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Karsan Ambubhai Sindhav Vs. State of Gujarat [1994] INSC 619 (30 November 1994)

Ramaswamy, K. Ramaswamy, K. Venkatachala N. (J)

CITATION: 1995 SCC (1) 500 1994 SCALE (5)189

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. This appeal by special leave arises from the judgment of the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad in LPA No. 32 of 1980, dated 10-9-198 1.

2. Section 6(3-B) of the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act, 1960 defines 'family' as:

"Where a family or a joint family consist of more than five members comprising a person and other members belonging to all or any of the following categories, namely:

(i) minor son, (ii) widow of a pre-deceased son, (iii)minor son or unmarried daughter of a pre-deceased son, where his or her mother is dead, such family shall be entitled to hold land in excess of the ceiling area to the extent of one-fifth of the ceiling area for each member in excess of five, so however that the total holding of the family does not exceed twice the ceiling area; and in such a case, in relation to the holding of such family, such area shall be deemed to be the ceiling area."

3. It is an admitted fact that the appellant has a minor son and himself constitute the family. The Tribunal, therefore, after excluding the ceiling area of 54 acres, computed 18 acres 23-3/4 gunthas to be excess land. The appellant claimed that his father, mother and other members etc. are residing with him, they are the members of joint family and that, therefore, they are entitled to separate unit, thereby he is not having in excess of the ceiling area. That contention was negatived by the Tribunal as well as by the High Court. It is seen that by operation of the above definition, for the purpose of + From the Judgment and Order dated 10-9-1981 of the Gujarat High Court in L.P.A. No. 32 of 1980 501 ceiling, the computation shall be made only in accordance with the definition given under the Act. In that definition, apart from himself, other members belonging to the family are only his minor son or son of a pre-deceased son and son or daughter of a pre-deceased son where the widow of the predeceased son died. In this case, admittedly, he is having only himself and his minor son constituting the family. His father, mother, brothers and sisters though may be living with him, they are not members of the family much less his joint family and that, therefore, they are not entitled to any additional computation of the area to the extent of 1/5th of the ceiling area for each member in excess of five, so however that the total holding of the family does not exceed twice the ceiling area. Thereby, one unit was given to the appellant of an extent of 54 acres and he is liable to surrender 18 acres 28 (sic 23)-3/4 gunthas which is found to be excessive.

4.The appeal is accordingly dismissed but, in the circumstances, without costs.

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