1. This is a reference from the Chief Commissioner of Ajmere-Merwara. We have heard it to-day in the presence of Counsel representing one of the parties concerned, but in the absence of the other party, Mrs. L.E. O'Neal. A communication has been received from the latter, to the effect that she is not in a position to employ Counsel to argue her case but would have wished to be present in person at the hearing. As she was prevented from being present in person by the state of her health, she asks us to postpone the hearing. In view of the purely legal and technical nature of the question submitted to us, we find it a little difficult to understand what purpose would be served by Mrs. O'Neal being present in person. We decided in any case to hear Counsel for the opposite party in the first instance, reserving the question whether we should fix a further date to permit of Mrs. O'Neal's presence after we have heard and considered his arguments. As we are prepared to return an answer to the reference which is in substance the answer Mrs. O'Neal would desire, we do not think it necessary to postpone the matter further. The question referred is this: 'As a law of pre-emption is provided by Statute, in Ajmere-Merwara, should the Courts in this Province, in deciding whether a right to sue for pre-emption has arisen, accept the definition of sale contemplated in Muhammadan Law in accordance with the ruling in Begum, v. Muhammad Yakub (1) or decide the question of sale with reference to the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act?'
2. It seems clear to us that the question must be answered with reference both to the principles underlying the Allahabad decision (1) and to the wording of the Ajmere Regulation (No. III of 1877) where it deals with the question of pre-emption. We note particularly the definition in Section 6, Chapter II of the said Regulation, where a right of pre-emption is stated to be a right to acquire immoveable property in preference to other persons in certain specified cases. Then in Section 9 we find that a right of pre-emption arises in certain cases in respect of property to be sold, not necessarily property which has been sold already, Under the circumstances we are clearly of opinion that the principles laid down in the Allahabad ruling mentioned in the reference should be followed in cases where a right of pre-emption is claimed under the Statute Law of Ajmere Merwara. A further question may arise as to whether or not, after a pre-emption suit has been decreed under circumstances similar to those of the case now before us, the pre-emptor may not lawfully require, and claim as one of the reliefs in the suit, the execution of a formal document completing the transfer in his favour, so as to fulfil the requirements of the Registration Law and of Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act (IV of 1882). This question, however, does not directly arise out of the reference made to us which, we think, we have sufficiently answered. As this reference has been heard ex parte, we do not make any order as to the costs of the hearing in this Court.