H.B. Datar, J.
1. The petitioners in this revision petition have instituted O. S. No. 6 of 1967 in the Court of the Civil Judge at Mandya claiming that they are the owners of agricultural lands bearing S. Nos. 111/1, 112, 113, 114 and 123 in all measuring 7 acres 8 guntas situate at Settihalli village in Srirangapatna Taluk. It is alleged that the defendants were their agents cultivating the lands along with others and in contravention of the terms of the agreement removed the crops grown on the suit lands. It is further alleged that the plaintiffs arc in possession of the lands and so a decree for permanent injunction be granted.
2. The suit was resisted by the defendant contending that he was the tenant of the land in question and he was in possession of the land as a tenant and he was a lawful tenant and therefore, the plaintiffs were not entitled to get a decree for permanent injunction. On these pleadings, the learned Civil Judge framed several issues and one of the issues was as to whether the defendant was a tenant in possession of the property. The learned Civil Judge by his order referred the above issue for adjudication under Section 133 of the Mysore Land Reforms Act, to the Land Tribunal.
3. After the reference was made, the learned Munsiff to whom the issue was referred, recorded the evidence and ultimately found that the defendant was not a tenant of the suit lands and answered the issue accordingly, and sent the file to the Court of the Civil Judge at Mandya. This decision of the learned Munsiff was challenged before the Court of the District Judge at Mandya in M. A. (LR) No. 125 of 1969. The learned District Judge by his Judgment dated 22-2-1972 set aside the judgment of the learned Munsiff and remitted the proceedings back to the learned Munsiff with a direction that he should decide as to whether the defendant is a tenant or a deemed tenant under the Mysore Land Reforms Act. The learned appellate Judge has also directed that an opportunity may be given to both sides to adduce such evidence as they deem necessary and thereafter to dispose of the case in accordance with law. It is this order of remand of the learned appellate judge that is challenged in this revision petition.
4. It is contended by Sri S. C. Javali, learned counsel for the petitioner that the order of reference and the entire proceedings taken before the Land Tribunal and the District Judge are without jurisdiction. In support of this submission, reliance was placed on the decision of this Court in Tarabai v. Krishna Pandurang Power reported in (1972) 1 Mys LJ 216 = (AIR 1972 Mys 214), wherein it has been laid down that:
'In a suit for permanent injunction on the allegation that the plaintiff is in lawful possession of the suit lands and that the defendant is unlawfully interfering with her possession, the only question that arises for decision is whether the plaintiff was in possession on the date of suit and no Issue as to tenancy set up by the defendant arises for decision. Hence, it is unnecessary to raise such an issue and refer the same for decision by the Tahsildar.'
5. It is contended by placing reliance on the above decision that the order of reference made by the learned Civil Judge was incompetent and was without jurisdiction and therefore, the entire proceedings are liable to be set aside. The question for consideration is whether in this revision petition, filed challenging the order passed by the learned District Judge after the reference is made, is it competent for this Court to set aside the order of reference made by the learned Civil Judge.
6. Under Section 133 (2) (a) of the Mysore Land Reforms Act, 1961, it is provided : that if any suit instituted in any Civil Court involves any issues which are required to be settled, decided or dealt with by the Court, then the Civil Court shall stay the suit and refer such issues to the Court for decision. It has been finally settled that when such a reference is made and after a decision is given by the Court, an appeal is competent to the appellate Court under Section 118(1) of the Act. It is also settled law that against the appellate order, a revision petition is competent under Section 115, Civil P. C. before this Court. The result therefore is that if any case involves any issue which is required to be settled, decided or dealt with by the Court, the Civil Court will be required to stay the hearing of the suit until the final adjudication of such reference by the competent courts of law. This is a statutory restriction imposed upon the courts and the courts are precluded from proceeding with the case until the said issue is finally adjudicated.
7. When a reference is made by a Civil Court, the question is as to whether it is competent for the Court to whom the reference is made to decide the competence of the Court which made the order of reference. In my view, upon the wordings of Section 134 (2) (a) of the Act, it is not competent for the Court to whom the reference is made to go behind the order of reference. Clause (b) of Sub-section (2) of Section 133 of the Act provides that on receipt of the reference the Court shall deal with and decide such issues in accordance with the provisions of the Act and shall communicate its decision to the Civil Court which has made the reference. If that is the position in the present case, the order of reference was passed by the Court of the Civil Judge at Mandya. That order of reference referring the issue to the Court or the Tribunal was not challenged by the parties. When a reference was made and that reference was adjudicated by the learned Munsiff and the District Judge and they have given their decision, in my view, it is not competent for the petitioner before this Court, at this stage, to contend that the original order of reference itself is bad and therefore, it has to be set aside and the issue relating to tenancy should be deleted. In my view, it is not possible to apply the principle laid down by this Court in Tarabai's case to the facts of the present case.
8. If an order of reference is made, the learned Munsiff was bound to adjudicate upon this reference. The learned appellate judge has rightly pointed out that the issue which the Court ought to decide was whether the defendant was a tenant or a deemed tenant and as that had not been decided, the learned appellate judge was, in my view, justified in remitting the proceedings back to the trial Court for a fresh adjudication.
9. In that view of the matter, this revision petition has to fail and it is accordingly dismissed. As the proceedings are pending for a very long time, I direct the learned Munsiff to dispose of the reference not later than 4 months from this date. No costs.