East during the 9th Plan period by creating an entrepreneurial climate through consistent and concerted efforts. Accordingly, a guideline for the Scheme and special packages for food processing, bamboo and common facility centers and service industries with particular emphasis on tourism etc. have also been introduced considering the fact that impression among industrialists towards North East is not investment friendly. The scheme is known as "scheme FOR PROMOTION OF INDUSTRIES IN THE NORTH EAST" or otherwise known as "spine" and the same was launched by the Ministry of Doner "with an intention to give more incentives for setting up more industries in the North Eastern Region". Para 1. 4 of the scheme relating to "incentives for setting up of industries" states as follows:

"1. 4. Incentive for Setting up Industries: During the 9th Plan period the coverage of the scheme was restricted to small scale industries only. This resulted in exclusion of food processing industries where the cost of a plant exceeds Rs. 300. 00 lakhs. It is, therefore, proposed to expand the coverage of the scheme for all industrial units where the cost of plant and machinery is below Rs. 500. 00 lakhs. To protect the interest of the tiny and micro enterprises separate component has been built in to budget provisions. The limit of 25% of fixed investment or Rs. 50. 00 lakhs whichever is less will, however, remain. The condition for the assistance is given below:

1. The cost of plant and machinery of the project to be implemented should not exceed Rs. 500. 00 lakhs with an accent on employment generation.

2. Projects based on locally available raw materials or which can be purchased easily with minimum transportation cost shall be given priority.

3. Projects which may lead to substitution of products imported from outside the region shall be encouraged.

4. NEC will subsidies 25% of the project cost or Rs. 50 lakh whichever is less subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 50. 00 Iakh and as deem proper by the recommending authority, subject to the following:

i) For the purpose of calculating the amount of subsidy eligible the following shall be taken into consideration (a) Land (b) cost of building (c)Cost of plant and machinery (d) cost of Miscellaneous fixed assets (e) Where the total cost of project is below Rs. 25. 00 lacs, the Preliminary and pre-operative costs.

ii) All sanctions and also the amount sanctioned will be subject to the availability of funds with the NEC for the purpose.

5. lf the North Eastern Council/financial Institutions concerned is satisfied that the subsidy or grant to a Beneficiary has been obtained by misrepresentation as a result of which the project goes out of business/closes production/ceases functioning within 5 (five) years of commencement of business, the North Eastern Council through its duly constituted officers reserves the right to take such remedial measures as it may deem fit including the refund of the grant of subsidy sanctioned, after giving the beneficiary an opportunity to be heard.

6. A beneficiary may not change the location of the Unit without obtaining prior permission of the North Eastern Council.

7. The beneficiary would be required to obtain prior permission of the duly constituted authority of the council to sell, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate or in any way alienate assets created from the proceeds of the subsidy granted.

8. Representatives of the North Eastern Council shall be allowed full access to the business premises/factory of such units which have availed of subsidy under the scheme for inspection.

9. The working capital component of the project will not be included in the calculation for NEC's assistance under any circumstances.

10. Assistance to the extent indicated under point 4 above will be given only to those projects to which any scheduled commercial bank, RRBs, All India Financial Institutions, NEDFI, State Financial Institutions including Apex State Cooperative Bank has agreed in principle to offer working capital finance and/or the short fall of the project cost.

11. NEC's share of fund will be made available to the entrepreneur through the particular branch of the bank by cheque.

12. In accordance with the current policy decision of the North Eastern Council funding under the scheme, may be restricted to private sector enterprise only.

13. In all proposals, share of the promoters must be indicated.

14. Fund utilization certificate must be produced twice in a year by the entrepreneur/enterprise to the NEC until the project becomes operational.

15. NEC officials will monitor/evaluate the projects sanctioned under this scheme as per existing practice.

16. Wide publicity should be given to the NEC and State Governments.

17. The projects for assistance under the scheme should reach NEC through the line department, indicating viability of the project and through the Planning Department of the State with proper recommendation and also with sanctioning letter of the financial institutions providing loan etc.

18. Technical Consultancy Agencies like IIE, NEITCO, NECON and NSIC etc. may be engaged on consultancy basis for appraisal of project proposals and for evaluation and monitoring of implementation of projects.

19. Consolidated Tourism Promotion Scheme may be formulated as a part of the industrial promotion programme keeping in view the ground situations in the constituent states. Norms for funding may be decided separately"

As per Clause 4 of para 1. 4 of the Scheme, the NEC is to provide subsidy to newly set up industries to the extent of 25% of the project cost of Rs. 50 lacs whichever is less, subject to maximum limit of Rs. 50,00,000/ - (Rupees fifty lacs) and as deem proper by the recommending authority subject to fulfillment of the conditions stipulated therein.

(8) After coming to know of the launching of the aforesaid scheme, the petitioner prepared an expansion plan and filed an application on 27. 2. 2006 applying for financial assistance for the project of an estimated cost of Rs. 61,99,391/- under SPINE before the Director of Industries and Commerce, Government of Assam, Guwahati. Along with the application, the petitioner has submitted the project report and necessary list of documents as required for ready reference for the authority. The said application was duly received by the authority on 27. 02. 2006. After necessary processing and scrutiny of the application and relevant documents, the Joint Director (TS), Directorate of Industries and Commerce, Assam, Guwahati forwarded the proposal to the Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam, Industries and Commerce Department vide letter No. DI and C (VSPINE)/44/2006/57 dated 28. 2. 2006 for consideration by NEC. Moreover, after necessary scrutiny of the proposal submitted by the petitioner, the Under Secretary to the Government of Assam, Industries and Commerce Department forwarded the project proposal along with relevant documents of the petitioner to the Chief of Division (NEC Cell), Planning and Development Department, Dispur, vide communication dated 17. 3. 2006 for availing financial assistance under SPINE. Upon receipt of the proposal, the Chief of Division (NEC Cell), Planning and Development Department vide letter, dated 5. 5. 2006 forwarded the same alongwith relevant particulars to the Secretary, NEC for availing the financial assistance of the admissible project cost of Rs. 61. 99 lacs making it clear therein that the project is financed by Punjab National Bank, Guwahati for Rs. 20. 00 lacs as term loan under SPINE from NEC for setting up of an unit for production of mustard oil, poly packaging etc. which will provide opportunity of employment to the un-employed youths of the area. It was further requested to consider the proposal for providing financial assistance under SPINE. However, inspite of forwarding the proposal of the petitioner to the respondent No. 3, i. e. Secretary, NEC nothing was done and the same was kept pending without making any process or any communication to the petitioner in that regard. The petitioner has also submitted several representations before the authority but the same have evoked no response. In the meanwhile, the petitioner has taken huge amount of loan, secured and unsecured and has invested in the project to the tune of Rs. 528. 77 lakhs with the hope of getting financial assistance. The petitioner, therefore, contends that as SPINE was valid up to 31. 3. 2007, it is entitled to get the benefit of the subsidy thereunder, but the respondent No. 3 adopted the policy of pick and choose and completely ignored its application. The petitioner has made the statement on oath that though the respondent authority claimed to have withdrawn the SPINE, the respondent No. 3 continues to give financial assistance to different industries by considering them as ongoing projects in NEC. In this regard, the petitioner points out that the Adviser (Banking and Industry, NEC Secretariat) by its letter dated 4. 9. 2007 wrote to the Secretary to the Government of Assam, Industries and Commerce Department regarding release of further installments of subsidy to the industries under SPINE and of the proposal to hold a formal meeting in the 2nd week of September, 2007 to consider and recommend further release of the subsidies to industries enclosing therewith a format of the inspection report and a list of industries. The petitioner thus contends that the said letter clearly demonstrates that the NEC is still releasing the subsidy amounts to different industries following the policy of pick and choose.

(9) The writ petitioners "m/s Cachar Ispat Pvt. Ltd." is a registered company under the Companies Act, 1956 having its registered office at Fancy Bazar, Guwahati, in the district of Kamrup. The petitioner company has been engaged in manufacturing of Mild Steel Ingot and thereby giving employment opportunities to the local youths and has earned tremendous good will in the business. The unit is a SSI unit having permanent SSI registration No. IEM No. 1251/sia/imo/2005 dated 18. 03. 2005. The steel played a significant role in the development of the society after the onset of the industrial revolution and subsequently with India's growing industrial maturity, steel has become the crucial cost for national manufacture facilities like power and irrigation projects, railways, telecommunication etc. The constant development and industrialization programme of Assam calls for augmentation of steel production capacity to meet the wide gap between the demand and supply. In today's scenario, with its growing economy and progressively higher standard of living requires expanding volume of finished steel production. Assam is also not isolated from this. To meet the gap between the demand and supply, both Central and State Government permits steel plants to grow by installing new units to increase the production. In Assam, due to increasing diverse construction activities both in Public and Private Sectors and also for domestic consumption reinforcernent rods, rounds, bars and structures are needed. To meet the demand and supply of steel, steel in Assam is to be imported from Meghalaya, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal which increases cost due to transportation.

(10) This petitioner also after coming to know about the SPINE submitted an application in standard form alongwith list of documents of the firm before the Director of Industries and Commerce, Government of Assam on 15. 06. 2005 claiming incentives under the scheme SPINE. On 14. 7. 2005, the said application/proposal of the petitioner was forwarded by the Additional Director (FP), Directorate of Industries and Commerce, Assam to the Commissioner and Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Assam which was in turn forwarded to the Joint Secretary to the Government of Assam, Planning and Development Department vide communication dated 6. 8. 2005 by the Under Secretary, Government of Assam, Industries and Commerce. On 28. 10. 2005, the Chief of Division (NEC Cell), Planning and Development, forwarded the application of the petitioner to the Secretary, NEC, i. e. respondent No. 3 for availing financial assistance for setting up a project, clearly mentioning therein that the total cost of the proposed project is Rs. 291 lakh. A request has thus been made vide the said letter to consider the proposal under SPINE. The Adviser (Banking and Industries) vide letter dated 8. 2. 2006 informed the petitioner that the proposal of the petitioner has been examined with further request to submit some more documents as those are necessary for proper scrutiny of the proposal. Vide letter dated 18. 3. 2006 the petitioner submitted the documents as asked for with a request to release the fund as early as possible. However, the respondent No. 3 did not process the application of the petitioner without any rhyme or reason. According to the petitioner, the SPINE for incentive to industries was valid up to 31. 3. 2007, it is entitled to receive the investment subsidy held out thereunder. It is the case of the petitioner that the respondent authorities were precessing the applications of others by following the policy of pick and choose by ignoring its case. The various representations made by the petitioner did not evoke any response from the authorities whereupon this writ petition has been filed for appropriate directions. The petitioner contends that the respondent authorities are bound on the principle of promissory estoppel to process its application and release the investment subsidy payable to it under the SPINE. It is the case of the petitioner that it has taken huge amount of loan secured and unsecured and has invested in the expansion project to the tune of Rs. 291. 00 lacs with a hope of getting subsidy under the SPINE as declared by the Govt. of India through the respondent authorities.

(11) The writ petitioner "m/s BN Industries Pvt. Ltd. " is a company registered on 31. 5. 1999 under the Companies. Act, 1956. The petitioner company has been engaged in manufacturing of packaged drinking water, PET Bottle and jar and Soda Water giving employment opportunities to the local youths and has earned good reputation in the business. The company is a SSI unit having permanent registration No. 020507963 dated 31. 5. 2001.

(12) Like the writ petitioners in the above two petitions, the petitioner herein also after coming to know about the introduction of SPINE, as mentioned above, submitted its application in standard form along with list of documents of the firm before the Director of Industries and Commerce, Government of Assam on 01. 06. 2005 claiming incentives under the SPINE. After necessary processing and scrutiny of the application submitted by the petitioner, the Joint Director (TS), Directorate of Industries and Commerce, forwarded the proposal vide communication dated 28. 02. 2006 to the Commissioner of Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Assam for consideration by NEC. On 17. 03. 2006, the Under Secretary to the Government of Assam, Industries and Commerce Department, forwarded the proposal of the petitioner to the Chief of Division (NEC Cell), Planning and Development Department who in turn forwarded the same to the Secretary, NEC vide communication dated 12. 04. 2006 for availing financial assistance of the admissible project cost of Rs. 163. 28 lakhs making it clear therein that project is financed by Punjab National Bank, Guwahati for Rs. 20 lakhs as term loan. It was further requested to consider the proposal for providing, financial assistance under SPINE. After waiting for a long time when nothing has been done by the respondent No. 3 on the proposal, the Petitioner on 10. 04. 2007, wrote a letter to the Secretary, NEC requesting him to expedite the payment of grant to help the petitioner's unit run smoothly. However, nothing was done in this regard till date for the disbursement of financial assistance. In the meanwhile, the petitioner invested more than one and half crores towards setting up of the project.

(13) The common contention of all the petitioners are that pursuant to introduction of SPINE, they have invested huge amount of money in their projects by taking loan secured and unsecured. Hence, the respondent authorities now cannot resile from their promises made by them under the SPINE. As such, the petitioners cannot now be left in the mid way and the units set up by the petitioners with the expectations of receiving subsidy under the SPINE are facing closure due to financial hardship. It is, therefore, contended by the petitioners that the respondent authorities are bound by the principle of doctrine of promissory estoppel to release the investment subsidy held out by them under the SPINE. It has been further submitted that the projected outlay under the SPINE is under the head of 'industries and Minerals' and a total sum of Rs. 6548 lacs was kept aside for setting up new industries, making research, food processing, etc. out of which a lion's share has remained untouched to the detriment of the poor industries. The petitioners further contend that some industries are still considered for extending financial subsidy under the SPINE despite the claim made by the respondent to the contrary as evident from the letter dated 26. 07. 2007 issued by the Joint Secretary to the Government of Assam, Industries and Commerce Department to the Adviser (Banking and Industries) NEC Secretariat nominating the Managing Director of Assam Industrial Development Corporation (' AIDC' for short) as member of the Committee constituted to consider the ongoing projects under the SPINE. It is, thus, contended by the petitioners that its legitimate expectations to sanction financial assistance payable under the SPINE cannot be defeated by the inaction or action of the respondent authorities arbitrarily. Moreover, according to the petitioner, the policy decision of the Central Government launching SPINE under Article 162 of the Constitution of India cannot be set at naught by an authority subordinate to the union cabinet. It has been further contended by the petitioners that the offer of financial assistance/subsidy contained in the SPINE constitutes a promise/assurance and the respondent authorities should be held bound by such promise and the said promise should be enforceable against them by invoking doctrine of promissory estoppel. The respondent authorities are consequently estopped from withdrawing or withholding the benefit of financial assistance due to the petitioners under the SPINE and this refusal on the part of the respondent authorities to sanction and release the subsidy legitimately due to the petitioner is discriminatory, arbitrary as well as unconstitutional. The petitioners, therefore, seek intervention of this Court for issuing appropriate directions or orders to the respondent authorities for enforcement of their promise to grant the investment subsidy under the SPINE to the petitioner's industries.

(14) Neither any affidavit-in-opposition has been filed on behalf of the Respondents nor any record produced. However, Mr. Shyam, learned Central Government Counsel has submitted that the guidelines issued for grant of subsidy inter alia, stipulated that subsidy will be granted subject to availability of fund and fulfillment of the conditions mentioned therein. The same being policy decision of the Government, cannot confer any vested or justifiable right upon the petitioners and the writ petitions are, therefore, not maintainable. Mr. Shyam has further submitted that the policy decision taken by the respondent authority was to accelerate the industrial development in the North Eastern region with a view to inculcate entrepreneurial skill amongst new entrepreneurs and not for the existing industrial units. Therefore, the petitioners are not entitled to the subsidy as claimed, they having their industrial units already on a sound footing. Moreover, the respondent authorities are well within their right to take a policy decision with a view to attain some objectives in the larger interest of the society on for the promotion of productive oriented enterprises and to withdraw the same if' similar scheme is already in existence or is under contemplation. On account of the existence of similar scheme, namely, the North Eastern Industrial Investment and Promotion Policy. 1999, they, in exercise of their discretionary power, withdrew the SPINE on and from 5. 2. 2007 with the result that the case of the petitioners could not be considered. Mr Shyam has also submitted that the petitioners could have availed of the subsidy under the newly Iaunched North East Industrial Investment and Promotion Policy, 2007 ('neiipp' for short) contained in the Office memorandum No. 10 (3)/07-DBA-II/ner dated 1. 4. 2007 issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) and the scheme for capital investment subsidy for industrial unit in the North Eastern Region (NER) comprising of the States of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim with a view to accelerate the industrial development in the NER. The respondents' further contention is that the proposal of the petitioners were received by NEC from the Chief of Division (NEC) Planning and Development Department, Government of Assam, when the scheme was withdrawn following the review of the same at the meeting held on 16. 10. 2007 which decided to stop the Umbrella Scheme like SPINE. It was decided in the said meeting to constitute a committee consisting of the Secretary of each State or its representatives, the Managing Director of AIDC, Chief Managing Director, North Eastern Development Finance Institution and Adviser (Banking and Industries) as the member-convener to monitor before the release of the fund under SPINE. The list of those cases whose proposal has been sanctioned and to whom the first and second installments were already disbursed (committed liabilities) and sent to the Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Government of Assam for necessary inspection of the unit and for convening committee meeting, not for releasing further subsidy to industries under SPINE as contended by the petitioners. Mr Shyam has further submitted that since the withdrawal of SPINE on and from 5. 2. 2007, no release under SPINE has been made by the NEC till date, thus, allegation of pick and choose policy does not arise, inasmuch as, the proposal of the petitioners were received after 5. 2. 2007, i. e. after withdrawal of the scheme and were, therefore, not processed. Further contention of the respondents is that the NEC did not make any commitment to release subsidy/funds to the petitioners, It is thus contended by the respondents that the writ petitions have no merit and are, thus, liable to be dismissed with costs.

(15) At this stage, Ms Saikia, learned counsel for the petitioner appearing in all these three petitions has submitted that in a batch of writ petitions, namely, WP (C) No. 279 (SH) 2007, 280 (SH)2007, 281 (SH)2007, 282 (SH)2007, 283 (SH)2007, 284 (SH) 2007 and 285 (SH) 2007, this Court after hearing the learned counsel appearing for the parties at length and upon perusal of the pleadings exchanged by the parties vide its judgment dated 20. 6. 2008 allowed the writ petitions with a direction to the respondents to process the application of the petitioners for granting investment subsidy under SPINE in accordance with law for sanctioning the same due to each of them without being influenced by the letter dated 5. 2. 2007 of the Secretary in the Ministry of Doner within a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of a copy of the judgment.

(16) Challenging the legality and validity of the aforesaid ju

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dgment and order dated 20. 6. 2008 passed in WP (C) No. 279 (SH)2007 and 6 (six) others, the respondents preferred writ appeal before this Court and a Division Bench of this Court after hearing the learned counsel appearing for the parties upon perusal of the materials on record and relying upon the decisions of the Apex Court in Motilal Padampat Sugar Mills Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh reported in (1979) 2 SCC 409, the Union of India Vs. Anglo Afgan Agency, reported in AIR 1968 SC 718, Bokul Oil Industries Vs. State of Gujrat reported in (1987) 1 SCC 31, M/s Vij Resins Pvt. Ltd. Vs. State of Jammu and Kashmir reported in (1989) 3 SCC 115 dismissed the said appeals as having no merit. The Court did not interfere with the common judgment and order dated 20. 6. 2008 passed by the learned Single Judge in the aforesaid batch of writ petitions leading case being WP (C) No. 279 (SH) 2007. (17) As already mentioned hereinabove, the learned counsel for the parties have submitted as the Bar that the judgment and order dated 27. 11. 2008 passed by Division Bench of this Court in Writ Appeal No. 26 (SH)2008 alongwith six other writ appeals squarely covers the instant petitions also. In the aforesaid writ appeals, this Court at para 22 and 23 held thus: "22. In the cases before us also we have ascertained that the uncontrovertible findings made by the learned single Judge give rise to a fact situation for application of the doctrine of promissory estoppel in favour of the petitioners in the writ petitions and as against the respondents/appellants. The petitioners in the writ petitions, who acted in pursuance of the promise of the said authorities and incurred expenditure cannot be deprived of the benefits under the said scheme simply by taking the plea that the Scheme has been withdrawn subsequently. The said withdrawal cannot be made in violation of the doctrine of promissory estoppel. The submission made by the learned CGC in this regard is not accepted. 23. In the result, these seven writ appeals are rejected as having no merit. The impugned common judgment dated 20. 06. 2008 is not interfered with. No order as to cost. The concerned authorities/appellants will have to comply with the directions of the learned single Judge within a period of 90 days from the date of receipt of this judgment. " (18) Therefore submitted Ms. Saikia that the present petitioners being similarly situated so far as their claim made in their respective petitions are concerned, they are entitled to similar relief. (19) Accordingly, these three writ petitions are allowed in terms of the order dated 27. 11. 2008 passed in Writ Appeal No. 26 (SH)2008 and 6 other analogous appeals with a direction to process the application of the petitioners for investment subsidy under the SPINE in accordance with law and without being influenced by the letter dated 5. 2. 2007 of the Secretary in the Ministry of Doner for sanctioning the same due to the petitioners within a period of 90 (ninety) days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this judgment and order. (20) However, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall be no orders as to cost.
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