Decided on March 20,1980

Krishnarao Govind Rao Shinde and Another Appellant
State of M.P. and Others Respondents


K.K. Dube, J. - (1.)THE short question that arises for consideration in this petition is whether the Gwalior Dairy Ltd., was holding the lands as a Government lessee as laid down by section 181 of the M. P. Land Revenue Code, 1959, (hereinafter referred to as 'the Code') and, consequently, could be evicted under section 182 of the Code from such holding.
(2.)THE Gwalior Dairy Ltd., was incorporated in 1942 under the Gwalior Companies Act and it is undisputed that it is deemed to have been incorporated under the Indian Companies Act. The company obtained two leases from the erstwhile State of Gwalior. The lease was given of plots No. 4 -A south, 4 -A north and 7 -A, the whole land admeasuring 104 acres, and a second lease of land bearing Plot Nos. 1 -A, 2 -A, 3 -A, 5 -A, 6 -A, 1 -B, 2 -B, 3 -B, 4 -B, 5 -B and 6 -B near Hanuman Temple and the plot of land between Sonrekha and its tributary admeasuring 391.05 acres were also given. To start with, the lease of the land admeasuring 104 acres mentioned above was for one year, but subsequently the period was extended to 10 years. The other lands were leased out for a period of 25 years from 1 -7 -1942. On the expiry of the lease, the Additional Collector, Gwalior, started proceedings for taking possession of the land under section 182 of the Code. By his order dated I -10 -1977 the Additional Collector ordered eviction of the company from the land. It appears, symbolic possession was also taken by the State Government, but it is also clear from the record that the Company is in actual possession of the land. The Government has been accepting rent from the company. The fact that it is in actual possession is beyond dispute, as it has been pointed out that by an order of the High Court a receiver has been appointed to manage the affairs of the company and also the property held by the Company. The petitioners seek to challenge the order of the Additional Collector as being illegal and without the authority of law. The Gwalior Dairy Ltd., had instituted a suit in the Court of Additional District Judge, Gwalior, being Civil Suit No. 14 of 1960 [Gwalior Dairy Ltd. v. United States of Indore, Gwalior and Malwa (Madhya Bharat)] for a declaration that the company held the land as a pucca tenant and for permanent injunction restraining the Government from interfering with its possession of the land. The Additional District Judge dismissed the suit holding, inter alia that the Gwalior Dairy Ltd., was not a gair Mourusi tenant of the land in question. Accordingly, the Gwalior Dairy could not become a pucca tenant of the land under the provisions of the M. B. Land Revenue and Tenancy Act, Samvat 2007 (Act No. 66 of 1950) (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act 66 of 1950'). The Additional District Judge remarked in passing, that the Gwalior Dairy was inducted as a simple tenant as defined in section 2 (27) of the Kanoon Mal, Gwalior State. It would now be a Government lessee under section 181 of the Code, entitled to rights and liabilities as enumerated in section 182 of the Code. The Gwalior Dairy cannot be held to be an occupancy tenant under section 185 of the Code, as it had not become an ordinary tenant under Act 66 of 1950. Aggrieved by this order, the Gwalior Dairy preferred an appeal before the High Court. This Court also dismissed the suit of the plaintiff -Gwalior Dairy. This Court summarised the status of the plaintiff vis -a -vis the land held under the leases as under:
the position with regard to the lands in suit, therefore, after they have been occupied by the Government, of erstwhile Gwalior State and comprised of separate 'Mahal', was that they ceased to be 'Zamindari' land and nothing was ever done to settle them on the Ryotwari system or to notify the 'Mahal' in they were comprised to be deemed to be a Ryotwari village. The Zamindari Abolition Act did not apply to these lands by reason of the fact that since long before the date, when that Act came into force all proprietary rights therein had already vested in the State." The High Court further observed: -

No analogy can be drawn between leases covered by the Notification and the special leases granted in the present case to the plaintiff....

..The special leases granted by the erstwhile Gwalior State in respect of such lands as had been acquired for a public purpose, namely, construction of a sewage system, were governed not by any law for the time being in force but by the terms of the lease in each case.... To these lands the provisions of the Zamindari Abolition Act did not apply, since they were already held by the State when that Act came into force.

(3.)A preliminary objection has been raised by the respondents as to the maintainability of the petition at the instance of the share -holders. It may be stated that the petitioners are two share -holders of the Gwalior Dairy Ltd., and after the Company lost cases before the Revenue Tribunals, it has come before this Court challenging some of the orders apprehending that if that was not done, the company will be liquidated. The preliminary objection further goes on that the share -holders have no authority to maintain the petition. The management of the company has not taken any action to challenge the various orders of the revenue tribunals. On the contrary, the managing director Shri M. R. Phalke, had acceded to in taking over the company's lands by the Government.

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