Decided on April 23,1969


Cited Judgements :-



- (1.)The petitioners in the several Civil Revision Petitions are ryots in possession of ceitain items of land under ''permanent Jeroyati pattas" granted to them by the agraharamdars of Billapadu under registered deeds, dated 8th November, 1917. By these deeds permanent Jeroyati rights were created in favour of the ancestors of the petitioners, who paid premium at the rate of Rs. 150 per acre and further agreed to pay cist at the rate of Rs. 10 per acre every year. One of the terms of the grant was that if the ryots failed to pay cist it would be recoverable with interest at the rate of one rupee per cent per month. It was also further provided that if ryots committed default of payment of cists for two years the agraharamdars would have the right to evict them after giving notice of one month. In 1964 the agraharamdars filed petitions under section 13 of the Andhra Tenancy Act for eviction of the ryots alleging that they had committed default of payment of rent. The ryots contended that they had permanent occupancy rights, that the agraharamdars were not landlords within the meaning of section 2 (f) of the Andhra Tenancy Act and that the Act did not apply to them. They also pleaded that the alleged default committed by them was due to ths fact that they paid the cist to Government in pursuance of a notification under the Rent Reduction Act. Both the Tahsildar and the Revenue Divisional Officer hold that agraharamdars were landlords within the meaning of the Act and that the ryots were liable to be evicted for default of payment of rent. They, therefore, ordered Eviction of the ryots. These orders of eviction are now questioned in these Civil Revision Petitions and the principal submission of Mr. Ramalingeswara Rao is that the Andra Tenancy Act has no application to cases where ryots possess permanent tenancy rights. Mr. Venkatarama Sastri, learned Counsel for the respondent contends that the agraharamdars are landlords as defined in the Andhra Tenancy Act since, under the terms of the pattas granted by them, they possessed the right to evict ryots on the ground of default of payment of rent. He therefore contends that the provisions of the Andhra Tenancy Act are applicable.
(2.)In order to apprecrate the rival contentions it is. necessary to refer to tome of the provisions of the Andhra Tenancy Act. The Statement of objects and reasons and the preamble to the Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Tenancy Act, 1956 show that the Act is conceived in the interests of tenants in possession of land and passed with the avowed object of protecting tenants from unjust eviction and securing for them security of tenure. It is certainly not meant to enlarge the rights of the landlords.
(3.)Section 2 (c) defines cultivating tenant' as meaning ' a person who cultivates by his own labour........any land belonging to another under a tenancy agreement, express or implied...... ' The expression' tenancy agreement' is not defined but it is necessary to find out its true meaning by referring to other provisions of the Act. Section 2 (f) defines 'landlord' as meaning ' the owner of a holding......who is entitled to evict the cultivating tenant from such holding......" Section 3 to 9 deal with rent, maximum rent, fair rent, remission of rent, etc. Section 10 (1) provides that the minimum period of every lease entered into after the commencement of the Act shall be six years. Section 10 (2) provides that all tenancies and tenancy agreements subsisting on the date of commencement of the Act shall continue for a period of six years or until the expiry of the lease in the normal course, which ever is later. Section 10 (3) provides for resumption by the landlord of the land from the tenant after ' such termination ' without any notice and for obtaining possession through the Tahsildar if the tenant fails to surrender possession. The words 'such termination' refer to the termination of the period of six years or the pariod of lease whichever is later. Section 10 makes it clear that the tenancy agreement contemplated by the Act is a lease for a definite period, whether it is six years or more, which will enable the landlord to resume the land on the expiry of the period.

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