1. The facts which give rise to this Rule are as follows: Premises No. 115-1-1 Cornwallis Street and 7 Paul Lane in which the petitioner had a Hindu widow's estate were acquired by the Calcutta Improvement Trust. Under Section 32(b), Land Acquisition Act, the compensation money, namely Rupees 42,515-11-5, was invested in G.P. Notes in 1914. Since then the G.P. Notes are being held in deposit by the Calcutta Improvement Tribunal and the petitioner had been receiving the interest periodically accruing thereon. On 2nd March 1934 a notice was issued by the President, Calcutta Improvement Trust, upon the petitioner calling upon her to show cause why the said G.P. Notes should not be applied in whole or in part in the purchase of lands under the provisions of Section 32, Land Acquisition Act. The petitioner thereupon appeared before the learned President and prayed that the G.P. Notes in question might continue to remain in deposit as before on certain grounds. The learned President by his order dated 7th May 1934 rejected her prayer. This Rule is directed against the said order of the President. It appears from the order of the learned President that he is of opinion that under the provisions of Section 32, Land Acquisition Act, as suitable properties are now available, he is bound to change the investment and apply the compensation money in the purchase of lands. It cannot be disputed that the learned President has jurisdiction under Section 32 to reinvest the money in the purchase of other lands and that in this matter he acts as a Judge and has got to exercise his function in a judicial manner. The statute does not say that the money is to be reinvested in the purchase of land within any particular time. Where the public officers are empowered to do certain things for a third person, the law requires that it shall be done when the interest of that person calls for the exercise of that power.
2. In the case of Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad v. Kumar Arun Chandra Singa, Civil Revn. No. 1445 of 1930, it has been pointed out that under Section 32 of the Act the President is to exercise his discretion in making the investments in the interest of persons for whom the money is held in trust. It was further pointed out in that case that the President should invest money in purchasing the lands presumably of the same value and income as the lands acquired. The President while exercising his judicial function should therefore consider whether the reinvestment is expedient in view of the allegations of the petitioner. In a matter like this, the primary consideration for the Court is the interest of the person for whose benefit the legislature has given him the power. The learned President appears to have made the order in question on the supposition that he is bound to reinvest since suitable lands are now available. It is not exactly clear what is exactly meant by the words 'suitable lands.' It is not possible for us to find out from his order whether the lands which are available now would bring the same income as the lands acquired. Again it is not clear from the materials before us how the learned President has come to the conclusion that suitable properties are now available. It is true that the Land Acquisition Act does not lay down any procedure which is to be followed in matters like this. But as observed by Domat it is a well known passage which is quoted with approval by Sir Barnes Peacock, C.J. in his judgment in the case of Hurro Chunder Roy Chowdhury v. Shoorodhone Debei (1868) 9 WR 402 at p. 406:
Since laws are general rules, they cannot regulate the time to come so as to make express provision against all inconveniences, which are infinite in number, and so that either dispositions shall express all the cases that may possibly happen. It is the duty of a law-giver to foresee only the most natural and ordinary events, and to form his dispositions in such a manner as that, without entering into the detail of singular cases, he may establish rules common to them all and next, it is the duty of the Judges to apply the laws not only to what appears to be regulated by their express dispositions, but to all the cases to which a just application of them may be made, and which appear to be comprehended either within the express sense of the law or within the consequences that may be gathered from it.
3. The learned President in our opinion therefore should hear the petitioner before he decides whether it is desirable or advantageous that the money which has remained invested in G.P. Notes since 1914 without any objection from anybody, should now be reinvested in view of the facts stated in the petition of the petitioner before him. The matter does not appear to have been properly dealt with by the learned President. We accordingly make the Rule absolute, set aside the order of the learned President and direct that the petition filed by the petitioner be reheard according to law in the light of the observations made above.