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COAL MINES (NATIONALISATION) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 26 of 1973


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Chapter VI
  • Chapter VII
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 26 of 1973

Preamble

THE COAL MINES (NATIONALISATION) ACT, 1973

[Act, No. 26 Of 1973]

[30th May, 1973]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the acquisition and transfer of the right, title and interest of the owners in respect of the coal mines specified in the schedule with a view to re-organising and reconstructing such coal mines so as to ensure the rational, co-ordinated and scientific development and utilisation of coal resources consistent with the growing requirements of the country, in order that the ownership and control of such resources are vested in the State and thereby so distributed as best to subserve the common good and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973.

(2) The provisions of sections 30 and 31 shall come into force at once and the remaining provisions of this Act shall be deemed to have come into force on the 1st day of May, 1973.

1[1A. Declaration as to expediency of Union control.-(1) It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Union should take under its control the regulation and development of coal mines to the extent hereinafter provided in sub-sections (3) and (4) of section 3 and sub-section (2) of section 30.

(2) The declaration contained in sub-section (1) is in addition to, and not in derogation of, the declaration contained in section 2 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957.]

1. Inserted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act (67 of 1976), Section. 2 (w.r.e.f. 29-4-76).


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,

(a) "appointed day" means the 1st day of May, 1973;

(b) "coal mine" means a mine in which there exists one or more seams of coal;

(c) "company" means a company as defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956 and includes a foreign company within the meaning of section 591 of that Act;

(d) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Payments appointed under section 17;

(e) "Custodian" means the Custodian appointed under sub-section (2) of section 11, to take over, or carry on, the management of a coal mine;

(f) "Government company" has the meaning assigned to it by section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956;

(g) "managing contractor" means the person, or body of persons, who, with the previous consent, in writing, of the State Government has entered into an arrangement, contract or understanding, with the owner of a coal mine under which the operations of the coal mine are substantially controlled by such person or body of persons;

(h) "mine" means any excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has been or is being carried on, and includes--

(i) all borings and bore holes;

(ii) all shafts, whether in the course of being sunk or not;

(iii) all levels and inclined planes in the course of being driven;

(iv) all open cast workings;

(v) all conveyors or aerial ropeways provided for bringing into or removal from a mine of minerals or other articles or for the removal of refuse therefrom;

(vi) all lands, buildings, works, adits, levels, planes, machinery and equipments, instru­ments, stores, vehicles, railways, tramways and sidings in, or adjacent to, a mine and used for the purposes of the mine;

(vii) all workshops (including buildings, machinery, instruments, stores, equipment of such workshops and the lands on which such workshops stand) in, or adjacent to, a mine and used substantially for the purposes of the mine or a number of mines under the same management;

(viii) all coal belonging to the owner of the mine, whether in stock or in transit, and all coal under production in a mine;

(ix) all power stations in a mine or operation primarily for supplying electricity for the purpose of working the mine or a number of mines under the same management.

(x) all lands, buildings and equipments belonging to the owners of the mine, and in, adjacent to or situated on the surface of, the mine where the washing of coal obtained from the mine or manufacture, therefrom, of coke is carried on;

(xi) all lands and buildings [other than those referred to in sub-clause (x)], wherever situated, if solely used for the location of the management, sale or liaison offices, or for the residence of officers and staff, of the mine;

1 [(xii) all other fixed assets, movable and immovable, belonging to the owner of a mine, wherever situate and current assets, belonging to a mine, whether within its premises or outside.

Explanation.--The expression "current assets" does not include,--

(a) dues representing the sale of coal and coal products effected at any time before the appointed day and outstanding immediately before the said day;

(b) dues from the Coal Board, established under section 4 of the Coal Mines (Conserva­tion, Safety and Development) Act, 1952, prior to the repeal of the said Act, with respect to any period before the appointed day;

(c) dues from sundry debtors, loans and advances to other parties and investments, not being investments in the coal mines;

(d) security deposits made by the owners with the Coal Controller appointed by the Central Government or with the Railways for the fulfilment of contracts or with a State Electricity Board for the payment of bills;

(e) earnest money deposited by the owners with the Railways for obtaining contracts;]

(i) "Mineral Concession Rules" means the rules, for the time being in force, made under the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957;

(j) "mining company" means a company owning a coal mine, and in relation to a foreign company within the meaning of section 591 of the Companies Act, 1956, the undertaking of that company in India;

(k) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(l) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(m) "specified date" means such date as the Central Government may, for the purpose of any provision of this Act, by notification, specify, and different dates may be specified for different provisions of this Act;

(n) words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Coal Mines (Conservation, Safety and Development) Act, 1952, have the meanings, respectively, assigned to them in that Act;

(o) words and expressions used herein and not defined in this Act or in the Coal Mines (Conservation, Safety and Development) Act, 1952, but defined in the Mines Act, 1952, have the meanings, respectively assigned to them in the Mines Act, 1952.

1. Substituted for Clause. (h) (xii) by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (22 of 1978), Section. 10 (w.r.e.f. 1-5-73).


Chapter II

Section 3. Acquisition of rights of owners in respect of coal mines

(1) On the appointed day, the right, title and interest of the owners in relation to the coal mines specified in the schedule shall stand transferred to, and shall vest absolutely in the Central Government free from all incumbrances.

1[(2) x x x]

2[(3) On and from the commencement of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act, 1976,--

(a) no person, other than--

(i) the Central Government or a Government company or a corporation owned, managed or controlled by the Central Government, or

(ii) a person to whom a sub-lease, referred to in the proviso to clause (c), has been granted by such Government, company or corporation, or

3[(iii) a company engaged in--

(1) the production of iron and steel,

(2) generation of power,

(3) washing of coal obtained from a mine, or

(4) such other end use as the Central Government may, by notification, specify,]

(b) excepting the mining leases granted before such commencement in favour of the Government, company or corporation, referred to in clause (a), and any sub-lease granted by any such Government, company or corporation, all other mining leases and sub-leases in force immediately before such commencement', shall, in so far as they relate to the winning or mining of coal, stand terminated;

(c) no lease for winning or mining coal shall be granted in favour of any person other than the Government, company or corporation, referred to in clause (a):

Provided that the Government, company or corporation to whom a lease for winning or mining coal has been granted may grant a sub-lease to any person in any area on such terms and conditions as may be specified in the instrument granting the sub-lease, if the Government, company or corporation is satisfied that--

(i) the reserves of coal in the area are in isolated small pockets or are not sufficient for scientific and economical development in a co-ordinated and integrated manner, and

(ii) the coal produced by the sub-lessee will not be required to be transported by rail.

(4) Where a mining lease stands terminated under sub-section (3), it shall be lawful for the Central Government or a Government company or corporation owned or controlled by the Central Government to obtain,4[x x x] a prospecting licence or a mining lease in respect of the whole or part of the land covered by the mining lease which stands so terminated.]

5[(5) If, after the appointed day, the Central Government is satisfied, whether from any information received by it or otherwise, that there has been any error, omission or misdescription in relation to the particulars of a coal mine included in the Schedule or the name and address of the owner of any such coal mine, it may, by notification, correct such error, omission or misdescription and on the issue of such notification, the relevant entries in the Schedule shall be, and shall be deemed always to have been, corrected accordingly:

Provided that no such correction in relation to the ownership of a coal mine shall be made where such ownership is in dispute.]

1. Sub-sec. (2) omitted and deemed to have been omitted with effect from 1-6-1973 by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (57 of 1986), Section. 11 (1)(a). The omission of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Coal Mines Act by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of this section shall not affect the previous operation of the provisions of the said sub-section (2) or anything duly done or suffered under.

2. Inserted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act (67 of 1976), Section. 3 (w.r.e.f. 29-4-1976).

3. Sub-section (3) substituted by the Coal Mines(Nationalisation) Amendment Act,1993(47 of 1993) w.e.f. 09.06.1993.Prior to substitution it read as under:

"(iii) a company engaged in the production of iron and steel, shall carry on coal mining operation, in India, in any form"

4. Words and figures, "notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), or in the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Coal Mines (Taking Over of Management) Act, 1973", omitted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act (67 of 1976), Section. 3 (w.r.e.f. 29-4-1976), Section. 11(1)(b) (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).

5. Inserted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act (67 of 1976), Section. 11(1)(c) (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).


Section 4. Central Government to be the lessee of the State Government

(1) Where the rights of an owner under any mining lease granted, or deemed to have been granted, in relation to a coal mine, by a State Government or any other person, vest in the Central Government under section 3, the Central Government shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become the lessee of the State Government or such other person, as the case may be, in relation to such coal mine1[as if a fresh mining lease] in relation to such coal mine had been granted to the Central Government and the period of such lease shall be1[the maximum period] for which such lease could have been granted by the State Government or such other person under the Mineral Concession Rules, and thereupon all the rights under such mining lease, including surface, underground and other rights granted to the lessee shall be deemed to have been transferred to, and vested in, the Central Government.

(2) On the expiry of the term of any lease, referred to in sub-section (1), such lease shall, if so desired by the Central Government, be renewed,2[ x x x ] by the lessor, for the maximum period for which such lease can be renewed under the Mineral Concession Rules.

1. Words "as if a mining lease" and "the entire period" in sub-sec. (1), substituted respectively by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (57 of 1986), Section. 12 (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).

2. Words "on the same terms and conditions on which the lease was held, immediately before the appointed day" omitted, in sub-sec. (1), substituted respectively by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (57 of 1986), Section. 12 (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).


Section 5. Power of Central Government to direct vesting of rights in a Government company

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sections 3 and 4, the Central Government may, if it is satisfied that a Government company is willing to comply, or has complied, with such terms and conditions as that Government may think fit to impose, direct, by an order in writing, that the right, title and interest of an owner in relation to a coal mine referred to in section 3, shall, instead of continuing to vest in the Central Government, vest in the Government company either on the date of publication of the direction or on such earlier or later date (not being a date earlier than the appointed day), as may be specified in the direction.

(2) Where the right, title and interest of an owner in relation to a coal mine vest in a Government company under sub-section (1); the Government company shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become the lessee in relation to such coal mine as if a mining lease in relation to the coal mine had been granted to the Government company and the period of such lease shall be the entire period for which such lease could have been granted under the Mineral Concession Rules; and all the rights and liabilities of the Central Government in relation to such coal mine shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become the rights and liabilities, respectively, of the Government company.

(3) The provisions of sub-section (2) of section 4 shall apply to a lease which vests in a Government company as they apply to a lease vested in the Central Government and references therein to the "Central Government" shall be construed as references to the Government company.

Section 6. Properties vested in the Central Government to be freed from mortgages etc

(1) All property which vests in the Central Government or in a Government company under this Chapter shall, by force of such vesting, be freed and discharged from any trust, obligation, mortgage, charge, lien and all other incumbrances affecting it and any attachment, injunction or decree or order of any court restricting the use of such property in any manner shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

(2) Every mortgagee of any property which has vested under this Act in the Central Government or a Government company, and every person holding any charge, lien or other interest in or in relation to any such property shall give, within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed, an intimation to the Commissioner of such mortgage, charge, lien or other interest.

(3) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the mortgagee of any property referred to in sub-section (1) or any other person holding any charge, lien or other interest in, or in relation to, any such property shall be entitled to claim, in accordance with his rights and interests, payment of the mortgage money or other dues, in whole or in part, out of the amount specified in relation to such property in the Schedule, but no such mortgage, charge, lien or other interest shall be enforceable against any property which has vested in the Central Government or the Government company.

Section 7. Central Government or Government company not to be liable for prior liabilities

(1) Every liability of the owner, agent, manager or managing contractor of a coal mine, in respect of any period prior to the appointed day, shall be the liability of such owner, agent, manager or managing contractor, as the case may be, and shall be enforceable against him and not against the Central Government or the Government company.

(2) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that--

(a) save as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Act, no claim for wages, bonus royalty, rate, rent, taxes, provident fund, pension, gratuity or any other dues in relation to a coal mine in respect of any period prior to the appointed day, shall be enforceable against the Central Government or the Government company;

(b) no award, decree or order of any court, tribunal or other authority in relation to any coal mine passed after the appointed day, but in relation to any matter, or dispute which arise before that day, shall be enforceable against the Central Government or the Government company;

(c) no liability for the contravention, before the appointed day, of any provision of law for the time being in force, shall be enforceable against the Central Government or the Government company.

Chapter III

Section 8. Payment of amount to owners of coal mines

1[(1)] The owner of every coal mine or group of coal mines specified in the second column of the Schedule shall be given by the Central Government, in cash and in the manner specified in Chapter VI, for the vesting in it, under section 3, of the right, title and interest of the owner in relation to such coal mine or group of coal mines, an amount equal to the amount specified against it in the corresponding entry in the fifth column of the Schedule.

1[(2) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the amount specified in the fifth column of the Schedule against any coal mine or group of coal mines specified in the second column of the said Schedule and required to be given by the Central Government to its owner under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to include, and deemed always to have included, the amount required to be paid to such owner in respect of all coal in stock or other assets referred to in clause (h) of section 2 on the date immediately before the appointed day and no further amount shall be payable to the owner in respect of such coal or other assets.] .

1. Section. 8 renumbered as sub-section (1) thereof, and after sub-sec. (1) so renumbered sub-section (2) inserted by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (5 of 1986), Section. 13 (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).


Section 9. Payment of further amount

(1) In consideration of the retrospective operation of the provisions of sections 3, 4 and 5, there shall be given by the Central Government, in cash, to the owner of every coal mine or group of coal mines specified in the Schedule, an amount equal to the amount which would have been, but for the provisions of the said sections 3, 4 and 5, payable to such owner under the coal Mines (Taking Over of Management) Act, 1973, for the period commencing on the 1st day of May, 1973, and ending on the date on which this Act receives the assent of the President.

(2) In addition to the amount referred to in sub-section (1), there shall be given by the Central Government, in cash, to the owner of every coal mine or group of coal mines specified in the Schedule, simple interest at the rate of four per cent per annum on the amount specified against such owner in the corresponding entry in the fifth column of the Schedule for the period commencing on the date on which this Act receives the assent of the President and ending on the date on which payment of such amount is made by the Central Government to the Commissioner.

(3) The amounts referred to in sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) shall be in addition to the amount specified in the Schedule.

Section 10. Income derived by the owners of coal mines after the appointed day to be refunded to the Central Government

(1) Where, in pursuance of any decree, order or injunction of a court or otherwise, the Central Government or the Custodian appointed under the Coal Mines (Taking Over of. Management) Act, 1973, was prevented from taking over the management of any coal mine, the owner of such coal mine shall render, within sixty days from the date on which management of the coal mine is delivered to the Central Government or Government company, as the case may be, accounts in relation to the period commencing on the date of commencement of the said Act and ending on the date of delivery of such management to the Central Government or the Government company, as the case may be, with regard to the--

(a) assets and stores of the coal mine acquired or sold by him during the said period;

(b) coal sold or despatched during the said period;

(c) income derived by him from the coal mine during the said period.

(2) If on examination of the accounts referred to in sub-section (1), any income is found to. have been derived by the owner from the coal mine during the period referred to in that sub-section, such income shall be recoverable by the Central Government from the amount payable under Section 8 to the owner of such coal mine, and the debt due to the Central Government on this account shall rank as an unsecured debt.

(3) If no account is rendered by the owner of a coal mine within the period referred to in sub-section (1) or if the Central Government or the Government company has any reason to believe that the account rendered by such owner is incorrect or false in material particulars, the Central Government company may refer the matter to the Commissioner and thereupon the Commissioner shall determine the income derived by the owner from the coal mine during the period referred to in sub-section (1), and take steps to recover the said income from the amount payable to the owner of the coal mine under Section 8, as if the debt due to the Central Government on this account were an unsecured debt.

(4) No mortgage, charge, lien or other incumbrance in relation to a coal mine or any asset thereof shall be binding on the Central Government or the Government company if such mortgage, charge, lien other incumbrance was created, at any time during the period in which the Central Government or the Custodian was prevented, by any decree, order or injunction of a court or otherwise, from taking over the management of the said coal mine.

Chapter IV