Decided on August 05,1960

Bejoy Gobinda Pahari Appellant
Revenue Officer Mahisadal Respondents


- (1.) The two Petitioners before me are father and son, governed by the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law. Under the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953, their properties vested in the State, as contemplated therein, and they became entitled to compensation, and also to retain lands which fell within Section 6 of the Act. Both of them filed the necessary "B" forms, claiming to be entitled to retain lands under the said Section 6 of the Act and they were being given ad interim compensation under Section 12. In the aforesaid "B" forms, the Petitioners made claims to retain lands separately under Section 6, their plea being that, although they were governed by the Mitakshara School of Hindu Law, they had separate shares to the extent of eight annas each in the disputed properties and that there had been a partition between them and that the settlement records, finally published under Section 44(2) of the Act; had recorded them as owners of the said properties, each to the extent of a moiety share thereof. On February 5, 1958, the compensation Officer served upon them a notice, intimating that the Settlement records, already published, were not complete or correct as the same did not contain any entry about the Mitakshara Law, as governing the above parties, namely, the Petitioners, and that, unless and until the said records had been corrected or amended in that behalf, no further compensation would be paid to the Petitioners. Thereafter, it appears, proceedings were started by the Revenue Officer sua motu under Section 45 of the Estates Acquisition Act for correction of the records, upon the view that the same contained bona fide mistakes, and in the said proceedings under Section 45 of the Act, the Revenue Officer came to the conclusion that the Petitioners' story of partition could not be believed and that, accordingly, they constituted a joint family under the Mitakshara Law, each being a co-parcener therein, and Petitioner No. 1, the father, being the karta, and that the settlement records, so far as the same recorded eight annas as the share of each of the Petitioners, were wrong and the same should be corrected by deleting those specific shares and recording the properties in the joint names of the two Petitioners, with a remark that Petitioner No. 1 was the karta and the Petitioners were members of a Mitakshara coparcenary and formed one unit for purposes of Section 6 of the Act and that the separate nations which had been published in the Petitioner's separate names should be consolidated into one and the returns in "B" forms, already furnished by the Petitioners, should be amended accordingly. Thereafter, on November 1, 1958, the Revenue Officer informed the Petitioner of his above decision under Section 45 of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, 1953, intimating to them that, for purposes of that Act, they would constitute one joint family, governed by the Mitakshara Law, of which, Petitioner No. 1 would be regarded as the karta and that they would be entitled to retain lands under Section 6 of the Act as a single individual intermediary. The Petitioners were also directed to submit revised returns in form "B" with the further intimation that, in default, action would be taken in accordance with law. The payment of interim compensation to the Petitioners had already been stopped.
(2.) In the circumstances, the Petitioners, after serving a notice upon the appropriate authority, moved this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution, praying, inter alia, for "a Writ of "Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction, "commanding the opposite parties, namely, the Revenue Officer "and the Compensation Officer concerned and the State of West "Bengal, to cancel or withdraw the aforesaid two notices, dated "February 5, 1958, and November 1, 1958," copies whereof were made Annexures A and 0 to the petition, or to cancel the same" and "for a Writ of certiorari for quashing the order" under Section 45 of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act, referred to hereinbefore, a copy of which was made Annexure B to the petition, and for a further "mandatory injunction, directing the "opposite parties to pay interim compensation" to the Petitioners till the disposal of the instant Rule. So far as the interim order is concerned, the matter is of no importance now, as the appropriate order, whatever its nature, has already been made by this Court and we are no longer concerned with the same.
(3.) The main question that arises in this Rule is whether the order under Section 45 of the West Bengal Estates Acquisition Act as per annexure B to the petition, should be quashed by a Writ of certiorari and as a consequence or otherwise, the two notices, annexures A and C, referred to hereinbefore, should be cancelled or withdrawn by an appropriate Writ.;

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