1. This is a reference under Order 46, Rule 1, Civil P.C., by the Munsif of Allahabad. The question on which the Munsif entertains some doubt is whether the land on which the owner thereof has planted a grove is 'agricultural land' for the purposes of the Government Notification No. 577/I-A-93 published in the U.P. Gazette of 26th July 1932. The expression 'agricultural land' has been defined in that notification to mean, inter alia, land as defined in the Agra Tenancy Act, 1926. The definition of 'land' given in Section 3, Agra Tenancy Act 3 of 1926, is as follows:
Land means land which is let or held for agricultural purpose, or as grove-land or for pasturage. It includes land covered by water used for the purpose of growing sighara or other similar produce, but does not include land for the time being occupied by dwelling-houses or manufactories or appurtenants thereto.
2. The proprietor of a land fit for cultivation may make one of two uses of it. He may either let it to another person for cultivation or may cultivate it himself. In the latter case it is his sir or khudkasht. Therefore two words have been advisedly used, namely 'let' or 'hold.' Where the proprietor allows another person to cultivate his land it is appropriate to say that he has let his land. Where he cultivates it himself he can be said to hold his own land for the purposes of cultivation. Similarly where he has made a grant of his land to another person for the purpose of planting a grove he remains the owner of the land, but the person occupying' it is the grove-holder and holds it from the proprietor. He may plant his own grove, in which case the land is held by himself. The proprietor has been termed at numerous places in the Act as 'land-holder.' It is not only a grove-holder who can hold the land if it has trees on it but the proprietor himself may hold it. The only difference between this class of land and his sir and khudkasht lies in the use he is making of it. In either case the land is held by himself. For these reasons we are of opinion that land which has a grove on it and is in possession of the proprietor himself who planted the trees is agricultural land within the meaning of the notification, already referred to.
3. Let the reference be returned with this decision.