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Ramappa and ors. Vs. Yellappa Gundappa and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 4304 of 1968
Judge
Reported inAIR1972Kant176; AIR1972Mys176
ActsMysore Land Reforms Act, 1962 - Sections 2(11), 5, 5(1), 14, 14(2), 16, 19, 20, 44, 45, 47 and 51; Mysore Land Reforms Act, 1961 - Sections 14(1); Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948
AppellantRamappa and ors.
RespondentYellappa Gundappa and ors.
Appellant AdvocateV.H. Ron, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN. Balachandra, Adv. for ;B.V. Krishnaswamy Rao, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
.....restrictions laid down under section 16 are satisfied by the landlord, it is difficult to envisage a case where the application can be rejected on the ground that he does not bona fide require the land for cultivating personally......'the tenant' who resisted the application on the ground, inter alia, that the landlord does not bona fide require the land for cultivating personally because he carries on money lending and provision business and that the purpose of resumption is to sell the resumed land at a higher price. the land tribunal, badami accepted the contention of the tenant that the landlord carries on money-lending and provision business and rejected the application for resumption on the ground that the landlord does not bona fide require the land for cultivating personally.2. on the appeal preferred by the landlord, the appellate authority, bija pur (district judge), reversed the finding of the land tribunal that the landlord carries on business; but it dismissed the appeal taking the view that the.....
Judgment:

Govinda Bhat, J.

1. This Writ Petition preferred by a landlord arises out of his application for resumption of land made under Section 14(1) of the Mysore Land Reforms Act, 1901, hereinafter called 'the Act'. The petitioner hereinafter called 'the landlord' is the owner of an agricultural land bearing survey No. 52 measuring 29 acres and 10 guntas of Lingadhal village of Bijapur District. He filed the application for resumption from the 1st respondent hereinafter called 'the tenant' who resisted the application on the ground, inter alia, that the landlord does not bona fide require the land for cultivating personally because he carries on money lending and provision business and that the purpose of resumption is to sell the resumed land at a higher price. The land Tribunal, Badami accepted the contention of the tenant that the landlord carries on money-lending and provision business and rejected the application for resumption on the ground that the landlord does not bona fide require the land for cultivating personally.

2. On the appeal preferred by the landlord, the Appellate Authority, Bija pur (District Judge), reversed the finding of the Land Tribunal that the landlord carries on business; but it dismissed the appeal taking the view that the landlord does not bona fide require the land for cultivating personally as he is past 60 years of age and his children are minors and further, he had not made any attempt at resumption for the past about 30 years when he could have done so under the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948. Aggrieved by the said decision of the Appellate Authority, the landlord has preferred the above writ petition.

3. During the pendency of the writ petition, the landlord died and his legal representatives have come on record. The question is, whether the order of the Appellate Authority suffers from any error of law apparent on the record.

4. In the objections filed before the Land Tribunal, two circumstances were urged by the tenant in support of his contention that the landlord does not bona fide require the land viz., (1) that the landlord carries on money lending business and business in provisions and (2) that the motive of the resumption sought is to sell the land at a higher price. Although the Land Tribunal accepted the contention of the tenant that the landlord carries on the business of money lending etc., that finding was reversed by the Appellate Authority. Thereafter the Appellate Authority relied on certain circumstances not urged in the pleadings. Not only that, those circumstances are wholly irrelevant for the purpose of determining the question whether the application of the landlord for resumption had to be allowed or not. The fact that the landlord is past 60 years and has no major sons is irrelevant for deciding the question at issue.

5 The expression 'to cultivate personally' has been defined in Section 2 (11) thus:--

'2 (11). 'to cultivate personally' means to cultivate land on one's own account-

(i) by one's labour, or

(ii) by the labour of any member of one's family, or

(iii) by hired labour or by servants on wages payable in cash or kind, but not in crop share, under the personal supervision of oneself or by member of one's family.

Explanation: Any of the persons mentioned in proviso (b) to Sub-section (1) of Section 5 shall be deemed to cultivate the land personally if such land is cultivated by servants or by hired labour.

..... (explanations II and III omitted as unnecessary) .....'

There is no bar to a landlord cultivating his land by hired labour or by servants on wages payable in cash or kind. Cultivation by employment of hired labour is also 'personal cultivation' as defined under the Act. The fact that the landlord had not applied for possession under the provisions of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 is also wholly irrelevant. If that was a relevant consideration, the Act would not have provided for any resumption of land from tenants in the Bombay area of the State.

6. The object of the Act is to put an end to the relationship of landlord and tenant in the entire State. Leases are ordinarily prohibited except in cases specified in Section 5. Applications for resumption have to be made within the time specified in Sub-section (2) of Section 14. All the non presumable lands determined by the Tribunals vest in the State Government with effect from the date notified under Section 44. Thereafter, the tenants are registered as occupants of land under Section 45. In short, where the landlord does not make an application under Section 14 or fails to obtain an order for resumption, he altogether loses his right in the non presumableland and his right vests in the State Government under Section 44. For the extinguishment of their rights in the lands, the landlords have to be paid compensation in the manner provided under Sections 47 and 51. If the amount payable exceeds Rupees 2,000/- the amount upto Rs. 2,000/- alone is payable in cash and the rest in bonds. Where the income of the land constitutes the main source of income for the maintenance of the landlord, the extinguishment of his rights is bound to cause great hardship. In order to mitigate such hardship the Act has provided for resumption under Section 14. That right is however subject to severe restrictions contained in Sections 14 and 16. One of the conditions restricting resumption is that the income by cultivation of the land of which the landlord is entitled to resumption shall be the principal source of income for his maintenance. If after resumption the landlord fails to cultivate personally, he is liable to surrender the land to the State Government under Section 20 of the Act. He cannot also transfer the land resumed within six years from such resumption by virtue of Section 19 of the Act. If the restrictions laid down under Section 16 are satisfied by the landlord, it is difficult to envisage a case where the application can be rejected on the ground that he does not bona fide require the land for cultivating personally. If the landlord satisfies all the conditions requisite to allow resumption, it has to be presumed that he bona fide requires land for cultivating personally. Then it is for the tenant to show that the requirement by the landlord of the land is not bona fide. If the tenant fails to prove the want of bona fides, then the application cannot be rejected on the ground that the landlord does not bona fide require land for cultivating personally. Since the decision of the Appellate Authority holding that the landlord does not require the land bona fide for personal cultivation rests wholly on an erroneous views of the law, that decision is liable to be set aside. Accordingly, we allow this writ petition, reverse the order of the Appellate Authority and direct the Munsiff's Court. Badami to dispose of the landlord's application in the light of this order.

7. In the circumstances, parties are directed to bear their own costs.


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