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Rabindra Nath Mahapatra and ors. Vs. Gour Mondal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Case No. 3397 of 1955
Judge
Reported inAIR1957Cal274,61CWN311
ActsTemporary Act; ;West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 - Sections 1(4), 2 and 7; ;Bengal General Clauses Act, 1899 - Section 8; ;General Clauses Act, 1897 - Sections 6; ;West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1955 - Sections 18, 21(2) and 59(7); ;Tenancy Law
AppellantRabindra Nath Mahapatra and ors.
RespondentGour Mondal
Appellant AdvocateMukunda Behari Mallik and ;Mahendra Kumar Ghose, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateBasanta Kumar Panda, Adv.;Nirmal Chandra Chakravarty, Adv.
Cases ReferredState of Punjab v. Mohar Singh
Excerpt:
- chakravartti, c.j.1. this is a reference under rule 1(ii) of chapter ii of the appellate side rules of a question of law arising out of the repeal of the west bengal bargadars act, 1950. the facts which led up to the reference are as follows:2. on 2-6-1955, the petitioners made an application to the bhagchas board of thana mahisadal by which they prayed for an order on the opposite party for the delivery of their usual share of barga crops for the years 1360 and 1361 b. s. which was said to be in arrear. the case of the petitioners was that the opposite party was a bargadar under them in respect of a particular plot of land but had failed and neglected to deliver the share of the paddy due to them. they alleged further that the opposite party had converted a part of the land into a betel.....
Judgment:

Chakravartti, C.J.

1. This is a Reference under Rule 1(ii) of Chapter II of the Appellate Side Rules of a question of law arising out of the repeal of the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950. The facts which led up to the Reference are as follows:

2. On 2-6-1955, the petitioners made an application to the Bhagchas Board of Thana Mahisadal by which they prayed for an order on the opposite party for the delivery of their usual share of barga crops for the years 1360 and 1361 B. S. which was said to be in arrear. The case of the petitioners was that the opposite party was a bargadar under them in respect of a particular plot of land but had failed and neglected to deliver the share of the paddy due to them. They alleged further that the opposite party had converted a part of the land into a betel leaf plantation in violation of the terms of the barga settlement and that he had also excavated a doba without any right or authority to do so. The petitioners did not ask for any relief for those transgressions but stated that they would bring a regular suit for recovery of possession in due course. Before the Bhagchas Board they claimed only their share of the barga crops.

3. The case of the opposite party was that while he did hold the land under the petitioners, he held it not as a bargadar at all but as a Sanjadar at a rent of a certain quantity of paddy per bigha of a certain measurement. He claimed to have acquired a tenancy right and with regard to the doba he said that it had been excavated over thirty years ago. The Bhagchas Board accepted the case of the opposite party and said in its order that it was a proceeding upon an admission by the petitioners. The only order it made was to direct the opposite party to pay as a sanjadar the share of crops due to the petitioners as jotedars. Although the Board was constituted of 5 members the order was signed by only 3 of them.

4. The petitioners next preferred an appeal to the Appellate Officer under Section 11 of the Act. The Appellate Officer held that the admission recorded by the Board had in fact been made before that body and covered the whole case of the opposite party and not merely the local measurement of the bigha. The opposite party's status of a sanjadar was held to be proved also by certain rent receipts which were produced before the Appellate Officer for the first time and by the excavation of the tank which, it was thought, could not have been ventured on by a mere share cropper. On those findings the appeal was dismissed.

5. The order of the Board was made on 27-6-1955 and that of the Appellate Officer on the 5th August following.

6. On 1-12-1955, the petitioners moved this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution and obtained a Rule. They complained of the receipt of additional evidence by the Appellate Officer and also of the misunderstanding of their admission upon which the authorities below had proceeded. A special point taken in the petition was that the order made by the Board having been signed by only 3 out of 5 members of the Board, was bad for that reason alone and altogether void. The relief asked for by the petitioners was an order under Section 7(1)(a), Bargadars Act, for their due share of crops from the opposite party upon a finding that he was a bargadar under them.

7. The Rule came up for hearing before Lahiri J., sitting singly on 27-4-1956, along with certain other Rules. By that date, the Bargadars Act had been repealed. Naturally a question was raised before the learned Judge as to the effect of the repeal on the proceedings before him and thereupon he directed all the Rules to be placed before a Division Bench for disposal in view ofthe general importance of the question. The Rule next came up for hearing before a Division Bench constituted of Das Gupta and Guha JJ., on 13-6-1956, when the learned Judges took the view that the question was too important even for a Division Bench and should be decided finally and authoritatively by a larger Bench constituted for the purpose. Accordingly, by an order made under Rule l(ii) of Chapter II of the Appellate Side Rules, they referred for decision by a larger Bench the following question of law:

'Whether the provisions of a temporary Act-- the West Bengal Bargadars Act -- are applicable to pending proceedings after its repeal.'

Thereupon the present Special Bench was constituted for the decision of only the question of law referred.

8. Before the date when the Reference was made, all that had happened was that the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 had been repealed by the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1855 (a). The effect of such repeal, taken by itself, was exactly the same as the effect of the repeal of the West Bengal Premises Rent Control (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1950, by the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act (XII of 1956) which we have discussed at length in our judgment in three References relating to that question, delivered earlier today (b). In order to explain what that effect was, it is only necessary to state the legislative facts special to the Bargadars Act and indicate the result which follows from the application to them of the principles which we have already accepted and applied in the other three References.

9. The West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950, was enacted as a temporary Act due to remain in force, under Section 1(4), upto 31-3-1953. There was no provision for any extension of its duration by a notification of the State Government or otherwise. In fact, however, the duration of the Act was twice (c) extended. An amending Act of 1953 substituted the year 1955 for the year 1953 and a second amending Act, passed in 1955, substituted the year 1956 for the year 1955. There were intervening Ordinances to the same effect, but it is not necessary to refer to them. A temporary Act extended from time to time is deemed even as to such extensions as passed when it was first enacted. Thus with the whole of its evolution taken into account, the West Bengal Bargadars Act was a temporary Act enacted in 1950 and due to expire on the expiration of 31-3-1956.

10. The Act, however, was not allowed to expire. On 31-3-1956, which was the very last day of its existence, it was repealed by the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1955, (Act X of 1956). Section 59 of the Act purports to repeal seven enactments of which the seventh is the West Bengal Bargadars Act. But although the Act and the President's assent thereto were published in the Calcutta Gazette of 30-3-1956, the Act itself provided that except Section 1, the rest of the sections, in whole or in part would come into force on such date or dates and in such district or part of a district as the State Government might from time to time by notification in the Official Gazette specify. In fact, there was a notification being Notification No. 6346 L. Ref., issued on the same day and.

(a) West Bengal Act (10 of 1956) -- Ed.

(b) See : AIR1957Cal257 (FB) -- Ed.

(c) The two Acts referred to in this paragraph of the judgment are the West Bengal Bargadars (Amendment) Acts -- 1 of 1953 and 2 of 1955 -- Ed.

published in an Extraordinary Issue of the Calcutta Gazette on the day following. It stated that the Governor had been pleased to specify 31-3-1956 as the date on which, inter alia the provisions of Section 59, so far as they related to Clause (7) thereof, would come into force in all the districts of West Bengal. The result of that notification read with Section 6(2), Bengal General Clauses Act, was that Clause (7) of Section 59. West Bengal Land Reforms Act, came into force immediately on the expiry of 30-3-1956 and consequently, the West Bengal Bargadars Act was at that hour repealed.

11. If the Act were not repealed, it would have remained in force for one more day and expired at the expiration of 31-3-1956. In that event, whether proceedings under the Act rending at that date could be continued thereafter, or whether in proceedings under other laws the Act could any longer be applied would depend upon the construction of the Act itself. Ordinarily, no action can be taken under a temporary statute after it has expired and all proceedings pending at the date of its expiry terminate automatically. But there may be provisions to the contrary in the Act itself. If the Bargadars Act had been allowed to expire it would have to be seen whether it contained any provisions indicating an intention that even after its expiry it would remain alive for certain purposes. The Act, however, was repealed before it could expire and although the repealing Act contained no express saving clause, by such repeal Section 8. Ben. General Clauses Act. was attracted. That section embodies a kind of a standard saving clause and attaches itself, by its own force, to the repeal of temporary as well as permanent statutes unless the repealing Act indicates a contrary intention. But the savings made by the section are not absolute. It undoubtedly saves rights accrued or liabilities incurred under the repealed Act, saves also investigations, proceedings and remedies in respect of such rights and liabilities and provides that such investigations, proceedings and remedies may be instituted, continued or enforced notwithstanding the repeal of the Act, but only 'as if the repealing Act had not been passed'. The effect of that qualification is that only so much con be done by virtue of the section as could have been done under the repealed Act if it had not been repealed. Nothing is added, nor is the operation of the repealed Act enlarged in any way. Only, that Act, as it was is revived and thereafter maintained in life for the purposes mentioned in the section with all its limitation necessarily attaching to it both as to duration and as to scope. The repeal does not affect it in regard to rights accrued, liabilities incurred or proceedings in respect of such rights and liabilities, but it remains circumscribed by its own limitations and cannot go further than it could have gone if the repeal had not brought it to an end. The effect of Section 8. Bengal General Clauses Act, on the repeal of the West Bengal Bargadars Act was, therefore, only to keep alive the rights, liabilities and proceedings under the Act for the 24 hours of 31-3-1956, during which they would have lived if the repealing Act had not been passed. On the expiration of 31-3-1956. the effect of Section 8, Bengal General Clauses Act, was exhausted. The Bargadars Act, having reached the date originally fixed for its expiry, expired notwithstanding Section 8. Bengal General Clauses Act and whether or not any rights or liabilities under the Act could thereafter be enforced, or any proceedings under it could be commenced or continued fell once again to be determined by the principles applicable to the expiry of temporary statutes.

12. It will be clear from what I have said above that at the date when the question arose before the Division Bench, the effect of Section 8, Bengal General Clauses Act, had ceased to be of any importance. Since 1-4-1956, the only relevant enquiry is whether there was in the Bargadars Act itself any provision to indicate that rights or liabilities accrued or incurred under it could be enforced even after its expiry in proceedings either under its own provisions or under other laws and whether, although there was no express saving clause in the Land Reforms Act, there was yet anything in it by virtue of which rights, liabilities and proceedings under the repealed Act were maintained. As regards the Bargadars Act itself, it was a temporary Act in the fullest sense of the term commencing in 1950 and destined to come to an end on 31-3-1956, together with everything to which it might have given rise. There was no

provision whatever to indicate that any rights or liabilities created by it would enure beyond its life or that any proceedings warranted by it could be initiated or continued after its life had terminated. No provision from it could be pointed out to us which would extend its operation with regard to anything done or suffered under it beyond the limited span of its duration. The Land Reforms Act, however contains a provision in Section 21(2) which was missed by the learned Advocates for the parties. That sub-section reads as follows:

'On the appointment of officers or authorities under this Chapter all proceedings pending before any Bhagchas Conciliation Board established under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950, shall stand transferred to the officer or authority having jurisdiction over the area in which the land, to which the proceedings relate, is situated.'

13. This provision undoubtedly indicates an intention that proceedings pending before the Boards would survive and that they would stand transferred to the appropriate officer or authority appointed under the new Act if and when such officer or authority was appointed. But the provision is curious to a degree and is in any opinion, also ineffective. It is strange that if the framers of the Act were at all thinking of saving pending proceedings they should have limited themselves to proceedings pending before Conciliation Boards and forgotten appeals pending before appellate authorities. But even so far as the section purports to go it seems to defeat itself. Matters which could be dealt with by Bhagchas Conciliation Boards under Section 7, Bargadars Act, are, under Section 18, Land Reforms Act, to be dealt with 'by such officer or authority as the State Government may appoint'. No duty is cast on the State Government to make the appointments simultaneously with the commencement of the Act. They can make them a any time. If the Land Reforms Act had provided for the constitution of Boards corresponding to Boards constituted under the Bargadars Act, the Boards existing at the date of the new Act would be deemed, by virtue of Section 25. Bengal General Clauses Act, to be Boards constituted under the new Act and in that event a direction that proceedings pending before Boards constituted under the repealed Act would stand transferred to those constitute under the repealing Act would have taken effect. The Land Reforms Act, however, provides for the appointment of a tribunal of an altogether different kind and, therefore Section 18 of the Act can in no sense be regarded as the re-enactment of Section 7. Bargadars Act, Section 25. Bengal General Clauses Act, can therefore have no application. It follows that unless at the time when the Bargadars Act came to expire there were already officers or authorities appointed under the new Act to whom proceedings pending before the old Boards could stand transferred, such proceedings could not survive the expiry of the Bargadars Act for the purposes of a subsequent transfer. Immediately on the expiry of the Bargadars Act they would terminate automatically. Nothing could keep them alive during the interval between the expiry of the Bargadars Act and the appointment of appropriate officers or authorities under the Land Reforms Act. I am not aware that any officers or authorities were appointed simultaneously with the commencement of the Bargadars Act. But even if such appointments were made Section 21(2) of the new Act would only save proceedings pending before Conciliation Boards and nothing else. There is no provision in the Act by virtue of which appeals can be said to have been saved nor any provision by which rights or liabilities accrued or incurred under the Bargadars Act have been kept alive for the purposes of enforcement in proceedings under other laws.

14. In fact, it was not seriously contended before us that rights, liabilities or proceedings under the Bargadars Act were surviving after its expiry by virtue of any provisions contained in the Act itself or that they had been saved by any provisions in the Land Reforms Act. A halting reference was made to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of 'State of Punjab v. Mohar Singh' 0043/1954 : 1955CriLJ254 (A), but the contention was not long pursued. I have already dealt with that case in my judgment in the References (a) relating to the Rent Control Act or also and shown that it does not at all establish that in the view of the Supreme Court proceedings under a temporary enactment repealed before its expiry can be commenced or continued after the date when it was due to expire. Irrespective of the well-known limitations attaching to temporary Acts. But as I have said, in the end the case was not relied on before us. The main contention was that whatever the position might have been if it had stood at a mere repeal of the Bargadars Act by the Land reforms Act, the West Bengal Bargadars Ordinance, 1956, subsequently promulgated had effected a complete change. The circumstances in which this reference came to he heard twice and this judgment came to be prepared in two parts on the basis respectively of the ordinance and a subsequent Act will appear later. What follows next relates to Ordinance.

15.The Ordinance was published in the Calcutta Gazette of 22-6-1956 and by virtue of the provision contained in Clause 1 (2), it came into force on that date. It thus camp into force after the Reference in the present rase had been made but before its hearing. Consequently, almost the whole of the argument before us turned on Clause 2 (1) of the Ordinance. I am of opinion that even that, clause has effected only a partial rest(sic)rection of the rights, liabilities and proceedings accrued incurred or instituted under the Bargadars Act and that most of that Act remains dead. Clause 2 (1) of the Ordinance reads as follows:

'Notwithstanding anything contained in the West Bengal Land and Reforms Act, 1955, or in any notification issued thereunder, where, under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 (hereinafter referred to as the said Act)

(a) (i) any appeal, or

(ii) any application for review before an Appellate Officer, or,

(iii) any application for execution of an award or order, was pending immediately before the 31st day of March, 1956, such appeal or application for review or application for execution shall be continued.

(b) any award or order was made on or before the 31st day of March, 1956, by a Bhagchas Conciliation Board an appeal shall lie against such award or order and such award or order, or an award or order on an appeal therefrom or an order passed on review may be executed, as if the said Act and the rules and the notifications issued and the appointments made thereunder had continued in force;

Provided that in computing the period for filing an appeal, the time beginning with the 31st clay of March, 1956, and ending with the 30th day after the commencement to this Ordinance shall be excluded.'

16. The structure of the clause might well have been less complicated, because the word 'where', occurring in the introductory paragraph which is obviously intended to preface both Sub-clause (a) and Sub-clause (b), is at a great distance from the latter and almost lost in a maze of seriated phrases preceding it. Be that as it may, Sub-clause (a) undoubtedly purports to save all pending appeals, applications for review before an Appellate Officer and applications for execution of an award or order, Clause (b) gives a right of appeal from awards and orders made by a Board before 31-3-1956 and also makes such awards and orders, and awards and orders passed on an appeal or on review, executable. Since it is further said that the proceedings mentioned in the two sub-clauses can be continued or brought 'as if the Act and the rules and the notifications issued and appointments made thereunder had continued in force', the provisions of the Act can obviously be applied in such proceedings and rights and liabilities under the Act can be claimed or enforced in them. Apparently, Section 21(2), Land Reforms Act, is virtually repealed because if the proceedings pending before Boards are to continue before the same bodies, they cannot at the same time stand transferred to officers or authorities appointed under the new Act. But the continuance of such proceedings which, to say the least, was of an extremely precarious and problematical character under Section 21(2), is placed by the Ordinance on a secure footing. At the same time, there is much that the Ordinance leaves unprovided for.

17. What Clause 2 (1) of the Ordinance saves or authorises are only certain proceedings brought or to be brought under the provisions of the Bargadars Act itself. In such proceedings the provisions of the Act can undoubtedly be applied. It is true that proceedings under other laws in which questions under the Bargadars Act might be involved did not require to be saved, because by the repeal they, as proceedings, were not affected. But the provisions of the Act cannot be applied in such proceedings unless, at least for the purposes of such proceedings, the Act is alive. The Court in such proceedings can certainly see whether the provisions of the Act were correctly applied by a lower tribunal even if it be no longer in force. But if they have to apply the Act on their own account and make an order under it in favour of or against a party they cannot do so if it has ceased to be in operation. To take the present case as an example, the proceeding under Article 227 of the Constitution remains alive without the aid of the Ordinance because it is not a proceeding under the Act. But if the Court holds that the tribunals below were in error and they ought to have made an order in favour of the petitioners under the special provisions of the Act, it cannot make that order now on its own account, because to do so would be to apply an Act which is no longer alive and provisions which no longer exist. For a declaration of an error of the lower tribunals the present existence of the Act may not be necessary, but it is necessary if the Court is to make a positive order by applying the provisions of the Act. If the Ordinance had enacted that despite its repeal or expiry, the Act should be deemed to be alive for the purposes of all pending proceedings under all laws in which Questions under the Act might be involved till their conclusion the saving made by it would have been complete except in one aspect which I shall presently indicate. As it stands, it has only saved pending proceedings under the Act for the purposes of those proceedings alone, but has not even attempted to save them for the purposes of proceedings under other laws. The result is that in such proceedings the Act can no longer be applied. In spite of the promulgation of the Ordinance, the position with respect to such proceedings has remained what it came to be as a result of the repeal of the Act and its subsequent expiry after the brief and limited revival under Section 8, Bengal General Clauses Act.

18. Even as to the saving made by the Ordinance as regards pending proceedings mentioned by it, one reservation must be made. It purports to save all proceedings which were pending immediately before 31-3-1956 and, therefore, so far as it relates back to that date, it is undoubtedly retrospective in operation. But the Act expired on 31-3-1956 and the Ordinance did not come into force, till the 22nd June following. After 31-3-1956, all pending proceedings came to an end and remained in that condition till the Ordinance was promulgated. If any of these proceedings had not in fact been disposed of during the interval by a final order, whether in the view that it had lapsed or for any other reason, the Ordinance will undoubtedly serve to revive and preserve them. But such of them as may have been disposed of are in no way touched by the Ordinance, because it does not say that even if any proceeding, pending on 31-3-1956 had since been disposed of it will be deemed to have been continuing and the order of disposal shall stand vacated. The Ordinance therefore saves only these pending proceedings, of the classes mentioned by it which were pending on 31-3-1956 and were also pending at the date of the Ordinance. If any proceeding pending on the earlier date was no longer pending on the later date, Clause 2 (1) (a) of the Ordinance leaves that proceedings untouched, except that if the proceeding ended in an appealable award or order, the time for preferring an appeal is extended by the Proviso to Clause 2 (1) (b). The Ordinance-making authority appears to have taken note of the interval between the 31st of March and the 22nd of June, 1956 in making the provision for an appeal, but overlooked it or considered it irrelevant in providing for the continuance of proceedings pending on 31-3-1956.

19. For the foregoing reasons, the answer to the question referred must, in my opinion, be that the provisions of the West Bengal Bargadars Act are at the present date applicable only to, and in, such pending proceedings as are mentioned in Clause 2 (1) (a) of the Ordinance, provided they were pending on 31-3-1956 and also at the date of the Ordinance. But those provisions are notapplicable to or in any other pending proceedings, particularly proceedings pending under other laws in which Questions under the Act may be involved.

20. The judgment I have read so far, embodying the conclusion set out at the end, was prepared and made ready for delivery on the 7th of August last and the Reference was in fact included in the Cause List for that day for judgment. In the morning of that very day, however, I was suddenly called away from the Court to other duties with the result that the judgment could not be delivered. Nor could it be delivered during my absence under the provisions of Order 49, Rule 4, Civil P. C., in view of the nature of the office to which I had been called and which I was holding at the time. My release was delayed till the 3rd of November when the Court was in the midst of its Long Vacation. Even before the 7th of August but only a few days before, there had been published in the Calcutta Gazette an Act, called the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1956 which had in the meantime been passed by the Legislature for taking the place of the West Bengal Bargadars Ordinance, 1956 as soon as the Ordinance ceased to operate. In view of the urgent necessity of an early decision in the case, we had then decided to deliver our judgment, as already prepared without hearing further 'argument on the Act, particularly as it would not be possible for the same Bench to sit for some time on account of the indisposition of one of us and as the Act appeared to us to have made no essential difference. Since, however, the judgment, could not be delivered for reasons beyond our control and by the date the Bench was again in a position to deliver judgment, a great deal of time had elapsed, we thought that it would no longer be right to give our opinion on the question referred without dealing with the Act. Accordingly we heard the parties again. They agreed that except that the saving provision of the Ordinance had been enlarged by the addition of one more type of proceeding under the Bargadars Act of 1950, the Act had made no difference and that if the Ordinance had failed to Rave the Act for the purposes of pending proceedings under other laws, the Act was equally ineffective for the purpose.

21. In my opinion, the Act suffers from the same limitations as the ordinance. The material section is Section 2. It is in the same terms as Clause 2 of the Ordinance except that a second proviso, which is not material for our present purpose, has been added at the end of the provision and that in Sub-section 1 (a) (i), corresponding to Sub-clause 1 (a) (i) of the Ordinance, the words 'or any application for revision' have been added. The words added do not in any way alter the position I have found in regard to the Ordinance. Like the proceedings set out under items (i), (ii) and (iii) of Clause 2 (1) (a) of the Ordinance, the different kinds of proceedings set out under items (i), (ii) and (iii) of Section 2(1)(a) of the Act are all proceedings 'under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950'. That qualification, expressly made in the prefatory paragraph of sub-section and sub-clause 2 (1), controls the rest of the provision in both the Act and the Ordinance. In view of the collocation of the words 'under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950' as placed in the Ordinance and now in the Act, it is not even possible to argue that they have been used loosely in a general sense and are really intended

*See Calcutta Gazette, Extraordinary, dated 30th July, 1956.--Ed.to refer to all proceedings to which the Act is relevant, whether they were initiated under the Act or under other laws, because such a meaning can never be conveyed by the form of expression adopted which is 'where, under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950, any appeal or application. ........ was pending'. What such an expression can comprise and cover are only appeals and applications authorised by and initiated under the Act itself. The effect of the words added in Sub-section 2 (1) (a) of the Act is thus only to save another class of proceedings under the Act. They have no wider effect. Applications for revision contemplated by the added word? are obviously such applications made under Sub-section 2 (i) of Section 12 (4) of the Act which was added by Section 3 of the West Bengal Bargadars (Amendment) Act (XXIII of 1954). The result, therefore, is that even when re-enacting the provisions of the Ordinance into an Act, the Legislature has made no provision for saving the Bargadars Act of 1950 for the purpose of pending proceedings initiated under other laws. It is true that the Legislature had no power to legislate with regard to proceedings under Article 227 of the Constitution so far as continuance of those proceedings was concerned and indeed no legislation was required. But it could have provided for the continuance of the Act for the purposes of all pending proceedings under all laws. It has not done so any more by the Act than it did by the Ordinance. The result is that the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 is, at the present date, alive for the purposes of and applicable only to, and in, such pending proceedings, authorised by the Act itself, as are mentioned in Section 2 (1) (a), West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1956, provided they were pending on 31-3-1956 and also at the date of the Act. The provisions of the Act are not applicable to or in pending proceedings under other laws, although questions relating to the Act may be involved therein. The above, in my view, should be the answer to the question referred.

22. The case, with our answer to the question of law referred, will now go back to the referring Bench for final disposal. Costs of the Reference will be rests in the Revision Case -- hearing fee five gold mohurs.

Das Gupta, J.

23. I agree.

24. In any judgment in the Special Bench Reference Cases in the Rent Control Act cases, I have taken the view that the expressions 'suits under the Act', and 'appeals under the Act' include all suits in respect of rights and privileges created by the Act, and also all appeals in respect of rights and privileges created by the Act -- even though the suit or the appeal be not a proceeding authorised by the Act.

25. I agree, however, with my Lord that in the collocation of the words used in Section 2, West Bengal Bargadars Act. 1956, there is no scope for extending the benefit of that section to any proceedings under any law other than the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950. It has to be noticed that this Act, itself provides for appeals, applications for execution, and applications for review, and it is quite clear that the result of the words used in Section 2. West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1956 is to give only proceedings authorised by the Bargadars Act, the benefit of the section.

26. LAHIRI, J. : I agree with the answers and the reasons for the answers given by my Lord the Chief Justice.

27. S. R. DAS GUPTA, J, : I agree with my Lord the Chief Justice.

28. I would only add that having regard to the provisions of the Bargadars Act, 1950, which is a complete code by itself and lays down the rights as also the procedure by which the same can be enforced, and the way in which the material section in this Act has been worded, the expression 'under the Act' can only mean 'authorised by the Act.'

29. I may mention that the position with regard to the West Bengal Premises Tenancy Act, 1956, is different and the considerations which have led me to hold that the words 'under the Act' in this Act mean 'authorised by the Act' do not arise in determining the effect of the said expression used in the Act. It is not possible to say that the words 'under the Act' used in the Explanation to Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the said Act have a restricted import and only mean 'authorised by the Act.' I agree with my Lord the Chief Justice that the words 'under the Act' in this Act refer only to those proceedings which' are authorised by this Act.

30. SARKAR, J.; I also agree with my Lord the Chief Justice and wish to add one word only.

31. What I have to say concerns the West Bengal Bargadars Ordinance, 1956, which was repeated in practically identical terms in the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1956. The words used in the Ordinance and the Act are to this effect: Where under the West Bengal Bargadars Act a certain proceeding was pending on 31-3-1956, that proceeding shall be continued as if the Bargadars Act, 1950, and the rules and notifications issued and the appointments made thereunder had continued in force. The Ordinance and the Act of 1956, therefore, contemplate a proceeding under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 pending on a certain date. Now, it seems to me a proceeding cannot be said to be pending under an Act unless it was filed under the Act. It follows, that when it is said that, a proceeding is filed under an Act, it is a proceeding authorised by the Act itself. Now these words to my mind, are entirely different from the words used in the West Bengal Premises Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1956. The words there are simply 'Proceedings under an Act.' I do not think that the two expressions mean the same thing.

(The Civil Revision Cases 3397, 3398 and 3399of 1955 were, after the answer of the Full Bench,returned to the referring Division Bench consisting of P. N. Mookerji and P. K Sarkar. JJ.,who by their orders passed on 22-1-1957 dischargedthe rules; there were no orders as to costs.)


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