1. A suit for partition claiming 2/3 share in the agricultural lands was filed by Respondents 1 and 2. The defendant in the suit contended that item 1 of the suit property comprised in Survey No. 73/20 has been in possession and enjoyment of one Honnayya Shetty and the remaining items of properties are in the possession and enjoyment of Govinda Shetty as challenging (tenancy at will) tenants, the same having been leased out to them by Sindhu Shedthy about 30 years ago. The defendant further contended that both the aforesaid persons have filed declarations for registration of the occupancy rights under S. 48-A of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act) before the Land Tribunal, and as such the plaintiffs are not entitled to claim possession of any of the items of suit properties under the guise of partition suit filed by them.
Govinda Shetty referred to above is none other than the husband of the defendant and Sindhu Shedthy referred to above is the mother of the defendant.
2. The plaintiffs, perhaps, did not take seriously the aforesaid contentions raised by the defendant. They did not take any steps to implead the so-called tenants. They however, filed an application (I. A. No. 1) under O. XL, Rr. 1 and 2 of the Civil P. C. For appointment of a Receiver to take possession of the suit properties. Govinda Shetty at that stage filed an application I. A. No. III asking the Court for an order not to disturb him form the schedule properties, which according to him were in his possession. The trial Court, after considering both the applications, made a common order allowing the application of the plaintiff and appointing a Receiver, and dismissed the application filed by Govinda Shetty.
The order appointing the Receiver is challenged in this appeal.
3. The question is whether the lower Court had jurisdiction to appoint a Receiver for the suit properties which are admittedly agricultural lands. The plaintiffs contended that they are not in actual possession of the lands. So was the contention of the defendant. Her further contention was that the lands are in possession of the two tenants: (1) Honnayya Shetty so far as item No. 1 is concerned, and (2) Govinda Shetty as regards the rest. She further stated that the said persons have preferred applications before the Land Tribunal for registration of occupancy rights in respect of the same lands under S. 48-A of the Act.
4. Having regard to these facts and the contentions raised, we must now examine the question. S. 48-C of the Act confers power on the Land Tribunal to issue interlocutory orders in the nature of temporary injunction or appointment of receiver concerning agricultural land in respect of which an application is made under S. 48-A, S. 132 of the Act imposes a bar of jurisdiction on Civil Courts. It provides that no Civil Court shall have jurisdiction to settle, decide or deal with any question which is by or under the Act requires to be settled, decided or dealt with by the Deputy commissioner the Assistant Commissioner, the Tribunal, the Tahsildar etc. By reading these two sections, it becomes clear that the Civil Court has no jurisdiction to pass interlocutory orders like injunction or appointment of a Receiver in respect of any agricultural land if it is already the subject-matter of the application under S. 48-A of the Act. When it is disputed that Honnayya Shetty and Govinda Shetty have filed applications under Section 48-A in respect of the suit lands claiming occupancy rights, the Civil Court must therefore be held to have no power to appoint a Receiver. The presence or absence of the alleged tenants as parties to the suit, would not make any difference in law.
5. In the result, the appeal is allowed and the order of the lower Court is set aside.
6. In the circumstances, I make no order as to costs.
7. Appeal allowed.