AMMINI Vs. TAHSILDAR ALAIHUR
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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(1.) THE order impugned in this writ application is Ext. P-2 passed by the authority functioning under S. 38 of the Kerala Land Reforms act, 1963. S. 38 of that Act provides for remission of rent when there has been a failure of of damage to crops. THE second respondent made an application, dated 24th July 1961 under s. 23 of Act IV of 1961, the predecessor enactment to Act I of 1964, stating that there has been damage to or failure of crops in part of the holding of which he was the tenant of the writ applicant. For some reason, which is not clear, no notice of this application was given to the writ applicant till May 1963. By that time, Act IV of 1961 had been replaced by Act 7 of 1963. THE petitioner then moved this Court in O. P. 1807 of 1963 and contended inter alia that the application for remission of rent should not be permitted to be proceeded with in view of the supersession of Act IV of 1961 by Act 7 of 1963. By the time the writ application was heard even Act 7 of 1963 ceased to be on the statute book, that statute having been replaced by Act I of 1964. Nevertheless, I dismissed the writ application and directed an enquiry on the question of remission of rent on the basis of the provisions of Act I of 1964. Consequently, the order impugned Ext. P-2, was passed.
(2.) THE argument that the application should not have been proceeded with is repeated before me in this writ application as well. THE contention is that the rules framed under Act I of 1964 contemplated procedure which was impossible to follow after the disposal of the writ application, 1807 of 1963 by order in November 1964, and therefore the only course open was to dismiss the petition. I am not impressed by this argument. An enquiry as far as it was possible under the provisions of Act IV of 1961 and the rules framed thereunder was not only permitted but was even directed by me in my judgment in o. P. No. 1807 of 1963. I could not possibly have meant that a fresh report must be called for in the year 1964 in regard to an alleged failure or damage that took place as early as 1961. THE rules under the present Act have been complied with to the extent to which it was possible to comply with those rules. THEre was already a report in the record, called for in accordance with the provisions that were in force at the time when the report was called for. That report has been made use of, I see no infirmity in this procedure.
Nor can I give to S. 38 of Act IV of 1961 the limited meaning that counsel for the petitioner contends for. According to him, the general law permitted, if at all, only a remission of rent in cases where there has been failure or damage of the entire crop in a tenancy and though Act I of 1964 specifically provided for the provisions thereof to override other provisions or other law, as far as possible, the provisions must be interpreted as being in consonance with the general law. So notwithstanding S. 127 of Act 1 of 1964 and S. 14 of Act 7 of 1963, I am asked to interpret S. 36 as only envisaging a reduction in rent in cases where there has been a general failure or damage to crop. In other words, the argument is, that the failure or damage must pertain to the entire holding. I am not satisfied that a partial damage to, or partial failure of, crops, resulting from some part of the holding being affected by adverse condition will not fall under the section. I see no warrant for such an interpretation being placed under S. 38. The section uses the expression that the extent of the damage or failure should be ascertained. The failure or damage can be a general one or may pertain only to a part of the holding. I therefore reject this contention.
I am not satisfied that there has been any violation of natural justice or that the petitioner has been denied a reasonable opportunity in proving her case. I dismiss this writ application. There will be no order as to costs. Dismissed.;
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