Decided on July 12,1979



M.K.SHAH, N.H.BHATT - (1.) . The appellant is the original plaintiff whose suit for a declaration that the partition effected by the plaintiffs father defendant No. 2 on 10th July 1956 under which the suit land came to the share of the plaintiff and that the plaintiff therefore became the landlord of the suit land on and from 10th July 1956 and for a further declaration that defendant No. 1 tenant was not a deemed purchaser of the suit land and the award passed in the proceeding under sec. 32-G of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1948 (the said Act) is illegal and without jurisdiction was dismissed by the learned Second Joint Civil Judge (Senior Division) Baroda the suit being special civil suit No. 184 of 1971.
(2.) Mr. B. H Mehta of the learned Advocate appearing for the appellant plaintiff submits that the lower court erred in dismissing the suit on the ground that it had no jurisdiction. In the submission of Mr. Mehta the jurisdiction of the civil court with regard to the decision of title between the parties is not barred by the provisions of the Tenancy Act. It is true concedes Mr. Mehta that by sec. 32-G of the said Act the question with regard to determination of the price of land to be paid by the tenants who are deemed to have purchased the lands by virtue of the provisions contained in sec. 32 of the said Act is left to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Agricultural Lands Tribunal under the said Act and that by virtue of the provisions contained in sec. 85 of the Act the jurisdiction of the civil court to settle decide or deal with any question which is by or under the Act required to be settled decided or dealt with by the Mamlatdar or the Tribunal Manager Collector Gujarat Revenue Tribunal or the State Government in appeal or revision or the State Government in exercise of the power of control is barred and as provided in sub-sec. (2) no order of the Mamlatdar Tribunal Collector or Gujarat Revenue Tribunal or the State Government made under the Act can be questioned in any civil court or criminal court. But urges Mr. Mehta that bar would not apply to the questions concerning title to properties and the civil courts jurisdiction therefore so far as it relates to the disputed questions of title between the parties with regard to proparties remains unaffected by this provision. In our opinion when the Tribunal has been conferred with the exclusive powers and authority to determine price of land to be paid by tenants who have become the deemed purchasers under sec. 32 of the said Act and when machinery is provided for deciding such questions the Tribunal will have the authority and jurisdiction to go into all questions which are required to be decided for resolving the controversy on the main question viz. determination of the price to be paid by the tenant who has become a deemed purchaser. It may be noted at this stage that in the instant case the plaintiff wanted to take shelter under the provisions of sec. 32F of the said Act on the ground that by virtue of the partition he had become the landlord and as he was a minor the tenants right to purchase land under sec. 32 was in abeyance for the period prescribed by sec. 32-F viz. one year from the- expiry of the period during which the landlord was entitled to terminate the tenancy under sec. 31. In face of this controversy it was absolutely necessary for the Tribunal to enter into and decide the question as to whether the plaintiff was the landlord of the land on which admittedly the first respondent (defendant No. 1) was a tenant or as to whether the plaintiffs father that is defendant No. 2 was the landlord thereof. Unless this question is decided the main question arising under sec. 32-G of fixing the price cannot be decided. The Tribunal has to take all steps necessary for the purpose of deciding the main question and therefore the bar with regard to the jurisdiction of the civil court would operate in the instant case.
(3.) Mr. Mehta cited a couple of authorities in support of his contention that the jurisdiction of the civil court has not to be lightly excluded and that the same was not affected so far as the decision with regard to the question of title was concerned. With regard to the first part of Mr. Mehtas submission there cannot be any dispute. With regard to the second part. the provisions themselves have to be looked into to see if the bar is absolute or partial. There is no universal rule that there cannot be statutory enactment affecting civil courts jurisdiction to try question relating to title. The decisions cited by Mr. Mehta do not apply to the facts of the present case. They refer to cases arising under provisions which are not similar to the provisions with which we are concerned in the instant case. The said cases do not deal with the scope and ambit of the Tribunals jurisdiction under the said Act and the nature of exclusion of civil courts jurisdiction thereunder. The ratio therefore does not apply to the facts of the present case. We will therefore merely mention the decisions cited by Mr. Mehta. They are Bhagwan Dayal etc. v. Mt. Reoti Devi A.I.R. 1962 S.C. 287 and Megiti Sasamal v. Pandab Bissoi and Others A. I. R. 1962 S. C. 547 Some other authorities dealing with other Acts where the revenue authorities concerned were not clothed with exclusive powers were also cited. But they being not applicable in the instant case It is not necessary to refer to them.;

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