1. This Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India arises out of the proceedings initiated before the Land Tribunal, Bijapur Taluka (respondent No. 1) on an application made by Bheemappa Yallappa Byadagi (respondent No. 2) under S. 45 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 hereinafter called 'the Act', claiming registration of occupancy in respect of a land comprised in R. S. No. 215/2 measuring 16 acres and 12 Guntas in Shiddapur village of Bijapur Taluka.
2. The petitioner is the land-holder. On the application of the second respondent claiming registration of occupancy, the Tribunal issued notice to the petitioner. The petitioner opposed the application on the ground that the land in dispute was not a tenanted land immediately prior to Ist March 1974, which is the relevant date for determination of a dispute under Section 45 of the Act. The petitioner produced before the Tribunal certified Extracts of the Record of Rights and other documents. The Tribunal examined the parties and also some witness on both sides and made an order on 18-2-1976 holding that the second respondent (applicant) is a tenant of the disputed land for the past 15 years and that he is entitled to the grant of registration of occupancy. Aggrieved by the said order, the landholder has preferred this writ petition.
3. It was urged by Sri V.S. Gunjal learned counsel for the Tribunal is not a speaking order and that the Tribunal has failed to give reasons for ignoring the presumption of correctness of the entries made in the Record of Rights and therefore, the order is liable to be quashed.
4. Before the Tribunal, the second respondent produced a document said to be a 'Lavani Kararu'. The Tribunal noted that the second respondent's name had been entered in the record of rights for the Agricultural year 1967-68. It also noted the fact that the second respondent had produced some receipts evidencing the sale of plantains and that he had also produced what is styled as 'Lavani Kararu'. This is what the Tribunal has stated: (Original in Kannada transliterated-Ed.)
Grama record nominally argidarara hesaru 67-68 markum namooda adaddu ade, Argidararu hajara Madida Balekayi Maratada billu lavani kararu melinda argidarara kaleda 15 varsha - galinda eevaregu saguttaragi grahita hidiya lagide.
What is stated above is merely the conclusion of the Tribunal. It does not discuss the evidence on record, the effect of the presumption of law arising under S. 133 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964, with regard to the entries in the Record of Rights and how that presumption has been rebutted, and how the 'Lavani Kararu' relied upon by the second respondent is sufficient to rebut the entries in the Record of Rights. This court has repeatedly laid down that the Land Tribunal, which adjudicates upon the right to property of the citizens, has to make a speaking order, that what is required is not the subjective satisfaction of the Tribunal that the applicant before it is a tenant or not, and that since it is open to scrutiny by this Court, it must give reasons for its conclusions. The impugned order also does not state that the disputed land was a tenanted land immediately prior to Ist March 1974, which is a condition necessary to grant occupancy right in respect of such land. Section 44 of the Act states that all lands held by or in the possession of tenants immediately prior to the date of commencement of the Amendment Act, other than lands held by them under leases permitted under S. 5, shall, with affect on and from the said date, stand transferred to and vest in the State Government. Section 45 entitles a tenant as defined in the Act who was personally cultivating the land which has vested in the State Government under S. 44 to obtain registration of occupancy. The question whether the land vested in the State Government and the claim of the tenant for registration of occupancy are related questions. Since the two questions are related, it is necessary for the Tribunal to adjudicate upon the question whether the land has vested in the State Government under S. 44. Rule 19 of the Rules framed under the Act provides that on receipt of an application by a person claiming to be a tenant, the Tahsildar shall verify the particulars mentioned in the application with reference to the entries made in the Record of Rights after getting the concerned Registers himself and also note the same on the application. Such verification is required to be made by the Tahsildar before the Tribunal issues notice to the landholder. When the landholder appears before the Tribunal in response to the notice issued to him, the application before the Tribunal will contain a note whether the entries in the Record of Rights show that the land was a tenanted land immediately prior to the first day of March 1974, if the entries in the Record of Rights do not show that the land in question was a tenanted land immediately prior to the Ist March, 1974, the burden is on the person claiming to he a tenant to show that the entries in the Record of Rights are incorrect and has to lead evidence to rebut the presumption in regard to the correctness of entries arising by virtue of S. 133 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964; if the evidence adduced by the applicant is insufficient to rebut the presumption arising under S. 133, the application has to be rejected and it has to be held that the land has not vested in the State Government under S. 44 of the Land Reforms Act; if the presumption arising under S. 133 is rebutted, then the dispute as between the parties has to be decided on the basis of the evidence on record. The Tribunal has to give sufficient and adequate reasons to show how the presumption arising from the entries in the Record of Rights has been rebutted in any particular case.
5 In the instant case, there is absolutely no discussion in the order of the Tribunal in regard to the presumption of law arising out of the entries in the Record of Rights with reference to the land in question for the relevant period, viz., 1973-74, which, admittedly, is in favour of the landholder. In my opinion, the order of the Tribunal not being a speaking order cannot be allowed to stand.
6. Accordingly, I allow this writ petition, quash the impugned order dated 18-2-1976 and remit the matter to the Tribunal for disposal afresh, after affording the parties a fair opportunity of being heard, in the light of this order. In the circumstances, parties are directed to bear their own costs.
7. Petition allowed.