THAKORLAL AMARTLAL VAIDYA HOLDER OF POWER OF ATTORNEY OF MAHARAJKUMAR INDRAJITSINHJI Vs. GUJ REV TRIBUNAL
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
THAKORELAL AMRATLAL VAIDYA
GUJARAT REVENUE TRIBUNAL
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(1.) The short question which arises in this petition is whether the heirs of a person who is a deemed tenant under section 4 of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1948 ( hereinafter referred to as the Tenancy Act ) are entitled to inherit the tenancy on the death of such person under the provisions of the Tenancy Act as it stood prior to its amendment by Bombay Act XIII of 1956 or whether the tenancy comes to an end on the death of such person ? Various ingenious arguments have been advanced by Mr. B. G. Thakore learned advocate appearing on behalf of the respondents in support of the contention that the tenancy is heritable but they are all ill-founded and we cannot assent to any of them. On a true construction of the provisions of the Tenancy Act the tenancy is clearly not heritable and we shall briefly indicate our reasons for taking this view but before we do so we may conveniently set out the facts giving rise to the petition.
(2.) The petitioner is the occupant of land bearing Survey No. 1363 situate in village Rajpipla Taluka Nandod District Broach. One Chunilal was at one time a tenant of the petitioner; but he surrendered his tenancy in favour of the petitioner and the surrender being duly verified by the Mamlatdar in accordance with the provisions of the Tenancy Act possession of the land was handed over to the petitioner under an order of the Mamlatdar dated 1st October 1952. The petitioner the after employed one Laskaria the father of respondents Nos. 2 and 3 under a service agreement to work on the land. Laskaria filed Tenancy Application No. 5 of 1953 in the Court of the Mamlatdar Nandod for a declaration that he was a tenant of the land and for an injunction to restrain the petitioner from disturbing his possession of the land. Laskaria contended that he was a contractual tenant of the petitioner but this contention was negatived by the Mamlatdar. The Mamlatdar accepted the case of the petitioner that Laskaria was cultivating the land under a service agreement entered into between him and the petitioner but held that since there was no personal supervision by the petitioner Laskaria was a deemed tenant under sec. 4 of the Tenancy Act. Being aggrieved by the order of the Mamlatdar the petitioner preferred an appeal being Tenancy Appeal No. 28 of 1953 in the Court of the Prant Officer Rajpipla. The Prant Officer also came to the same conclusion namely that Laskaria was not a contractual tenant but was a deemed tenant under sec. 4 of the Tenancy Act and he accordingly upheld the order of the Mamlatdar and dismissed the appeal. The petitioner thereupon carried the matter in revision before the Revenue Tribunal. During the pendency of the Revenue Application Laskaria died on 7th March 1955. The petitioner thereupon applied to bring respondents Nos. 2 and 3 on record as heirs of Laskaria and they were accordingly brought on record as such heirs on 25th August 1955. The Revision Application was thereafter heard by The Revenue Tribunal and the Revenue Tribunal by an order dated 14th September 1955 dismissed the Revision Application. The result was that the order of the Prant Officer declaring Laskaria to be a deemed tenant of the petitioner under sec 4 of the Tenancy Act was confirmed.
(3.) After the Revision Application was rejected by the Revenue Tribunal as mention above the petitioners filed an application in the Court of District Deputy Collector Rajpipla under sec. 84 of the Tenancy Act seeking an order for eviction against respondents Nos. 2 and 3 on the ground that they were in unauthorized or wrongful occupation of the land. Respondents Nos. 2 and 3 contested the application and ultimately obtained an order staying the hearing of the application as a result of proceedings taken right upto the Revenue Tribunal. Respondents Nos. 2 and 3 thereafter filed Tenancy Application No. 199 of 1956 on 7th July 1956 in the Court of the Mamlatdar Nandod for a declaration that they were tenants of the land. There were three grounds on which the claim to be tenants of the land was put forward by respondents Nos. 2 and 3. The first ground was that the tenancy of Laskaria prior to his death was joint family tenancy and that respondents Nos. 2 and 3 were therefore tenants as members of the joint family of Laskaria. The second ground was that after the death of Laskaria respondents Nos. 2 and 3 were accepted as tenants by the petitioner. And the third ground was that the tenancy of Laskaria was heritable property and that on the death of Laskaria respondents Nos. 2 and 3 became tenants of the land as heirs of Laskaria. The Mamlatdar who heard the application came to the conclusion that all the three grounds on which respondents Nos. 2 and 3 claimed to be tenants of the land were well-founded and he accordingly by an order dated 12th July 1957 declared that respondents Nos. 2 and 3 were tenants of the land. The petitioner thereupon carried the matter in appeal and the appeal was heard by the Prant Officer Rajpipla. The Prant Officer took the view that the tenancy of Laskaria was not heritable property but was merely a personal right which came to an end on the death of Laskaria and that respondents Nos. 2 and 3 were therefore. not tenants of the land as heirs inheriting the tenancy of Laskaria. The Prant Officer also found that respondents Nos. 2 and 3 were not accepted as tenants by the petitioner after the death of Laskaria and this ground also therefore did not avail them. The contention that the tenancy of Laskaria was joint family tenancy was also rejected by the Prant Officer. The Prant officer accordingly allowed the appeal and set aside the order of the Mamlatdar. Respondents Nos. 2 and 3 thereupon preferred a Revision Application before the Revenue Tribunal. Before the Revenue Tribunal it was contended that even though Laskaria was a deemed tenant under sec. 4 of the Tenancy Act respondents Nos. 2 and 3 as heirs of Laskaria were entitled to inherit the tenancy on the death of Laskaria and that they were therefore tenants of the land. This contention found favour with the Revenue Tribunal and accepting this contention the Revenue Tribunal came to the conclusion that respondents Nos. 2 and 3 were tenants of the land. The Revenue Tribunal accordingly set aside the order of the Prant Officer and restored that of the Mamlatdar It is this decision of the Revenue Tribunal which is challenged before us in the present petition.;
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