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Indian Case Summary

Petroleum & Natural Gas … vs Indraprastha Gas Ltd.& Ors on 1 July, 2015 – Case Summary

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In the case of Ultratech Cement Limited vs The Union of India and others, the Chhattisgarh High Court delivered a significant judgment on 16th November 2021. The case, Writ Appeal No.342 of 2021, arose out of an order dated 28-9-2021 passed by a single judge in W.P.(C)No.2989/2021.

Facts of the Case

Ultratech Cement Limited, a company registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956, and having its registered office in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and its Cement Plant/Unit at Rawan Cement Works, P.O. Grasim Vihar, Village Rawan, District Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara (C.G.) and Hirmi Cement Works, Post Hirmi – 493 195, Village Hirmi, District Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara (C.G.), was the petitioner and appellant in this case.

The respondents included the Union of India, through the Secretary, Ministry of Railways, Government of India, Rail Bhavan, New Delhi (India), Chairman, Railway Board, Rail Bhawan, Raisina Road, New Delhi, South East Central Railway, Zonal Office, Bilaspur, through its General Manager, Bilaspur, Senior Divisional Operational Manager, South East Central Railway, Divisional Office, Raipur (C.G.), and Shree Cement Limited, Bangur Nagar, Post Box No.33, Beawar, Rajasthan.

Issues Raised

The case revolved around the question of the legality, validity, and correctness of the order dated 28-9-2021 passed by the learned Single Judge in W.P.(C)No.2989/2021. The order had modified an earlier order dated 26-7-2021 and granted an application for vacating stay filed by respondent No.5 (Shree Cement Limited). This allowed respondents No.1 to 4 (Union of India and others) to finalize the project of putting up a freight terminal at the risk and cost of respondent No.5.

Court’s Observations and Ruling

The court, after hearing the arguments from both sides, held that the writ appeal was maintainable. The court noted that the appellant had been deprived of his valuable right to file a counter-affidavit opposing the application for vacating stay in the writ petition. The court also noted that respondents No.1 to 4 had been allowed to finalize the project of putting up a freight terminal by respondent No.5.

The court, therefore, deemed it appropriate to issue a notice on the application and granted three weeks’ time to the respondents to file a reply to the said application. The court also admitted the writ appeal for hearing.

This case highlights the importance of the right to file a counter-affidavit in a writ petition and the implications of an order that allows a project to be finalized without considering the objections of the opposing party.