Ram Labhaya, Ag. C.J.
1. This is a petition for a Writ of Mandamus under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The admitted facts of the case which have led to this petition are that certain lands were requisitioned by orders dated 24-4-50 and 27-4-50, The lands are situate in Mangaldai Subdivision of Darrang-District. On 27-9-1951, petitioners whose lands were requisitioned applied to the Collector of Darrang under the Assam Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1948, praying for a reference of the question of compensation to the Court of the District Judge, Gauhati, under the provisions of the Act. In the application they stated that the requisition officer of Mangaldai had been informed on 17-11-1950 by a petition that about 2000 bighas of their land had been rented and the rent of the land had been fixed at 2 maunds of paddy per bigha for land under rice cultivation and 1 maund of jute per bigha for land under jute cultivation. The rest of the land was leased at the rate of Rs. 2/- per bigha.
Compensation was claimed for the years 1950 and 1951, and as there had been no agreement on compensation till then, a reference of the question to the Court of the District Judge was claimed under Section 8(1)(b) of the Assam Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1948.
2. The facts stated in the petition are not disputed. There has been so far no offer of compensation from the Collector to the petitioners. From the report made to this Court also it appears that there is no possibility of any agreement. The land was requisitioned in April 1950, and the application for a reference of the question of compensation to the Court of the District Judge, L. A. D., was made in November, 1950. So far the reference has not been made. There is no explanation for this delay.
3. The learned Advocate General has not resisted this petition for a Writ of Mandamus. The Assam Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1948, does cast a statutory duty on the Collector to refer the question of compensation, where land is requisitioned under the Act, to the Court of the District Judge, if the question cannot be settled by agreement. The performance of this duty has been delayed for a very long time.
4. We, therefore, order the Collector to refer the question of compensation for the land requisitioned to the District Judge for decision under Section 8(1) (b) of the Act without any further delay. The Rule is made absolute.
5. I agree.