Oral Judgment: (F.I. Rebello, J.)
1. Rule in both the Petitions.
2. Heard forthwith.
3. Both these petitions are being disposed of by this common judgment as the reliefs prayed for are interconnected. Writ Petition No. 759 of 2006 was filed by the Petitioner as their application for registration in terms of the Central Excise Rules was rejected. A learned Bench of this court by order dated 27.3.2006 confirmed the ad interim order dated 10.2.2006 which was earlier continued by order dated 28.2.2006 in terms of Prayer clause (g-i). Pursuant to the grant of the interim relief, the respondents were directed to grant provisional registration so that the Petitioner may be allowed to remove the goods manufactured from the factory at Redi on payment of the usual excise duty as leviable on the goods so manufactured and in accordance with law. The order, confirming the ad interim of 27.3.2006 also imposed some additional conditions directing the Petitioner to deposit a sum of Rs. 5 Crores (Rupees Five Crores) with further direction that if ultimately, the Petitioner succeed in the writ petition, the Respondent No. 2 was to restitute the said amount along with simple interest of 6% per annum from the date of deposit untill payment. There was a restraint order against the Petitioner not to create any third party right or encumber the assets which they had purchased from Respondent No. 6 being the assets of Respondent No. 7 without prior permission from this court.
4. The Respondent No. 7 had been operating a Pig Iron factory at Redi and had run up huge debts to Banks and other Financial Institutions. The Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) one of the banks issued notice under Section 13(2) of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (For short "SARFAESI Act") on July 24, 2002 for the sum of Rs. 5,94,52,20,451/-. The IDBI Bank entered into an agreement with the Stressed Assets Stabilisation Fund (hereinafter referred to as SASF) by which the IDBI Bank assigned/transferred to SASF the financial assistance granted by them to the borrower together with all securities and all rights in respect thereof. SASF issued an advertisement in "The Economic Times" calling for "Expression of Interest" from parties interested in purchase of assets of Usha ispat Limited at Redi and Satarda plants in Maharashtra. In October, 2005, SASF obtained consent of the three fourth in value of the secured creditors having charge on the assets as envisaged under Section 13(9) of the SARFAESI Act and issued notices to the borrowers for taking possession of the assets. The Authorised Officer of SASF took symbolic possession of the assets at Redi on 14.10.2005 in the presence of witnesses/Panchas, the representative/s of Respondent No. 7, the officials of M/s. Ferro Green Technologies Pvt. Ltd. valuer appointed for the purpose of taking inventory and valuation thereof, besides other officials of SASF. The Authorised Officer on taking possession of the assets caused an inventory of the assets to be taken by M/s. Ferro Green Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and published the possession notice in the newspapers as required under the SARFAESI Act. The Petitioner vide their letter dated October 20, 2005 filed an Expression of Interest (hereinafter referred to as EOI) for procuring the assets of the Redi plant offered for sale by SASF. The Petitioners made a final bid of Rs.115,00,00,000/- through a binding bid for acquisition of the assets as detailed in the Bid document. The Petitioner has set out the assumptions and understandings, based on which it had made the bid. The Petitioners have relied upon the Bid document and the terms and conditions made therein including the information on the assets, for the preparation of the bid.
The Petitioners were informed by the Authorised Officer that their bid for Rs. 115,00,00,000/- was adjudged as the highest bid and consequently the secured creditors decided to sell both the moveable and immovable assets of Redi unit to the Petitioners which was communicated to the Petitioners by the Authorised Officer of SASF vide letter dated December 29,2005. After subsequent meetings and discussions the Petitioners remitted the agreed amounts to SASF aggregating upto Rs.100,00,000/- (Rupees One Hundred Crores only). A sale certificate for the immovable properties of Redi Plant was issued in favour of the Petitioners along with possession certificate. The sale certificate for the remaining amount was to be issued once all payments required to be made to SASF was made by the Petitioners in full and final settlement of the dues.
5. At this stage, a demand notice dated 25.1.2006 was issued to the Petitioners by the Superintendent of Central Excise, demanding the sum of Rs. 12,98,00,000/- plus further interest due from Respondent No. 7. The Petitioners on 01.02.2006 applied for registration to the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, Ratnagiri in terms of Rule 9 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002. In terms of the said Rules, a manufacturer engaged in the manufacture of excisable goods is statutorily required to apply and obtain registration from the officer of Central Excise. Petitioners were informed by letter dated 1.2.2006 that an order had been passed refusing to grant registration, on the ground that in the said premises there is already an existing Central excise registration in favour of Respondent No. 7 and that registration has not been cancelled because Government dues are pending against them. Having refused to grant registration, Respondent No. 3 returned the application for registration with its enclosures without giving any opportunity to the Petitioners to represent their case. On account of the refusal, the Petitioners filed Writ Petition No. 759 of 2006 for the reliefs as prayed for therein.
Subsequent to interim order passed by this court on 10.2.2006, a provisional registration has been granted and thereafter subsequent orders have been passed which are earlier set out.
6. A reply has been filed by Mr. A.D. Kambli, Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, Ratnagiri Division. There are some averments as to why this court should not exercise its extra ordinary jurisdiction. The Respondent?s contention is that the Petitioner has acquired assets of M/s/ Usha Ispat Ltd. being the highest bidder and has taken possession of the unit of Usha Ispat Ltd. The Petitioner is liable for payment of the state dues considering section 11 of the Central Excise Act.
In Para 6, it is more specifically set out that the Petitioner has taken over the business of M/s. Usha Ispat Ltd. at Redi including assets. It is pointed out that the advertisement issued by SASF and the bid document issued specifically state as under:
"the sale of assets, if materialized, shall be on an "as-is-where-is" and "as-is-what-is" basis, however, subject to prior consent/permission of various stakeholders including secured lenders/as also any court/tribunal, if required."
It is specifically set out that the very same factory premises at Redi is already registered under the name of M/s. Usha Ispat Ltd. having obtained Central Excise registration on 1.4.1993 and revised by order dated 10.12.2002. M/s. UIL had surrendered their registration certificated by a formal letter which was not in the prescribed format and which has not yet been accepted by the Respondent No. 3, as central excise dues amounting to Rs.12.98 crores are still due and recoverable from the said M/s.UIL along with interest as per Rule 8 of the Central Excise Rules. As M/s. UIL still continues to have registration certificate.
The application by the petitioner has been turned down.
In rejoinder, Petitioners have set out that the Petitioners have acquired only some of the immovable and moveable assets of M/s. UIL and have neither acquired nor succeeded in the business of Respondent No. 7 nor taken over the business or central Unit of UIL. The Petitioners have only acquired certain assets of UIL free from all encumbrances and as such there is no statutory obligation on the Petitioners to discharge liability of outstanding dues towards excise authorities. Distinguishing the case of M/s. Manibhadra Processors (supra), it is set out that M/s. UIL has surrendered its registration by cancellation to the department.
7. We shall first consider the issues in Writ Petition No. 759 of 2006 in the matter of registration of the establishment of the Petitioners.
Section 6 of the Central Excise Act reads as under :
"6. Registration of certain persons ? Any prescribed person who is engaged in - (a) the production of manufacture or any process of production or manufacture of any specified goods included in the First Schedule and the Second Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 (5 of 1986), or (b) the wholesale purchase or sale (whether on his own account or as a broker or commission agent) or the storage of any specified goods included in the First Schedule and the Second Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 (5 of 1986)."
In terms of the Act therefore, a person who is engaged in the occupation or manufacture or in the process of production of specified goods included in the first schedule and second schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 or the wholesale Purchase or sale (whether on his own account or as a broker or commission agent) or the storage of any specified goods included in the first schedule and the Second Schedule) the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 (5 of 1986), must get himself registered with the proper officer.
The next relevant provision is Rule 9 of the Central Excise Rules which reads as under :
"Rule 9. Registration - (1) Every person, who produces, manufactures, carries on trade, holds private store-room or warehouse or otherwise uses excisable goods, shall get registered; Provided that a registration obtained under rule 174 of the Central Excise Rules, 1944 or rule 9 of the Central Excise (No. 2) Rules, 2001 shall be deemed to be as valid as the registration made under this sub rule for the purpose of these rules. (2) The Board may by notification and subject to such conditions or limitations as may be specified in such notification, specify person or class of persons who may not require such registration. (3) The registration under sub rule (1) shall be subject to such conditions, safeguards and procedure as maybe specified by notification by the Board."
Sub Rule (3) of Rule (9) contemplates that the registration shall be subject to the conditions as specified by Notification by the Board. The Board has issued notification under Rule 9. The perusal of the said notification, requires compliance of the following :
(a) An application by every person specified under sub rule (1) of Rule (9) for registration.
(b) If the person has more than one premises requiring registration, separate registration certificate shall be obtained for each of such premises.
(c) Where a registered person transfers his business to another person, the transferee shall get himself registered afresh. (Emphasis supplied)
(d) Every registered person, who ceases to carry on the operation for which he is registered, shall de-register himself by making a declaration in the form specified in Annexure III and depositing his registration certificate with the Superintendent of Central Excise.
These are some of the requirements as set out under the rules.
8. A combined reading therefore, of Section 6 of the Act read with Rule 9 as also the notification shows that the registration must be by the "Person".
Our attention is however, invited to the judgment of this court in Manibhadra Processors Vs. Additional Commissioner of C. Ex. 2005 (184) E.L.T. 13 (Bom.) to contend that if there be an earlier holder of the registration certificate who has not paid the outstanding excise duties and fails to surrender registration certificate with respect to the same factory premises, no other unit in the same premises can be registered under the Rules unless earlier registration is deregistered or cancelled or surrendered by such registrant and all excise dues are cleared. On behalf of the Revenue, the learned counsel has relied on this judgment to contend that in the instant case, there is a subsisting registration in favour of Respondent No. 7, Usha Ispat and once there be registration in their favour, the Registrar was right in rejecting or returning the application for registration made by the Petitioner herein.
Let us consider the ratio of the said judgment. On a reading of the said judgment, the following facts emerge. There was a company known as Ludhiana Woolen and Silk Mills Pvt. Ltd. who were owners of the premises. They firstly leased out the premises on rent to M/s. Swastik Dyeing and Printing Mills Limited who had obtained excise registration on 1.10.1996 and failed to clear their dues. Subsequent thereto, M/s. Ludhiana Woolen and Silk Mills Pvt. Ltd. leased out the very same premises to M/s. Jagruti Textile Processors who also defaulted in payment of dues and did not surrender the registration certificate. The application of Manibhadra Processors was refused on the ground that Jagruti Textiles have not paid their outstanding dues and failed to surrender their registration certificate. It appears as per the facts on record that Ludhiana Woolen and Silk Mills Pvt. Ltd. has been indulging in the act of systematic induction of difference licensees in the very premises and helping them to defraud the central excise dues. It is on these facts, that the learned Bench of this court was pleased to hold that if one person is having more than one premises, considering the language of the rule and the notification, then he must obtain separate registration certificate for each premises and as such the registration is always in respect of "particular premises" and not with respect to a particular person. Relying on the notification issued by the Board, the court held that the intention appears to be to prevent successive registration in respect of the same premises. If that be so, one and the same premises cannot be registered in the name of two different persons. The court proceeded to hold that the person holding earlier registration certificate must surrender registration certificates in respect of that premises, then only a new person can get registration in respect of that premises. From the facts, it will be clear that earlier though M/s. Swastik were in arrears fresh registration was granted in favour of M/s. Jagruti Textile Processors. The court found on the facts therein that there was a systematic attempt to evade tax dues and it is in these circumstances that the court was pleased to take the view which it has is taken. The person who owned the premises was the same but was inducting various licencees who had defaulted in payment of their dues. The judgment will have to be restricted to the facts of that case.
9. A perusal of Section 6 makes it absolutely clear that who has to be registered is the prescribed person. Under the rules also, it is the person who has to get registered. The notification in Clause (2) only sets out that if such registered person has more than one premises, then each of such separate premises would require registration certificate for each of such premises. In other words, it is the person who has to obtain separate registration certificate for each of the said premises. It is open to a person who has ceased to carry on the business to apply for deregistration. Would that mean in the absence of the person who has closed or sold the business or premises, applying for deregistration, there is no jurisdiction to grant another person registration of the premises as in the case of a bona fide transferee for value or for that to the owner of the premises whose lessee has defaulted in payment of excise dues. Section 6 and Rule 9 and the notification contemplates that it is the person who must be registered. Neither section 6 nor Rule 9 and the Notification is a provision for enforcing the claim for dues of the department. That is contained in different provisions. An immovable property by itself cannot be sold unless the owner of the premises is defaulter and that too under a certificate as arrears of land revenue. That sale would be subject to the priority of claims. In case of a lease hold property given for a particular period, there would be no question of sale of the property except the limited interest. In our opinion, the case of bona fide transferee was not in issue in the case of M/s. Manibhadra Processors (supra) or the instances we have cited above. The Respondent No. 3 has therefore, clearly acted without jurisdiction in refusing to grant registration on the specious plea that M/s. Usha Ispat whose assets has been sold and purchased by the Petitioners has not applied for deregistration.
In the absence of a specific power to deny registration, the alternate would be whether there would be implied power. Neither Section 6 or Rule 9 or for that matter the notification confers such power. The right of revenue however, would subsist for recovery of dues both against the defaulter or the transferee if the predicates for recovery are met. An incidental aspect of the matter would be if the licence is for a particular period, on expiry of that period, the registration certificate would cease to be operative. In such cases, there would be no question of cancelling the certificate of registration.
What relief can be granted in this case will be answered after considering the reliefs in Writ Petition No. 3020 of 2007.
10. In June, 2006 Petitioner received show cause notice cum demand notice dated 29.5.2006 under section 28 of the Customs Act, 1962 read with Rule 8 of the Customs (Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty for manufacture of Excisable Goods) Rules, 1996 (hereinafter referred to IGCR Rules, 1996 seeking to recover customs duty in a sum of Rs.3,78,24,368/- arising from non-fulfillment of the conditions by Respondent No. 7. In the show notice it has been contended that since the plant of Respondent No. 12 at Redi has been taken over by the Petitioners with effect from 20.01.2006 they are co-noticees to the aforesaid show cause notice. The Petitioners have replied contending that the matter is sub-judice and that the Petitioner had purchased only some assets. As there were further demands made, Writ Petition No. 3020 of 2007 has been filed.
11. A reply has been filed by Smt. I.D. Mujumder, Commissioner, C. Ex. Pune II. It is set out that the Petitioner is incumbent owner of the fixed assets including Plant and machinery and the manufacturing premises, owned earlier by their predecessors M/s. Usha Ispat Ltd. at Terekol, Redi, which assets they have taken over from M/s. UIL at Terekol, Redi. In Para 12, it is set out that it is immaterial whether the Petitioner has taken over the entire business of M/s. UIL as the Petitioner?s have taken over the assets of M/s. UIL at Terekol, Redi and consequently are the legal successors of M/s. UIL and hence are bound to fulfil the legal obligations cast upon them under the Customs Act, 1962. To the contention raised by the Petitioners that the Predecessor is holding and carrying on the business in various other locations and is very much available for payment of dues, it is set out that no such facility of the predecessor is available under the jurisdiction of the respondents and that the Petitioners contention that respondent should have recovered customs dues from the sale proceeds of Satarda plant is irresponsible and misconstrued. The respondents do not have control over the Satarda Plant. As there are demands of customs dues, and there are assets within the jurisdiction, the demand has been made after complying with all the requirements of law. ]
12. The issue in Writ Petition No. 3020 of 2007 is whether the Central Excise and Customs dues have priority of claims over the dues of the secured creditors and further whether a successful auction bidder in an auction held under the SARFAESI Act is bound to pay the pending excise and customs dues of the erstwhile owner. The issue of priority of excise dues has been considered in Krishna Lifestyle Technologies Ltd. decided on Feb. 05, 2008 in Writ Petition No. 4171 of 2007. The relevant provisions under the Customs Act is Section 142 reads as under:
"142. Recovery of sums due to Government.-
(1) Where any sum payable by any person) under this Act (including the amount required to be paid to the credit of the Central Government under section 28B) is not paid ?
(a) the proper officer may deduct or may require any other officer of customs to deduct the amount so payable from any money owing to such person which may be under the control of the proper officer or such other officer of customs; or
(b) the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs may recover or may require any other officer of customs to recover the amount so payable by detaining and selling any goods belonging to such person which are under the control of the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs or such other officer of customs; or
(c) if the amount cannot be recovered from such person in the manner provided in clause (a) or clause (b) - (i) the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs may prepare a certificate signed by him specifying the amount due from such person and sent it to the Collector of the district in which such person owns any property or resides or carries on his business and the said Collector on receipt of such certificate shall proceed to recover from such person the amount specified thereunder as if it were an arrears of land revenue; or (ii) the proper officer may, on an authorization by a Commissioner of Customs and in accordance with the rules made in this behalf, distrain any movable or immovable property belonging to or under the control of such person, and detain the same until the amount payable is paid; and in case, any part of the said amount payable or of the cost of the distress or keeping of the property, remains unpaid for a period of thirty days next after any such distress may cause the said property to be sold and with the proceeds of such sale, may satisfy the amount payable and the costs including cost of sale remaining unpaid and shall render the surplus, if any, to such person.
Provided that where the person (hereinafter referred to as predecessor), by whom any sum payable under this Act including the amount required to be paid to the credit of the Central Government under section 28B is not paid, transfers or otherwise disposes of his business or trade in whole or in part, or effects any change in the ownership thereof, in consequence of which he is succeeded in such business or trade by any other person, all goods, materials, preparations, plants, machineries, vessels, utensils, implements and articles in the custody or possession of the person so succeeding may also be attached and sold by the proper officer, after obtaining written approval from the Commissioner or Customs, for the purposes of recovering the amount so payable by such predecessor at the time of such transfer or otherwise disposal or change.
(2) Where the terms of any bond or other instrument executed under this Act or any rules or regulations made thereunder provide that any amount due under such instrument may be recovered in the manner laid down in sub section (1) the amount may, without prejudice to any other mode of recover, be recovered in accordance with the provisions of that sub section. "
A perusal of the said section would indicate that if any sum is payable to the Central Govt. the appropriate officer may first deduct it from any money owing to such person which may be under the control of the proper officer or such other officer of customs. There is also power conferred to recover the amounts by attaching and selling any goods belonging to such persons which are under the control of Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs or such other officer of Customs. If it cannot be recovered in this manner, then the Assistant Commissioner of Customs pursuant to that may prepare certificate specifying the amount due and sent it to the Collector of the District where such person holds any property or resides or carry on his business, to recover from such persons the amounts specified, as if arrears of land revenue. The other method is by deduction as set out therein. There is also proviso that if the amount payable under the Act is not paid, and if person transfers or otherwise disposes of his business or trade in whole or in part, or affects any change in the ownership thereof, in consequence of which he is succeeded in such business or trade by any other person, all goods, materials, preparations, plants, machineries, vessels, utensils, implements and articles in the custody or possession of the person so succeeding may also be attached and sold by the proper officer, after obtaining written approval from the Commissioner of Customs, for the purposes of recovering the amount so payable by such predecessor at the time of such transfer or otherwise disposal or change.
13. Respondent No. 7 admittedly is in arrears of Central Excise and Customs duties. Question is whether those dues can be recovered from the Petitioner on the basis that these dues have priority of claims over the dues of IDBI a Secured creditor which have been taken over by SASF under the SARFAESI Act. Even if these dues are considered to have priority over the dues of the secured creditors, then considering the provisions of Section 35 of the SARFAESI Act is it open to Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 to recover the dues as preferential dues of the Union of India as having priority of claim over other secured creditors? The other relevant issue for consideration would be whether the sale by SASF of the asset of R. No. 7 would result in the transfer of assets by Respondent No. 7 in favour of the Petitioners herein and whether such transfer is voluntary? Yet other issue would be whether the transfer of assets in terms of proviso to Section 142 would amount to transfer or disposal of business or trade in whole or in part? We may at this stage note that under the proviso what can be sold are the goods, plant and machineries as described therein. There is no power of sale of immovable property. The immovable property of the tax defaulter can only be sold by issuance of the certificate and the Collector of District acting on the certificate can recover it as an arrears of land Revenue. Similar is the position under the Central Excise Act.
14. In our opinion, these issues are similar to the issues which arose in Writ Petition No. 4171 of 2007 decided on 5.2.2007 in Krishna Life Style Technology Vs. Union of India and Ors. The relevant Act in that case was the Central Excise Act. The provisions for recovery under the Central Excise Act and the Customs Act are more or less, the similar and as such the same tests will have to be applied or satisfied for recovery of the dues. For reference we may reproduce the said issues which were raised and answered:
1. Do tax dues recoverable under the provisions of The Central Excise Act, have priority of claim over the claim of secured creditors under the provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2005 (in short "SARFAESI Act")?
2. What is the effect of a prior attachment by revenue of the property excisable goods of tax defaulter under the provisions of the Central Excise Act before it is sold by a secured creditor under the provisions of the SARFAESI Act.
3. Can a transfer be said to be a voluntary transfer by "the person" when the transfer takes place under the provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002.
4. Does the mere purchase of the immovable/movable assets of a tax defaulter amount to transfer or disposal of business or trade in whole or in part or result in effecting change in ownership thereof in such business or trade by any other person. Consequence of which such person is succeeded in such business or trade by any other person.
In the instant case the issues will cover both Customs and Central Excise dues.
In so far as the first issue is concerned, we have held that the Government dues
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do not have priority of claim over that of the secured creditors. However, if the Legislature makes those dues as having priority of claims as noted by the Supreme Court in State of M.P.Vs. State Bank of Indore, 2002 (10) S.C.C. 441, the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur Vs. National Iron and Steel Rolling Corporation (1995) 2 SCC 19 and in Dena Bank Vs. Bhikhabhai Prabhudas Parekh and Co. and Ors. AIR 2000 SC 3654 considering article 372 of the Constitution of India, the State dues will rank higher in priority than the dues of a secured creditors. The second issue as framed there would not arise here as there was no previous attachment before the sale under the SARFAESI Act. In so far as Issue No. 3 is concerned, considering the language of the proviso to section 142 of Customs Act and relying on the judgment of Mascon Marbles Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Union of India 2003 (158) E.L.T. 424 S.C. the transfer can be said to be transfer which is voluntary. 15. In so far as Issue No. 4 is concerned, it is not possible to record a finding that the Petitioners have succeeded to the business of M/s.Usha Ispat Ltd. Ordinarily therefore, we would have left the issue for consideration in appropriate proceedings before Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 or other competent authority. However, considering our finding that under the SARFAESI Act, Government dues whether it be excise and in the present case also customs, do not have priority over dues of secured creditors, the issue stands answered in favour of the Petitioner. We are clearly therefore, of the opinion that considering the provisions of the SARFAESI Act, the provisions of the said Act will prevail over the provisions of the Customs Act and Central Excise Act. Once the Petitioner had purchased the assets in an auction held under the SARFAESI Act, they will hold the assets free from any encumbrances. It is, therefore, not open to Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 to demand dues of Respondent No. 7 from the Petitioners herein. The demand therefore, is clearly without jurisdiction. It is open to Revenue to recover the amount from Respondent No. 7. 16. Having held that the demand by Respondent No.1 to 3 on the Petitioners is without jurisdiction clearly the act of Respondent No.1 to 3 in refusing the registration was clearly without authority of law. In the meantime, we have noticed that by an interim order this court in W.P. No. 759 of 2006 had directed provisional registration. Considering our findings that Respondent No. 1 was bound to issue registration in favour of Petitioners, we direct Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 to treat the provisional registration as regular registration or in the alternative to issue a fresh registration from the date of issuance of the provisional registration certificate. Consequently, Respondent No. 2 is directed to release the sum of Rs. 5 Crores with interest thereon at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of deposit till payment. The amount to be paid within eight weeks from today. In so far as Writ Petition No. 3020 of 2007 is concerned, considering the findings recorded, Rule made absolute in terms of Prayer Clauses (a), (b) and (c). Petition disposed of accordingly.