Mehar Singh, C.J.
1. The appellants have filed an appeal from an award made under S. 8 of the Punjab Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1953 (Punjab Act 11 of 1953) by the Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana on April 25, 1966. While the appeal was being heard by a learned Single Judge, question arose whether the appointment of the Senior Subordinate Judge as arbitrator under Section 8(1)(b) of Punjab Act 11 of 1953 was or was not valid, and it is in substance this question which made the learned Judge to make reference of this appeal to a larger Bench.
2. In Punjab Act 11 of 1953, Section 8(1) (b) says that 'where no such agreement can be reached, the State Government shall appoint as arbitrator a person, who is or has been , or is qualified for appointment as a Judge of the High Court.' According to this provision, notification No. 9(29)IJ-61/44217 was issued by the State Government on November 18, 1961 appointing the Senior Subordinate Judge of Ludhiana as an arbitrator to give an award in regard to the matter of compensation in the dispute between the appellants and the respondent State. The learned Judge was in doubt whether under Section 8(1) (b) of the Act such notification is a valid notification, as it does not appoint a natural person as a arbitrator. It is apparent that the notification does not make appointment of the office of the Senior Subordinate Judge of Ludhiana as the arbitrator, but makes the appointment of the holder of that office, a natural person, the arbitrator in the matter under the said provision. Such an appointment of a natural person as an arbitrator by describing him by his office is obviously a valid notification and within the meaning and scope of Section 8(1) (b) of the Act. Similar approach was taken by Sinha, J. in Mohammed Safi v. Union of India, AIR 1953 Cal 729. So on this account there is no defect in the notification appointing the arbitrator in this case.
3. The learned Judge has given the names of six Subordinate Judges who were Senior Subordinate Judge s at Ludhiana attending to the arbitration proceedings between the parties from the date of the notification, as referred to above, to the date of the award. Four of them were appointed to the Provincial Judicial Service in 1947 and completed ten year services as judicial officers by 1957, and the remaining two years were appointed to the Provincial Judicial Service in April 1951, and completed ten year service as judicial officers by 1961. The date of the notification under Section 8(1) (b) in this case has been November 18, 1961. So by the time that notification was issued, each one of these six judicial officers had already completed ten years of service in judicial capacity and each one of them was qualified to be appointed a Judge of the High Court. It is however true that not all were Senior Subordinate Judges at Ludhiana on the date of that notification, that is to say, on November 18, 1961. Between October 1, 1960 and February 20, 1967, there were six judicial officers who were Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana. It has already been pointed out that each one of them was before the date of the notification in question of November 18, 1961, qualified to be appointed a Judge of the High Court. It was the first officer, who held that the office between October 1, 1960 and February 13, 1962, who was in office at the date of the notification. The remaining five officers, between march 5, 1962 and February 2, 1967, came to occupy that office for certain periods, as detailed in the referring order of the learned Judge, but after the date of the notification. The notification appoints a Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana as the arbitrator in the dispute between the parties, and in my opinion, as each one of the judicial officers successively succeeded the first judicial officer who was there on the date of the notification, he also comes within the meaning and scope of the notification, so that the date on which he took officer as Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana he came within the scope of that notification and on the same date the judicial officer who relinquished charge of that office at Ludhiana, ceased to be within the meaning and scope of that notification an arbitrator in that case. t was not necessary for the State Government to issue a notification separately each time a Senior Subordinate Judge was transferred from Ludhiana and was replaced by another judicial officer, for that would have been a idle formality. The substance of the matter is that the notification has appointed a Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana as the arbitrator in the dispute between the parties, it is the holder of that office for the time being who has been appointed arbitrator by the notification, and the transfer of one judicial officer and the taking over of his place by another judicial officer as Senior Subordinate Judge, but duly qualified to be appointed a Judge of the High Court, does not require the reissuing of the same notification in the name of the replacing officer. There is no manner of doubt that on the date each one of the six subordinate Judges who dealt with the arbitration matter between the parties became Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana, he was qualified to be a Judge of the High Court, on that date, it having already been pointed out that he was even so qualified on the date of the notification in question, though the date relevant is the date on which the officer is Senior Subordinate Judge at Ludhiana, on and from the date of the notification.
4. In the approach as above, there is no defect in the appointment of the Senior Subordinate Judge who made the award in this case or in the proceedings of the arbitration as having been handled by any one of the six Senior Subordinate Judges, who handled the same as each one of them, was qualified under the notification referred to above and according to Section 8(1) (b) of the Act, to be the arbitrator in the case and was duly so appointed.
5. It has already been stated that above was the main ground which persuaded the learned Judge to make this reference and though the learned Judge has also observed that the remaining matters be disposed of by the larger Bench also, but those are matters which may properly be disposed of according to the rules by learned Single Judge and if after his decision there is any party aggrieved, he may take such proceedings to seek redress as may be admissible to him according to law. In the circumstances with the decision as above we remit the case back to the learned Single Judge for disposal on merits on the remaining points in the appeal. There is no order in regard to costs resulting from this decision.
R.S. Narula, J.
6. I agree. [On remission of the case back to Bal Raj Tuli. J., he delivered the following.]