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Shanbhogue Pranesha Rao Vs. State of Mysore and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Petn. No. 2 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1960Kant236; AIR1960Mys236; ILR1959KAR362
ActsMysore Tenancy Act, 1952 - Sections 5, 6(2), 15 and 17; Constitution of India - Article 19(1)
AppellantShanbhogue Pranesha Rao
RespondentState of Mysore and ors.
Excerpt:
.....may be worse that the conditions in any other parts of the state, and it left to the state government to carry out its policy of improving the economic and social conditions of peasants by reducing the maximum rent payable by the tenant and leaving it to government to decide in the light of special circumstances what the minimum should be......the state government of mysore issued a notification under section 6, sub-section (2) of the mysore tenancy act, 1952 fixing the maximum rent payable by the tenants to the landlords in the area in which the petitioner's land is situate. the petitioner before us challenges the validity of section 6(2) of the mysore tenancy act, 1952, as also the validity of two other sections of the said act, being section 5 and section 17 thereof.(2) section 5 of the mysore tenancy act provides that no tenancy of land shall be for the period of less than five years and all tenancies in force on the date of commencement of this act shall be deemed to be tenancies for a further period of five years from the date of commencement of the act.(3) sub-section (2) of the said section provides that.....
Judgment:

S.R. Das Gupta, C.J.

(1) The petitioner before us was the owner of a wet land consisting of about 50 acres in Chitaldrug District. On 29-3-1955, the State Government of Mysore issued a notification under Section 6, sub-section (2) of the Mysore Tenancy Act, 1952 fixing the maximum rent payable by the tenants to the landlords in the area in which the petitioner's land is situate. The petitioner before us challenges the validity of Section 6(2) of the Mysore Tenancy Act, 1952, as also the validity of two other sections of the said Act, being section 5 and Section 17 thereof.

(2) Section 5 of the Mysore Tenancy Act provides that no tenancy of land shall be for the period of less than five years and all tenancies in force on the date of commencement of this Act shall be deemed to be tenancies for a further period of five years from the date of commencement of the Act.

(3) Sub-section (2) of the said section provides that notwithstanding any agreement, usage or law to the contrary, no tenancy shall be terminated before the expiry of a period of five years except on the grounds mentioned in Section 15. There is a proviso to the said sub-section which lays down that with the consent of the landlord any tenancy may be terminated by a tenant before the expiry of a period of five years by surrendering his interest as a tenant in favour of the landlord.

(4) Section 17 of the said Act provides that where the period of tenancy of any tenant has expired and if such tenant has been allowed to hold over under sub-section (2) of section 15, the tenancy of such tenant shall be deemed to have been renewed for a further period of five years from the date of its expiry on the same terms and conditions as before.

(5) Section 6 of the said Act provides as follows :

'6(1) Notwithstanding any agreement, usage, decree or order of a Court or any law, the maximum rent payable in respect of any period after the date of coming into force of this Act by a tenant for the lease of any land shall not exceed one-half of the crop or crops raised on such land or its value as determined in the prescribed manner.

* * * * * (2) The Government may, by notification in the Mysore Gazette, fix a lower rate of the maximum rent payable by the tenants of lands situate in any particular area or may fix such rate on any other suitable basis as they think fit.'

The petitioner before us challenges Sections 5 and 17 of the said Act on the ground that they infringe the provisions of Art. 19(1)(f) of the Constitution which guarantees amongst others the right to sequire, hold and dispose of property. The learned Advocate for the petitioner contended before us that sections 5 and 17 interfere with the said right.

I am unable to accept that contention. The said sections only impose reasonable restrictions on such rights. Similar provisions are also to be found in the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act and the High Court of Bombay has held that the said provisions are valid. In my opinion, this contention of the learned Advocate for the petitioner is untenable.

(6) The main attack of the petitioner was against Section 6(2) of the Act. It was contended that in enacting the said section the Legislature has not laid down any policy which would guide the executive in fixing the lower rate of rent payable by tenants of lands situate in any particular area under the said sub-section. In other words, it was contended, Section 6(2) makes no provision as to how the powers of the executive to be exercised under the said sub-section are to be regulated. In my opinion, this contention is equally untenable.

The Legislature in my opinion has laid down the policy, that policy being that in no case the tenants would be made liable to pay more than the maximum indicated in sub-section (1) of the said section. In other words, the policy, which has been laid down by the Legislature in enacting the said provision, is that excessive rent may not be realised by the landlord against his tenants and it has been left to the Government to determine, having regard to a particular local area, as to how much rent not exceeding the maximum rent should be imposed upon the tenant.

This very question, which is now raised before us, had come up for consideration before a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court in the case reported in Chimanlal Dipchand v. State of Bombay, : AIR1954Bom397 , Section 6(1) of the Bombay Act, which is the same as section 6(1) of the Mysore Act, was challenged on the self-same ground, viz., that the Legislature had laid down no policy with regard to the limit upon the reduction of the rent a landlord is entitled to receive and that being so section 6(2) of the said Act should be declared invalid. This contention was not accepted by their Lordships of the Bombay High Court. In the course of their judgment their Lordships observed thus :

'In fixing the maximum rent which the tenant was liable to pay the Legislature took into consideration the social and financial condition of the tenants in the State of Bombay and taking a broad view of the matter the Legislature laid down as a policy that in no case with which it was dealing should the tenant by made liable to pay more than the maximum it had indicated. But the Legislature obviously realised that it could not possibly deal with all cases that might come up for consideration, that it could nor medal with distress or exceptional circumstances, that it could not deal with particular areas where conditions of peasants may be worse that the conditions in any other parts of the State, and it left to the State Government to carry out its policy of improving the economic and social conditions of peasants by reducing the maximum rent payable by the tenant and leaving it to Government to decide in the light of special circumstances what the minimum should be.'

(7) I entirely agree with the view taken by their Lordships of the Bombay high Court in the said case. The learned Advocate for the petitioner contended before us that the said case is distinguishable from the present inasmuch as the preamble of the Bombay Act which came to be considered by their Lordships of the Bombay High Court, was not the same as the preamble of the Act with which we are now concerned.

He contended that in the preamble of the Bombay Act it is stated that improvement of economic and social conditions of peasants was one of the objects of the Act, whereas in the preamble of the Mysore Act this object is not mentioned. In my opinion, the absence of any such statement in the preamble of the Mysore Act would not in any way affect the validity of Section 6 of the present Act.

Their Lordships of the Bombay High Court in the said case held that what the Bombay Act intends to do is to regulate the relation, between landlord and tenant and the most important relation that had to be regulated was the payment of rent by the tenant and the receipt of rent by the landlord. In the Mysore Act it is stated in the regulate thereof that the object of the Act is to regulate the relationship between landlord and tenant and that the object can be fulfilled by regulating the payment of rent by the tenant and receipt of rent by the landlord. In furtherance of this object Section 6 was enacted. In my opinion, it is not possible to accept this contention of the petitioner. No other contention was urged before us. Advocate's fee assessed at Rs. 100/-.

(8) The result is that this petition fails and is dismissed with costs.

Somnath Iyer, J.

(9) I agree.

(10) Petition dismissed.


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