M.L. Bhat, J.
1. Land, measuring 2 kanals 3 marlas, 13 kanals 14 marlas and 52 kanals and 16 marlas in Khasra Nos. 436 min, 439 min, 540 min respectively situate at village Channi Himat, Tehsil and District Jammu, is said to have been acquired by the Collector-Respondent for construction of a Housing Colony by the State of J. & K. Various owners of the said land were paid compensation and the compensation was held payable to the petitioner also under the Award passed by the Collector. The Petitioner's share was Rs. 985.71 and Rs. 79,580/- totalling to Rs. 80,565.71. After passing of the Award, it appears that thepayment was not paid to the petitioner under the orders of Divisional Commissioner and Financial Commissioner before whom other co-sharers seem to have made application disputing the claim of the petitioner. The Collector has not made any reference to the Civil Court under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act nor has he made any reference under Section 31 of the Land Acquisition Act before the passing of the Award.
2. It is contended by the Collector that since the claim of the Petitioner was disputed, therefore, compensation was not paid to him.
3. During the course of arguments learned counsel for the Collector has produced file No. 15 instituted on 17-3-82 before the Collector. This file contains-application of Balwant Singh, Rattan Singh, Kanwal Singh, who are some of the persons to whom compensation was made. On 17-3-82, it appears that the Collector was asked that revision was being filed against mutation No. 385, therefore, payment of compensation be stayed in favour of the petitioner. By another application dt. 7-4-82, it is stated that as the proceedings against mutation No. 385 are taken before the Director, Land Records, the payment in favour of the petitioner be stopped A stay order issued by the Director Land Records, in revision against mutation No. 385, reveals that status quo was ordered to be maintained. Another application dated 16-6-83 appears to have been made before the Collector by Balwant Singh, Krishan Singh and Kanwal Singh to the effect that Mutation in respect of Mangoo, predecessor-in-interest of parties, is filed, compensation should not be paid to the petitioner. Yet another application dated 21-12-82, was made by Balwant Singh and others before the Collector asking him not to make the payment of compensation. The Divisional Commissioner appears to have issued an order to the Collector not to make payment of compensation till the disposal of the case. This order is said to have been made on Dec. 21, 1982, because the Collector dismissed the plea of Balwant Singh and ordered payment of compensation in favour of the petitioner on the condition that if the Mutation order is set aside, the amount to the petitioner shall be refunded by him.
4. It is an admitted case before me that there is an Award in favour of the petitioner for the amount which he has claimed in the writ petition. The payment of the amount is withheld because in the opinion of the Collector and other Authorities of Revenue Department petitioner's title is disputed. So far as the petitioner and respondent are concerned, the Award has become final this is so, because Section 12 of the Land Acquisition Act provides it. It will be profitable to reproduce Section 12 of the Land Acquisition Act hereunder : --
'Section 12. Award of Collector when to be final -- (1) Such award shall be filed in the Collector's office and shall, except as hereinafter provided, be final and conclusive evidence, as between the Collector and the persons interested, whether they have respectively appeared before the Collector or not, of the true area and the value of the land, and the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.
(2) The Collector shall give immediate notice of his award to such of the persons interested, as are not present personally or by their representatives when the award is made.'
5. The Award is final and is conclusive evidence as between the Collector and the persons interested in respect of true area and the value of the land and the apportionment of compensation among persons interested. Section 12 is controlled by Sections 18 and 31 of the Land Acquisition Act. Section 31, will not be applicable in the instant case, because the Award has already been made. It could be invoked before the passing of the Award. The only section which, therefore, controls Section 12, will be Section 18 of the Act, it empowers the Collector to make a reference to the District Court, if any person interested has not accepted the award, made a written application to the Collector requiring him to refer the matter for determination of a Court, as regards the measurement of the land, amount of the compensation, to whom it is payable or the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested. Sub Para (2) of this section provides that the application is to contain the grounds on which the objection to the Award is taken and it prescribes limitation for making such an application.
6. It has been admitted before me that no application, under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition, was made before the Collector for making a reference under Section 18 of the Act Mr Dhar appearing for the Collector halfheartedly argued that the applications for stopping the payment to the person, made by the other interested persons, may be treated as application under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act and in this view of the matter, he wanted a direction to be made that the Collector should make a reference under Section 18 of the Act. I am afraid that I cannot agree with Mr Dhar. I have mentioned in earlier part of this judgment that the applications were made by various interested persons to the effect that the petitioner should not be paid the compensation and the compensation determined in his favour should be stayed. By no stretch of imagination any of the applications, on the record of the Collector, can be treated application Under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. These applications were under no provision of law, because, after the award was announced and in the absence of any Reference Under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, Collector was not empowered to probe into the matter afresh. Because as between him and the parties named in the award, the Award had become final and conclusive not only as regards the area and value of the land, but as regards the apportionment of the compensation among persons interested. Therefore, he could not have taken cognisance of these applications. But, unfortunately, Collector seems to have, in ignorance of law, proceeded to have inquired the matter afresh. Even the Director Land Records with Powers of Divisional Commissioner also had no competence or jurisdiction to order stay of payment of compensation. No forum other than District Judge, could give a finding as to the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested. District Court also could do so only when a valid reference was made to it. As stated above, there was no application for making such a Reference nor the Collector had made a Reference to the District Court Under Section 18 of the Act. No Authority therefore, could stand in the way of the petitioner to get the compensation which was determined in his favour in the Award passed by the Collector. The apportionment of compensation for the land had become final as between the petitioner and the Collector and other interested parties. Other interested parties could agitate the matter only by making an application in accordance with Section 18 of the Act for making a Reference and Distt Judge could decide the matter of apportionment, in accordance with law. Since that was not done, therefore, withholding the compensation amount by the Collector or by any other Revenue Authority was without jurisdiction, and against the provisions of law.
7. Mr. Dhar. during the course of his arguments submitted that mutation No. 385 was set aside and share of the petitioner was reduced, therefore, he was not entitled to the compensation and would get the amount less than apportioned in his favour. Any order passed in mutation proceedings would not affect the rights of the petitioner to receive compensation which is apportioned in the award which has become final. It is well settled that mutation does not confer title. It is the proceeding of a fiscal nature only to determine land revenue and cannot been evidence about title. It is also surprising to note that the Collector is raising objection as regards the finality and conclusiveness of the Award: Collector cannot be heard to say anything which affects the finality of the award. Therefore, any order passed m mutation proceedings will not affect the rights of the petitioner. From the reading of the order in mutation passed by the Financial Commissioner it appears that the Financial Commissioner had mutilated the Hindu Law. He seems to have been confused about 'interest' and 'inheritance' in a coparcenary property. Be that as it may, petitioner's rights are unaffected and as regards the apportionment of compensation Collector is bound by it
8. Mr. Kotwal has made an applicationonbehalf of other co-sharers, namely BalwantSingh and others who had disputed the claimof the petitioner after passing of the Awardbefore the Collector and who had filed therevision petitions against the mutation No. 385.for being made as a party in the writ petition. Iam afraid, I cannot allow the application beingCMP No. 1593/82.
9. I have heard Mr. N. P. Kotwal in detail His clients have not made any application Under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act, for making a reference to the District Judge. They have only prayed for stay of payment of compensation, which has been held by me in the earlier part of this judgment, that that was not an application Under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. Mr. Kotwal is bound by the Award in the same manner in which Collector is bound. This is so, as Section 12 of the Act, makes every interested person bound by the award which is controlled in this case only by Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. Since Section 18 of the Act was not invoked, therefore, Mr. Kotwal cannot dispute finality and conclusiveness of the Award They cannot be made parties to the writ petition. Because what they had to do Under Section 18 they cannot be permitted to do that in this writ petition. They actually want to turn this writ petition into a Reference under Section 18 of the Act, which cannot be permitted to be done. Their remedy, if any, is by way of a civil suit against the petitioner in which they can claim the refund of the amount if at all the petitioner has received in excess. That remedy will only be available to them, if the provisions of Land Acquisition Act permits them to seek such remedy. The presence of Balwant Singh and others in this writ petition is not required at all and they cannot be permitted to be impleaded party to this writ petition. Their application for being made as party is misconceived and is, therefore, dismissed. This will dispose of CMP No. 788 of 1984 also by which they had sought relief of payment of compensation. I accordingly reject the applications filed by Mr. N. P. Kotwal and others are not the necessary parties in the writ petition.
For the reasons stated, the writ petition it allowed and the Collector is directed by a writ of mandamus to make payment of the compensation to the petitioner in accordance with the apportionment made in the aware passed by the Collector.
No order as to costs.