1957Present: Sinnetamby, J.
A. MURUGIAH, Appellant, and COMMISSIONER FOR REGISTRA-TION OF INDIAN AND PAKISTANI RESIDENTS, Respondent
Citizenship Case Ao. 136—Application 2,103
Indian and Pakistani Residents (Citizenship) Act, A'o. 3 of 19J0—Application forregistration thercundeiPiecemeal inquiry not permissible—Sections 0 (3) (a),
Where the Commissioner holds an inquiry.under section 9 (3) (o) of tho Indianand Pakistani Pcsidcnts (Citizenship) Act pursuant to a notice issued undersection 9(1) calling upon tho applicant to satisfy him in regard to certain issues,it is his duty to adjudicato upon those matters all at tho same time and not bypiecemeal investigation. It is not open to him to hold against the applicant onouo issue and not deal with tho other issues on the ground that it is notnecessary to answer them in view of his finding oil tho issuo which ho hasalroady considered. Section 14 (7) of the Act contemplates ono order, eitherallowing or refusing the application.
-FIAPPEAL under the Indian and Pakistani Residents (Citizenship) Act.
£>. Nadesan, Q.C., with A. Deva Rajah, for the applicant-appellant-.
C. F. Jayaralne, Crown Counsel, for the respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
March 12, 1957. Sixsetamby, J.—
In this case the appellant sought registration under tho Act in respectof himself and two minor children dependent on him. .
After due inquiry by the Investigating officer the Deputy Commis-sioner served on the applicant a notice in terms of Section 9 (1) of theAct calling upon him to prove, (1) his residence from 1939 to 19-12, (2>residence of’his wife from January, 1939, to March, 1911, and from April,-1913, to June, 1946, (3) the residence of his children for certain statedperiods, and (4) that he was permanently resident in Ceylon. The appli-cant showed cause and the Deputy Commissioner in terms of Section9 (3) (a) made an order appointing the time and place for inquiry intothese matters. The applicant appeared on the due date and the DeputyCommissioner opened his inquiry into item (1) only of the several matterswhich the applicant was called upon to establish. Having heard theevidence of several witnesses the Deputy Commissioner made order thatthe item (1) was proved. He then proceeded to fix a date for inquiryinto the other matters. But before doing so ho served another noticeunder Section 9 (3) (a) limiting the inquiry into the three matters whichwere not disposed of at the earlier inquiry. These matters were dulyfixed for inquiry and the applicant led further evidence. At the conclu-sion of the hearing the Deputy Commissioner reserved his order andfinally held that the applicant had failed to prove the requirement inrespect of his wife’s residence but did not give his findings in respect ofthe other matters fixed for inquiry. He did not deliver his order in respectof items (3) and (4) of the original notice under Section 9 (3) (a).
Presumably, the Deputy Commissioner did not consider it necessary to-adjudicate upon all these matters in view of his findings in respect of theresidence of his wife. The learned Counsel who appeared for the appel-lant, apart from contesting the correctness of the Deputy Commissioner’sfindings in respect of the wife’s residence, also contended that the pro-ceedings were a nullity inasmuch as the Deputy Commissioner held apiecemeal investigation into the application. Section 9 certainly doesnot contemplate anything but one inquiry and one order. The matterswhich an applicant may he called upon to prove are invariably so connectedwith each other that piecemeal adjudication would cause prejudice. Theevidence, for instance, in respect of husband’s residence would certainlybe very relevant and pertinent to the question of his wife’s residence,and to consider separately the evidence in respect of the wife’s residenceindependent of the evidence of the husband’s residence may in certaineases lead to a wrong conclusion. In this case it is not known whether theDeputy Commissioner in considering the issues raised in requirements 2,3 and 4 of the notice under Section 9 (3) (a) took into consideration theevidence in respect of requirement (1). The scheme of the Act contem-plates one application and one adjudication in respect of the matterswhich an applicant must prove before he can proceed in a claim for regis-tration. Section 7 provides for the application being in a prescribed formcontaining all relevant particulars and answers for which provision is-made in the form.
Section 7 (2) provides for the applicant including in his application a-request that his wife and minor children dependent on him should box'egistered simultaneously with himself. This is subject to certain
exceptions. If the applicant failed to prove the residence of his wife andchildren at the time of the application he is permitted to do so at anytime before the final disposal of his application by Section 7 (2) (G).Section S provides that the Commissioner shall refer the application" for .verification of particular statements therein ” to an Investigating•Officer. Section 9 (1) provides that where the Commissioner is ofopinion that the prima facie case has not been established he shall caxiseto be served on the applicant a notice setting out the ground on whichthe application will be refused giving the applicant an opportunity toshow cause to the contrary. In this connection, it is relevant to considerthe provisions of Section G which stipulates what conditions have to boestablished before an application can be allowed. Inter alia the applicantmust establish that apart from himself and his wife, his dependent minorchildren were also resident in Ceylon.
It is obvious that the inquiry must take place in respect of the residencenot only of the applicant but also of his wife and children. Section 1-4 (7)prescribes rvhat the Commissioner should do at the close of the inquiry.One of two alternative courses are open to him : if he is satisfied that" there is a prima facie case ” established he has to take the steps pres-■ cribed by Section 10. But if he is not so satisfied he may “ make an orderrefusing the application There is also provision in the same Sub-Section that the order must be made forthwith “ upon the conclusion-of the inquiry ”, But if he is unable to do so lie may give a date on wliichlie proposes to make the inquiry and shall make the order on that day.
It is obvious, therefore, that the Act contemplates one inquiry, con-siders an application as one application, and contemplates only one orderby tlio Commissioner. The object of this, it will be reasonable to assume,is to avoid a multiplicity of inquiries which apart from additional costswhich applicants may have to incur would result in the Commissioner nothaving before him all the factgdmregard to all the matters which an appli-cant must establish before he can successfully obtain registration. Inmy view the Commissioner in not complying with the requirements ofthe Act must be held to have failed to hold a proper inquiry. The learnedCrown Counsel stated that he could nob contend the steps taken by theCommissioner were in accordance with the law. What is still moreunsatisfactory is that the Deputy Commissioner imagined that his con-clusions in regard to requirement (2) was conclusive and final, and that,therefore, it was not necessary for him to give his findings in regard toacquirements (3) and (4). He did not appreciate that his findings in regardto requirement (2) may be reversed in an appeal. The appeal comes upbefore this Court without any findings bj' the Deputy Commissioner onrequirements (3) and (4). It is not open to a Commissioner to act in thatway…
I accordingly set aside the order of the Deputy Commissioner and sendthe case back for steps to be taken in accordance with the law. The^appellant will be entitled to costs of appeal which is fixed at Rs. 105.
Order set aside.
A. MURUGIAH, Appellant, and COMMISSIONER FOR REGISTRATION OF INDIAN AND PAKIST
1957Present: Sinnetamby, J.