It is very strange to see that The Income Tax appellate tribunal in New Delhi has understood the implications of Karnataka Land Reforms in below stated words but our Revenue Department Officials are showing intellectual blindness : In M.V. Chandrashekar (Huf) vs Asstt. Cit, Circle 4(1) on 29 September, 2005 Reported in 2006 5 SOT 960 Delhi, As per the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, the purchase of agricultural land by the following persons is prohibited under section 80 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act:
(1) One who is not an agriculturist
(2) One being an agriculturist holds land exceeding ceiling limits (54 acres - 'D' Class land)
(3) One who is not an agricultural labourer
(4) One whose annual income from non-agricultural sources exceeds Rs. 50,000 (earlier the limit was Rs. 12,000) the same has been increased through KLR (2nd Amendment) 1950 Karnataka Act of 1991 with effect from 5-2-1999). New limit 2 lakhs.

In Moulasaheb Lalesaheb Mulla vs Aminsha ILR 1992 KAR 247, It is observed that:- “Therefore, we have independently examined the scope of Section 79A(1) of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act. Under Sub-section (3) thereof acquisition by a person who has assured income of Rs. 12,000/- or more per annum from sources other than agriculture would not be entitled to sustain such acquisition and as such the acquisition would be null and void. Though Sub-sections (3) and (1) read together do convey that impression, such acquisition is not ipso facto null and void. It will become void, only when action is initiated suo moto or on the complaint of others as provided under Section 82 of the said Act and after enquiry being held by the specified officer under Section 83 of the Act if a declaration to that effect is made……………………………….The provisions of the above quoted Section were discussed by this Court in Shivannappa Sidramappa Prantur v. Virupaxappa Allappa Bagi as also in other Judgments referred to above. Under Sections 82 and 83 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, after completion of sale it is incumbent on the village officer and every officer of the revenue, registration and land records to report to the prescribed authority i.e., the Assistant Commissioner of the Division about the transaction in respect of any land which is in contravention of the provisions of this Act, and, it is on such report, the Assistant Commissioner is required to make an enquiry regarding the illegal transaction…………………………… Assistant Commissioner ……………… gets his jurisdiction only when the sale is complete and the illegality is reported under Section 82 of the Act. By implication it is not possible to confer jurisdiction which is not envisaged by the Statute.”

The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka while rendering its decision in the case of Gowtham Tendulkar vs State of Karnataka reported in 2001 (2) Kar LJ 485 has held that provisions of section 79A and 79B results in serious consequences depriving a person of his right to enjoy his property and is in the nature of penalty and that it is obligatory on the part of the Revenue Officer to confirm that requirements of the said provisions are strictly complied with.

In a case before KAT in Manjunath vs The Assistant Commissioner Mysore in APL 400/2009 decided on 21-08-2009 by Hon’ble A. Ramaswamy and N.K. Sudhindra Rao it is observed as follows:- Appellant ………… submitted certificate showing his annual income was 70,000-00………… The Certificate bears the heading Jati / Adaya Pramana Patra and has been issued by the Tahsildar, Mysore Taluk. The Karnataka Land Reforms Act has stipulated that the certificate that the income as assessed to Income Tax under Income Tax Act 1961 should be filed for a period of 5 years preceding the date of sale and the average of five years has to be taken to arrive at a conclusion whether the income is within the stipulated limit or otherwise. The certificate of Tahsildar is of no use as far as the case is concerned”….. “It is pertinent to note that appellant having purchased the lands in question for 11,37,500/- claims that he is an agriculturist and does not account for the income from the agricultural sources bifurcating the same from the non agricultural sources………… It is also necessary to point out that the appellant is silent to mention about the status of the lands in question as on 01-03-1974…………. Not explained the sources of income…….. documents filed by the appellant which is a copy of the declaration U/s 81-A has to be taken into consideration and its validity and relevance to the case on the hand has to be discussed and gone into carefully………. “

The Supreme Court and different High Courts have repeatedly invoked and applied the rule that a person who does not disclose all material facts has no right to be heard on the merits of his grievance - State of Haryana v. Karnal Distillery Co. Ltd. (1977) 2 SCC 431, Vijay Kumar Kathuria v. State of Haryana (1983) 3 SCC 333, Welcome Hotel and others v. State of Andhra Pradesh and others etc. (1983) 4 SCC 575, G. Narayanaswamy Reddy (dead) by LRs. and another v. Government of Karnataka and another (1991) 3 SCC 261, S.P. Chengalvaraya Naidu (dead) by L.Rs. v. Jagannath (dead) by LRs. and others (1994) 1 SCC 1, Agricultural and Processed Food Products v. Oswal Agro Furane and others (1996) 4 SCC 297, Union of India and others v. Muneesh Suneja (2001) 3 SCC 92, Prestige Lights Ltd. v. State Bank of India (2007) 8 SCC 449, Sunil Poddar and others v. Union Bank of India (2008) 2 SCC 326, K.D. Sharma v. Steel Authority of India Ltd. and others (2008) 12 SCC 481, G. Jayshree and others v. Bhagwandas S. Patel and others (2009) 3 SCC 141. When Supreme Court is implementing such principle of law, then false set of material facts disclosed / declared by a person in order to violate the land reforms act should be thrown of this society itself .

LAND REFORMS CASE OF Vijayakumar Shankarayya Sardar vs State Of Karnataka ILR 1993 KAR 2586 Karnataka High Court held that “For proper appreciation of the matter, the provisions of Section 79A of the Act can be read as follows:- "On and from 1st March 1974, no person who or a family or a joint family which has an assured annual income of not less than rupees Fifty thousand (RS TWO LAKH AT PRESENT) from sources other than Agricultural lands shall be entitled to acquire any land whether as land owner, landlord, tenant or mortgagee with possession or otherwise or partly in one capacity and partly in another."

KARNATAKA GOVERNMENT CIRCULAR INSTRUCTIONS IN NO: RD 106 LRA 98 Dt 11-09-1998, Village Accountant…………. should be vigilant and make enquiries immediately. It is his duty under the statue to make a report to the Tahsildar, so that he may hold enquiry and recommend the Assistant Commissioner concerned to initiate action regarding the illegal transaction. But the officials at the lower levels, though making entries in the Revenue records and they are being certified and confirmed by the experienced officer like Revenue Inspector, they are not being reported promptly. They are being reported at a later stage. Thus, the parties are trying to take advantage of it. Further, the K.A.T. has observed collusion between the purchaser of the agricultural land and officials at the lower levels in the Revenue Department. The Karnataka Appellate Tribunal have also come across several cases wherein the parties sell the lands purchased by them when they come to know that there was no acquittal from losing the land for violating the provisions of the Act, so that the purchaser takes benefit of that and prolong the proceedings………………………………………………….. And in this context, the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal have desired that the Revenue Department issue a circular to its officers to ensure that the Village Accountants take entries in R.T.C. regarding initiation of enquiries by the Assistant Commissioner concerned for violation of the provisions of the Act so that it gives a warning to the purchasers……………………………………………………………… The Deputy Commissioners are instructed to fix responsibility on the village Accountants and Revenue Inspectors and take up Departmental Enquiries against them for lapses in this regard……………………………………………. During the proposed workshop of the village Accountants as directed under the Circular No: RD 100 LRA 98, dated: 06-08-1998 rigorous steps should be taken suo moto, for identification of violation cases and intitiate necessary action as per law.

1 comment:

anand said...

respected learned sir
my father is a retired senior karnataka state govt official ( retired 20 years back). he is drawing a pension of 2.4 lakhs per annum. he has inherited 24 acres of land from his father and has been a staunch agricutarist and highly respected personality in village.recently his cousins sold 8 acres of land to him. now the local VA and revenue inspectors have issued notice under sect 79a of KLR act. how should we face it now? dad is old and finds it difficult to go to AC office