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HISTORY OF PROTECTION OF AGRICULTURAL TENANTS IN KARNATAKA

Lakshminarayana Hariyachar vs Divisional Commissioner ILR 1986 KAR 532 Bench: Puttaswamy, J Mahendra J “The Tenancy Act enacted in 1952 to regulate the relationship of landlords and tenants of agricultural lands, impose restrictions on the transfer of agricultural lands and incidental provisions came into force at any rate from 1-1-1954 in the entire old Mysore area. From this very brief survey, it is apparent that agricultural tenancies in old Mysore area even where they had their origin in contracts were regulated by the 1952 Act. The Act seriously interfered with the rights of landlords in collecting agreed rents, forfeiting tenancies, interfering with the cultivation of tenants and dispossessing them except under and in accordance with the provisions made therein. ……………. The Mysore Tenancy Act, 1952 was not a temporary measure. But, still the State with the avowed object of safeguarding possession of tenants and preventing their evictions before enacting comprehensive Land Reforms legislation first enacted the Mysore Tenancy (Amendment and Continuance of Tenancies) Act, 1957 (Karnataka Act 16 of 1957) prohibited evictions and dispossession of tenants till the period specified in Section 4 of that Act, which was extended till 30-6-1966 by Acts 17 of 1959, 4 of 1961, 33 of 1961 and 12 of 1963 enacted from time to time. We will hereafter refer to these Acts as the 1957 Act Section 142(1A) of the LR Act introduced by Act No. 14 of 1965 protects those tenants protected by 1957 Act from eviction and dispossession except in accordance with that Act. Before the expiry of the period stipulated in the 1957 Act, the State enacted the LR Act as Act No. 10 of 1962. The LR Act came into force from 2-10-1965 (vide S.O. No. 3166 dated 13-9-1965). The LR Act, a uniform law was enacted to regulate agrarian relations, conferment of ownership on tenants, ceiling on land holdings and for other matters incidental to those objects………………….. Section 4 of the LR Act is a virtual reproduction of Section 4 of the 1952 Act Section 5 of the LR Act prohibits the creation of new tenancies from the appointed day except those that are permitted. Section 14 of the LR Act provides for resumption of lands by landlords in the specified circumstances. ………… Section 22 of the LR Act providing for two more grounds for eviction of tenants is a virtual reproduction of Section 15 of the 1952 Act. ……….. Section 14 of the original Act providing for resumptions by landlords for bona fide and other specified purposes was omitted from 1-3-1974.”

Smt. Bakulabai vs Shidaraya AIR 1973 Mys 134, (1973) 1 MysLJ, H.B. Datar, J. “In order to appreciate the respective contentions raised by the parties in this revision petition, it would be necessary to refer briefly to certain provisions of the Mysore Land Reforms Act. Section 14 (1) of the Act entitles the landlord to make an application for resumption of land from the tenants. On the application being filed, the court is required to direct an enquiry and "determine the land or lands" which the landlord will be entitled to resume, and shall issue a certificate to the landlord to the effect that the land or lands specified in such certificate have been reserved for resumption and thereupon the right to resume possession shall be exercisable only in respect of the lands specified in such certificate and shall not extend to any other land.”

Basavanneppa Sangappa vs Rajasaheb Mahammadahnif Saheb AIR 1964 Kant 43, AIR 1964 Mys 43 Mysore Tenants (Temporary Protection from Eviction) Act 1961 which came into force on December 30, 1961. Section 3 of that Act prohibits the eviction of a tenant notwithstanding anything contained in any law, decree or order of a civil or revenue Court or of a Tribunal during the period that temporary Act remains in force. ………. If the law which the State Legislature has made within its own legislative field forbids the eviction of a tenant for however temporary a period, it would, I think, be futile for any landlord during that period to ask us to make an order for that eviction which is temporarily banned by legislation. To take an order for eviction in that situation would he to authorise something which a landlord is forbidden from doing so, and it is clear that our jurisdiction should not be exercised in that way. 

Supreme Court reported in case of State of Karnataka and Anr. v. Uppegouda and Ors. 1997( 3 )SCC 593 wherein it has been held that "The object of Tenancy Act is to protect the tenants to remain in possession and enjoy it subject to compliance of the provisions of the Tenancy Act. Contracted tenancy comes to an end and statutory tenancy sets in operation and so he would be liable for ejectment only on proved grounds of statutory contravention, the entries of revenue records are self-serving. There was no order of a competent authority of eviction of tenant for contravention of the above-mentioned grounds. The proviso, though enables a landlord to obtain possession on surrender, it must be proved strictly, as several devices would be used to circumvent the beneficial provision and illiteracy and ignorance of the tenant would be taken advantage of. It is easy to have the entries made with the assistance of patwari who had exclusive custody of the records. There is no proof of eviction of the tenant. The stand taken by the landholder is not supported by legal setting".

P.G. Eshwarappa vs. M.Rudrappa & Ors. 1996( 6 )SCC 96 held that ejection of a tenant under a decree obtained prior to the coming into force of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961 had come into force was illegal and that he was entitled to restitution of the possession illegally taken away from him. It was held that on the date when the Act had come into force and the tenant was found to be in possession of the land by operation of sub-section (1) of Section 22, with a non- obstante clause, the tenant shall not be evicted from the land held by him except on the grounds enumerated in clauses (a) to (e) of Section 22.

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