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N. Marulappa Vs. State of Karnataka and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 410 of 1976
Judge
Reported inAIR1978Kant46; ILR1977KAR1485; 1977(2)KarLJ447
ActsKarnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 - Sections 133; Constitution of India - Article 226
AppellantN. Marulappa
RespondentState of Karnataka and ors.
Appellant AdvocateK.N. Shankaralingappa, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateAnantharaman, Adv. and ;K.S. Puttaswamy, I Addl. Govt. Adv.
Excerpt:
.....the officers of a public authority in arriving at the decision though not so much with the decision itself. - 7. the appellant is entitled to his costs in this appeal as well as in the writ petition, which shall be paid by respondents 3 to 15. advocate's fee rs......of 1976 dismissing the appellant's writ petition challenging the order dated 26-3-1976 made by the land tribunal, tiptur taluk (respondent-2) granting temporary injunction against the appellant-landholder in respect of about 13 acres of agricultural land comprised in survey nos. 329, 330, 331, 336/2 and 337 of nonavinakere-amanikere village.2. respondents 3 to 15 made separate applications before the land tribunal for grant of occupancy rights in respect of separate parcels of agricultural land in the aforesaid survey numbers. the said applications, on notice being served on the appellant, were opposed contending that the applicants before the tribunal were not tenants and the lands were under the personal cultivation of the appellant and his undivided brother. in the said proceedings,.....
Judgment:

G.K. Govinda Bhat, C.J.

1. This appeal preferred by a landholder is directed against the order of Bhimiah, J., dated 10-8-1976 made in Writ Petition No. 3326 of 1976 dismissing the appellant's writ petition challenging the order dated 26-3-1976 made by the Land Tribunal, Tiptur Taluk (Respondent-2) granting temporary injunction against the appellant-landholder in respect of about 13 acres of agricultural land comprised in Survey Nos. 329, 330, 331, 336/2 and 337 of Nonavinakere-Amanikere village.

2. Respondents 3 to 15 made separate applications before the Land Tribunal for grant of occupancy rights in respect of separate parcels of agricultural land in the aforesaid survey numbers. The said applications, on notice being served on the appellant, were opposed contending that the applicants before the Tribunal were not tenants and the lands were under the personal cultivation of the appellant and his undivided brother. In the said proceedings, respondents 3 to 15 made applications for grant of temporary injunction against the appellant. The said applications came up before the Land Tribunal for hearing. The Assistant Commissioner of the Sub-Division, who is the Chairman of the Land Tribunal, explained to the Members that there is nothing on record to make out a prima facie case that the applicants are tenants in possession of the lands in question. He also pointed out that the Records of Rights do not show their names. The Chairman, therefore, was for dismissing the applications for temporary injunction. One of the Members also agreed with the Chairman, but three out of the five Members of the Land Tribunal differed from the Chairman, and the majority of three Members, without assigning any reasons, ordered that temporary injunction should be issued in favour of the applicants. That order was challenged by the appellant under Article 226 of the Constitution in Writ Petition No. 3326 of 1976 which was admitted by the learned Single Judge and rule nisi was issued. In the writ petition, the appellant made an application for stay of the operation of the order of the Tribunal. That application for stay came up for hearing before Bhimiah, J. who disposed of the main writ petition itself by making an order which reads thus :--

'Heard Advocates. This writ petition is against the interim order. The order impugned cannot be said to be palpably incorrect or one passed without jurisdiction. Hence W. P. dismissed.'

The said order of dismissal has been challenged in this appeal.

3. We have heard the learned counsel on both sides. Shri K. S. Puttaswamy, learned High Court Government Advocate, who appears for the State, was also heard. We asked the learned Government Advocate whether there is any revenue record showing the names of respondents 3 to 15 as persons cultivating the lands in question immediately prior to 1-3-1974. The learned Government Advocate fairly conceded that there were no such records on the file of the Tribunal.

4. The statutory presumption under S. 133 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act is that the entries in the Record of Rights are correct until the contrary is proved. Respondents 3 to 15 have not produced any material before the Land Tribunal to show that the entries in the Record of Rights are incorrect. The Chairman of the Tribunal rightly pointed out and impressed upon the non-official Members that there is nothing on record to show that the applicants had a prima facie case and yet, without assigning any reasons, the majority of the Members of the Tribunal decided that the order of interim injunction should go in favour of the applicants. The Chairman has given reasons as to why the applications for injunction should not be granted while the majority of Members have not assigned any reasons. In substance, an order is made without any reasons and contrary to the Statutory presumption in favour of the appellant-landholder.

5. The learned single Judge has dismissed the writ petition on the sole ground that it is against an interim order. Even an interim order of injunction must be in accordance with law, particularly when the Chairman of the Tribunal assigns reasons for holding that it is not a fit case for granting an interim order. In the instant case, the majority decision is not a speaking order and, therefore, void. It is not only void but also perverse because the Statutory presumption is in favour of the land-holder. This is one of the innumerable illustrative cases to demonstrate that a Tribunal consisting of Members who are incompetent to understand the law and the facts, is in no way different from a Tribunal composed of Members who are biased against one of the parties.

6. For the reasons stated above, this appeal is allowed, the order of the learned single Judge is reversed and the order of the Land Tribunal granting injunction is hereby quashed.

7. The appellant is entitled to his costs in this appeal as well as in the writ petition, which shall be paid by respondents 3 to 15. Advocate's fee Rs. 250/-.

8. Appeal allowed.


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