Jamila Unvma v. Mohamad.
1948Present: Nagallngam J.JAMIL. A UMMA, Petitioner, and MOHAMED et al., Respondents.
S. C. 254—Application for a writ of certiorari on the Commissioner forWorkmen’s Compensation.
Writ of certiorari—Order made by Deputy Commissioner for Workmen'sCompensation—Commissioner made respondent to petition—Wrongparty—Writ will not lie.
In an application for a writ of certiorari it is essential that the partyagainst whom relief is sought should be identified clearly and no room,left for uncertainty. Where, therefore, it was sought to quash pro-ceedings held before the Deputy Commissioner and notice of the appli-cation was served on the Commissioner—
Held, that the Commissioner was wrongly made a party. In sucha case no amendment of the application will be allowed.
NAGALINGAM J.—Jamila ZJ mma v. Mohamed.
HIS was an application for a writ of certiorari on the Commissionerfor Workmen’sCompensation.
S.W. J ayasuriy a, with N. Kumarasirvgham and C. Chellappah, forthe petitioner.
M. M. Kumarakulasingham, for first respondent.
W. It. Weerasooriya, Crown Counsel, for second respondent.
August 27, 1948. Nagalxngam J.—
'This is an application for a writ of certiorari on the respondents of whomthe second is designated “ Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation ”.The notice ordered by this Court on the respondents was served on the■Commissioner, Mr. B. Ponniah. There is no question but that he isthe Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation. He has, however,filed an affidavit in which he has averred that he made no order whichas the subject of complaint in these proceedings and states furtherthat the proceedings complained of were held before the Deputy Commis-sioner, Mr. de Fonseka. The Deputy Commissioner has filed an affidavithimself supporting the statement of the Commissioner.
In these circumstances counsel for the Commissioner raises the questionwhether the Commissioner has not wrongly been made a party to theproceedings and, if so, whether the application against him should notbe dismissed. Mr. Jayasuriya concedes the correctness of the factsas averred by both the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissionerbut contends that in view of the definition of the term “ Commissioner ”in the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance, Cap. 117, the designation“ Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation ” as the respondentincludes the Deputy Commissioner and that at worst, the notice orderedby this Court has been wrongly served by the Fiscal on the Commissionerin ignorance of the fact that it was intended to be served on the DeputyCommissioner.
In the first place the Ordinance merely enacts that, for the purposeof the Ordinance itself, the term “ Commissioner ” is to mean not onlythe person appointed to be or to act as Commissioner or as DeputyCommissioner but that it includes also any person appointed to be orto act as an Assistant Commissioner. The legislative amplificationof the term “ Commissioner” has been made with a view to empoweran Acting Commissioner, a Deputy Commissioner and an AssistantCommissioner to be vested with certain powers which are conferred onthe Commissioner with a view to the expeditious administration of theprovisions of the Ordinance ; but it is also equally clear that a Commis-sioner is entirely a distinct individual from a Deputy Commissioneror an Assistant Commissioner. Apart from any necessity that maycompel one in construing the provisions of the Ordinance to read the term“ Commissioner ” as including the Deputy Commissioner or AssistantCommissioner, no reason exists to construe the term “ Commissioner ”as Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner if the object ofthe construction is to identify the particular individual as Commissioner,Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner. For instance, it
Oalapathy v. Martin.
would be absurd to publish the appointment in the Government Gazette'of a Deputy Commissioner as that of the Commissioner. In such apublication the term " Commissioner ” must be restricted and confinedto the particular individual appointed as Commissioner and obviously
cannot include an officer who functions as a Deputy Commissioner
and this notwithstanding the meaning of the term Commissioner givenin the Ordinance.
The petition before Court for the issue of a writ of certiorari is a docu-ment that must be construed having regard to the ordinary meaningattached to the words and language used therein. The officer designated“ Commissioner for Workmen’s Compensation Claims ” is a particularofficer who is distinct from a Deputy Commissioner. On an applicationsuch as the present one, it is essential that the party or parties againstwhom relief is sought must be identified clearly and no room left foi-uncertainty. In the present application the officer whose order is soughtto be quashed is the Commissioner, but it now transpires that the order-complained of was made not by the Commissioner but by the DeputyCommissioner, and the relief must consequently be applied for againstthe Deputy Commissioner and not the Commissioner himself. Thesecond respondent, the Commissioner, therefore, has been wrongly made-a party and the application against him must be refused.
The question whether an amendment of the application should beallowed does arise, but the object of the amendment is to substitutea new party or a wrong party on record and an amendment in thesecircumstances does not lie and cannot be permitted.
The only other question is whether the application against the firstrespondent too should be dismissed. If the order complained of cannotbe quashed in the absence of the proper party who made that order, thenthe relief applied for against the first respondent too necessarily fails.
In this view of the matter the application against both respondentsis refused with costs.
JAMILA UMMA, Petitioner, and MOHAMED et al., Respondents