IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA CWJC No.13030 of 2002 BIRLA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY . Versus THE STATE OF BIHAR & ORS . -----------
For the Petitioner : Mr.Jitendra Singh, Sr.Adv.
Mr. Rajiv Kumar Singh and Mr. Harsh Singh.
32 27.1.2011 This dispute before this Court, in fact, is no dispute. It
has been uselessly pending in this Court for now a decade.
Whatever may have been the attitude of the State of Bihar and
the State of Jharkhand, much water has flown in Ganges and
Damodar since then. The petitioner is extensively the Birla
Institute of Technology, a premier institute set up at Ranchi long
time ago. It is not in dispute that the State of Bihar got certain
preferential treatment by the said institute for which it was
under obligation to pay certain amounts to the institute , as given
in aid. The liability of the State of Bihar is not in dispute and
it is also not in dispute that the amount being claimed by the
institute is only up to the period of bifurcation of the State i.e. up
to 14.11.2000 . In this view of the fact it is clear that the
provisions of the Bihar Reorganization Act would have no
application at all. Prima facie the liability up to 14.11.2000
would be fairly and squarely upon the State of Bihar . This
settled one major issue. Now is the question of quantifying of
this liability. In Annexure 10 to the supplementary affidavit, the
petitioner has given total amount claimed. It is in two parts.
First, it is in respect of an amount of Rs. 3.58 crores and then is a
claim of Rs. 4.72 crores.
So far as the first amount of Rs. 3.58 crores is
concerned, there are several documents of the State of Bihar ,
which clearly admits this entire liability. None of the parties
dispute that out of this amount of this, by Bihar State
Government Order dated 1.11.2000 , an amount of Rs. 1.58
crores have already been paid. Thus, the admitted amount of Rs.
2 crores are yet to be paid. The stand of the Bihar is that upon
the State of Jharkhand paying the balance Rs. 2 crores to the
institute, State of Bihar would reimburse State of Jharkhand to
that extent by adjustment through the Accountant General. So
far as this is concerned, what ever may have been the reason for
taking this peculiar stand earlier, I am sure that it does not
subsist any more. Once State of Bihar admitted its liability to the
institute for this balance of Rs. 2 crores, the institute cannot be
put in nebulous position of adjustment of account. Thus this
Court finds that the State of Bihar having admitted the
liability, must pay the amount of Rs. 2 crores directly to the
institute without any further delay . This amount, the State of
Bihar had agreed to liquidate by February, 2001 as per their
own showing.We are approaching February, 2011, it does not
reflect good on a State like the State of Bihar to hold back
financial aid to an educational institute for such a long time.
Let this amount be paid to the institute forthwith and
not later than close of this financial year.
Now we come to the second part of the claim amount
to Rs. 4.72 crores. This amount is also due and claimed as
payable by the State of Bihar appertaining to its share of liability
prior to 15.11.2000. It is stated on behalf of the petitioner that
for the financial year 1998-1999, the total amount due from the
said was Rs. 1.408 crores, out of which 0.135 crores was ordered
to be paid as in the preceding paragraph. Thus there is a balance
of Rs. 1.273 crores for this year. Similarly, for the year 1999-
2000, the total liability of the State of Bihar was Rs. 1.72 crores,
out of which Rs. 0.135 crores were accounted for a year to be
paid as in the preceding paragraph . This leaving balance of Rs.
1.5865 crores. For the part of the financial year 2000-2001 (upto
14.11.2000), the total amount payable by the State of Bihar is
Rs. 1.861 crores. The balance is payable by the State of
Jharkhand for which no claim is being raised against the State
of Bihar. Thus, the total amount payable is about Rs. 4.7214
crores. There does not appear to be any concrete stand of the
State of Bihar as against this claim. There is neither denial nor
unequivocal acceptance ,as noted above, much water has flown
in Ganes and Damodar since then and probably the State of
Bihar would come up and settle this matter and not throw its
liability on the State of Jharkhand or deny the liability at this late
stage to delay the payment any more unless there are
compulsive justifiable reason for the same .Thus, in view of this
issue involved, no issue of law, which requires adjudication by
this Court .
In view of the facts ,as noted above, to me it appears
that the State of Bihar through its Chief Secretary and Secretary,
Department of Science and Technology concerned with the
funding of the institute would sit down with the authorized
officer nominated by the institute within fortnight from today.
They would discuss/deliberate and without breaking heads,
quantify the liability of the State of Bihar in respect of the
second part of the claim of Rs. 4.7214 crores balance. There
will be no extension of this time limit. Both the parties must give
all relevant papers and discuss the matter once for all. A
consensus should be reached and this Court be informed on
14.2.2011 with regard to the aforesaid Rs. 4.72 crores . It may
be pointed out that whatever liability be, it would have to be
liquidated by the State of Bihar within this financial year also.
That must be kept in mind by the State of Bihar.
Put up under the same heading as a first case on
Singh ( Navaniti Prasad Singh, J.)