Mrs. W. Peter De Silva v Herath and Others
MRS. W. PETER DE SILVAV.
HERATH AND OTHERS
WANASUNDERA. J.. RATWATTE. J. AND ABDUL CADER. J.
S.C NO. 65/82. C A./L. A. NO. 9/82. C. A. NO. 319/81NOVEMBER 11. 1983.
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Act. Sections 44 and 45 — Claims forcompensation—Reference to the tribunal for determination — Petitioner and11th to 15th Respondents failed to make submissions within the stipulated time.
The property in question was vested in the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation andthe Chairman by notice published in the Gazette in terms of Section 44 of ActNo. 28 of 1961 directed all persons who were interested in the property to maketheir claims within a period of one month. The 6th to 10th Respondentssubmitted their claims withih time and the Chairman of the Corporation referredit to the Compensation Tribunal for determination of the amount ofcompensation payable. The Petitioner and the 11th to 15th Respondents did notsubmit any claims to the Corporation, but made their claims before theCompensation Tribunal which was divided on whether it should be entertained.As their term of office was about to expire they made a minute for the matter tobe placed before the new tribunal which however rejected the claim.
It was submitted that since the first tribunal had permitted the Petitioner and theother respondents to intervene, it was not open to the 2nd tribunal to set asidethat order and also that section 45 does not exclude the determination by theCompensation Tribunal of claims other than those forwarded by the Chairman ofthe Corporation.
The Compensation Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain any claims forcompensation other than those referred to it by the Chairman of theCorporation.
The second tribunal was right in refusing to entertain the claims for the reasonthat they had failed to make their claims to the Chairman of the Board ofDirectors in accordance with the provision of Section 44.
As the first tribunal has no jurisdiction to permit the Petitioner and theRespondents to intervene before the tribunal, the second tribunal was not boundby the order of the first tribunal.
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APPEAL from judgement of the Court of AppealFaiz Musthapha for Appellant.
/. G. H. DeJ. Seneviratne with M. B. Peramune for the 6th 10th Respondeants.Romesh de Silva for the 11 th — 1 5th Respondents.
Cur. adv. vult
November 1. 1983.
The property in question was vested in the Ceylon PetroleumCorporation on 23.4.74 and the Chairman by notice published inthe Gazette on 26.4.74 in terms of Section 44 of Act No. 28 of1 961 directed all persons who were interested in the property tomake their claims within a period of one month reckoned from1.6.74. The 6 to 10 Respondents submitted their claims withinthe due period and the Chairman of the Corporation referred it tothe Compensation Tribunal for determination of the amount ofcompensation payable. The petitioner and the 11th to 15threspondents did not submit any claims to the Corporation, butmade their claims before the Compensation Tribunal. The date ofreference is not known, but Counsel admitted that the claimswere submitted to the Tribunal on 29.1 1.79 after theCorporation had referred the matter to the CompensationTribunal. It is conceded—(1) that the petitioner and the 11th to1 5th Respondents had failed to submit their claims within thestipulated one month in terms of Section 44 and (2) they had notmade their claims to the Corporation.
When the matter came up before the Tribunal, objection wastaken to the Petitioner and the Respondents being heard. Whiletwo members of the Tribunal took the view that their claims maybe entertained, the Chairman took the contrary view. When theirterm of office was about to expire, they made a minute that thisdispute was to be decided by the new Tribunal without referenceto their order. The new Tribunal rejected the claims of thepetitioner and these 11th — 1 5th respondents.
It is against this order that the Petitioner and the Respondentsappealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal took the
Mrs. W. Peter De Silva v. Herath and Others (Abdul Cader. J j
view that " a person who has made a claim for compensation "referred to Section 65 (1) (a) and the entirety of Section 63 canonly mean in the context, a person who has made a claim at theoutset to the Chairman of the Board of Directors in terms ofSection 44 of the Act and any other interpretation would rendermeaningless Section 64(3) and held that the CompensationTribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain any claims tocompensation other than those referred to it by the Chairman ofthe Corporation.
As a second contention, the Petitioner has submitted that in-asmuch as the first Tribunal had permitted the Petitioner and theother Respondents to intervene, it was not open to the 2ndTribunal to set aside that order. The Court of Appeal decided thatthe second Tribunal was right in refusing to entertain the claimsfor the reason that they had failed to make their claims to theChairman of the Board of Directors in accordance with theprovisions of Section 44.
In appeal before us. Mr. Musthapha contended for thePetitioner that Section 45 does not exclude the determination bythe Compensation Tribunal of claims other than those forwardedby the Chairman of the Corporation and in support of hiscontention he drew our attention to Section 65 (i)(e) whichrequires the Tribunal to apportion the compensation among thepersons entitled to compensation. To the word " entitled " hegave the broadest meaning, namely any person who is entitled tothe property acquired would be entitled to compensation if hemakes his claim before the tribunal which is the determiningauthority. He also sought to obtain assistance from Section 65(2) and submitted that it did not apply where there is or are oneor more claimants before the Tribunal and the purpose ofappointing a tribunal being to distribute the compensationamong all persons found to have title to the property, the lawshould be interpreted so as to enable the conclusion of allmatters in dispute as between the rival claimants.
Counsel also sought assistance from Section 54 whichstates that where compensation is payable to any person
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and " where such person is dead or not in existence or notknown " it shall be paid to any District Court. He gave theillustration of one person who is entitled to half'Share. in theprocess proving his brother’s title to the other half in favour ofhis brother who is not a claimant and submitted that here was acase where the half share owner was known and there is noprovision in Section 54 for such an eventuality. :He submittedthat though Section 46 requires the Chairman of the Corporationto transmit to the Compensation Tribunal " all claims made tosuch compensation, together with all documents furnished bythe claimants in support of their claims . . . it does not meanthat only the claims made to the Chairman in response to thenotice fall within the jurisdiction of the Compensation Tribunalfor determination.
Section 65(c) cannot be read alone by itself, but it is part ofthe entire Section as shown by the word " and " at the end of thesub-pargraph B of Subsection 1. Section 65(1) reads as
" Where a reference for an award as to compensation ismade to the Tribunal in respect of any property vested in orrequisitioned for the Corporation, the Tribunal shall, afterconsidering all such matters and hearing all such witnessesas may be necessary for the purpose and after complyingwith the provisions of section 63 and section 64, make,save as otherwise provided in sub-section (2), an awarddetermining
whether or not each person who has made a claim tocompensation is a person entitled to compensation, and ifso. the capacity in which he is so entitled,
the amount of the compensation payable in respect of suchproperty in accordance with the provisions of this Act and
the apportionment of the compensation among the personsentitled to compensation :
Provided that, where there is a dispute as in the personsentitled to such compensation or as to the apportionment
Mrs. Peter De Silva v. Herath and Others (Abdul Cader. J.)
of such compensation among the persons entitled to suchcompensation, the Tribunal shall defer making an awardand shall refer the dispute for the decision to the DistrictCourt within whose local jurisdiction such property, beingimmovable property, is situate, or being movable property,was kept at the time it was so vested, and shall, after suchCourt makes its decision on such dispute, make an award inaccordance with such decision."
This Section refers to the reference made under Section 46and under Section 46, only claims that have been made to theChairman are remitted along with the reference to the Tribunal.Section 63 refers to every person " who has made a claim tocompensation " and section 64 has provisions in regard to theevidentiary value of the material furnished under Section 45 inresponse to the notice under Section 44.
Section 65 (1 )(a) refers to " a person who has made a claim tocompensation", whether such personis entitled to
compensation. Subsection (c). therefore, refers to theapportionment of compensation decided in terms of subsection
. To give the wide meaning that Counsel for the petitioner gaveto this subsection would be to enlarge the meaning of the word" entitle " beyond its scope and the context of all these sections.
As regards Section 54. it is no doubt true that this Sectiondoes not refer to a person who to the knowledge of the Tribunal,as a result of the evidence placed before the Tribunal by someother person, is entitled to a share of the property, but that willnot alter the meaning of all the other Sections which are quiteclear. It is to be noted that this section is applicable only whencompensation is payable. In any event, such a situation does notarise in these proceedings as the two sets of parties are rivalclaimants to the entirety of the compensation. It may well be thatin appropriate circumstances, the words ' not known " mayinclude " not claimed in terms of the Act
Counsel for the 11th to 1 5th respondents, tor his part, referredus to proviso to Section 65(1) and attempted to find supportfrom the phrase " entitled to such compensation " appearing in
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that proviso. The phrase " entitled to such compensation " isapplicabale to Section 65 (1)(a) and the phrase " apportionmentof such compensation " to Section 65(1 )(c). It is significant thatthe word " entitled " appears in one clause and" apportionment" in another, so as to spotlight the distinctionbetween paragraph (a) and paragraph (c), but, nevertheless, in acomplementary nature of one to the other. To accept thiscontention would be to set at nought the time limit prescribed inSection 14 and the procedure outlined in the subsequentsections.
Therefore, the first submission that the parties are'entitled tomake a claim before the Tribunal in the first instance fails.
As regards the second submission that the second Tribunalshould adopt the decision of the first Tribunal, even if such aduty rests on the second Tribunal, there cannot be anyapplication of that principle to what has been done by the firstTribunal without jurisdiction. As the first Tribunal has nojurisdiction to permit the Petitioner and the Respondents tointervene before the Tribunal, the second Tribunal was not boundby the order of the first Tribunal.
The appeal is therefore, dismissed.
The Petitioner and the 11th to 15th Respondents will jointlypay the costs of this appeal to the 6th to 10th Respondents.
WANASUNDERA, J. — I agree
RATWATTE, J. — I agree.