Holmwood and Sharfuddin, JJ.
1. This was a Rule calling upon the District Magistrate of Cuttack to show cause why the conviction of, and sentence passed on, the petitioner should not be set aside, on the ground that a statement made in an application under the Land Registration Act is not necessarily a declaration within the meaning of Section 191 the Indian Penal Code.
2. We have heard counsel in support of the Rule and the learned Deputy Legal Remembrancer showing cause, and we have considered Sections 53 and 88 of Act VII of 1876, and the rulings on what are said to be analogous points, for which we have been referred to the case of Queen-Empress v. Appaya (1891) I.L.R. 14 Mad. 484, and to a case under the Land Acquisition Act. namely, the case of Durga Das Rukhit v. Queen-Empress (1900) I.L.R. 27 Cale. 820, which has been followed in the case of Ezra v. Secretary of State (1902) I.L.R. 30 Cale. 36 and in the recent case of land acquisition known as the Bracebridge Hall Case See ante, p. 230. But all these cases turn on the fact that the statements were not made to a Court nor to any one authorised to take down such statements on oath. Now under the Land Registration Act, with which we are now dealing, the case is quite different. The Collector under that Act is a duly constituted Court, and is empowered by Section 53 to summon and enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel them to give evidence, and compel the production of documents by the same means, and, as far as possible, in the same manner, as is provided in the case of a Civil Court by the Code of Civil Procedure. Moreover, under Section 88, it is laid down that there are to be, under this Act, rules made for the presentation, admission and verification of applications for registration, and the Board is directed, within four months of the date on which this Act comes into force, to make general Rules, consistent with this Act, to regulate the form in which registers under this Act are to be kept, and to cancel or alter from time to time any such Rules. Now it may be said that the Rules themselves are not part of the law. But the mandate given by the law is that the Collector is to have power to make some kind of verification, on the application, and that verification may, under Section 53, be on oath. It seems to us clear that this declaration comes within the meaning of Section 191 of the Indian Penal Code, namely, that a claimant asking for land registration is bound by law to make a true declaration upon the subject of his application, and the offence is, as laid down in the case which we have just cited, not in making a verification on oath, but in making a false statement in the course of the verification. We are fortified in this opinion by the decision in the case of Debi Saran Misser v. Emperor (1907) 11 C.W.N. 470, where a converse proposition is laid down that 'Rules passed in the course of a proceeding of the Board of Revenue, and not drawn up by the Board under Section 88 of the Land Registration Act, have not the force of law.' It is argued that the converse proposition is not necessarily true; but the opinion, which is no doubt an obiter, to be derived from the remarks of the learned Judges in that case is certainly the view which we are inclined to take in this case, that Rules passed by the Board of Revenue under Section 88, provided they refer to the procedure as to presentation, admission and verification of an application for registration under Part IV, and as to enquiries under Section 52, have the force of law by reason of the express enactment of Section 88 itself. We, therefore, think that the only point on which this Rule was issued fails, and the Rule is discharged.
3. The petitioner must surrender to his bail and serve out the rest of his sentence.