1. This is a reference under Section 319, Municipalities Act, 1916 If apears that at Man, in the District of Azamgarh, there is a notified area constituted under the last chapter of the Municipalities Act. A certain gentleman who was a member of the notified area, applied for permission to build on a certain land and he got that permission in a certain way. The appellant before the DTSS Magistrate took exception to the method in which the sanction had been obtained by the applicant, and he filed an appeal to the District Magistrate. This reference has arisen out of the said appeal
2. As we read Section 319 Municipalities Act the High Court is to express an opinion on a point of law on a set of facts to be stated by the District Magistrate, in the reference. It is no part of the duty of the High Court to investigate the facts. The District Magistrate is the appellate authority, and the High Court may be required to state its opinion on a point of law, for his benefir.
3. The learned Magistrate has stated some of he facts but he has also referred us to the record and also has drawn our attention to a certain note, dated 19th November 1931 prepared by the President of the Mau Notified Area.
4. We are of opinion that we should not have been asked to look into the record or into the note of the President of the Notified Area. All we are required to do is to see a statement of facts made by the District Magistrate himself and to express our opinion on a point of law arising out of the statement. The point of law should also be formulated by the District Magistrate.
5. We find that the reference is defective, inasmuch as for facts we have been asked not to confine ourselves to the reference made by the District Magistrate, but to certain other extraneous documents. Further, we find that the exact point of law, which in the opinion of the District Magistrate arises, has not been formulated in terms, though it is possible for us to guess what was passing in the mind of the learned District Magistrate.
6. In the circumstances, we direct that; the file be returned to the District Magistrate If he still feels it necessary to make a reference, lie should comply with the instructions contained in this judgment and prepare a statement of facts which should be clear and precise as findings of fact, and he should also formulate the question of law on which he wants our opinion. We make no order as to costs.
7. We were told on behalf of the respondent in this reference to inform the District Magistrate, that before he submits a reference and a statement of facts, he should hear the parties. As to this we have no doubt that the statement of facts will be drawn up after hearing the parties. We note that under Section 318, Sub-section (3), the Magistrate is not to pass any orders without hearing the parties. We also note that Mr. Banerji for the respondent wants to question the validity of reference and that we have not heard him on this point and we have not expressed any opinion as to his competency to question the reference.