HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
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P.S. Malvankar, J. -
(1.) The dispute in this petition relates to the land Survey No. 283 admeasuring 2 acres and 33 gunthas situate in the village of Nagardevale in Taluka and District Ahmednagar. The petitioner is a tenant -original applicant, while respondent No. 1 is the landlord -original opponent. It is common ground that since 1952 respondent No. 1 is blind and, therefore, he is a disabled person. He applied under Sec. 88C of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 (hereinafter called "the Act"), and obtained a certificate, and thereafter Bled an application for possession of the land under Sec. 33B of the Act when still he was blind. Admittedly, even today he is blind. The application was granted by the Tenancy Court which passed an order for delivery of possession of half of the land to him. The petitioner -tenant, aggrieved by that order, went in appeal to the Deputy Collector who allowed the appeal on March 17, 1964, set aside the order of the Tenancy Court and dismissed the application of the present respondent No. 1. This order became final as it was not appealed against by the present respondent No. 1.
(2.) However, proceedings were started under Sec. 33C of the Act suo motu by the Agricultural Lands Tribunal. The Agricultural Lands Tribunal found that the present petitioner -tenant did not give any notice of purchase to respondent No. 1 -landlord and, therefore, forfeited his right to purchase. The Tribunal, therefore, passed an order that the land should be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Sec. 32P of the Act. The petitioner filed an appeal against this order before the Collector, but the Collector also took the same view and dismissed the appeal. Thereafter, the petitioner went in revision before the Maharashtra Revenue Tribunal and the Revenue Tribunal also confirmed the order passed by the Collector holding that the petitioner had forfeited his right to purchase because he did not give notice of purchase to respondent No. 1 -landlord. While passing this order, the Revenue Tribunal has observed thus in its judgment:
The landlord is a disabled person within the meaning of Sec. 33B and he is a certificated landlord. He did apply under Sec. 33B and failed in obtaining the possession of the land for his personal cultivation. Thus the right to purchase the land accrued to the tenant and he was entitled to exercise his right within one year from the date on which the landlord's application under Sec. 33B was finally decided, in accordance with the provisions of proviso to sub -section (4) of Sec. 33C. According to the proviso to sub -section (3) of Sec. 33C, where the tenancy is terminated by a certificated landlord and application for possession is made in accordance with the provisions of sub -section (4) of Sec. 33B, the tenant shall, within one year from the date on which such application is finally decided, be entitled to purchase the land which he is entitled to retain in possession after such decision. Within one year from the decision of the landlord's application under Sec. 33B the tenant was entitled to purchase the land. Sub -section (4) of Sec. 33C further lays down that: -
An excluded tenant desirous of exercising the right conferred on him under sub -section (3) shall accordingly inform the landlord and the Tribunal in the prescribed manner within the period of one year during which he is entitled to exercise such right under sub -section (3).
The proviso to Sec. 33C clearly lays down that the tenant has to exercise his right and inform the landlord and the Tribunal within the period of one year during which he is entitled to exercise his right under sub -section (3). It is thus evident from the provisions of sub -section (4) that the tenant had to exercise his right.
(3.) Later on, at the end of para. 5, the Revenue Tribunal has observed Thus: -
In the present case, the tenancy was terminated by the certificated landlord and he had filed a suit for possession under Sec. 33B read with Sec. 29 and hence the provisions of proviso to sub -section (3) of Sec. 33C only will apply to this case. Both the lower Courts have thus correctly held that the tenant has lost the right to purchase the land.
It would thus be seen that while confirming the order passed by the Collector, the Tribunal also took the view that the petitioner's case comes under the proviso to sub -section (3) of Sec. 33C and, therefore, it was necessary for him to give the intimation to the landlord as provided for by sub -section (4) of Sec. 33C of the Act. Being aggrieved by this order of the Revenue Tribunal, the petitioner has come to this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.;
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