1. The above petition is filed by a tenant against whom his landlord, respondent No.1, had filed an application under Section 33-B read with Section 29 (2) of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948, after obtaining a certificate under Section 88-C. The application was resisted by the petitioner on the ground that the landlord had already obtained from him half the land originally leased to him for personal cultivation upon a surrender under Section 15 of the Bombay Tenancy Act, and hence in view of the provisions of Section 33-B (5) (a) of the Bombay Tenancy Act, the landlord was not entitled to recover possession of the remaining half of the land, which is the subject-matter of the dispute between him and the landlord now. The Tenancy Ayal Karkun, Dinfori, who heard the application not only against the petitioner but also against the other tenants, while granting an order in favour of the landlord against other tenants, did not restore possession of half land out of the present land in dispute, S. No. 105 of Mulane with the petitioner.
2. The landlord carried an appeal before the Deputy Collector, who set aside the order of the Tenancy Ayal Karkun and granted possession of half the land with the petitioner as he was of the view that half the land was surrendered to the landlord under Section 15 and not under Section 31 as required by Section 33-B (5) (a). The said decision was confirmed by the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal in revision application filed by the petitioner-tenant. The petitioner has, therefore, filed the above petition under Article 227 of the Constitution challenging the validity of the orders.
3. Mr.Chatrapati, learned Counsel for the petitioner, contended that the view taken by the Deputy Collector and the Tribunal that an order under Section 15 is not an order under Section 31 was contrary to the plaint terms of Section 15 (2), which runs as follows :
'15 (2). Where a tenant surrenders his tenancy, the landlord shall be entitled to retain the land so surrendered for the like purposes, and to the like extent, and in so far as the conditions are applicable subject to the like conditions, as are provided in Sections 31 and 31-A for the termination of tenancies.'
This contention must be upheld because if the landlord is entitled to retain possession of the land subject to like conditions mentioned in Section 31 as well as for the like purpose and to the like extent, it means that for all practical purposes an order under Section 15 must be considered as an order under Section 31. I am therefore of the opinion that even for the purposes of Section 33-B (5) (a) the order under Section 15 must be construed as an order under Section 31 for all purposes.
4. The judgment of the Tribunal and the Deputy Collector, are, therefore contrary to the plain meaning of Section 15 (2) and must be quashed. The order passed by the Tenancy Aval Karkun shall stand restored and the application made by the landlord against the petitioner shall be rejected.
5. Rule absolute. In the circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.
6. Petition allowed.