1. This revisional application at the instance ofthe bargadars petitioners is directed against anorder dated 11-11-1957 of the Appellate Officer,Contai dismissing an appeal preferred against thedecision of a Bhagchas Conciliation Board.
2. The only point that has been canvassed before us is whether the award of the Board as well as that of the Appellate Officer were without jurisdiction. It appears that the award was made by only two members of the Bhagchas Board, namely, the Chairman and another member. It has been argued on behalf of the petitioners that as under Section 6(2) of the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 each Bhagchas Board has to consist of a Chairman and tour other members, two of whom shall be representatives of Bargadars the other two representatives of owners of lands, any dispute between a Bargadar and an owner whose land the bargadar cultivates has to be decided by a Bhagchas Board as constituted under Section 6 and the award by two members only of the Board and not by all the five members acting together was illegal and without jurisdiction. Under Rule 8(1) of the Rules under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 the quorum necessary for a meeting of a Board for the transaction of business shall be three provided that the presence of the Chairman shall be necessary for constituting the quorum of the Board. Originally the quorum necessary for a meeting of the Board was three but the Rule was amended by Notification No. 6390L dated 30-4-1954 when the quorum was reduced to two. At the material time the prescribed quorum was two. It has been argued on behalf of the petitioners that in view of the specific provision made in the statute under Section 6 of the Act the Bhagchas Board consists only of five members including the Chairman and the rule referred to above which prescribed a quorum of three subsequently reduced to two Was ultra vires and without jurisdiction. Under Section 19(2) (d) of the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 power has been conferred upon the State Government to make rules to provide inter alia for the procedure to be followed by a Board. Under Section 12(1) of that Act the procedure to be followed by a Board shall be as may be prescribed and under Section 2(h) 'prescribed' means 'prescribed by rules made under this Act'. The consequence, therefore, is that the rule referred to before has statutory force and it was well within the competence of the State Government to make such rules. There is also nothing unreasonable in the rule either. Even though the full Board has to consist of a Chairman and four other members with two representatives of bargadars and two representatives of owners, it is obvious that in order to carry out the purposes of the Act some sort of quorum has to be prescribed and this is precisely what the Government have done by making the above rule. The rule is none the less reasonable even though no provision for proportionate representation of bargadars and owners has been made in the Rule. In any case, there is the provision that in order to constitute the quorum of the Board the Chairman, who must be a person in the service of the Government, must be present. In the present case, out of the two members present one was a Chairman of the Board. Prima facie, therefore, there is no reason why it should be held that an award passed by two members of the Board forming the quorum, as prescribed by the rules, as in the present case, should be held to be ultra vires or without jurisdiction. Our attention was, however, drawn to the case of Kartic Chandra Biswas v. Nemai Chandra Santra, 63 Cal WN 627 decided by Guha Ray, J. who observed inter alia that an order passed by a Board signed only by three members of the Board was not valid, Rule 8(1) of the Rules under the West Bengal Bargadars Act, 1950 being ultra vires of the Act. The only reason given by his Lordship for coming to that conclusion was that three members of the Board which consist of five members could not legally constitute the Board for decision of any matter referred to in Section 7. For the reasons stated above, we are unable, however, to accept this view and, in our opinion, an order passed in conformity with Rule 8(1) cannot be held to be ultra vires or without jurisdiction.
3. In the result, therefore, the sole contention urged before us must fail and the Rule is discharged.
4. In the circumstances, no order is made as to costs.
5. I agree.