A.S. Anand, Actg. C.J.
1. This revision petition is directed against the order dated 24th of Sept., 1983, in file No. 6/Suit 1980, rejecting the application for recall of the order dated 10-11-1980. The circumstances under which the revision petition has arisen are as follows : --
A notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act was issued on 12-1-1979 in respect to land measuring 2 kanals comprised in Kh. No. 1515 min situate in Nagar, Bhadarwah. During the acquisition proceedings before the Collector, respondent No. 1, an application came to be made by Ghulam Hussan respondent No. 2 on 16-8-1979 alleging that the land be not acquired as he was a tenant of the land. The said application was rejected by the Collector holding that respondent No. 2 Ghulam was not a tenant of the land. The acquisition proceedings culminated in award being made by the Collector on 24th of March 1980, awarding a sum of Rs. 11,500/- as compensation to the petitioners. The petitioners were not satisfied with the quantum of compensation and they made an application under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act before the Collector seeking a reference to the District Judge, Bhadarwah. The learned Collector, accordingly on 19-7-1980, made a reference to the learned District Judge, It transpires that on 10th Nov. 1980, the District Judge directed the issuance of notice to the interested parties, but the summons were also sent to respondents 2 and 3 though they had neither made an application seeking reference under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act and even though the application of respondent No. 2 earlier stood rejected by the Collector holding him not to be a tenant of the land sought to be acquired. The petitioners, on learning about the issuance of summons to respondents 2 and 3, who were not concerned with the land in question and were not, according to the petitioners, interested persons, within the meaning of that expression, approached the learned District Judge, with an application stating that the office clerk had wrongly and illegally summoned respondents 2 and 3 and that they had no locus standi to be heard in the matter of reference made at their instance alone. The application was rejected by the learned District Judge on 24th of Sept. 1983, and it is against that order that the petitioners have approached this Court.
2. I have heard Mr. J. S. Kotwal learned counsel for the petitioners and Mr. Amresh Kapoor appearing for the Collector. Respondents 2 and 3 though served have chosen to remain absent.
3. From a perusal of the record, it is abundantly clear respondents 2 and 3 had not sought any reference from the Collector to the District Judge. Under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act any person who refuses to accept an award of the Collector has to apply to the Collector himself requiring him to make reference of the dispute to a District Judge and he cannot move the District Judge without first going to the Collector. This is apparent from the plain reading of Sub-section (1) of Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. The District Judge gets the jurisdiction to deal with the matter only after a reference is made to him under Section 18 of the Land Acquisition Act. Thus, the reference by the Collector is a pre-requisite for the District Judge to proceed further with the reference. It is only when Collector refuses to make reference without any justification that the concerned person may move the High Court seeking a writ of mandamus, but he has no right to move the District Judge directly and in case a District Judge, without any reference having been made to him by the Collector, decides to hear a person at whose instance reference was not made and who was not a party before the Collector at the time of making the reference, the District Judge acts without jurisdiction. In taking this view I am fortified by a judgment of this Court in Des Raj v. Mansa Ram, reported in 1981 JKLR 60 : (AIR 1981 J & K 87). Since, the District Judge, issued summons to respondents 2 and 3 as if they were parties to the reference, and decided to hear them, his act was clearly without j urisdiction and cannot be sustained. This revision petition, therefore, must succeed and is nearby allowed. The order of the District Judge, summoning respondents 2 and 3 as parties to the reference made by the Collector at the instance of the petitioners alone is hereby set aside.
4. The petitioners, through their learned counsel, are directed to appear before District Judge, Bhadarwah, on 8th of March, 1983.
5. There shall be no order as to the costs.