start stone crusher in uttarakhand

kumaun stone crusher association & others v. state of uttarakhand & others | uttarakhand high court | judgment | law | casemine

kumaun stone crusher association & others v. state of uttarakhand & others | uttarakhand high court | judgment | law | casemine

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND Writ Petition No. 2413 of 2012(M/S) Kumaun Stone Crusher Association and others Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2494 of 2012 (M/S) M/s Uttaranchal Associates Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2514 of 2012(M/S) Modern Grit Pvt. Ltd. and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2527 of 2012(M/S) Bareilly Stone Crusher Pvt. Ltd. and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2544 of 2012 (M/S) M/s S.N. Traders and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2600 of 2012(M/S) M/s Unity Stone Crusher Pvt. Ltd. and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2663 of 2012(M/S) Surjeet Singh Petitioner Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2665 of 2012(M/S) Mohan Chandra Chausali Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents Writ Petition No. 2691of 2012(M/S) M/s New Ram Nagar Stone Company and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 131 of 2013 (M/S) M/s Dev Bhoomi Stone Co. Pvt. Ltd. Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 25 of 2013 (M/S) Yogendra Kumar Singh Petitioner Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 83 of 2013 (M/S) M/s Baba Nand Singh Ji and Associates and others Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 179 of 2013 (M/S) Sharda Stone Crusher Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 195 of 2013 (M/S) M/s H.L. Narula Stone Co. Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 208 of 2013 (M/S) M/s Shankar Traders and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 270 of 2013 (M/S) M/s Mahakali Stone Crusher Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 471of 2013 (M/S) M/s Himalayan Build stone ltd. Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 571 of 2013 (M/S) Gola Stone Cruster and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 581 of 2013 (M/S) Surjeet Singh Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 621 of 2013 (M/S) M/s Kamal Singh and Rajesh Kafaltiya and another Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents with Writ Petition No. 655 of 2013 (M/S) M/s Harihar Stone Crusher Pvt. Ltd. Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents with Writ Petition No. 690 of 2013 (M/S) Mohan Lal Verma Petitioner Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 881 of 2013(M/S) Sunita Rani and others Petitioners Versus Union of India and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 912 of 2013(M/S) Bhuwan Singh Kathayat and others Petitioners Versus Union of India and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 910 of 2013(M/S) M/s G.S. Stone Associate Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 911 of 2013(M/S) Mehandi Hasan Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 977 of 2013 (M/S) Naeem Ahmed Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 1531 of 2013(M/S) Nitin Agarwal Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents With Writ Petition No. 2482 of 2012 (M/S) M/s Krishna Stone Industries Pvt. Ltd and ors. Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents Writ Petition No. 597 of 2014 (M/S) M/s S.S. Constructions Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and others .Respondents Mr. R.K. Raizada, Senior Advocate, with Mr. T.P.S. Takuli, Mr. S.S. Chauhan, Mr. B.S. Adhikari, Mr. Dushyant Mainali, Mr. Rajesh Pandey, Mr. S.K. Mandal, Mr. Dharmendra Barthwal, Mr. Sudhir Singh, Mr. Lalit Belwal, Mr. Lalit Sharma, Mr. Milind Raj, Mr. Sudhir Kumar and Mr. Piyush Garg. Advocates for the petitioners. Mr. Paresh Tripathi, Addl Chief Standing Counsel with Mrs. Seema Sah, Brief Holder for the State. Mr. Virendra Kaparwan and Mr. Sandeep Kothari, for Respondent/ Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation. Honble V.K. Bist, J. These petitions have been filed by the petitioners for quashing the Uttarakhand Transit of Timber and Forest Produce Rules, 2012 so far same provides transit fee at the rate of ` 5.00 per quintal (` 50/ per ton) for regulation of transit of boulder, sand and bajri (River Bed Material). Further prayer has been made for a direction to the State of Uttarakhand not to enforce the Uttarakhand Transit of Timber and Forest Produce Rules, 2012 so far it provides transit fee at the rate of ` 5.00 per quintal(` 50/ per ton) for regulation of transit of boulder, sand and bajri. Another prayer has been made for restraining the respondents from issuing/ levying any transit fee in terms of Rules 1978 framed under section 41 of Forest Act 1947 in case of transit of boulder, sand and bajri which are purchased on payment of royalty in accordance with the provisions of Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act 1957 and rules framed thereunder by the State Government.

2. Since in all these writ petitions, common question of law is involved to be decided by this Court, therefore, with the consent of the learned counsel for the parties, all the writ petitions have been heard together and are being decided by this common judgment. Writ petition no. 2413 of 2012 (M/S) shall be the leading case.

3. Petitioners are owners of stone crushers and stone washing plants, duly registered under Societies Registration Act. They use to purchase the boulders, natural sand and bajri etc. (also called River Bed Material) from the Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation (hereinafter referred as Forest Corporation) who is the lessee, and on payment of royalty to the lessee, and on payment of other charges including taxes and road charges of ` 50.00/ for using forest road, the lessee is to allow the petitioners to remove certain specified quantity of boulders, sand bazri. It is stated that price/rate of River Bed Material (for short RBM) has been fixed including charges such as compensatory afforestation charges, river training charges and demarcation and fire wood charges, charged by respondent no. 1 and respondent no. 2 through the respondent no. 3. The respondent no. 3 has been charging the Royalty and other expenses alleged to be incurred by it as the price of the RBM. The cost of RBM is charged as a Royalty at the rate of ` 45.00 per cubic meter and at present the department of Forest treats

1 cubic meter equivalent to 18 quintals. Thus, the material which is made available by the State Government at the rate of ` 3.50 per quintal excluding charges such as compensatory afforestation charges, river training charges and demarcation and fire wood charges charged by respondent no. 1 and respondent no. 2. Petitioners used to purchase the RBM i.e. boulders, sand, bazri from the lessee of Gola River and other rivers which passes through the forest area in Haldwani, District Nainital and Haridwar District, and the Forest Department of State of Uttarakhand insists of issuing a Transit Pass and levy of transit fee on the pretext that the RBM i.e boulders, sand, bazri are forest produce under the provisions of Forest Act 1947, and the transit of such forest produce can only be allowed on a Transit Pass on payment of Transit Fee in accordance with the provisions of Uttar Pradesh Transit of Timber and Forest Produce Rules 1978 (hereinafter referred as 1978 Rules) as framed in exercise of powers under section 41 of the Forest Act read with U.P. Re organization Act 2000.

4. In the State of Uttarakhand, Forest Corporation being the state government instrumentality has been assigned the work of mining of RBM from all those portions of rivers, which fall in forest area where the mining has been allowed by the State Government. The petitioners are purchasers of the RBM such as sand, boulder and bajri from the Forest Corporation. On purchase of such RBM from the Forest Corporation, this RBM being minerals, having been found in and brought from the forest and being defined and covered as forest produce under section 2(4)(b)(iv) of Indian Forest Act, thus on transit (transportation) of such RBM from forest to any point outside, requires, Transit Pass to be issued by the State Forest Department as provided in the 1978 Rules and under Rule 5 of the 1978 Rules, transit fee has also been provided to be payable on issue of the transit pass. 1978 Rules provides transit fee to be levied at the rate of ` 5.00 per ton of the forest produce and after creation of the State of Uttarakhand also, such rate continued to exists. On 18.05.2012, the State Government of Uttarakhand brought new rules namely Uttarakhand Transit of Timber and Forest Produce Rules, 2012 (hereinafter referred as 2012 Rules), and by means of amendment in the 1978 Rules, the rates have been changed and enhanced from ` 5.00 per ton to ` 50.00 per ton. Several writ petitions were filed challenging 2012 Rules. On 07.08.2012 following interim order was passed in one Writ Petition No. 1420 of 2012 (M/S): Considering the aforesaid, the Court is of the opinion that the petitioner will pay a sum of `15/ per tonne per lorry as transit fee, during the pendency of the writ petition, for the forest produce brought inside the State of Uttarakhand. For the balance amount, the petitioners including their agents and transporters will give an undertaking before the Forest Department to the effect, that in the event, the writ petition is dismissed, they would be liable to pay the balance amount within three months from the date of judgment. On the other hand, the Court directs the Forest Department to issue the transit pass on the basis of the aforesaid and, will also keep a record of the movement of the forest produce, namely, the details of the forest produce, the quantity, the value, the name of the consigner and consignee, place of origin, destination, vehicles numbers, etc. Such record will be maintained by the Forest Department and will be countersigned by the petitioners at the time of the issuance of the transit fee.

5. Learned Senior Counsel for the petitioners submitted that enhancement is being arbitrary, irrational and illegal and being in flagrant violation of the Fundamental Rights of the petitioners under Article 14 and 19(1)(g) and in violation of Article 301 of the Constitution of India. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioners that petitioners have pleaded certain facts which are not disputed by the State/ respondents in their counter affidavits. At the time of purchase of RBM, the cost price of RBM includes royalty, taxes and specified charges such as compensatory afforestation charges, river training charges and demarcation and fire wood charges. In addition to cost price, the purchaser has to pay road charges of ` 50.00 for using forest road. At the time of filing of the writ petition, the total cost price exclusive of road charges was ` 45.00 per cubic meter and the State Government treating one cubic meter being equivalent to 18 quintals of RBM, the cost price of RBM comes to the tune of ` 2.50 per quintal and transit of such RBM, now requires payment of ` 5.00 per quintal RBM. It is submitted that respondent no. 1 has the target of ` 300 crores to be achieved through transit fee on forest produce in the year 201213. There are further additions under the title of compensatory afforestation and river training charges to the tune of 32 crores in the year 201112 and under the title of Forest Road Charges to the tune of Rs. 10.00 crores. But, actual expenses incurred to regulate the RBM would be much less.

6. It is further submitted by the learned Senior Advocate for the petitioners that Section 41 of the Indian Forest Act, does not empower the State to levy any tax nor Section 41 is a provision for generating revenue. It may only authorize the levy of fee for transit a forest produce. The transit passes may be issued to check illicit movement of forest produce, but not to levy any tax on the movement of forest produce. The purpose behind the levy is not to realize the cost of regulations and on the other hand the transit fee as levied under the impugned Rules has been levied by State with the object of augmenting its finances as its primary object. The 2012 Rules is ultra vires the powers of the State Government under section 41 (2)(c) of the Indian Forest Act as the State Government has only been authorized to charge fee for issuance of transit passes. Section 41(2)(c) of the Forest Act does not authorize to use the provision as a substantive taxing provision as it has been done by the State Government albeit unauthorizedly. The 2012 Rules made in exercise of powers under Section 41 of the Indian Forest Act, provides in subsection (2)(c) the powers to make rules for the issue, production and return of such passes and for the payment of fees therefore, the State Government cannot impose tax on transport of forest produce. The levy of increase and exorbitant transit fee by the 2012 Rules is irrational, highly, excessive and confiscatory being violative of Article 14, 19 (1)(g) and 301 of the Constitution.

7. It is further contended by the learned Senior Advocate that total expenditure of the State Government deployed on the system of Transit of Forest Produce is minimum and the total expenditure of the salary and other expenses of the officials of the Department of Forest is being charged from the accounts of transit fee. In the present case, the transit fee which ought to have been levied to be commensurate with the expenditure incurred by the State for the purposes of regulation and not for any other purpose is not based on the principle of equivalence. Thus, there is total absence of quid proquo in the matter of levy and, realization of enhanced transit fee is utterly irrational, arbitrary, illegal and void. It is also submitted that transit fee levied as regulatory fee cannot be placed on a pedestal higher than compensatory tax and absence of quid proquo, only a nominal fee of transit fee could be charged. The transit fee has to be broadly proportional and not progressive and the pay for the cost of regulation only be the yard stick for determining the rationale and constitutionality of the levy. No quantifiable data, namely, a cost of regulation which is measurable was available before the State Government of Uttarakhand to levy such transit fee by means of 2012 Rules nor there is any date post facto the levy of enhanced transit fee to justify the said enhancement of levy. It is also submitted that transit fee could have been levied broadly in proportion to the special benefits derived to defray the costs of regulation and incidental augmentation to net revenue to the Government would not have been challenged by the petitioners; but transit fee on such rate is in the nature of a tax having been imposed in flagrant violation of Article 265, 301 and Article

304 (b) of the Constitution of India. It is further submitted that imposition of transit fee is a restrictive on the business of the members of the petitioners and violates Article 301 of the Constitution of India which gives freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse throughout the territory of India. The increase of fees at such rate has made it confiscatory in nature. The fee is no longer regulatory. It is further submitted that in order to regulate Transit of Forest Produce under section 41 (2)( c) of the Forest Act, the power to levy transit fee does not provide any guidelines and thus the powers can only be exercised to get reimbursement of expenses incurred by the State Government proportional to the cost of regulation. It is further submitted that before the levy of transit fee at the rate of ` 5.00 per quintal, the Government has not collected any material nor has conducted any study of deforestation or exploitation of natural resources found in forest, to notify such the high and irrational levy.

8. Learned counsel for the petitioners also submitted that Transit fee @ 15/ per ton would be justified and they are ready to pay the same, as they are already paying in pursuance of direction given by this Court.

9. Per contra, learned counsel for the respondents submitted that the petitioners grievance is only against the enhanced transit fee from ` 5/ to ` 50/ which according to them is illegal and exorbitant. He submitted that the fixation of transit fee @R` 50/ per ton in the year 2012 is perfectly just and valid. ` 5/ was fixed in the year 1978 and during the span of 34 years much water has flown and the value of Rupee has been decreased to many folds and the price index is constantly going up and the inflation is also increased. After creation of State of Uttarakhand, transit fee continued without any amendment or modification as ` 5/ which was mentioned in earlier Rules. He submitted that the expenses for protection and preservation of the forest wealth, have been increased every year and after the span of 34 years, the enhancement of transit fee at the rate of ` 50/ per tonne is wholly justified, particularly keeping in view the hike in the price of timber and other forest produce during this period. The State of Uttarakhand, in its legislative competence and wisdom, fixed the fee at such rate which it thought fit and proper, keeping in view the increasing expenses for not only preserving and protecting the forest wealth; but also for promoting the forest and forest wealth and wild life to ensure the ecological balance. It is also submitted that the value of timber and other forest produce has also been increased to many folds, and the general price index is also increased, thus ` 5/ in these days is nothing. Moreover, the value of ` 5/ in the year 1978 was higher than the value of ` 200/ today, and considering the inflation today, the fee of ` 5/ which was being charged from the year 1978 now goes to ` 200/ and despite that, only ` 50/ has been prescribed for transit fee which is just and proper and also reasonable. Learned counsel for the State further submitted that object of Transit Rules of 2012 is to regulate the transit of timber and other forest produce and for the purpose to issue the transit pass on payment of transit fee to meet out the expenses of its regulation by establishing check posts etc. and to check the illicit movement of the forest produce. The transit fee is, therefore, clearly regulatory in nature. In case illegal transit of forest produce and poaching is not checked, it will result into degradation of the environment, which will harm the people at large. The transit fee is not being realized to regulate the forest produce; but to regulate movement, and it is not a regulation on excavation or manufacture of the forest produce. It is further submitted by learned counsel for the State that the Honble Apex Court in the case of transit fee, itself, held that no quid proquo is necessary for realizing the transit fee, but it is the duty of the State to protect the environment and to ensure the ecological imbalance and the principles of sustainable development is to be kept in mind. Learned counsel for the State further submitted that the Rules are within the competence of State legislature and under the authority of the Act and the increase of transit fee, ` 5/ prescribed in the year 1978 to ` 50/ in the year 2012, is perfectly just and proper and the Rules are perfectly just and proper and are intra vires.

10. By referring the supplementary counter affidavit the State Counsel submitted that the State Government has shown the steps being taken in order to protect and regulate the transit of timber and other forest produce and it is also clearly demonstrated the change of circumstances, deployment, infrastructure, ultramodern facility, and many other things which clearly demonstrate that the enhancement of transit fee from ` 5 to ` 50 after a lapse of 34 years was the need of the time and the state govt. was fully justified in enhancing the transit fee from ` 5 to ` 50. The state govt. is not acting like a traffic police but under the regulatory power of the state, the state has to keep a strict vigil on its forest produce and as mentioned in the counter affidavit and the supplementary affidavit the State Government is fully justified in enhancing the transit fee from ` 5 to ` 50. It is contended that the State Government considered the entire material available as disclosed in the counter affidavit and the supplementary affidavit and after due consideration of the facts and circumstance, as mentioned in the counter affidavit and the supplementary affidavit the state govt. enhanced the transit fee from ` 5 to ` 50.

11. Learned counsel for the parties relied on various judgment of Honble Apex Court but same are not being referred, and discussed in view of subsequent action of the State Government by which transit fee has been reduced.

12. Learned counsel for the respondents further submitted that similar petitions (Writ Petition No. 2859 (M/S) of 2013 with other connected petitions) challenging the same notification and for same reliefs have been dismissed by the Coordinate Bench of this Court and in view of that judgment present petitions deserves to be dismissed.

13. I have perused the judgment dated 25.04.2014 passed by the learned Single Judge rendered in Writ Petition No. 2859 of 2013 (M/S) with connected petitions. The learned Single Judge by referring the judgments of the Honble Apex Court reported in Vam Organic Chemicals Ltd. Vs. State of U.P., 1997 (2) SCC 715, A.P. Paper Mills Ltd. Vs. Govt. of A.P. and another, 2000 (8) SCC 167 and State of U.P. and others vs. Sitapur Packing Wood Suppliers and other 2002 (4) SCC 566, and by considering the same, dismissed the writ petitions. Few paragraphs of the judgments given by the learned Single Judge are being reproduced below: As per dictum of Honble Apex Court in the case of Sitapur Packaging (supra), transit fee under Rule 5 is clearly regulatory in nature and thus, it was not necessary for the State Government to establish quid pro quo, therefore, this judgment has full application in the present case, consequently, I find that State Government is competent to levy transit fee on the forest products and the State Government is not required to establish quid pro quo. I am conscious about the fact that although this Court while exercising the writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not supposed to behave like an expert body in accountancy, however, this Court, with the help of material placed before this Court, should make every attempt to find out as to whether transit fee levied is excessive or arbitrary. Undisputedly, in the year 1978 about 34year ago, transit fee imposed was ` 5 per ton on the forest products and after 34year in the year 2012, it was enhanced to ` 50 per ton. As per Section 57 of the Indian Evidence Act, this Court must take judicial notice of the fact that during 34year cost of regulating, controlling and managing the transportation of the forest products must have increased manifold. Learned counsel for the petitioner, while taking me to the counter affidavit filed by the Principal Secretary, Forest & Environment, State of Uttarakhand, has argued that to maintain the barriers established by the Forest Department, Forest Department is incurring expenses of about ` 2122 crore per annum while total revenue being generated by charging transit fee @ ` 50 per ton is about ` 100 crore per annum, therefore, transit fee is excessive and there is no rationality between transit fee levied and expenses being incurred by the Forest Department. Perusal of the affidavit filed by the Principal Secretary, Forest & Environment, would reveal that of course, for maintaining the barriers established for collection of transit fee, the State Government is incurring expenses of ` 2122 crore per annum but affidavit further reveals that the Department is paying huge salaries to the officers, officials and other staff of the Forest Department, who are responsible to regulate transportation of forest produce and protection and development of the forest. Affidavit further demonstrates that over and above the salaries of the employees of forest Department, expenses are also being incurred on the vehicles, telephones, JCB machines for the purpose of regulating transportation of forest products within forest and outside the forest area. Since regulatory fee has no nexus with quid pro quo, therefore, State Government is not required to demonstrate every expense justifying rate of regulatory fee i.e. transit fee. Having perused the entire material, I find that enhanced transit fee @ ` 50 per ton, after 34 year, from ` 5 per ton cannot be said to be excessive, arbitrary or unjustified. I am in full agreement with the views expressed by the learned Single Judge in his judgment given in Writ Petition No. 2859 of 2013 (M/S) with connected petitions. Though, learned Senior Advocate tried to convince the Court that by realizing the transit fee @ of ` 50/ per ton is highly excessive as, short counter affidavit, in paragraph nos. 4, 5 and 10 exhausts every expenses incurred by the State Government to regulate transit of forest produce and total cost of regulation is 21.85 crores as against realization of 110 crores in transit fee. He also contended that huge salaries of the officers, officials and other staff of the Forest department cannot be considered for the enhancement of transit fee. But, in any case the competence of the State Government to frame and notify a rule to transit is not challenged. Further, enhanced transit fee does not appear to be unreasonable also. Honble Apex Court in the case of Sitapur Packing Wood Suppliers and others reported in (2002) 4 SCC 566 held that

(ii) Under Section 41 and 76 of the Indian Forest Act the State Government has been empowered to control over the forest produce and it is empowered to regulate the transit of timber and other forest produce and for that purpose to realize the transit fee

(iii) The State Government is competent to impose transit fee as per Entry17A of ListIII of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India, which includes power to regulate the transit of forest produce and to make regulatory measures.

14. After dismissal of Writ Petition No. 2859 of 2013 (M/S), further development took place and the State Government issued a notification on 18.12.2014, framing the Uttarakhand Transit of Timber and Other Forest Produce (Amendment) Rules, 2014 and after Clause (v) of Rule 5 of the Uttarakhand Transit of Timber and Other Forest Produce Rules, following new clause (vi) with proviso has been inserted:

(vi) River bed material collected from forest areas ` 15/ ton Provided that after payment of transit fee of river bed material from forest areas, no further transit fee shall be imposed on transit, of river bed material from stocks outside forest areas or products of stone crushers from such river bed material, outside forest areas.

15. In view of the said amendment the transit fee on the river bed material has been reduced from ` 50/ per ton to ` 15/ per ton. This Court fails to understand why this has been done when in the counter affidavit it was the stand of the State Government that actual expenses incurred in administrating the regulation, is much high.

16. Now, in view of the fact that the State Government has already reduced the transit fee on RBM from ` 50/ per ton to ` 15/ per ton, no further discussion is required. Since, the amendment dated 18.12.2014 is prospective, the only question is to be considered is, whether the petitioners are liable to pay transit fee on RBM @ ` 50/ per ton for the period from the date of issuance of the Notification dated 18.05.2012 till the date of issuance of amended Notification i.e. 18.12.2014. Transit fee was being paid @ ` 5/ per ton from 1978 till 18.05.2012, when 2012 Rules came into existence. Thereafter, as per 2012 Rules, the petitioners were required to pay transit fee @ ` 50/ per ton till 18.12.2014, when new notification came into existence. Now, as per notification dated 18.12.2014, petitioners are required to pay transit fee @ ` 15/ per ton. In such circumstances, this Court thinks it appropriate and proper to direct the State Government to re consider the matter about the rate of transit fee for the period 18.05.2012 to 18.12.2014. If the State Government reaches to the conclusion that even prior to 18.12.2014 the transit fee should be levied @ ` 15/ per ton, the State Government may issue another notification in this regard. Till the final decision is not taken by the State Government, it is directed that the transit fee more than ` 15/ per ton shall not be recovered from the petitioners. State Government is requested to take decision in this regard at the earliest.

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