M.M. Dutt, J.
1. This Rule has been referred to the Special Bench by a Division Bench of this Court consisting of P. N. Mookerjee and A. K. Dutt, JJ. under Chapter II, Rule 1, proviso (ii) of the Appellate Side Rules for the decision of the question as to the effect of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953 including the Rules made thereunder, and the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1956 on the provisions, relating to pre-emption, in the Bengal Tenancy Act. As the reference has been made under the above provisions of the Appellate Side Rules, the entire case has to be disposed of by the Special Bench.
2. The question, as formulated by the Division Bench consists of two parts, namely, (1) the effect of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act and the Rules made thereunder on the provisions relating to pre-emption in the Bengal Tenancy Act, and (2) the effect of the W. B. Land Reforms Act on the said provisions. The question obviously refers to the provision for pre-emption under Section 26-F of the Bengal Tenancy Act. The question, in both parts, has been decided by us and is covered by our judgment delivered today, in the Full Bench Reference No. 1 of 1968 consisting of a group of Revision Cases.
3. In the instant case, the transfer took place on March 5, 1963 and the application for pre-emption was made by one Kalipada Das, the predecessor-in-interest of the opposite parties Nos. 1 to 3, on June 24, 1963. The trial Court allowed the application and on appeal, the learned Additional District Judge affirmed the order of the trial Court. In view of our decision in the aforesaid Full Bench Reference No. 1 of 1968, after Chapter VI of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act came into force, Kalipada Das ceased to be a co-sharer and his application for preemption under Section 26-F was no longer maintainable. On this ground alone, this Rule must succeed.
4. Mr. Palit, learned Advocate appearing for the purchaser who is the petitioner in the Rule, raised another point which comes within the ambit of the second part of the above question framed by the Division Bench. It was contended by Mr. Palit that the impugned transfer having been made after the enactment of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, the application for pre-emption under Section 26-F was not maintainable. In view of our aforesaid decision in the Full Bench, as the impugned transfer had taken place before Section 8 of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act had come into force, the application under Section 26-F could not be said to be not maintainable on the ground as urged by Mr. Palit, But, in view of ourdecision that the application for pre-emption ceased to be maintainable after Chapter VI came into force, the orders of the courts below allowing the application are set aside and the Rule is made absolute. There will, however, be no order for costs in this Rule.
Arun K. Mukherjea, J.
Sabyasachi Mukharji, J.