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Y.R. Veeranna Vs. State of Karnataka & Ors [1997] INSC 527 (7 May 1997)




THE 7TH DAY MAY, 1997 Present:

Hon`ble Mr. Justice K.Ramaswamy Hon`ble Mr. Justice S.Saghir Ahmad Hon`ble Mr. Justice G.B.Pattanaik G.V.Chandrashekhar and P.P.Singh, Advs.for thePetitioner O R D E R Delay condoned.

Itis anundisputed fact thatthe KarnatakaLand Reforms(Amendment) Acthad come into force with effectfrom March 1, 1974.The petitionerlaid claimed asan occupancy tenant,in respect of13 acres and 24 gunthas of theland situated in K.R. Nagar Taluk,Karnataka District. When he filed application in Form- 7 for recognition of his rights as an occupancy tenant, the Tribunal rejectedhis claim on the ground that his sons werecultivating theland. It was held that since the petitionerhad notbeen cultivating the land, he couldnot file the application inForm-7and, therefore, he was not entitledto be treated as a protected tenant.That order came to be affirmedby the High Court in LRRP No.2179/88 and in C.P. No.499/96on June10, 1996 and January6, 1997. Thus, this special leave petition.

Inview of the fact that a tenant in cultivation is entitled to lay the claim under Section 44 and 48-A of the Karnataka LandReformsAct (for short, the `Act'), on his own admittedlyshowingthat hehad notbeen cultivating the land ,the petitioner's right as occupancy tenant was rightlyrejected. His status is that of the co-owner, Karta of the joint family andas suchon behalf of his sons he had filed it and the sons were cultivating the landon behalf of the family; since this land was obtained ata partition betweenthe petitionerand hisbrotherway back in 1957, it is joint family property. In view of the fact that he is not personallycultivating theland onhis ownshowing, the findingrecorded by the Tribunal and the HighCourt is not vitiated by any manifest error of law. However, due to mistaken standthe application in Form-7 cameto be filed.

He washeld disentitled to theclaim as a protected tenant.

If thesons were really occupying the land as tenants prior to theAmendment Act had comeinto force on March 1, 1974, it maybe opento the sons to make an application in Form-7 and have the matter adjudicated. Thelimitation that has been prescribed in the statute, in the peculiar facts, may not be taken asa ground for rejection of theirclaims.

The special leavepetition are accordingly dismissed with the above observations.


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