Chandra Bhan Bhargava, J.
1. These six appeals under Section 54 of the Rajasthan Land Acquistion Act, 1963, raise a common question of law and fact and hence they are being disposed of by one judgment.
2. A piece of agricultural land situated in village Sogaria, Tehsil Ladpura, District Kota, was acquired for the construction of a wagon repair workshop and the staff colony for Western Railway. The land stood entered in the revenue records in the muafi of one Purohit Krishna Dutt and the appellants were its actual cultivators, paying its rent to the muafidar. Krishna Dutt as also the appellants claimed compensation due to the acquisition of the land. An award was given on 6th September, by the Additional Collector Kota by which he rejected the claim of the muafidar as well as of the appellants for compensation. A reference was then made to the court and the learned District Judge by his order dated 6th September 1961 holding that the reference was premature directed the Additional Collector to make an award in accordance with law. The Additional Collector then after hearing the parties again rejected the claim of the appellants as well as of Krishna Dutt by his award dated 28th June, 1962. Again an application was made for making reference to the court under Section 18 of the Act, and the learned Additional Collector made a reference upon which the proceedings started in the court of the District Judge Kota. The learned District Judge by his order under appeal rejected Krishna Dutt's claim on the ground that he was awarded compensation for this land by the Jagir Commissioner under the provisions of the Jagir Resumption Act, when this land was resumed by the State. The claim of the appellants was rejected on the ground that they were not Khatedar tenants of the land but were only Zeli Kashtkars. In the court of the District Judge, some documents were produced in evidence on behalf of the cultivators to show that Krishna Dutt had already been given compensation on the resumption of the land by the State under the provisions of the Rajasthan Land Reform and Resumption of Jagir Act, 1952, and further that they were in actual possession of the land as cultivators and rent was being recovered from them by the State. No other inquiry was made in that court. Being aggrieved by this order, the appellants, who are all cultivators, have come to this Court in appeal.
3. Two main contentions have been raised on their behalf, namely, (1) that they were Khatedar tenants of the land, and (2) that even if they were not Khatedar tenants, they were persons interested within the meaning of Section 3 (b) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1953, and as such entitled to compensation.
4. In support of first contention it is pointed out that the disputed land originally belonged to the erstwhile Kota State and thereafter it was given in muafi by the Ruler of Kota State of Purohit Krishna Dutt. It is pointed out that before the land was granted in muafi to Krishna Dutt, the appellants were occupying the land as Khatedar tenants and were paying its rent to the State. In that connection, reliance is placed upon the true copies of Khatas for Smt years 1982 to 1989 produced by the appellants before the Additional Collector. It is contended that the nature of the appellant's tenancy would not change upon the land being granted in muafi to Krishna Dutt in Smt. year 1989. By granting the land in muafi to Krishna Dutt the effect would only be that the appellants would be thereafter regarded as his tenants instead of being the tenants of Kota State. However, that would not mean that their status from that of a Khatedar tenant would become that of Zeli or a sub-tenant.
5. As far the second contention, reference is made to the provisions of the Act wherein even a person who is in possession of the land has been recognised as a person interested Particular reference is made to Sections 3 (b), 9(1), 9(3), 10 and 11 of the Land Acquisition Act. Section 3(b) defines the expression ''persons interested' and even a person interested in easement affecting the land is included within the definition Under Section 9, the Collector is required to give a notice of his intention to take possession of the land and calling upon all persons who have interest in the land to submit their claim to compensation. Under Sub-clause (3), notice is also required to be served on the occupier of such land and on all such persons known or believed to be interested therein. Under Section. 10, a statement is required to be filed containing the name of every other person possessing any interest in the land or any part thereof as co-proprietor, sub-proprietor, mortgagee, rent or otherwise and of the nature of such interest, and of the rents and profits if any received or receivable on account there of for three years next preceeding the date of the statement. Under Section 11, the compensation is to be apportioned among all persons known or believed to be interested in the land of whom, or of who claims, he has information, whether or not they have respectively appeared before him. It is contended that the court did not consider this aspect of the matter nor did it make any inquiry regarding the nature of the appellant's rights before the land was granted in muafi to Krishna Dutt.
6. The contentions do not appear to be without force. It is true that in the revenue records, appellants have been entered as Zellies after the land had been granted in muafi to Krishna Dutt but during the previous years from 1982 to 1989, they appear to have been recorded as Khatedars of the land The learned District Judge ought to have, therefore, made an inquiry in order to find out as to whether the appellants were actually Khatedar tenants of the land or were only Zellies. If on the date of Rajasthan Land Reform and Resumption of Jagir Act, 1952, came into force, the appellants were Khatedar tenants of the land, they were to continue to be as such Under Section 9 of the said Act.
7. That apart, even if the appellants were not Khatedar tenants and were Zellies as defined in circular No. 3 of the erstwhile Kota State, they were 'persons interested' as defined in the Land Acquitition Act It is not necessary that the person in occupation of the land as a tenant must have a heritable or transferable right in the land Under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, even a sub tenant having no heritable or transferable right shall be a person interested so as to claim compensation for the land acquired' In Jagadishwar Sanyal v. Collector of Goalpara AIR 1925 Cal. 197 it was held that a tenant or sub-tenant, even though his interest is not transferable except with the sanction of superior landlord, has an interest with entitles him to be heard upon the question of adequacy of compensation. The learned Judges after referring to the earlier decisions of the court as well as of the Privy Council observed that this proposition is supported by a long line of authorities and cannot be seriously controverted.
8. A similar view was taken in Santi Devi V. Province of West Bengal : AIR1954Cal212 .
9. In view of the fact, therefore, that the appellants, even if they were Zellies, were persons interested & as such entitled to claim compensation for the land which was under their cultivation and for which they were paying rent to the State at the time it was acquired. The learned District Judge ought to have determined the amount of compensation to which they were entitled. Even the Collector did not consider this aspect of the matter in his award.
10. The result, therefore, is that there appeals are allowed, order of the lower court is set aside & these cases are remaned to it so that the above questions may be considered in accordance with law. The parties may be allowed to give such evidence as they may adduce in regard to these questions so that they may be considered and determined in accordance with law. The appellants shall get costs in all the appeals from the respondent.