Show Cause Notice is Just a Superfluous Formality if No Prejudice is Caused: Andhra Pradesh High Court

The Andhra Pradesh High Court passed an Order on, 13th July 2022 Show Cause Notice is Just a Superfluous Formality if No Prejudice is Caused This was seen in the case of M/s Siva Shankar Minerals Pvt Ltd versus State of AP & Ors (Writ Petition No. 47820/2022) and the case was presided over by The Honourable Mr. Justice R. Raghunandan Rao.


In this case, the petitioner was having a 20-year mining lease for quarrying black galaxy granite in over 6.17 hectares of land. A show-cause notice was issued by the Joint Director of Mines to the petitioner asking why the lease should not be put to an end. After that, the Director of Mining & Geology cancelled the lease, encouraging the petitioner to file a revision which was dismissed. In appeal before the HC, the petitioner company submitted that the challenged order did not answer their main contention that they had not received the show-cause notice & the Director of mines passed the order without giving an encouragement of hearing thereby violating the principles of natural justice. On the other hand, the respondent’s counsel presented that the petitioner had not carried on any mining activity from 2005-2018 & the issuance of the show-cause notice was just a superfluous formality because the petitioner has not given any reason as to why they were doing any mining for so long. It was also objected that as the petitioner was not mining for so long, the State had been losing revenue.


After hearing the opponent claim, the Bench referred to Aligarh Muslim University versus Mansoor Ali Khan wherein the top Court held that mere breach of principles of natural justice is not sufficient unless prejudice is caused due to the breach. The Bench also referred to the State of UP versus Sudheer Kumar Singh wherein the Supreme Court ruled that impartiality is caused to a person protest of breach of natural justice when the person does not dispute the case filed against him. While referring to the case at hand, the court noted that while provocation the lease termination order, the petitioner had not contradict the finding of the Director and only their submission was that they are willing to rectify the defects that were pointed out. Accordingly, the court ruled that the petitioner had no grounds to provoke the termination order & accordingly the show-cause notice was just a superfluous gesture and dismissed the instant petition.

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