1. This is an appeal on behalf of the plaintiff in a suit for rent. The plaintiff claimed to realise rent at the annual rate of Rs. 26-8-9. The defendant resisted the claim on the ground that rent was payable by him only at the rate of Rs. 22 13 3. Each side produced a settlement Khatian in support of his claim which bore the same date, namely, the 9th June 1897. The Court was, therefore, called upon to inquire under what circumstances the two Khatians, apparently contradictory, had been made. It trans pired that under sub-Section 1 C. L.J. 310. of Section 104, as it stood before its amendment in 1898, the Record of Rights was finally published on the 9th January 1897, and that so far as the present tenant was concerned, the rent was stated to have been settled at Rs. 22-13 3. Immediately after the final publication, an application appears to have been made on behalf of the landlord to the Assistant Settlement Officer to correct the entry. The Assistant Settlement Officer suggested a reference to the Settlement Officer and consequently on the 23rd July 1897 an application was made for alteration of the record to the latter officer. The Settlement Officer called for a report, as a result of which the record was amended, so that the rent payable by the defendant was entered as Rs. 26-8 0 instead of Rs 22-13-3. The proceedings before the Revenue Authorities further make it clear that the tenant appeared and agreed to this alteration. The plaintiff now seeks to recover rent at the altered rate. The defendant contends that the alteration in the Record of Rights was ultra vires because the Settlement Authorities had no jurisdiction to revise the order previously made. The Court of first instance gave effect to the contention of the landlord and made a decree in this favour. Upon appeal the Subordinate Judge has reversed that decision.
2. On behalf of the landlord, appellant, it has been argued that the Revenue Authorities had inherent jurisdiction to recall the erroneous order previously made and to modify the entry in the Record of Rights as published. On behalf of the respondent, this contention has been sought to be negatived by a reference to the ease of Shambhu Chandra v. Puma Chandra 35 C. 176; 7 C. L. J. 103; 12 C. W. N. 122. It has further been argued that the decisions of this Court in the oases of Brahmanunda Mahapatra v. Arjun Raut 1 C. L.J. 310. and Durga Churn Law v. Hateen Mandal 29 C. 252; 6 C. W. N. 238. indicate that the decision of the Settlement Officer was in the nature of a decree and consequently could be revised only by way of appeal.
3. In our opinion the contention of the appellant is well founded and must prevail. The two oases upon which reliance is placed by the respondent, lamely, Brahmanunda Mahapatra v. Arjun Raut 1 C. L.J. 310. and Durga Churn Law v. Hateen Mandal 29 C. 252; 6 C. W. N. 238. show conclusively that a decision under sub-Section 1 C. L.J. 310. of Section 104 operates as a decree. It follows consequently that the Settlement Authorities have jurisdiction to review the decree on the ground that it is erroneous. This view is supported by the decision of this Court in the case of Achha Mian Chowdhry v. Durga Churn Law 25 C. 146; 2 C. W. N. 137; 13 Ind. Dec. (n. s.) 99. It becomes unnecessary, therefore, to consider the wider question whether every Court has inherent power to review en erroneous decision. It may be pointed, however, that this view does receive support from the observations of their Lordships of the Judicial Committee in Spud Tuffuszool Hossein Khan v. Rughoonath pershad 14 M. I. A. 40 at p. 48; 7 L. B. R. 186; 2 Suth. P. C. J. 434; 2 Sar. P. C. J. 656: Rafique & Jackson's P.C. No. 10; 20 E.R. 701. as also from the decision of this Court in Haradhun Mookerjee v. Chunder Mohun Roy Marsh. 205; W. R. F. B. 66; 1 Hay. 577. We are not unmindful, however, that the contrary view has sometimes been maintained: Babaji v. Babaji 15 B. 650; 8 Ind. Deo. (n. s.) 438. and Ramsing v. Babu Kisansing 19 B, 116 (F. B), 10 Ind. Deo. (n. s.) 78. The decision of the Court of appeal in Drew v. Lewis or Willis (1891) 1 Q. B. 450; 60 L. J. Q. B. 264; 64 L. T. 760; 39 W. R. 310; 55 J. P. 373. may also possibly support the view that it is competent to a Court to review its decision only where there is statutory authority in that behalf. As we have stated, however, it is not necessary for us to found oar decision on that ground. We hold here that the proceeding before the Revenue Authorities was in the nature of a suit, that the order made by the Settlement Officer was in the nature of a decree and that the decree was consequently reviewable on the ground of error by the Settlement Authorities. In this view, it becomes unnecessary for us to consider in detail whether even, if we bad been obliged to hold that the Settlement Authorities had no jurisdiction to review their order, it would have been open to the tenant, who had consented to the order, to challenge it on the ground that it was ultra vires. But we may observe that the observations of their Lordships of the Judicial Committee in Ledgard v. Bull 13 L. A. 134; 9 A. 191; 4 Sar. P. C. J. 741; 5 Ind. Deo. (n. s.) 561 (P. C.)., might possibly present an insuperable bar in the way of the respondent. In that case their Lordships held that when the Judge has no inherent jurisdiction over the subject matter of a suit, the parties cannot, by their mutual consent, convert it into a proper judicial process, although they may constitute the Judge their arbiter and be bound by his decision on the merits when those are submitted to him. In the case before us it has been found that the alteration in the record was made by the Settlement Authorities upon the joint application of the landlord and the tenant, and it is clearly not open to the tenant to turn round and contend that the order was made without jurisdiction and is not binding upon him.
4. The result, therefore, is that the decree made by the Court of appeal below must be set aside and that of the Court of first instance restored with costs throughout.