I.K. Kotwal, J.
1. The petitioners herein are the owners of land which was acquired underthe Jammu and Kashmir Land Acquisition Act, 1990, hereinafter the Act, by Collector, Kathua. They not being satisfied with the quantum of compensation awarded, applied to the Collector to make a reference to the District Judge, in terms of Section 18 of the Act. A reference was accordingly made wherein the only point agitated was whether or not the compensation awarded by the Collector was adequate? While this reference was pending before him, an application was made by one Mansa Ram, the respondent herein, that he too may be impleaded as a party to the proceedings, inasmuch as, he being a protected tenant qua the land acquired, was interested in the apportionment of compensation that might be eventually awarded. This application was resisted by the petitioners on the ground that the respondent not being a party to the reference, he could not be made a party to the proceedings pending before the Court. The District Judge rejected the petitioners plea and made the respondent a party, to the proceedings before him, as in his opinion, Section 18 was to be given a liberal interpretation. The petitioners feel aggrieved of this order; hence the revision petition.
2. Appearing for the petitioners. Mr. A. V. Gupta has argued that notwithstanding the fact that the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, including those contained in Order 1, Rule 10, are applicable to proceedings before a Court under Section 18 of the Act, the District Judge had no jurisdiction to implead the respondent as a party to these proceedings, unless he was also a party to the reference, made to him by the Collector. I find considerable force in this contention. Section 51 of the Act, which makes the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure applicable to the proceedings, pending in the Courts under the Act, reads as under :--
'51. Save in so far as they may be inconsistent with anything contained in this Act, the provisions of the law in force in Jammu and Kashmir State for the time being relating to the procedure in civil actions shall apply to all proceedings before the Court under this Act.'
As appears from the plain language of the section, provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure will apply to all proceedings before a Court under this Act, provided these are not inconsistent with anything contained in the Act. This is amply borne out from the opening words of Section 51: 'Save in so far as they may be inconsistent with anything contained in this Act'. Reading Section 51 in juxtaposition with Section 18, it becomes abundantly clear that no person who has not applied to the Collector for a reference being made to the Court, can be impleaded as a party to the proceedings before the Court. Sub-section (1) of Section 18 of the Act, which alone is relevant for the disposal of this revision petition, is also for the sake of convenience, reproduced as below :
'18. Reference to Court-- (1) Any person interested who has not accepted the award may, by written application to the Collector, require that the matter be referred by the Collector for the determination of the Court, whether his objection be to the measurement of the land, the amount of the compensation, the persons to whom it is payable, or the apportionment of the compensation among the persons interested.'
Any person who refuses to accept an award cannot straightway come to the Court for the determination of his dispute, but has to apply to the Collector himself, requiring him to make a reference of the dispute to the Court. This is clearly borne out from the plain language of Sub-section (1) of Section 18. In case the Collector refuses to make a reference without any justification, a mandamus may be issued to him to make the same. In case a person who has not applied to the Collector for a reference comes to the Court straightway, the Court by impleading him as a party to the proceedings, or by initiating the proceedings at his instance, would clearly do an act inconsistent with the provisions of Section 18, for by doing so, it would circumvent the necessity of going to the Collector and making an application to him for a reference being made to it Obviously, therefore, a person who has not approached the Collector, cannot also approach the Court. The provisions of Order 1, Rule 10 cannot, therefore, be invoked in a way that a person is made a party to the proceedings, or for that matter a proceeding is initiated by the Court at his instance, even though he has not approached the Collector for making the reference to it, for that would clearly come into conflict with the mandatory requirements of Section 18. A similar view appears to have been taken in Nalgonda Municipality v. Hakeem Mohiuddin, AIR 1964 Andh Pra 305. The District Judge, there-fore clearly slipped into error and exceeded his jurisdiction by allowing the respondent to be impleaded as a party to the proceedings pending before him, who admittedly, had not applied to the Collector for making a reference to the Court.
3. In the result the revision petition succeeds, which is allowed accordingly, and the order passed by the District Judge impleading the respondent as a party, is set aside. The respondent, if otherwise entitled, may approach the Collector for a reference of his dispute to the Court.