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Christi Valjibhi Gangubhai Vs. Vinayak Ratanchand Jayram - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1979)2GLR414
AppellantChristi Valjibhi Gangubhai
RespondentVinayak Ratanchand Jayram
Cases ReferredC.C. Devasthan Trust v. P.A. Boske A.I.R.
Excerpt:
.....granted by the collector, after holding an inquiry, that the conditions in the provision to sub-section (1) are satisfied by any trust shall be conclusive evidence in that behalf. under said circumstances, the said finding of the gujarat revenue tribunal was perfectly justified in taking the view that section 19 of the gujarat devasthan inams abolition act, 1969 has no application to the land in dispute......of the tenancy act, it is clear that the tenant had already become the statutory purchaser of the trust land in that case as the trust was not registered on 1-4-1957 under the bombay public trust act, nor it was deemed to have been registered as provided in section 28 of the bombay public trust act, 1950. in this view of the matter the reported decision of the bombay high court in sri laxminarayan temple's case (supra) does not assist the petitioner in any manner whatsoever.16. mr. shaikh also relied on the reported decision of the bombay high court in c.c. devasthan trust v. p.a. boske a.i.r. 1977, bombay, 218; but even this case does not help the petitioner's case because the trust in question was registered after tillers day in the year 1959.17. this is a clear case where the civil.....
Judgment:

A.N. Surti, J.

1. The petitioner Christi Valjibhai Gangubhai of Anand was aggrieved by the impugned judgment delivered by the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal in Revision Application No. TEN B.A. 313 of 1975 decided on 21-1-1976, and has filed the present petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.

2. In order to appreciate the contentions raised by Mr. Shaikh, the learned advocate for the petitioner, a few relevant facts may be stated.

3. The respondent trust viz. I.P Mission Trust Association, I.P Mission Compound, Opposite Mission Hospitals, Anand, district Kaira was owning land bearing Survey No. 2388/A admeasuring 1 Acre and 8 Gunthas situated in village Anand. The petitioner was cultivating the land as a tenant of the said survey number.

4. In regard to the said land, the respondent trust had obtained a certificate as provided in Section 88-B of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948. After obtaining the said certificate, the parties litigated upto this Court and on May 23, 1969 it was agreed between the parties that the petitioner-tenant should retain the possession of 936 Square Meters out of the aforesaid survey number free of costs, and the rest of the land of the aforesaid survey number should be handed over to the respondent-trust.

5. Thereafter, in the year 1971, the Mamlatdar, Anand in a suo motu inquiry under Section 32G of the aforesaid Act issued the notices to the petitioner and the respondent-trust. It was noticed in course of the proceedings, that an exemption certificate under Section 88B of the Act was granted to the respondent-trust on April 1, 1961 and that by reason of the aforesaid compromise between the parties in the Civil Court, 936 Sq. Meters of the aforesaid land was sold free of costs to the petitioner, and that the possession of the rest of the land was handed over to the respondent-trust in the year 1969. The Mamlatdar also held that though Section 88-B was inserted in the Bombay Tenancy Act by the Gujarat Devasthan Inam Abolition Act, (Gujarat Act No. 16 of 1969) the Mamlatdar held that the exemption certificate granted under Section 88-B to the petitioner in respect of the suit lands was not affected by the newly inserted Section 88-B of the Tenancy Act and that newly inserted section applied only to the institutions of public religious worship, and that, therefore, the exemption certificate granted to the applicant under Section 88-B was not at all affected. He also took the view that even after the compromise the relation of the landlord and the tenant continued and, that, thereof, the giving up of the possession of the lands by the petitioner to the respondent and sale of 936 Sq. Meters of the land out of the lands in dispute to the petitioner by the respondent was contrary to Section 64 and that, therefore, separate proceedings under Section 84-C of the Act would be necessary. He also held that it would be open for the tenant if he so desired to take the proceedings for restoration of possession, which he had parted with under the terms of a compromise filed by the parties in the Civil Court. In that view of the matter, the Mamlatdar dropped the 32G proceedings taken by him in Tenancy Case No. 1402. The petitioner, thereafter, filed Tenancy Appeal No. 35 of 1974 before the Deputy Collector, Anand, against the decision of the Mamlatdar, but the Mamlatdar's decision regarding the finding that the sale of 936 Sq; Meters was affected by Section 43 of the Act was modified.

6. The petitioner was aggrieved by the afore-said order passed by the Deputy Collector and filed the revision application before the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal. Before the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal the grievance of the petitioner was that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to take into consideration the factum of compromise between the parties and, that, therefore, the decision of the Civil Court in regard to the said compromise suffers from the vice of inherent lack of jurisdiction.

7. The Revenue Tribunal was not impressed by the aforesaid submission of the petitioner, and ultimately rejected the same. It was also urged before the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal that by virtue of Section 19 of the Devasthan Inam Abolition Act, 1969, the petitioner should be deeded to have continued in possession of the entire survey number and as such his possession should be protected by virtue of Section 19 of the Gujarat Devasthan Inams Abolition Act, 1969. The Revenue Tribunal rejected the second contention, as in view of the Revenue Tribunal, the land in question is not Devasthan land and that Section 19 can only be attracted if the land is Devsthan land. In this view of the matter, the Revenue Tribunal rejected the said contention of the petitioner.

8. It is under these circumstances that the present petitioner has filed this writ petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.

9. Mr. Shaikh, the learned advocate for the petitioner has raised two contentions in course of the hearing of this petition.

(1) That having regard to the facts of the case, the Civil Court had no jurisdiction at all to take into consideration the fact of the compromise arrived at between the petitioner and the respondent trust. In substance, the submission of Mr. Shaikh was that the Civil Court recording the compromise acted without any jurisdiction vested in it and, therefore, it suffers from the vice of inherent lack of jurisdiction. He also urged incidentally that even in a course of proceedings under Section 32G before the Mamlatdar, it was open for the petitioner to challenge the legality of the certificate issued under Section 88B of the Act.

(2) That having regard to Section 19 of the Gujarat Devsthan Inams Abolition Act, 1969 as the possession of the aforesaid survey number was taken from the tenant between 8th March, 1969 and 15th November, 1969 such taking of possession was void under Sub-Sections 4 and 5 of Section 19 of the Gujarat Devasthan Inams Abolition Act, 1969.

10. These were the only contentions raised by Mr. Shaikh in course of the hearing of the present petition and now I propose to deal with the said contentions in order in which they were canvassed before me.

11. In the instant case, it is an admitted position that the respondent Trust was owning the aforesaid land. It is also an admitted fact that the petitioner was the tenant of the aforesaid land. It is also an admitted fact that the necessary certificate under Section 88B of the Act was granted to the respondent-trust on April 1, 1961 by the Assistant Collector, Anand, and the legality or the validity of the certificate was not at all attacked either by preferring an appeal, revision or a writ petition challenging the legality or the validity of the said certificate. It is also an admitted fact that after issuance of the said certificate in favour of the respondent-trust, the trust has filed a civil suit in the civil court, and ultimately, the petitioner and the respondent trust went on litigating upto this Court and on May 23, 1969, it was agreed between the parties that out of the land admeasuring 1 Acre and 8 Gunthas, the petitioner-tenant should retain 936 sq. Mts. of land without any costs or without paying any price to the trust and the balance of the land should be handed over to the respondent-Trust. Accordingly, the respondent-trust was handed over the balance of the land from the aforesaid survey number.

12. In view of the aforesaid admitted facts can it be said that the Civil Court had no inherent jurisdiction to try the suit? In the instant case, the respondent-trust has filed the suit having armed itself with a certificate issued under Section 88B of the Tenancy Act. Once such a certificate is granted, it is clear to my mind, that the trust in question must have been registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950 or the trust is deemed to have been registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950 and the entire income of the land in question was appropriated for the purpose of this trust. Sub-section (2) of Section 88-B also provides that for the purposes of the said section, a certificate granted by the collector, after holding an inquiry, that the conditions to the proviso to Sub-sections (1) are satisfied by any trust shall be conclusive evidence in that behalf. Section 88-B of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948, is in the following terms:

88B. (1) Nothing in the forgoing provisions, except Sections 3, 4B, 8, 9, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10, 10A, 11, 18 and 27 and the provisions of Chapters VI and VIII in so far as the provisions of the said Chapters are applicable to any of the matters referred to in the sections mentioned above, shall apply.

(a) to lands held or leased by a University established by law in the Bombay area of the State Gujarat; and

(b) to lands which are the property of a trust for an educational purpose, a hospital, Panjrapole or Gaushala;

(c) to lands assigned or donated by any person before the 1st day of August 1956 for the purpose of rendering any of the following services useful to the community, namely:

Maintenance of water works, lighting or filling of water throughs for cattle; Provided that

(i) such trust is or is deemed to be registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950, and

(ii) the entire income of such land is appropriated for the purposes of such trust.

(2) For the purpose of this section, a certificate granted by the Collector, after holding an inquiry, that the conditions in the proviso to Sub-section (i) are satisfied by any trust shall be conclusive evidence in that behalf.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-section (1), nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Act shall apply to lands leased for cultivation with the help of sewage, whether before or after the commencement of the Amending Act, 1955 by a local authority in discharge of its duties and functions relating to the establishment and maintenance of a farm for the disposal of sewage under the law which such local authority is constituted.

Thus on a plain reading of Section 88B of the Tenancy Act, it is clear that Section 29 of the Tenancy Act will not apply to cases where a trust wants to obtain possession of its lands from the tenants, who are tilling the lands belonging to the trust. In this view of the matter, when the respondent-trust filed a suit having obtained certificate under Section 88B of the Tenancy Act, can it be said that the Civil Court had no inherent jurisdiction to try the suit? As stated earlier, in the instant case, the legality or the validity of the certificate was not at all attacked by the proper procedure, and hence, the certificate issued under Section 88B of the Act is conclusive evidence in regard to the conditions laid down in the proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 88B of the Tenancy Act. In this view of the matter, it is impossible for me to agree, that in the instant case, when the parties went on litigating upto this Court, the Civil Court had no inherent jurisdiction to try the suit which was filed by the respondent-trust against the petitioner for obtaining possession of the said land. Under the circumstances, there is no merit in the submission made by Mr. Sahikh, that in the instant case, the civil court had no inherent jurisdiction to try the suit in question.

13. But as stated above, it is incidentally urged by Mr. Sahikh that in course of Section 32G inquiry after the compromise between the parties, it was open to the petitioner-tenant even in Section 32G inquiry to attack the legality of the aforesaid certificate for the purpose of reaching a conclusion that the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to try the suit. With respect, it is not possible for me to agree or accept the said submission of Mr. Shaikh. If the petitioner-tenant had any grievance against the certificate issued under Section 88B in the year 1961, the petitioner-tenant could have attacked the legality to attack the same by resorting to proper procedure. In the instant case, the tenant did not question the legality of that certificate by proper procedure as provided in law. Under the circumstances, it is not possible for me to agree with Mr. Sahikh that even in Section 32G inquiry in the year 1961 it was open to the petitioner to attack the legality of the certificate before the Mamlatdar. Under the aforesaid circumstances, there is no merit or substance in the said submission of Mr. Shaikh.

14. The last contention of Mr. Shaikh before me was that on a true reading of Section 19 of the Gujarat Devasthan lnams Abolition Act, 1969, if the respondent Trust had taken possession of part of the aforesaid survey number the taking of such possession is void of Sub-sections (4) & (5) of Section 19 of the Devasthan Inams Abolition Act, 1969. Now in this behalf, it may be stated that it is the finding of the Revenue Tribunal that the lands in dispute are neither Devasthan Inam lands and this categorical finding of the Revenue Tribunal that the land in dispute is not Devasthan Inams land was not attacked on any of the permissible grounds. Under the circumstances, it is not possible for me to agree or accept even this submission of Mr. Shaikh, as there is no merit or substance in the same.

15. In course of the hearing of this petition, Mr. Shaikh placed reliance on the reported decision in Shri Laxminarayan Temple v. Laxman 71, B.L.R. 197. Mr. Shaikh heavily relied on the observations made in this judgment and urged that the trust cannot claim an exemption under Section 88B in respect of lands which had already become the property of its tenants before the right to exemption was acquired by the trust. In this behalf, it may be stated that the trust in the said case was registered after the Tillers' day viz. 1-4-1957. The Trust in that case was registered somewhere on 28th March, 1968. Under the circumstances, on a plain reading of Section 88B of the Tenancy Act, it is clear that the tenant had already become the statutory purchaser of the trust land in that case as the trust was not registered on 1-4-1957 under the Bombay Public Trust Act, nor it was deemed to have been registered as provided in Section 28 of the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950. In this view of the matter the reported decision of the Bombay High Court in Sri Laxminarayan Temple's case (Supra) does not assist the petitioner in any manner whatsoever.

16. Mr. Shaikh also relied on the reported decision of the Bombay High Court in C.C. Devasthan Trust v. P.A. Boske A.I.R. 1977, Bombay, 218; but even this case does not help the petitioner's case because the trust in question was registered after tillers day in the year 1959.

17. This is a clear case where the civil court had the initial jurisdiction to try the suit which was filed by the respondent-trust. The respondent-Trust had filed the suit against the petitioner-tenant to obtain the land in question having obtained the certificate under Section 88B of the Tenancy Act. To such suits there cannot be any bar of jurisdiction by the Civil Court. Section 29 of the Tenancy Act cannot be pressed into service to urge that for the disposal of such suits, the civil court has no jurisdiction. In the instant case, as stated earlier, the legality or the validity of the issuance of the certificate under Section 88B was not challenged by the proper procedure before any of the competent forums. Sub-section (2) of Section 88 of the Tenancy Act in terms provides for purposes of this section, a certificate granted by the Collector, after holding an inquiry, that the conditions in the provision to Sub-section (1) are satisfied by any trust shall be conclusive evidence in that behalf. From the said language employed by the statutory provisions of Section 88B, it is clear to my mind, that in the instant case, the trust must have been registered on the Tiller's Day or deemed to have been registered on the Tillers' Day and that the entire income of the land in dispute was appropriated for the purpose of such trust. In this view of the matter, even examining the submission of Mr. Shaikh, with case and scrutiny, it is impossible for me to take the view, that in the instant case, the Civil Court had no inherent jurisdiction to try the suit in question. For the reasons indicated above, it is impossible for me to take the view, that it was open to the petitioner-tenant to attack the legality of such certificate in a suo motu inquiry under Section 32G of the Tenancy Act.

18. I have also stated in the earlier part of my judgment, that in the instant case, the land in dispute is not Devasthan land and that finding of the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal was not attacked either on the ground of preversity or contrary to the evidence on record or that the same suffers from the view of no evidence. Under said circumstances, the said finding of the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal was perfectly justified in taking the view that Section 19 of the Gujarat Devasthan Inams Abolition Act, 1969 has no application to the land in dispute.

In spite of the aforesaid discussion, 1 have gone through the entire judgment of the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal, and I am convinced, that the Tribunal did function within the statutorily circumscribed limits under Section 76 of the Tenancy Act. The Tribunal had the jurisdiction to decide the points raised by the petitioner-tenant, and I am convinced that in deciding the same, no error in law or of jurisdiction was committed by the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal.

As a result of the aforesaid discussion, I do not see any substance or merit in the petition at all, and hence, the petition is dismissed and the rule is discharged, but having regard to the fact that the petitioner was once a tenant tilling a small piece of land, I make no order as to costs,


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