1. The present petition has been filed by one Muthukaruppasami Moopanar under the following circumstances. He filed an application before the Collector for a certificate of no-objection to locate a touring cinema in S. No. 918/1 of Andipatti village within the limits of Ethakoil Panchayat. The application was made under the provisions of the Madras Cinemas (Regulation) Act. 1955 (Madras Act IX of 1955). The respondent is a partnership owning a permanent cinema (Murugan theatre) in the locality and they filed their objections, through their partner Sadayandi on the grounds that the existing cinema facilities were sufficient and also that the place proposed to be licensed was situated within one furlong from the community radio centre. The objections were raised with reference to S. 5(1) of the Act and the rules thereunder. S. 5(1) enacts that the licensing authority shall have regard to the following matters. namely.
'............... (d) the adequacy of existing places for the exhibition of cinematograph films in the locality.'
2. The Collector upheld the objections observing :
'There are already two permanent theatres within the limits of Andipatti revenue village which have a total population of 19412-one at Andipatti and the other at Kaniappa Pillai Patti. By any standard this is more than adequate to serve the local needs.'
He also found that there was a community radio centre within a distance of one furlong, though the radio set was not actually functioning then.
3. Muthukaruppaswami Moopanar filed on appeal under the Act and the Rules to the Board of Revenue. The Board reversed the decision of the Collector, observing--
'On the first point. Andipatti consists of two town panchayat, viz., Andipatti Ethakoil and Kanniappapillaipatti. There is no cinema located in Ethakoil Panchayat. It would not be therefore correct to hold that there is adequate facility for residents of this panchayat. In construing locality, a panchayat can be held to constitute a definite unit. In this view, I consider notwithstanding the fact whether the population of the village would support three cinema houses or not, there is justification for the location of a cinema house in Ethakoil Panchayat.'
On the second point also the Board held that since no radio set was actually functioning, there could be no impediment to the grant of a licence.
4. Murugan Theatre filed a writ petition in this court and it was dismissed at the admission stage. They filed a writ appeal (W. A. No. 583 of 1970). It was allowed by us on 3-3-1971. On the first point we accepted the submission of Mr. Nambiar, the learned counsel for the appellant (Murugan Theatre), that the Board committed an error apparent on the face of the record in construing 'locality' in the section as being equivalent to a 'panchayat' and that the Board failed to determine the real question, viz., the adequacy of the existing places for the exhibition of cinematograph films in the locality.
5. On the second point we held that there was no error in the order of the Board, but in view of our decision on the first point, the writ appeal was allowed and a writ of certiorari was issued quashing the order of the Board of Revenue.
6. Muthukaruppasami Moopanar has filed the present petition stating that, in the absence of the further direction in our judgment to the Board of Revenue to re-hear the appeal in the light of the observations in our judgment in W. A. No. 583 of 1970, the Board is not likely to take up the appeal, for hearing. This petition was filed on 14-3-1972.
7. Considering the fact that for nearly a year after the disposal of the writ appeal the Board has not taken up for hearing the appeal preferred to it by Muthukaruppasami Moopanar against the order of the Collector, it is obvious that the Board feels that an explicit direction from us to hear the appeal is necessary before they can hear the appeal.
8. The decision of the Supreme Court in Sobhag Singh v. Jai Singh, : 2SCR848 , however, shows that no such specific direction is necessary. By our judgment we set aside the order of the Board, because it went on a wrong footing and did not determine the real question for decision. Hence the Board is bound to decide the real question for decision; but of course, they would be bound by that part of our judgment where we held that the term 'locality', could not be equated to a Panchayat'. The decision of the Supreme Court cited above is clear authority for the position that to the extent to which the point was decided by us that would be binding on the Board of Revenue, but that otherwise the Board is bound to take up the appeal and dispose it of on merits. This view was also expressed in the earlier decisions of this Court in Sattar Sahib v. State of Madras. : AIR1952Mad605 and Southern Roadways (P.) Ltd. v. P. M. Veeraswami, : AIR1964Mad194 . Indeed, it seems to us that the position is clear that there was no room for any doubt. However, since, a doubt seems to have been felt, we hereby make it clear that the Board shall re-hear the appeal and dispose it of according to law, in the light of the observations sustained in our judgment in W. A. 583 of 1970.
9. Order accordingly.