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Present; Schneider J.
In the Matter of the Transfer of C. B. Badulla 5,005 and5,007 to D. C. Badulla.
GOVERNMENT AGENT, UVA v. SUPPIAH et al.
Transfer of case from Court of Requests to District Court—Land acquisitioncase-claimantattends—No mention of compensation—Courts
Ordinance, s. ■Mi.
Where, in proceedings under the Land Acquisition Ordinance,the claimant appears before the Government Agent but does notstate the amount of compensation he claims, the reference must bemade to the District Court.
Where an action instituted in the Court of Bequests is bound tofail for want of jurisdiction, an application for its transfer to theDistrict Court will not be allowed.
PPLICATION for the transfer of the case from the Court ofRequests to the District Court of Badulla. The facts appear
from the judgment.
Schokman, C.C., for appellant.
H. V. Perera, for respondent.
May 16, 1928. Schneider J.—
The plaintiff in these two actions is the Government Agent ofUva, who, dealing with certain proceedings under he Land Acquisi-tion Ordinance, 1876, offered in case No. 5,005 a sum of Rs. 236.63to the claimant, who refused to accept.it.
It is stated by applicant's Counsel that the claimant did notmention to the Government Agent the amount he claimed ascompensation. That statement is challenged by Counsel for therespondent to this application, but I will assume that the claimantdid not mention the amount of compensation he wanted to be paid.In action No. 5,007 the facts are similar. The amount offeredin that case by the Government Agent was Rs. 251.88. Claimantsfiled answer in both cases. In the former case the claimant claimeda sum of Rs. 1,250 as compensation, and in the latter case a sum ofR6. 1,000. In consequence of these answers this application is madefor the transfer of the cases to the District Court of Badulla.
The defendants-respondents* Counsel is prepared to agree to atransfer provided his costs in the Court of Requests in each actionare paid. I am not prepared to accept this conditional consent.I would therefore deal with the matter upon the law.
It seems to me that the plaintiff has gone to the wrong Court.Section 11 of the Land Acquisition Ordinance provides for theforum in which applications of this nature are to be tried. The
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forum indicated is the District Court. There is a proviso that if theclaimant fails to attend, or if the amount claimed as compensationdoes not exceed Rs. 300, the dispute might be referred to the Courtof Requests. As I read that section, it was the duty of the Govern-ment Agent in this case to have gone to the District Court, becausethe claimants had appeared and had made no mention of theamount claimed as compensation. The circumstances which wouldhave given the Court of Requests jurisdiction did not exist in thesecases> and the actions, it seems to me, are bound to fail in the Courtof Requests. I do not think that section 46 of the Courts Ordinance,under which the application is made, contemplated the transfer ofactions which would fail for want of jurisdiction in a Court ofRequests to a District Court.
I must therefore refuse these applications and leave the actionsto be dealt with by the Commissioner of Requests, before whom theactions are pending. The defendants will have their posts of thisapplication.