Decided on October 30,1969


Referred Judgements :-



- (1.)The Jamkhandi Municipality constituted under the Bombay District Municipal Act, 1901, is the defendant No.1 in the suit out of which this RSA.662/65 from RA.58/64 Civil Judge, Bijapur. second appeal arises. That was a suit brought by the plaintiff for an injunction restraining the Municipality froni disturbing her possession and enjoyment of the suit property and from creating a fresh lease in respect of it. It is admitted that there was a lease of the suit property by the Municipality to the plaintiff on the 6th of June 1957. The term of that lease was five years and on its expiry, the Municipality purported to terminate the lease by a notice issued in that regard and announced a sale of the lease right by public auction. It was at that stage the plaintiff brought her suit.
(2.)It was asserted by the plaintiff that under S. 4B o'f the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, it was not within the competence of the Municipality to terminate the lease in her favour merely on the ground that the term of the lease had expired and that she had a right to continue to be in possession of the property. But the Municipality contended that the provisions of BT. & AL. Act do not govern the lease granted by it and that in any event the suit which was not preceded by the issue of a notice under S.167A of the Bombay District Municipal Act was not maintainable.
(3.)It was also maintained by the Municipality that the jurisdiction to decide the question whether the land was agricultural land so as to attract the provisions of the BT. & AL. Act did not reside in the Civil Court and that that issue had to be referred to a Tenancy authority under S.85A of the BT. & AL. Act. The Courts below repelled these defences to the suit and gave the plaintiff the decree which she wanted and so the Municipality appeals. It is abundantly clear that the argument advanced on behalf of the Municipality that the Courts below had no jurisdiction to decide whether the land was agricultural land is without substance. S.88B of the BT. & AL. Act exempts leases granted by a local authority from all the provisions of that Act other than those expressly enumerated in that section, which reads :
"88B: Nothing in the foregoing provisions except Ss. 3, 4B, 8, 9, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10, 10A, 11, 13 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 local authority, or a University established by law in the pre-Reorganisation State o'f Bombay, excluding the transferred territories: S. 85 which prohibits a Civil Court from exercising jurisdiction in respect of questions which could be decided by the tenancy authorities constituted under the Act and S.85A, which insists on a reference of those issues by the Civil Court to such tenancy authorities are not among those sections expressly enumerated in S. 88B and so have no application to a lease granted by a local authority. That being so, although under the provisions of BT. & AL. Act, the question whether a land is an agricultural land could be decided only by the concerned tenancy authority and that question if it arose before a Civil Court could not be decided by it, but has to be referred to a tenancy authority, that prohibition to the exercise of jurisdiction by a Civil Court in that sphere does not extend to & lease granted by a local authority. The Courts below were, in my opinion, therefore right in reaching the conclusion that they had the jurisdiction to' decide that issue and their finding was that the land was an agricultural land so as to attract the attention of BT. & AL. Act. That finding being, a finding on a pure question of fact, is not open to discussion by the Court.


Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.