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Vasantha Nanasaheb Pawar and ors. Vs. Piraji Pandu Patil (Since Deceased by Lrs - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberL.R.R.P. No. 3275/1990
Judge
Reported inILR2006KAR2061; 2006(3)KarLJ172
ActsKarnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 - Sections 2(33), 2(34) and 48A(1); Karnataka Land Reforms Rules, 1974 - Rule 19
AppellantVasantha Nanasaheb Pawar and ors.
RespondentPiraji Pandu Patil (Since Deceased by Lrs ;smt. Laxmi Bai, W/O Piraji Pandu Patil, ;baliram P. Patil
Appellant AdvocateG. Balakrishna Shastry, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateUmesh R. Malimath, Adv. for R1(a) to (c) and ;V. Bychappa, HCGP for R1 and R3
DispositionPetition dismissed
Excerpt:
property - occupancy rights - first respondent filed form no. 7 for grant of occupancy rights for suit land - petitioners and respondent no. 4 were landlords of property - after considering the available material land tribunal rejected form no. 7 - on appeal, appellate authority decided the matter in first respondent's favour - hence, the present petition - petitioner contended that present form no. 7 being filed second time was not maintainable as the form no. 7 was also filed earlier by the first respondent - held, in both the forms, landlords and lands were different - no prohibition for tenant to file separate form no. 7 claiming occupancy rights over separate survey number belonging to different landlords - evidence established that first respondent was in possession of property as..........belgaum in ralr no. 81/87, dated 13,12.1989.2. the records disclose that the 1st respondent herein filed form no. 7 for granting occupancy rights in his favour for the land hearing survey no. 322, situated at nilaji village of belgaum taluk, measuring 5 acres (actually measures 4 acres 16 guntas). the petitioners herein and respondent no. 4 viz., anantha nansaheb pawar, being the legal representatives of deceased 'changunabai, are the landlords of the said property. the land tribunal on considering the material on record, rejected form no. 7 filed by 1st respondent herein by its order dated 4.12.1986. against the said order, ist respondent filed statutory appeal before the land reforms appellate authority, belgaum. both the parties were permitted to lead evidence before the appellate.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Mohan Shantanagoudar, J.

1. This revision petition is filed by the landlords of Survey No. 322 situated at Nilaji village, of Belgaum Taluk, measuring 4 acres 16 guntas, challenging the order of granting occupancy rights in favour of 1st respondent herein by the Land Reforms Appellate Authority, Belgaum in RALR No. 81/87, dated 13,12.1989.

2. The records disclose that the 1st respondent herein filed Form No. 7 for granting occupancy rights in his favour for the land hearing Survey No. 322, situated at Nilaji village of Belgaum Taluk, measuring 5 acres (actually measures 4 acres 16 guntas). The petitioners herein and respondent No. 4 viz., Anantha Nansaheb Pawar, being the legal representatives of deceased 'Changunabai, are the landlords of the said property. The Land Tribunal on considering the material on record, rejected Form No. 7 filed by 1st respondent herein by its order dated 4.12.1986. Against the said order, Ist respondent filed statutory appeal before the Land Reforms Appellate Authority, Belgaum. Both the parties were permitted to lead evidence before the Appellate Authority. Accordingly, both, the parties have led their evidence. The Appellate Authority after considering the material on record, including the additional evidence, granted the occupancy rights in favour of the 1st respondent by allowing his application in Form No. 7. Being aggrieved by the order of Appellate Authority, the present revision petition is filed by the petitioners.

3. Sri G. Balakrishna Shastry, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that the present Form No. 7 dated 20.12.1976 filed by 1st respondent herein is the second Form No. 7 filed praying for grant of occupancy rights; that the first Form No. 7 filed by 1st respondent was on 8.11.1974 for grant of occupancy lights for five other survey numbers; and that therefore, the second Form No. 7 is not maintainable, Secondly he submitted that the 1st respondent is actually set up by respondent No. 4 viz., Anantha Pawar and that therefore, 1st respondent is not a real tenant over the property in question. He further submits that the appreciation of the evidence by the Court below is not just and proper, inasmuch as, the presumption arising out of the revenue records is not given due weightage by the Appellate Authority. Per contra, Sri Umesh R. Malimath, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of respondents 1(a) to (c) argued in support of the order passed by the Appellate Authority. Both the learned advocates have taken me through the entire material on record.

4. It is not in dispute that the Form No. 7 praying for grant of occupancy rights filed by the 1st respondent on 20.12.1976 is his second application in Form No. 7. First Form No. 7 was filed by the 1st respondent on 8.11.1974 claiming occupancy rights over five other survey numbers, It is no doubt true that this Court in the case of Giriyappa and Ors. v. State of Karnataka and Ors. : ILR2000KAR1166 and in the case of Parameshwar Timmayya Hegade and Ors. v. Venkataraman Manjappa Hegde, since deceased, by his LRs and Ors. ILR 2000 Kar 3170, has held that second Form No. 7 filed by the very tenant is not maintainable. Based on these judgments, Sri G. Balakrishna Shastry, learned Counsel for petitioners submits that the present Form No. 7 filed on 20.12.1976 cannot be entertained at all.

The said submission of the learned Counsel for the petitioners cannot be accepted, inasmuch as, the aforecited judgments are inapplicable to the facts of the present case. In Giriyappa'a case ILR 2000 Kar. 1166, the tenant had filed Form No. 7 for the second time against very land lord after disposal of his first Form No. 7 at an earlier point of time. In that view of the matter, this Court took the view that it is not open for the tenant to file second Form No. 7 after disposal of his first Form No. 7 claiming occupancy rights afresh. In Parameshwar Timmayya Hegde's case also i.e., : ILR2000KAR3170 , the facts arc different There also the second Form No. 7 was filed against the very landlord against whom first Form No. 7 was filed. Moreover in that matter, the tenant had described himself as owner of a disputed survey number in the first Form No. 7 and had claimed the very survey number as tenant in the second Form No. 7. Under such circumstances, this Court ruled that second Form No. 7 is not maintainable.

5. In the case on hand, the facts are entirely different. The first Form No. 7 admittedly filed by 1st respondent herein on 8.11.1974 against other landlord claiming occupancy rights in respect of five different survey numbers. The petitioners landlords herein were not parties to the first Form No. 7, Thus, the second Form No. 7 was filed by the lst respondent on 20.12.1976 claiming occupancy rights for the land in question arraying the petitioners and respondent No. 4 herein as landlords. Thus, it is clear that in both the Form Nos. 7, the landlords are different and lands are different. Thus, there is no prohibition for a tenant to file separate Form No. 7 claiming occupancy rights over a separate survey number belonging to . different land lords. At this stage, it is relevant to refer to Rule 19 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Rules, 1974 ('Rules' for short), The relevant portion reads thus:

Rule 19 : Form of application and notice. -

(1) The application under Sub-section (1) of Section 48-A shall be in Form-7. The application shall furnish particulars of all the lands held under each separate tenancy in one or more than one Taluk in respect of which the applicant claims to be entitled to be registered as an occupant,

XXX XXX XXX

(Underlining is mine)

Thus, the bare reading of Rule 19 makes it clear that the application shall furnish particulars of all the lands held under each separate tenancy. The word 'tenancy' is described in Section 2(33) of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 ('Act' for short), which reads thus :

Section 2(33) :- 'tenancy' means the relationship of landlord and tenant.

The word 'tenant' is described under Section 2(34) of the Act, which reads thus :

Section 3(34) :- 'tenant' means an agriculturist who cultivates personally the land he holds, on lease from landlord and includes, - -

XXX XXX XXX XXX. XXX

(Underlining is mine)

Thus, the combined reading of Rule 19 of the Rules and Sections 2(33) and 2(34) of the Act would make it clear that each relationship of landlord and tenant makes separate tenancy altogether. Thus, if a tenant cultivates the lands of two different landlords, there would be two separate tenancies. Thus, it is open for him to file two applications in Form No. 7 praying for occupancy rights against two different landlords. Thus, in my considered opinion, the second application in Form No. 7 filed by 1st respondent herein against different landlord for a different survey number is maintainable.

6. Even on merits also, I do not find any ground to interfere in the order of Land Reforms Appellate Authority. It is admitted case of the petitioners herein that they were all along working in different places in different establishments and that they were not residing in the village. 9th petitioner-land lord is a practicing advocate at Pune. The 4th respondent viz., Anantha Pawar, who is the brother of the petitioners herein alone was looking after the family properties for and on behalf of himself and his brothers i.e., petitioners herein. The aforesaid factual aspect is not in dispute.

In support of his case, the tenant has examined two independent neighbouring witnesses apart from examining himself. Both the said witnesses have deposed in categorical terms that 1st respondent herein is cultivating the property in question as tenant. Though they are cross-examined by the landlords, nothing worth is elicited in their cross-examination so as to discard their evidence, Thus, the evidence of the neighbouring witnesses fully supports the case of the tenant 1st respondent herein. Added to it, 4th respondent herein viz., Anantha Pawar, who is the genitive brother of petitioners herein (one of the landlords) has clearly admitted before the Land Tribunal that, 1st respondent herein is cultivating the property in question to the extent of 5 acres as tenant, The said admission of Anantha Pawar assumes very much importance in this case, inasmuch as, even according to the petitioners herein, said Anantha Pawar himself was cultivating the property on their behalf by residing in the village. The very Anantha Pawar has deposed before the Land Tribunal that he had leased the property in question in favour of the 1st respondent herein on certain terms. Thus, the evidence of Anantha, coupled with other material on record abundantly make it clear that 1st respondent is in actual physical possession of the property as a tenant.

7. Merely because the revenue entries stand in the name of the petitioners would not mean that there is no relationship of landlords and tenant between the parties. The revenue entries do not take away the established case of the 1st respondent The presumption arising out of the revenue records stand rebutted in view of consistent, cogent and clinching evidence relating to the 1st respondent's possession over the property in question as a tenant.

8. On the other hand, the 1st petitioner herein viz., Vasant Nansaheb Pawar who is examined as BW-1 on behalf of the landlords admits in his evidence that he does not know about the topography and boundaries of the lands. He also admits that 4th respondent herein viz., Anantha Pawar was cultivating the land and that they were employed in different places of Karnataka and Maharashtra States; that the 9th petitioner viz., Pratabrao Nanasaheb Pawar, is a practicing advocate at Pune. It is farther admitted by BW-1 that they had agreed with the 4th respondent that 50 bags of paddy shall be paid by the 4th respondent to his brothers every year. No neighbouring land holders are examined by the land lords on their behalf. The said admissions by BW-1 would amply make it clear that they are absentee land owners and that they have never cultivated the land In question. It is also clear that one of the landlord Le., 4th respondent herein, who was actually living in the village, was cultivating the other properties of the family and has leased the property in question in favour of the 1st respondent herein on certain terms.

9. In view of the above, in my considered opinion, the Land Reforms Appellate Authority is fully justified in granting occupancy rights in favour of 1st respondent herein by declaring him as a tenant. Even on reconsidering the material on record; I do not find any reason to interfere in the impugned order.

Writ petition is accordingly dismissed.


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