1. This is a Rule calling upon the President of the Calcutta Improvement Tribunal and the opposite parties to show cause why the order of the learned President of the Tribunal, dated 17th August 1931, should not be set aside or revised or such other order passed as to this Court may seem fit and proper.
2. The relevant portion of the order referred to is in the following terms:
I have come to the conclusion that I should proceed with the task of investing the compensation money in the purchase of suitable landed property and accordingly, I direct that the application of Mr. Galstaun should be sent to the Collector for necessary inquiry regarding suitability of investment If the shebaits themselves have any suggestion to make regarding the investment of the money in the purchase of suitable landed property, they will receive from me due consideration. In the meantime, as no other properties have been offered for sale, except those by Mr. Galstaun they should be examined by the Collector, and I should await his report.
3. It is urged that the learned President has exercised his jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity in treating Mr. Galstaun as a party to the proceedings and in directing the investment of the compensation money belonging to the idol in land.
4. The Tribunal, in this case, purports to act under Section 32, Land Acquisition Act, which is applicable in cases where compensation money comes into the possession of the Court under Sub-section (2), Section 31. The Tribunal purports to deal with the money under Section 32 on the ground that there was no person competent to alienate the land. We have to see therefore whether that criterion applies to the present case.
5. The land acquired by the trust belonged to the Thakur Sri Sri Ishur Radha Madan Mohan Jiu whose property is ordinarily managed by the shebaits who are parties to these proceedings. The question is whether there is any person competent to alienate the land. A suit was instituted on the original side of this Court by some of the shebaits for the better administration of the debuttar estate. After the institution of the suit, on the application of the shebaits, a receiver was appointed by this Court on 28th May 1931 and ordered to take possession of the properties of the Thakurand to invest the money due to him in Government securities. It is urged that the receiver has thus become a person competent to alienate the land. The receiver represents not only the shebaits but the Thakur and the Thakur, as a juridical person represented by the receiver, appears to be competent to alienate the land. It seems clear therefore that Section 32, Land Acquisition Act, would no longer apply to the present case. Furthermore, in this case the compensation money has already been invested by the Tribunal in Government securities presumably under the provisions of Section 32, Clause (b), Land Acquisition Act, and thereupon it is the duty of the Court as laid down in the latter portion of Section 32 of the Act to keep the money so invested until the same be applied either in the purchase of lands to be held under the previous title, or in payment to any person or persons becoming absolutely entitled thereto. In deciding to purchase lands at this stage, the Tribunal must be purporting to act under this portion of Section 32, so that there is an unfettered alternative in the Court either to purchase land or to pay the amount to any person becoming absolutely entitled thereto.
6. In the circumstances of the present case the receiver appointed by this Court representing the Thakur appears to be absolutely entitled to the money which has been invested by the Tribunal. It is therefore questionable whether the Tribunal is exercising a wise discretion in deciding to purchase lands instead of making over the money or bonds to the receiver. All the parties concerned including the receiver appointed by the Court are agreed that, in the present condition of the market, the investment of the money in land would be inadvisable, and it appears that the learned ''resident of the Tribunal has only decided to so invest the money on the supposition that he is bound to do so under Clause (1), Section 32, whereas at this stage it appears that there is no such obligation upon the Tribunal. Under Order 40, Rule (1) Civil P. C., the receiver has the same powers of dealing with the property as the owner (in this case the Thakur), so that the receiver, representing the Thakur is absolutely entitled to the property and therefore it is quite competent to the Tribunal to make over the money to the receiver under Section 32, Clause (b) (ii).
7. In dealing with the property the Improvement Trust Tribunal is acting as a Court under the Land Acquisition Act, and under Section 115, Civil P. C., as well as under Section 107, Government of India Act, this Court is entitled to interfere with the order which has been passed by the learned President of the Tribunal.
8. We accordingly make the Rule absolute and direct that the bonds which have been purchased by the Tribunal or their equivalent in money be made over to the receiver. The receiver will get his costs out of the assets of the debuttar estate, and he will also pay to the other parties appearing, their costs out of the assets of the debuttar estate assessed at two gold mohurs.
9. Mr. Galstaun's application to be made a party to these proceedings is rejected. Mr. Galstaun has no claim whatever to be made a party; he is simply a vendor wishing to sell his property to the trust. The petitioners will get their costs of affidavits only in this Rule from Mr. Galstaun.
10. I agree.