1. This rule is directed against an order made by the President of the Calcutta Improvement Tribunal rejecting the petitioner's application to be added as a party to an apportionment case pending before the tribunal. The material facts lie within a brief compass and are for the most part undisputed. Premises No. S3, Cockier Lane was acquired by the first Land Acquisition Collector, Calcutta, in connexion with scheme No. 47 of the Calcutta Improvement Trust and a sum of Rs. 9573 and annas odd was settled as compensation, in respect of which a joint award was made in favour of three persons who are the three opposite parties in the rule. There was a dispute between these three persons as regards their right to the compensation money. Opposite party No. 1 claimed the entire compensation as the sole surviving daughter and heiress of one Yasoda Debi to whom the premises admittedly belonged. Opposite parties, Nos. 2 and 3, on the other hand, contended that they were entitled to a half share of the compensation money as sons and heirs of one Rajabala, a sister's daughter of opposite party No. 1, who got a moiety share in the acquired premises on the basis of a compromise with the latter. The Collector acting under Sections 30 and 31(2), Land Acquisition Act, sent the compensation money to the Calcutta Improvement Tribunal and referred the dispute to that Court.
2. The petitioner is a daughter of Rajabala and it is said that she received no notice under Section 9, Land Acquisition Act, nor was she aware of the proceedings before the Collector. Her case is that a moiety share of the premises acquired, which belonged to her mother Rajabala devolved on her to the exclusion of opposite parties Nos. 2 and 3 and that she - and not opposite parties Nos. 2 and 3 - was entitled to half of the compensation money. She came to know of the reference case pending before the Improvement Tribunal after issues were framed in that case and on 4th September 1940 she made an application before the tribunal praying that she might be added as a party to the proceeding. The President of the tribunal rejected the application on the ground that the addition of a party at that stage would enlarge the scope of enquiry. It is the propriety of this order that is challenged before us in this rule. Mr. Chakravarty who appears in support of the rule has argued before us that it is necessary and proper to add his client as a party to the apportionment case as that would enable the tribunal to deal effectively and completely with all matters in controversy in the case and that the learned President was in error in thinking that the scope of the enquiry would be enlarged in any way. Mr. Ramaprosad Mukherjee who appears for the opposite parties has contended, on the other hand, that apart from the fact that the addition of a party at this late stage would introduce a new and complicated question of title, the tribunal had no jurisdiction to make the petitioner who was not a party to the proceedings before the Collector a party to the apportionment case.
3. This identical point came up for consideration before a Division Bench of this Court in Prabal Chandra v. Peyari Mohun ('08) 12 CWN 987 and it was held by Maclean C.J. and Doss J. that the Land Acquisition Court had no jurisdiction to deal with objections except those which were made by persons who were parties to the proceedings before the Collector and which brought about the reference. In this case also, there was a reference made by the Collector under Section 30, Land Acquisition Act, and the respondent, who was not a party to the proceedings before the Collector and consequently had made no objection to the award, was made a party to the reference on his own application by the Land Acquisition Court. The order of the Court making him a party was discharged and the compensation money was directed to be paid to the appellant without prejudice to the rights of the respondent who was treated as not being made a party to the proceedings at all. The learned Chief Justice in course of his judgment relied, amongst others, on two earlier decisions of this Court which are to be found in Abu Bakar v. Peyari Mohun ('07) 34 Cal 451 and Govinda Kumar Roy v. Devendra Kumar ('08) 12 CWN 98 to both of which he was a party. It is true that in both these cases the reference was made under Section 18, Land Acquisition Act, and not under Section 30 and in the earlier case in Abu Bakar v. Peyari Mohun ('07) 34 Cal 451 there was no question of addition of a party. The respondent in that case was, in fact, a party to the proceedings before the Collector but he raised an objection before the Land Acquisition Court which he did not raise before the Collector. It was held that the Court could not go into a question raised for the first time by a party who had not referred any question or any objection to it under Section 18, Land Acquisition Act.
4. Mr. Chakravarty argues that when a reference is made under Section 18, Land Acquisition Act, Section 21 of the Act expressly restricts the inquiry before the Land Acquisition Court to an examination of the question which has been referred by the Collector and consequently the scope of inquiry may not be enlarged at the instance of parties who have not obtained and cannot obtain any order of reference under that section. He says however that there is no such limitation with regard to a reference made by the Collector under Section 30, Land Acquisition Act, and this distinction was overlooked by the Court in Prabal Chandra v. Peyari Mohun ('08) 12 CWN 987 It is true that the learned Chief Justiee who was a party to the earlier decisions did not fully discuss the distinctions that can be drawn between the two types of reference, but his decision definitely was that the powers of the Land Acquisition Court were equally restricted when the reference was under Section 30, Land Acquisition Act. We do not think that this view is unsound or is not warranted by the language of Section 30. Section 30, Land Acquisition Act, provides that
if any dispute arises as to the apportionment of compensation or as to the persons to whom the same or any part thereof is payable, the Collector may refer such dispute to the Court.
5. These words can reasonably be construed to mean that the jurisdiction of the Court is confined to a consideration of the dispute that is expressly referred to it by the Collector. An addition of parties may indeed be made when the persons who desire to be added as parties do not raise any new dispute but want to place other materials before the Court in connexion with the dispute that is referred to it by the Collector: vide. Hashim Ibrahim v. Secretary of State : AIR1927Cal352 But, in our opinion, it cannot be permitted in a case like this where the question sought to be raised is entirely a new one and is not covered by the reference made by the Collector. The two other decisions of the Court upon which reliance has been placed by Mr. Chakravarty in course of his arguments are clearly distinguishable and in fact they do not in any way militate against the view taken in Prabal Chandra v. Peyari Mohun ('08) 12 CWN 987 In Promotha Nath Mitra v. Rakhal Das Addy ('10) 11 CLJ 420 the property which was the subject-matter of acquisition was sold for arrears of revenue and the purchaser at the revenue sale was allowed to be made a party to the reference made to the civil Court at the instance of the defaulting proprietor. But it was expressly held that he could take only such objections as could be taken by the defaulting proprietor and his special rights, if any, must be asserted in a separate suit. In the other case, namely, the case in Golap Khan v. Bholanath Marick ('10) 12 CLJ 545, an attaching creditor was allowed to be added as a party to the proceedings before the Land Acquisition Court on similar grounds as a representative of the judgment-debtor.
6. The decision that really supports the contention of Mr. Chakravarty is that in Kishan Chand v. Jagannath Prasad ('02) 25 All 133. There it was held by Knox and Blair JJ., that the provisions of Section 53, Land Acquisition Act, are sufficiently large to allow the adaptation of Section 32, Civil P.C., (corresponding to Order 1, Rule 10 of the present Civil Procedure Code) to the matter before the Judge and a person who was not a party to the proceeding before the Collector and who claimed title by adverse possession was allowed to be added as a party to the reference before the Judge that was made by the Collector under Section 30, Land Acquisition Act. The decision, however, did not proceed on any distinction between the provisions of Sections 18 and 30, Land Acquisition Act. We do not think that we will be justified in following the Allahabad High Court when there is a decision of our Court exactly in point. The decision in Prabal Chandra v. Peyari Mohun ('08) 12 CWN 987 has not been dissented from in any of the subsequent cases and as the view which it takes is borne out by the language of the section as also the general scheme of the Land Acquisition Act, we have no hesitation in following it. The result is that the rule is discharged. We make no order as to costs. We may add that the decision of the Improvement Tribunal would be without any prejudice to the rights of the petitioner before us who must be deemed not to be a party to the land acquisition proceedings at all.