1. The Collector, Bombay, by his letter No. LRB/MOF/REV/1/74, dated 20-9-1975 requested the Collector, Hyderabad, to collect a sum of Rs. 42,300/- as arrears of land revenue from the petitioner. The Collector, Hyderabad, initiated proceedings, by his letter No. D2/20449/75, for the collection of the amount and instructed the revenue officials to recover the amount from the petitioner under the Revenue Recovery Act. After receipt of this proceeding, the Spl. Revenue Inspector issued Distraint Order under Section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Recovery Act 1984 and served it one the petitioner on 14-4-1977. It was stated in the Distraint Order that a sum of Rs. 42,300/- fell due from the petitioner towards toddy licence fees for the year 1973. The petitioner has now filed this writ petition alleging that he never took any licence for selling toddy from the Excise Authorities in Maharshtra, that the Collector, Hyderabad, was not entitled in law to invoke the proceedings of the Revenue Recovery Act 1864 for realising the arrears alleged to be due to the State of Maharashtra and that, therefore, the action initiated by the Collector, Hyderabad, for the collection of the amount is without jurisdiction. The petitioner has impleaded the District Collector, Hyderabad, and the Special Revenue Inspector, Himayatnagal, Hyderabad, as respondents to the writ petition.
2. In the counter-affidavit it is stated that the writ petition filed without impleading the Collector of Maharashtra, who has issued the demand for the collection of the amount from the petitioner, is not maintainable and is liable to be dismissed on that ground alone. It is also contended that a defaulter can be collected by a Collector of another District by virtue of the statutory provisions of Ss. 3 and 5 of the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890.
3. The only question that is posed for consideration in this writ petition is whether the Collector, Hyderabad, can collect as arrears of land revenue an amount payable to the State of Maharashtra under the Revenue Recovery Act of Andhra Pradesh.
4. The learned Government Pleader placed for the demand, reliance on the provisions of Ss. 3 and 5 of the Revenue Recovery Act. 1890. The learned counsel for the petitioner pleads that Ss. 3 and 5 have no application to the facts of this case and, therefore, the action of the Collector of Hyderabad is without jurisdiction. It is therefore necessary to read Sections 3 and 5 of the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890.
'3. Recovery of public demands by enforcement of process in other districts than those in which they become payable:--- (1) Where an arrear of land-revenue, or a sum recoverable as an arrear of land-revenue is payable to a Collector by a defaulter being or having property in a district other than that in which the arrear accrued or the sum is payable, the Collector may send to the Collector of that other district a certificate in the form as nearly as may be of Schedule, stating----
(a) the name of the defaulter and such other particulars as may be necessary for his identification and
(b) the amount payable by him and the account on which it is due.
(2) The certificate shall be signed by the Collector making it (or by any officer to whom such Collector may, by order in writing, delegate his duty), and. save as otherwise provided by the this Act, shall be conclusive proof of the matters therein stated.
(3) The Collector of the other district shall, on receiving the certificate, proceed to recover the amount stated therein as if it were an arrear of land-revenue which had accrued in his own district.
5. Recovery by Collectors of sums recoverable as arrear of revenue by other public officers or by local authorities:--- Where any sum is recoverable as an arrear of land-revenue by any public officer other than a Collector or by any local authority, the Collector of the district in which the office of that officer or authority is situate shall, on the request of the officer or authority, proceed to recover the sum as if it were an arrear of land-revenue which had accrued in his own district, and may send a certificate of the amount to be recovered to the Collector of another district under the foregoing provisions of this Act, as if the sum were payable to himself.
5. S. 3 applies for the recovery of public demands by enforcement of process in districts other than those in which they had become payable. But, for the applicability of the Section the conditions pre-requisite are: (1) there must be an amount recoverable as an arrear of land revenue; and (2) the amount should be payable to the Collector. If these two conditions are fulfilled, the Collector may send to the Collector of the other Districts in which the property of the defaulter is situate, the Certificate in the form prescribed in the schedule. The certificate shall be signed by the Collector or by any person to whom such power is delegated by him. Under sub-sec (3) of S. 3 on receipt of the Certificate the Collector of the District shall proceed to recover the amount stated therein as if it were an arrear of land revenue which accrued in his own district. S. 5, however, provides for recovery as arrears of revenue by other public officers or by local authorities. Under this second, any sum recoverable as arrear of land revenue by any public officer other than the Collector or by any local authority, the Collector of the District in which the office of that officer or authority is situate, shall on the request of the officer or authority, send a certificate of the amount to be recovered to the Collector of another District under S. 3 of the Act as if the sum were payable to himself.
A combined reading of Ss.3 and 5 clearly establishes that a Collector may issue a Certificate under S. 3 not only in respect of sums recoverable as land revenue and payable to the Collector but also in respect of sums recoverable as land revenue by public officers other than the Collector or by local authority. Therefore, the Collector of Bombay is entitled to recover sums recoverable as arrears of land revenue by the excise officials and issue the certificate under S. 3. The certificate issued under Section 3 by the Collector of Bombay is exactly in terms of the certificate given in the Schedule to the Act. Therefore, the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the certificate issued by the Collector of Bombay is illegal inasmuch as the amount is not payable to the Collector of Bombay cannot be countenanced.
6. It is then argued, although feebly, by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the certificate issued under Section 3 is not signed by the Collector and, therefore, is invalid. But sub-sec. (2) of S. 3 clearly lays down that the Collector may delegate the power of signing the certificate to any officer and in this case the person who has signed the certificate issued under S. 3 has signed 'for Collector'. There is a general presumption under S. 114(e) of the Evidence Act that official acts have been regularly performed and, therefore, the persons authorised to sign 'for Collector' must have signed the Certificate. Further, the statute itself provides under S. 4 an effective remedy to person who is denying the liability to pay the amount recoverable under S. 3. The remedy is by way of a suit for the repayment of the amount or a part thereof. Therefore, the writ petition on this ground alone is liable to be rejected in limine.
7. For the reasons recorded above, the writ petition fails and it is accordingly dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150/-.
8. Petition dismissed.