1. This is an application in revision on behalf of the debtors & arises out of proceedings under Section 37A, Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act.
2. The opposite party purchased the disputed properties in execution of a money decree obtained by them against the petitioners. Thereafter the Govt. issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of these properties. The properties have since been acquired by the Collector & the opposite parties have been put in possession by the Collector in regard to the plots now in dispute & other plots. Meanwhile, the proceedings before the Board continued & there was an order by the Board holding that the proceedings before the Board were maintainable. This matter came up to this Court in revision. A point was taken before this Court that in view of what had happened since the institution of the proceedings under Section 37A, Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act, the application before the Board was not maintainable & could not proceed. This Court was of opinion that as the proceedings before the Board were in the initial stage the Board would continue the proceedings & determine the merits of the application taking into account the fact that an award has since been made.
3. In the meantime proceedings under Section 18, Land Acquisition Act had been taken by the petitioners. In these proceedings it was held that the petitioners have no locus standi to maintain the reference under Section 18. This matter came up before this Court & this Court was of opinion that the petitioners had locus standi to maintain the reference under Section 18, Land Acquisition Act.
4. The proceedings before the Board went on & the Board held that the application must fail & no award was made. Against that an appeal was taken to the Appellate Officer & a revision petition to the Dist. J. The Dist. J. seems to have been of opinion that in view of what had taken place since the initiation of the proceedings under the Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act, the Board could not adjudicate upon the application under Section 37A, Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act. The petitioners contend that the view taken by the Dist. J. is not correct. It is to be noted that the application under Section 37A was started before the notification was published under the Land Acquisition Act. If nothing had happened the proceedings would have gone on & an award would have been made under Section 37A(5), Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act, & the petitioners would have been entitled to their relief under Section 37A(8). The fact that an award has been made cannot take away the jurisdiction of the Board to deal with the application which was properly presented.
5. Mr. Mitra appearing on behalf of the opposite party has contended that the effect of the award & the delivery of possession has been that the opposite party is now in possession under an independent title & the Board cannot adjudicate upon the application under Section 37A. In my opinion this objection is not sound. It may be that the effect of the award made by the Board under Section 37A (5) & of the application under Section 37A(8) may not disturb the possession of the opposite party which was obtained under the Land Acquisition Act. But at the same time the title of the opposite party which accrued to him by virtue of his auction-purchase can be considered in the proceedings under Section 37A. If that application succeeds & an application for setting aside the sale is made under Section 37A (8) the effect of the application would be to have the auction sale of the opposite party set aside, although the further relief by way of restoration of possession cannot be given to him in view of what had happened in the Land Acquisition proceedings. If a contrary view were taken the result would be that the petitioners who had made a proper application would be deprived of their right to the compensation money to which they would be entitled if they succeed in the proceeding before the Board.
6. In these circumstances I am of opinion that the view taken by the Dist. J. is not correct & that the award should not be made by the Board in terms of Section 37A(5). Thereafter if an application is made under Section 37A(8) the civil court will set aside the sale, but will not restore possession because this has become impossible in view of what took place in the land acquisition proceedings.
7. In these circumstances the order of the Dist. J. is set aside & the Rule is made absolute with costs.
8. I agree.