Decided on September 23,1970



S.K.Chakravarti, J. - (1.) This appeal is at the instance of the petitioners in an application under Article 226 of the Constitution against an order passed by our learned brother A. K. Sen, J. by which he had dismissed the application on the ground that the "petitioners have no locus standi to maintain this application disputing [he validity or otherwise of the purported acquisition of the aforesaid R. S. Plot No. 212."
(2.) The facts giving rise to this appeal are as follows : Certain plots including R. S, Plot No. 212 were notified for acquisition for reclamation of the Salt Lake Area and the notification was published on the 14th of February, 1956. The declaration under Section 6 was made on the 22nd of May, 1968. The present appellants challenged the proceedings on the ground that they were entitled to get notice thereof, and that the same was mala fide and was not for any public purpose etc. That was registered as C.R. 7132(w) of 1968. In that proceeding the R.S. Plot No. 212 was left out. That rule was made absolute on the 115th July, 1969. On the 15th of October 1969 on the self same grounds the petitioners challenged the proceeding in respect of R. S. Plot No. 212 alleging inter alia that through inadvertence it was not included in the earlier application. They claimed that this plot was actually a fishery and formed a part and parcel of their fisheries known as Nalban fisheries, there being no demarcating line between this plot and other plots, and that they had been in occupation of this plot as a fishery since more than 100 years. They had also made out an alternative case to the effect that they had taken settlement of the fishery right on, this plot in the benam of Sambhu Nath Chakraborty who had also taken settlement in the benam of some persons known as Pradhans. The State of West Bengal contested this application and raised a preliminary objection to the effect,--we quote the exact words of the learned Trial Judge--that this R.S. Plot No. 212 "is not the property belonging to the petitioners and as the petitioners cannot claim any right, title or interest therein they have no locus standi to maintain this application. According to the respondents the said land belonged to some other person who has not only submitted to the acquisition but also taken a compensation therefor. Thus a dispute as to title having been raised an opportunity was given to the petitioner to substantiate his locus standi to maintain this application by showing that he has got any right, title or interest in the aforesaid plot. Mr. Chakra-borty for the petitioner took time to file an additional affidavit to substantiate his points and a supplementary affidavit has since been filed."
(3.) The learned! Judge discussed the questions involved and came to the opinion that it was "really difficult to decide such a disputed issue as to title on such materials alone and in a proceeding like the present one wherein even the alleged benamdars are not parties." He also came to the conclusion that the petitioners have no locus standi and dismissed the case. Hence this appeal.;

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