Decided on March 29,1961

Radha Kinkar Mukherjee Appellant
Beni Kora Respondents


- (1.) This is a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution against an order purported to have been passed under Section 19 of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act. The opposite party applied under the Land Reforms Act for direction upon the owner to deliver his share of paddy and straw or price in lieu thereof. The case of the Petitioner before the Bhagchas Officer was that he came to an arrangement with the Petitioner, Mukherjee, for cultivating his land under the system known as Krishan Bhag. The word Krishan means labourer and the word bhag means share. The system referred to is a system by which, labourer shares the produce. The opposite party before the Bhagchas Officer, i.e, Mukherjee objected, to the jurisdiction of the Bhagchas Officer under the Land Reforms Act. The main question which has been urged before me is whether the Bhagchas Officer had any jurisdiction to entertain the petition under the Land Reforms Act. The Bhagchas Officer decided "I hold that the Plaintiff was Defendant's Krishan in 1364 B.S.'' Then he allowed the relief. The Appellate Officer has considered the matter and has held that the definition of Bargadar in the Land Reforms Act is not exhaustive but is illustrative.
(2.) I have to consider only this aspect of the matter, viz., whether the Bhagchas Officer had any jurisdiction or, in other words, whether this is a dispute which comes within the meaning of the Land Reforms Act. The definition of the word Bargadar under Section 2(2). of the West Bengal Land Reforms Act, 1955, is as follows: Bargadar means a person who under the system generally known as adhibarga or bhag cultivate the land of another person on condition of delivering a share of the produce of such land to that person.
(3.) The ordinary rights of the contracting parties are restricted by the Land Reforms Act. Ordinarily the contract between the owner and the Bargadar is for one year and the contract terminates on the expiry of the agricultural year but the Land Reforms Act provides that in spite of such a contract, the owner will! not be entitled to terminate the contract, except in accordance: with the Act. The legislature made a substantial alteration in the legal position of each. The principle of interpretation in such circumstances is that "Legislative does not intend to makes "substantial alteration in the law beyond what it explicitly "declares either in express words or by clear implication". The case of Ranganathan v. Government of Madras, 1955 2 SCR 374 may be referred to in this connection. Further the legislature refers to the three systems known as Adhi, Barga and Bhag and does not refer to Krishan system. I cannot again hold Krisham system was intended to be included; because the supposed spirit (of law) cannot be given effect to in opposition to the plain language. The case of Ranan Jaya Singh v. Baijnath Singh, 1955 1 SCR 671 may be referred to in this connection. The language used by the legislature in an enactment is the true depository of the legislative intent. The case of Darshan Singh v. State of Punjab, 1953 SCR 319 may be cited as an authority in this connection. That language includes Adhi, Barga and Bhag and not Krishan. Finally, the definition begins with the words "Bargadar "means" and does not say "Bargadar includes''. Therefore, it is very difficult for anyone to say that the definition was an illustrative one. Ordinarily a definition defines and an illustration illustrates. Therefore, unless any definition is clear enough to show that it not merely defines but illustrates and includes others of the same type it is difficult to say that the definition is illustrative.;

Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.