Decided on June 23,1976



- (1.)In this Rule, the petitioner, the Employees State Insurance Corporation, West Bengal, has challenged the propriety of the decisions of the Commissioner, Presidency Division and the Board of Revenue, West Bengal, who are respectively the respondents nos.8 and 9, holding inter alia that the Certificate Officer had no jurisdiction to start the certificate proceeding at the instance of the petitioner for the recovery of the employee's special contribution from the respondent No.1 Messrs. Modern India Construction Company Ltd. and its Directors and Manager, payable under the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948.
(2.)The Regional Director of the petitioner made a request in writing to the Collector of 24-Parganas under S.5 of the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890 for the recovery of the sum of Rs.18,247.05 due to the petitioner from the respondent No.1 company and its Directors and manager on account of employer's special contribution. The said request of the Regional Director of the petitioner was sent by the Collector to the Certificate Officer. The Certificate Officer issued a certificate signed by him and started a proceeding being Case No.844 of 1967-68 for the recovery of the said sum. The certificate debtors, namely, the respondent no.1 and its Directors and Manager appeared in the certificate proceeding and filed a petition of objection under S. 37 of the Bengal Public Demands Recovery Act (hereinafter referred to as the Bengal Act). In the said petition of objection, the jurisdiction of the Certificate Officer to start such proceeding was challenged. The petitioner opposed the said petition of objection of the certificate debtors. The Certificate Officer by his order dated November 11, 1968 rejected the said petition of objection. Against that order, the certificate debtors preferred a revision petition before the Additional District Magistrate, 24-Parganas, but the said revision petition was rejected by him by is order dated May 27, 1969. Thereafter, the certificate debtors moved a second revision petition before the respondent No.8, the Commissioner of Presidency Division under S. 53 of the Bengal Act. This time the certificate debtors succeeded, for it was held by the respondent no.8 that the Certificate Officer had no jurisdiction to entertain a requisition from the Collector and issue a certificate and proceed to execute the same. Being aggrieved by the said order of the respondent no.8, the petitioner moved the Board of Revenue under S. 53(1) of the Bengal Act. But the Board of Revenue took the same view as that of the respondent no.8 and rejected the revision petition of the petitioner.
(3.)The point involved in this Rule is whether the Certificate Officer had jurisdiction to issue the certificate after a request was made to the Collector by the petitioner under the under S. 5 of the Revenue Recovery Act. In order to consider that point, it is necessary to refer to some of the provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act. Section 3 of the said Act provides as follows:
"(1) Where an arrear of land-revenue, or a sum recoverable as an arrear of land-revenue is payable to a Collector by a defaulter being or having property in a district other than that in which the arrear accrued or the sum is payable the Collector may send to the Collector of that other district a certificate in the form as nearly as may be of the Schedule, stating - (a) the name of the defaulter and such other particulars as may be necessary for his identification, and (b) the amount payable by him and the account on which it is due.

(2) The certificate shall be signed by the Collector making it or by any other officer to whom such Collector may, by order I writing delegate this duty, and, save as otherwise provided by this Act, shall be conclusive proof of the matters therein stated.

(3) The Collector of the other district shall, on receiving the certificate, proceed to recover the amount stated therein as if it were an arrear of land-revenue which had accrued in his own district."


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