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BURDEN OF PROOF IN AGRICULTURAL TENANCY MATTER

SUPREME COURT IN NARASAMMA VS STATE OF KARNATAKA (2009) Taking into consideration the findings of fact on the question of possession arrived at by the High Court as well as the Land Tribunal that the appellants were in cultivatory possession of the land in dispute and considering the admission made by the landlord/respondent in earlier recovery proceedings relating to arrears of rent that the appellants were tenants in respect of the land in dispute and considering the fact that on the relevant date of coming into force of the Act, viz., on 1st of March, 1974, the appellants were in possession of the land in dispute, it is conclusively established the appellants were tenants in respect of the land in dispute and the entries in the Record of Rights clearly show that the appellants were in continuous possession of the land in dispute and the nature of cultivation was gutha (rent) and further, in the absence of any material produced by the respondent to show that in fact the appellants were not tenants in respect of the land in dispute, the appellants had acquired occupancy right in respect of the land in dispute. ………….. The onus was on the respondent to show by producing material that the appellants had not acquired any status of occupancy right although they were found to be in continuous possession of the land in dispute. Since the respondent had failed to produce any material or document to prove that the appellants had not acquired any status in respect of the land in dispute and had failed to show that the entries in the Record of Rights were wrong, there is no ground to reject the claim of the appellants for conferring status of occupancy right holder in respect of the land in dispute. …………… The entries in the revenue record cannot create any title in respect of the land in dispute, but it certainly reflects as to who was in possession of the land in dispute on the date the name of that person had been entered in the revenue record. …………. The name of the appellants should be registered as an occupancy right holder in respect of the land in dispute. Accordingly, the application of the appellants for recording their names as occupancy right holders in respect of the land in dispute shall stand allowed.

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CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS