Decided on August 11,1971



Vaidya, J. - (1.)The petitioner is the owner of wet lands of the extent of Ac. 35-39 cents in Raparthi village. Pithapuram Taluk, East Godavari District. He leased out the said lands to respondents 3 and 4 for a cist of Rs 8000/- for the year 1968-69 which was paid to him in advance. Respondents 3 and 4 took possession of the lands and carried on cultivation. On 19/12/1968 they filed A.T.P No. 36 of 1968 in the Court of the Deputy Tahsildar, Pithapuram, under Section 8 of the Andhra Tenancy Act, 1956, hereinafter referred to as "The Act", praying for remission the cist for the year 1968-69 on the ground that due to want of rains in proper time the whole of the lands was left untransplanted though they raised seed-beds of paddy and tilled the lands. The petitioner contested the said petition that Section 8 was inapplicable to the case as the cist had been paid in advance and no rent was due from the tenants. He also stated that though respondents 3 and 4 had averred in the application that the whole land could not be cultivated in any way, they in their evidence before the Deputy Tahsildar stated that after the seedlings of paddy have withered away, they had raised jawar crop in the schedule lands and after the jawar crop also withered away, they raised Bengalgram and gingelly crops. According to the petitioner, respondents 3 and 4 had to say so because of the provision in the Explanation to Section 8 of the Act that a land-holder is entitled to the collection of the whole of the cist in case the tenants are negligent in the cultivation of the lands. The petitioner also raised a ground that the application was not served on him 15 days prior to the cutting of the crops and as such no relief can be given to respondents 3 and 4 under Section 8 of the Act. The Deputy Tahsildar did not accept the contentions of the petitioner and granted a remission of Rs. 4000.00 to respondents 3 and 4. The petitioner then filed an appeal. T.A No. 15 of 1969, before the Revenue Divisional Officer, Kakinada, who confirmed the decision of the Deputy Tahsildar without adverting to the evidence and the material on record. The petitioner, therefore, prays for a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Revenue Divisional Officer dated 5/09/1969, confirming the order of the Deputy Tahsildar dated 20/03/1969.
(2.)The contentions raised before us in this writ petition are: (1) Section 8 of the Act is inapplicable to cases where the rent has been paid by the tenants in advance because a remission can be granted only in cases where the rent is to be paid and has not been paid by the tenant. (2) The decision of the Deputy Tahsildar that respondents 3 and 4 are entitled to a remission under Section 8 of the Act is based on no evidence. The Revenue Division a Officer has not at all adverted to the evidence and the material on record and without doing so, has merely confirmed the order of the Deputy Tahsildar. The orders therefore of both the lower authorities are not sustainable in law.
(3.)In order to appreciate the contention in regard to Section 8 of the Act, it is necessary to read the said section:
"Where there has been a total partial failure of crops in any year due to widespread calamities such as cyclone, draught or flood, the cultivating tenant may make an application to the Tahsildar for the remission of the rent due by him and the Tahsildar shall, after making an inquiry, in the manner prescribed, order such remission of rent as he may consider just in the circumstances of the case. Every such application shall be made at least fifteen days before the crop is cut and removed, and a copy of such application shall also be served on the landlord by the cultivating tenant. Explanation: Any neglect or failure on the part of the cultivating tenant to raise any crop shall not disentitle the landlord to the collection of the rent due."


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