1. This is an application made under Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code, against the decision of the District Judge of Bijapur, in the matter of an election petition, challenging the validity of the election of a candidate for Ward II of the City Municipality of Bijapur. The proceedings were held and a decision made under Section 15 of the Bombay City Municipalities Act of 1925.
2. A preliminary objection is taken that no recourse can be had to this Court, since under Section 15 the District Judge was acting not as a Court but as a persona designata and that we have therefore no jurisdiction, If this is so, then, I think, on the authority of the cases of Balaji Sakharam v. Merwanji Nowroji I.L.R. (1895) Bom. 279 and Gangadhar v. Hubli Municipality (1925) 28 Bom. L.R. 519 the application for revision does not lie.
3. Mr. Pradhan's contention is that the law was changed in consequence of the decisions I have quoted above, and he relies on the case of Sholapur Municipality v. Tuljaram : (1931)33BOMLR1067 , in which it was held by a Division Bench of this Court, that an application lay under Section 198, Sub-sections (2), (5), (4) and (5) of the same Act. Those provisions relate to compensation for land acquired, and are in the nature of arbitration proceedings and self-contained. Mr. Pradhan also relies on the case of Parthasaradhi Naidu v. Koteswara Rao I.L.R. (1923) Mad. 369 where it was held by the Madras High Court that revision of certain orders passed under the Taluka Local Boards Act in that province lay to the Court.
4. We are, however, now concerned with Section 15 of the Act of 1925. Comparing that section with the corresponding Section 22 of the Act of 1901, we find that there was an amendment, but the amendment was the substitution of the words ' District Court' for those of ' District Judge ' in the Act of 1901, The difficulty, in fact, had been in the case dealt with by Sir Norman Macleod in Gangadhar v. Hubli Municipality that the application had been presented to the clerk of the Court and not to the District Judge personally, and this was clearly the difficulty sought to be got over by the change. Sub-section (2), however, is substantially what it was in the Act preceding the present one, and that is what we have to interpret. Under Section 15 an application has to be made to the District Court under Sub-section (1) and an enquiry has then to be held by the District Judge or Assistant Judge specially empowered under Sub-section (2) by Government. The same sub-section then goes on further to empower the specially empowered Judge to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel them to give evidence as if howevre a civil Court, and he may also direct by whom the whole or any part of the costs of such enquiry shall be paid; and such costs shall be recoverable as if they had been awarded in a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure and that the decision or order shall be conclusive.
5. It seems to me that a clearer case of a persona designata is hard to frame. It is not the District Court, but one of its officers who has to be specifically designated. Such officer does not exercise his ordinary powers in summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses, but those specially conferred upon him by the section. Further costs are not recoverable under the ordinary powers of the District Court, but recoverable as if they had been awarded in the case of the exercise of its original jurisdiction. In these circumstances, it seems clearly to have been the intention of the legislature to provide for these applications being heard by one of the officers constituting the District Court, not in the exercise of his ordinary civil jurisdiction, but in special circumstances, which are consistent only with his being a persona designata for the purposes of this section of the Act.
6. I, therefore, think that we have no jurisdiction to entertain the application and that the rule must be discharged with costs.
7. I agree.