of Karnataka & Anr Vs. Uppegouda & Ors
 INSC 1194 (24
K. Venkataswami, G.B. Pattanaik
O R D
have heard learned counsel for the appellant.
the respondents were served with notice, they do not appear either in person or
appeals by special leave arise from the judgment of the Division Bench of the
Karnataka High Court made on June 20, 1977
in Writ Appeal Nos. 196A and 197 of 1977.
admitted facts are that Sy.No.16 admeasuring 2 acres and 30 gunthas of land of Mattighatta
village belonged to respondent No.2 (hereinafter called, the 'Land Holder').
No.l, Puppegouda was put in possession of the land from the year 1950 as tenant
under a lease for 5 years which was extended from time to time upto 1960.
Renewal of lease deed was executed in 1960 for a further period of 5 years. The
Karnataka Tenancy Act, 1961 came into force protecting the tenancy rights. Land
Reforms (Amendment) Act introducing Section 44 and other provisions came into
force w.e.f. March 1. 1974 abolishing intermediary rights of land- holders and
conferment of permanent rights to the tiller of the soil, i.e., tenant. The
land-holder became entitled to compensation payable under the Act.
is: whether the tenant was continuing in possession as on the date the land
stood vested in the State Government so as to confer title on the tenant? A
Full Bench of the High Court in Balesha Ram Khot & Ors. vs. Land Tribunal, Chikodi
& Ors. [1978(k) KLJ 116] had held that "even if the land was not in
actual possession of the tenant, immediately prior to 1st march, 1974 if it was
tenanted land, it vested in the State Government. That the land could not be
registered in favour of the tenant who was not in actual possession immediately
prior to 1st March, 1974 was not relevant for the purpose of deciding the
question as to whether the land stood vested in the State Government under
Section 44 of the Act".
tenant who was lawfully entitled to cultivate the land personally immediately
prior to the commencement of the Amendment Act, but was wrongfully prevented
from doing so is entitled to registration of occupant under Section 45 of the
Act provides procedure to recover possession from an unauthorised occupant by a
person entitled to such possession (Sections 41, 121 and 129). A tenant who has
been wrongfully or illegally prevented from cultivating the land may request
the land Tribunal to defer consideration of his application till possession is
restored to him and if he recovers possession, he may ask the Tribunal to
proceed with his application.
this case, in view of the fact that the tenant continued in possession of the
land from January 30,
1950 upto 2nd June, 1965 when the Mysore Tenancy Act was in force, it
protected his possession. Sub-section (2) of Tenancy Act reads as under:
any agreement usage or law to the contrary, no tenancy shall be terminated
before the expiry of a period of five years except on the grounds mentioned in
that with the consent of the landlord any tenancy may be terminated by a tenant
before the expiry of a period of five years by surrendering his interest as a
tenant in favour of the landlord." This Court in a recent judgment in P.G.
Eshwarappa vs. M.Rudrappa & Ors.[JT 1996 (8) SC 171] held that ejection of
a tenant under a decree obtained prior to the coming into force of the
Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 had come into force was illegal and that he
was entitled to restitution of the possession illegally taken away from him. It
was held that on the date when the Act had come into force and the tenant was
found to be in possession of the land by operation of sub-section (1) of
Section 22, with a non- obstante clause, the tenant shall not be evicted from
the land held by him except on the grounds enumerated in clauses (a) to (e) of
this case, the land holder has merely asserted that the tenant had surrendered
the land and entries in revenue records were received in support thereof. It is
easy to have the entries made with the assistance of patwari who had exclusive
custody of the records. The object of the Tenancy Act is to protect the tenants
to remain in possession and enjoy it subject to compliance of the provisions of
the Tenancy Act. Contracted tenancy come to an end and statutory tenancy sets
in operation and so he would be liable for ejectment only on proved grounds of
statutory contravention, the entries of revenue records are self serving. There
was no order of a competent authority of eviction of tenant for contravention
of the above mentioned grounds. The proviso, though enables a landlord to
obtain possession on surrender, it must be proved strictly, as several devices
would be used to circumvent the beneficial provision and illiteracy and
ignorance of the tenant would be taken advantage of. There is no proof of
eviction of the tenant. The stand taken by the land-holder is not supported by
legal setting. The High Court committed grave error of low. Accordingly the
judgment of the High Court is not correct in law and stands set aside.
appeals are allowed with no order as to costs.