N.K. Das, J.
1. The petitioner in a proceeding under the Land Acquisition Act filed a petition under Sections 18 and 30 of the said Act claiming share in the compensation. This petition was rejected;by the Land Acquisition Officer as the award has not been passed in favour of the petitioner and there cannot be any reference to the civil court. This order is not sustainable.
2. If there is a petition under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, the Collector under the Act is bound to send the reference to civil court under Section 19 of the Act. He has no jurisdiction to refuse to refer, in Chintada Kasiviswanadham v Sub-Collector, Berhampur, (1960) 26 Cut LT 552 = (AIR 1961 Orissa 39), a Division Bench of this Court has held that if conditions under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act are fulfilled, then the Collector is bound to make a reference to the District Judge. The appropriate court at that time was that of the District Judge and, as such, this Court held that reference was to be made to the District Judge. But there has been subsequent notification and the Subordinate Judge is also now empowered to entertain and decide such reference.
In Mahanta Narayan Das v. Kasinath Pani, (1968) 34 Cut LT 173 = (AIR 1968 Orissa 94) it has been held as follows:
'the expression 'claiming an interest' puts emphasis on laying a claim. On investigation the claim may be true or fictitious. The Land Acquisition Officer would accept a true claim and not a fictitious one. He is, however, not the final authority to dispose of the claim if a reference under Section 18 is sought. The nature and character of the claim is to be finally determined by the competent Court to whom the reference is made under Section 18. Doubtless it was open to the Land Acquisition Officer to examine in the first instance whether the petitioner had a true claim to be accepted on the basis of which compensation was payable. But once the petitioner's claim was negatived and he did not accept the award, reference at his instance is bound to be made by the Land Acquisition Officer under Section 18 and cannot be rejected on his own finding that the claim is fictitious. Refusal to make a reference on his own finding that the claim is fictitious is denying the exercise of a jurisdiction vested in him under Section 18.'
3. In view of the aforesaid dictum of this Court, the order of the Land Acquisition Officer is liable to be dismissed.
4. In the result, the civil revision is allowed. The order dated 2-9-1975 of the Land Acquisition Officer, Balasore isset aside. There will be no order as to costs.