R.S. Bindra, J.C. -
(1.) THIS revision petition filed Under Section 435 read with Section 439 of the Criminal P.C. (hereinafter referred to as the Code) by R, K. Madhuryyajit Singh and four others challenges the final order dated 23 -12.1969 passed by Shri b. Gourachandra Singh, Sub. divisional Magistrate, Imphal West, Under Section 145 of the Code in favour of the respondent " No. 1 Ng. Chandradhwaja Singh. ' be principal question that falls for determination, in the case is whether Shri S. C. Vaish, District Magistrate, Manipur Central, Imphal, had the necessary legal authority on 22nd November 1969 to place Shri Th. Gourachandra Singh, Sub -deputy Collect r with powers of Magistrate 2nd Class, in charge of Imphal West division Under Section 13 of the Code.
(2.) THE proceedings were initiated before Shri Gourachandra Singh by Ng. Chandradhwaja Singh, the respondent No. 1, who presented an application to the former Under Section 145, Criminal P.C. alleging that he was in lawful possession of a piece of land situate in Moiraogkhom Janmasthan for a long time, that on 10 -12 -1969 the five petitioners herein, in collusion with each other, trespassed over the land by show of force, having armed themselves with deadly weapons, such as, fire -arms, that a complaint lodged by him with the police station, Imphal, on the date of occurrence remained unheeded, probably for the reason that the petitioner No. 1 is a person of great influence, and that he was therefore forced to approach the Sub -divisional Magistrate for immediate intervention since there was an apprehension of the breach of the peace and bloodshed. Shri Gourachandra Singh passed the preliminary order on the came date, viz., 12.12.1969. and fixed 15.12.1969 for the parties concerned to put in written statements, affidavits and documents in support of their respective claims. Simultaneously, the Magistrate ordered the attachment of the land in dispute and sent the necessary writ to the police for execution. The record of the proceedings reveals that both the parties put in appearance on 15th December 1969 when the first party, Chandradhwaja Singh, prayed for adjournment; as he was not ready with his written statement, while the second party, the petitioners herein, filed a written statement though unaccompanied by any affidavit or document. The Magistrate adjourned the case to 20th December, 1969 to enable the first party to put in his written statement and other documents. On 20th December, 1969 the second party being absent and the first Jr party having filed the written statement, be -sides four affidavits and one document, the Magistrate adjourned the hearing to 22nd of December, 1969. On this adjourned date as well, according to the. records, the Second party were absent and so they were proceeded against ex parte, and after hearing the arguments addressed by the counsel for Chandradhwaja Singh, the Magistrate fixed 23rd of December, 1969 for the final order. On the 1, latter date the order was announced declaring that the first party was in possession of the land in dispute on the date of the preliminary order. The members of the second party were consequently forbidden to disturb the possession of the first party, and the attachment of the land in dispute was lifted in favour of the latter. It appears that the second party filed a revision petition against the preliminary order dated 12 -12 -1969.in the Court of the District Magistrate, but by the time that revision petition came up for hearing the Sub -divisional Magistrate had disposed of the cage finally with the consequence that the revision petition was dismissed as infructuous. The second party thereafter filed a revision petition in the Court of the District Magistrate against the final order dated 23rd of December, 1969. That revision petition was dismissed by the District Magistrate on 16th February, 1970. It is thereafter that the instant revision petition was filed in this Court.
(3.) SHRI N. Bency Singh, the learned Advocate representing the revision petitioner, raised a large number of points including the one attributing mala fides to Shri Gourachandra Singh, the Sub -divisional Magistrate who tried the case, but ultimately he rested the prayer for quashing the final order dated 23 -12.1969 of that Magistrate on the ground that he had not been validly placed in charge of the subdivision of Imphal West and as such he had no authority to try the case or make the impugned order. On that account, it was submitted, the final order had no existence in the eye of law. In support of that contention he pointed out that by an Order No. 18 of 1950. dated 18th January, 1950. the entire Province of Manipur, as it was then called, was constituted as a single district for "more efficient system of criminal and revenue administration" by the Chief Commissioner of Manipur, that per the same order the entire district was placed under the charge of a Deputy Commissioner who was ''responsible for the revenue and executive administration of the Province", and that the Deputy Commissioner was also appointed as a District Magistrate of that district.
The attention of this Court was also invited to an order dated 28th of April, 1969, by which the powers of the State Government under Sub -section (1) of S. 13 of the Code were delegated to the District Magistrate by the Chief Commissioner in terms of Sub -section (3) of that section. It is pursuant to this delegation that Shri S. C. Vaish is said to have placed Shri Gourachandra Singh in charge of the sub -division of Imphal West by his order '"dated 22.11.1969 retrospectively with effect from 12th of November, 1969 "until a new S. D. M. is appointed." Another relevant fact bearing on the matter in controversy is that on 12th of November, 1969 the Chief Commissioner, Manipur, made an order, in super. Session of the aforementioned Order No. 18 of 1960, dated 18th January, 1950, dividing the entire territory of Manipur into five districts. ft "with it view to introducing a more efficient system of administration in the Union Territory of Manipur." This order came into operation on 14th of November, 1969. The new districts were christened as Manipur Central District, Manipur West District, Manipur North District, Manipur South District and Manipur Bast District. Sarvashri K Lamphel Singh U. Chakma, A. J. Tayeng and T. C. Tiaukham were respectively appointed as the District Magistrates of the four last mentioned districts. No separate notification in respect of Shri S. C. Vaish, who was the District Magistrate of the entire Union Territory of Manipur before the new administrative set -up came into force on 14 -11 -1969, was made, although it distinctly appears that the Government meant that he would be the District Magistrate of the Manipur Central District. The parties counsel were commonly agreed that Shri S. C. Vaish is at present discharging the functions both of Deputy Commissioner and the District Magistrate in respect of Manipur Central District.;