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Dattappa (Deceased) by L.Rs Vs. Dasharath (Deceased) by L.Rs and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberLand Reforms Revision Petition No. 2614 of 1990
Judge
Reported in2006(2)KarLJ585
ActsKarnataka Land Reforms Rules, 1974 - Rule 20(1); Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 - Sections 45, 45A(1) and 48A
AppellantDattappa (Deceased) by L.Rs
RespondentDasharath (Deceased) by L.Rs and anr.
Appellant AdvocateRamesh B. Anneppanavar, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.B. Hebballi, Adv. for Caveator-Respondents 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 and; Asha M. Kumbargerimath, High Court Government Pleader for Respondent 7
DispositionRevision Petition dismissed
Excerpt:
.....in favour of petitioner. after careful perusal of the orders passed by the appellate authority and land tribunal as well as the records available on file, it emerges on the face of the order passed by appellate authority and the views expressed by the chairman and another member of the land tribunal, bijapur, that there is no error or illegality as such committed by appellate authority in passing the impugned order, registering occupancy rights in favour of respondents 1 to 6. it is significant to note the observation made by the appellate authority regarding the checklist. the appellate authority, after appreciation of material available on record, has registered occupancy rights in favour of respondents 1 to 6. therefore, i do not find any infirmity or illegality as such committed by..........reforms appellate authority, bijapur in l.r.'- no. 68 of 1989, setting aside the order passed by land tribunal, bijapur, dated 31st january, 1989 in no. klr.sr. 220, has presented the instant revision petition.2. the deceased tulajaram also, represented by his legal representatives as respondents 1 to 6 herein, claiming to be tenant, had filed form 7 under rule 20(1) of the karnataka land reforms rules, 1974 read with section 48-a(1) of the karnataka land reforms act, 1961 for registration of occupancy rights on 30th june, 1976. the said application filed by deceased tulajaram had come up for consideration before the land tribunal, bijapur on 15th march, 1979. the land tribunal, has ordered for registration of occupancy rights in favour of deceased tulajaram in respect of an extent of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

N.K. Patil, J.

1. Petitioner, now represented by his legal representatives, being aggrieved by the order dated 14th September, 1989 on the file of the Land Reforms Appellate Authority, Bijapur in L.R.'- No. 68 of 1989, setting aside the order passed by Land Tribunal, Bijapur, dated 31st January, 1989 in No. KLR.SR. 220, has presented the instant revision petition.

2. The deceased Tulajaram also, represented by his legal representatives as respondents 1 to 6 herein, claiming to be tenant, had filed Form 7 under Rule 20(1) of the Karnataka Land Reforms Rules, 1974 read with Section 48-A(1) of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 for registration of occupancy rights on 30th June, 1976. The said application filed by deceased Tulajaram had come up for consideration before the Land Tribunal, Bijapur on 15th March, 1979. The Land Tribunal, has ordered for registration of occupancy rights in favour of deceased Tulajaram in respect of an extent of 4 acres 3 guntas in Sy. No. 471/2C (03 guntas of pot kharab), holding that, the land in question is a tenanted land and the same vested in Government as on the relevant date and therefore, he is entitled for registration of occupancy rights in his favour. Aggrieved by the order passed by the Land Tribunal, Bijapur, dated 15th March, 1979, the petitioner herein filed a Writ Petition No. 6143 of 1981 before this Court. The said writ petition had come up for consideration before this Court on 5th October, 1982 and the writ petition filed by petitioner was allowed and the order passed by Land Tribunal was set aside and the matter was remitted back to the Land Tribunal for fresh disposal in accordance with law. After remand, the matter was taken up for consideration by the Land Tribunal, Bijapur on 31st January, 1989. The Chairman and another member of the Land Tribunal have opined that, the deceased Tulajaram was cultivating the said land as tenant and the said land vested in Government as on the relevant date. However, in view of the opinion of the majority members of the Land Tribunal that, deceased Tulajaram was not a tenant and the application filed by deceased Tulajaram was liable to be rejected, the Land Tribunal rejected the application filed by deceased Tulajaram. Assailing the correctness of the order passed by the Land Tribunal, Bijapur, dated 31st January, 1989, the respondents 1 to 6 herein, who are the legal representatives of deceased Tulajaram filed an appeal on the file of the Land Reforms Appellate Authority, Bijapur (hereinafter called the 'Appellate Authority'), in L.R.A. No. 68/1989. The Appellate Authority, after evaluation of oral and documentary evidence, and after careful perusal of the record of rights in Sy. No. 471/2C for the agricultural years 1953-54 to 1958-59, wherein the name of deceased Tulajaram appeared as cultivator and in other rights column, his name has been shown as protected tenant, has passed the impugned order. Further, as per the mutation entry No. 2760, the name of deceased Tulajaram is shown as protected tenant. Further, the Appellate Authority has specifically recorded a finding of fact that, as per the mortgage dated 5th May, 1959, the deceased Tulajaram was already in possession of the suit land and therefore, he secured the record of rights in respect of the suit land bearing Sy. No. 471/2C and also Sy. Nos. 471/2B and 471/2A and in respect of two others strips of land, i.e., Sy. Nos. 471/2A and 471/2B, it is found that, the owner is cultivating those two lands. From Form 7 filed by deceased Tulajaram, the original of which is available in the original records, it can be seen that, the deceased Tulajaram has not sought for registration of occupancy rights in respect of another two survey numbers namely Sy. No. 471/2A and Sy. No. 471/2B. He has filed Form 7 for registration of occupancy rights only in respect of Sy. No. 471/2C. Petitioner has failed to produce any rebuttal evidence to establish that, deceased Tulajaram never cultivated the said land as tenant. The Appellate Authority, after giving cogent reasons, with reference to credible documentary evidence, at paragraph 9 of its order, by its order dated 14th September, 1989, allowed the appeal filed by respondents 1 to 6 herein and set aside the order passed by Land Tribunal and registered the occupancy rights in favour of respondents 1 to 6 herein, who are the legal representatives of deceased Tulajaram in respect of Sy. No. 471/2C, measuring 4 acres 6 guntas (including 3 guntas pot kharab) situate at Mahalbagayat, Bijapur Taluka. Being aggrieved by the said order passed by the Land Reforms Appellate Authority, petitioner herein, represented by his legal representatives felt necessitated to present the instant revision petition.

3. The principal submission canvassed by learned Counsel for petitioner is that, the deceased Tulajaram had, at no point of time, cultivated the land in question as tenant. Due to financial constrains, petitioner, has mortgaged the property vide mortgage deed dated 5th May, 1959 and after expiry of the period mentioned in the mortgage deed, the land has been redeemed and possession has been handed over to him under the registered deed dated 25th June, 1966 and he has also endorsed at the back of the deed that, he has handed over the possession of all the three lands in favour of petitioner. He submitted that, this aspect of the matter has not at all been considered by the Appellate Authority, but, the Land Tribunal, had rightly appreciated and rejected the claim of deceased Tulajaram for registration of occupancy rights in respect of the land in question. Further, he has taken me through the observation made by the Appellate Authority at internal page 8 of its order and pointed out the observation made by the Appellate Authority wherein it is stated that, as per the checklist, there is no mention that, the name of deceased Tulajaram appeared in the record of rights prior to 1959 as tenant and the name of deceased Tulajaram appeared in the year 1964-65 in the record of rights but not as tenant. He submitted that, if the said checklist is taken into consideration, verified and scrutinized carefully, it shows beyond all reasonable doubts that, the deceased Tulajaram never cultivated the land as tenant and hence, he is not entitled for registration of occupancy rights. Therefore, he submitted that, the order passed by the Appellate Authority is liable to vitiate. To substantiate his aforesaid submission further, he placed reliance on the judgment of this Court in the case of Huchegowda v. Channamma and Ors. 1988(3) Kar. L.J. 252 and submitted that, if the ratio of law laid down by the learned Single Judge of this Court in the said decision is taken into consideration, the reliance placed by the Appellate Authority on the entries found in the RTC extract for the years 1954-55 to 1958-59 to show that, deceased Tulajaram was cultivating the land as tenant, is not sustainable and hence, it is liable to be set aside.

4. Per contra, learned Counsel appearing for respondents, inter alia, contended and substantiated the impugned order passed by the Appellate Authority stating that, no error or illegality as such has been committed by the Appellate Authority in passing the impugned order.

5. I have heard learned Counsel appearing for petitioners and learned Counsel appearing for respondents. After careful perusal of the orders passed by the Appellate Authority and Land Tribunal as well as the records available on file, it emerges on the face of the order passed by Appellate Authority and the views expressed by the Chairman and another member of the Land Tribunal, Bijapur, that there is no error or illegality as such committed by Appellate Authority in passing the impugned order, registering occupancy rights in favour of respondents 1 to 6. It is significant to note the observation made by the Appellate Authority regarding the checklist. In the scrutiny sheet dated 12th March, 1979, which is available in the original records at ink page 7, the Secretary of the Land Tribunal has written in the remarks column that, on perusal of records, it is seen that the name of the applicant (Tulajaram Krishna Jadhav) appears in other rights column as PT (Permanent Tenant) and in cultivators column from 1964-65 and onwards. The Special Tahsildar, Bijapur being the Secretary of the Land Tribunal, on the basis of the application filed by deceased Tulajaram under Section 48-A for registration of occupancy rights under Section 45 of the Land Reforms Act, 1961, has scrutinized the same. In the scrutiny certificate certified by the Special Tahsildar, Bijapur, which is available at red ink page 9, it can be seen that, in column 1 - village, it is shown as 'Mahalabagayat'; column 2 - parties - tenant, it is shown as 'Tulajaram krishna Jadhav' and column 3(a) - whether the applicant is a permanent tenant, it is shown as 'Dattappa Sangappa Pujari' and finally in column 7 - Remarks - it is stated that, 'from the year 1974-75, the name of applicant (deceased Tulajaram) has been shown as tenant and the land in question is vested in Government as on 1st March, 1974', However, there is no reference regarding the checklist for the agricultural years 1954-55 to 1958-59, to show that, the name of the tenant is not found. After careful perusal of the original records available on file, it is seen that, one independent witness - Sri Subhash Shamuvellappa Gowdellar has been examined on behalf of respondents 1 to 6, who has stated in unequivocal terms that, the deceased Tulajaram was cultivating the land in question since more than 15 to 20 years and Tulajaram died four years back and after the death of Tulajaram, respondents 1 to 6 are cultivating the land. The Chairman of the Land Tribunal, after evaluation of the records available on file, has observed that, the applicant - deceased Tulajaram represented by his legal representatives - respondents 1 to 6 herein, have also produced list of documents, which is available at ink page 159 of the original records, on the file of the Land Tribunal, Bijapur in No. KLR.SR. 220/1988 on 1st August, 1988 from SI. Nos. 1 to 23. The said documents from items 1 to 23 are the land tax receipts issued as far as back as from 19th April, 1960 to 9th June, 1971. All the said land tax receipts are available in the original records at red ink pages 159 to 205 wherein, the name of deceased Tulajaram, receipt number 67, khata number 206 and the amount paid by him have been specifically mentioned. The Chairman has further observed that, for the agricultural years 1970-71 to 1973-74, the name shown in the RTC in cultivators column 12(2) is deceased Tulajaram and in column 12(3) - the mode of cultivation is shown as '3' which indicates tenancy, i.e., cultivating the land in question as tenant. Further, a specific finding has been given to the effect that, prior to 1959, deceased Tulajaram was cultivating the said land as tenant and the same has been entered in the relevant records and another member has also pointed out the same view that, the deceased Tulajaram is a tenant of the land in question and the same vested in Government as on the relevant date. Further, majority of the members have taken different view and held that, the deceased Tulajaram was not a tenant. It is significant to note that, the majority members of the Land Tribunal, i.e., three members of the Land Tribunal, except stating orally have not recorded anything regarding the said aspect in writing, except stating that deceased Tulajaram was not a tenant. The said members have also not assigned cogent reasons as to how the petitioner is entitled for declaration as owner of the land in question. Expressing oral views without reducing the same to writing and passing the orders on the basis of the oral views expressed by majority members of the Land Tribunal is not permissible and the same is contrary to the mandatory requirements of the Rules. The authorities were duty-bound to record specifically as to how deceased Tulajaram was not a tenant of the land in question and as to how the petitioner was entitled to be declared as owner of the land in question. The Appellate Authority, after careful perusal of the entire material available on file thread bare, and after appreciation of the oral and documentary evidence, by assigning cogent reasons, has recorded finding of fact holding that, deceased Tulajaram has filed Form 7 only in respect of Sy. No. 471/2C and he has not claimed any tenancy in respect of other two survey numbers namely, Sy. Nos. 471/2A and 471/2B. The Appellate Authority has disbelieved the checklist and given a specific finding in paragraph 9 of its order that, in the relevant RTC extracts from 1953-54 to 1958-59 in respect of Sy. No. 471/2C, the name of deceased Tulajaram appears as cultivator in column 12(2) and in other rights column his name has been shown as protected tenant. Further, as per the mutation entry No. 2760, the name of deceased Tulajaram has been shown as protected tenant. Therefore, the submission made by learned Counsel for petitioner that, the deceased Tulajaram delivered possession of the suit land along with two other survey numbers after receiving the mortgage amount is evidently false. The said Tulajaram was cultivating the said land, without any break even prior to 1958 and therefore, his name was entered in the cultivators column since 1953-54 to 1958-59 up to 1987-88. It can be seen that, there is no sincere efforts as such made by the petitioner to change the name of the said Tulajaram in the revenue records. The Land Tribunal ought to have considered all the documentary evidence produced by respondents 1 to 6. When there was a clear recital in the mortgage deed dated 5th May, 1959, the Competent Authority ought to have secured the records and mutation proceedings prior to 1959. The Appellate Authority has recorded a finding specifically holding that, the order passed by the Land Tribunal is not sustainable in the eye of law. Accordingly, the order passed by Land Tribunal, Bijapur was set aside. The reasoning given by the Appellate Authority is just and proper and is on the basis of critical evaluation of oral and documentary evidence and in strict compliance of the mandatory provisions of the Land Reforms Act and Rules. The Appellate Authority, after appreciation of material available on record, has registered occupancy rights in favour of respondents 1 to 6. Therefore, I do not find any infirmity or illegality as such committed by Appellate Authority in passing the impugned order nor the petitioner had made out any good grounds to interfere in the instant revision petition.

6. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, as stated above, the instant revision petition is dismissed as devoid of any merits.


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