Case Name: Smt. Jayamma vs. State of Karnataka
Case No.: Writ Petition No. 6872/2013(KLR)
Coram: Justice S.N. Satyanarayana, Justice B. Veerappa and Justice K. Natarajan
It is the case of the petitioners that they are in possession and enjoyment of property bearing Sy.no.161 measuring 2 acres 10 guntas situated at Begur Village and Hobli, Bengaluru South Taluk and the said land is Service Inam land, out of which, 30 guntas was re-granted in the name of one Pillappa the grandfather of petitioner attached to the office and remaining 1 acre 20 guntas was purchased by Smt. Pillamma the grandmother of the petitioner was measuring 8 acres 10 guntas which was a Service Inam land attached to Neeraganti office of Begur Village. Several applicants applied for re-grant of the said land before the Tahsildar and the Tahsildar by the order 14.3.1995 declared the rights of the parties in respect of the said land.
The 4th respondent also filed an application for re-grant of the land of Sy.No.162 of Begur Village, but he did not claim any right or title over the land in question i.e., Sy.No.161 and hence, he was granted 30 guntas, The grandfather of petitioner Nos. 2 to 4 by name Pillappa was the occupant of 30 guntas of land in Sy.No.161. Apart from the same, the grandmother of petitioner Nos. 2 to 5 – Pillamma, wife of Pillappa had purchased 1 acre 20 guntas of land in Sy.No.161 from one chikkanagappa under a registered Sale Deed dated 22.6.1955. Hence, the petitioners are having interest to an extent of 2 acres 10 guntas in Sy.No.161 i.e., 1 acre 20 guntas purchased by grandmother and 30 guntas under-occupancy rights granted in favour of their grandfather Pillappa.
- The revenue authorities viz., the Tahsildar, Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner have no jurisdiction to decide the title dispute between the parties in respect of the immoveable property/properties.
- It is the exclusive domain of the competent Civil Court to adjudicate the dispute/title in respect of the immoveable property/properties and ultimately if any decree to be passed by Section 153 the competent Civil Court will be binding on the parties as well as the revenue authorities in the State.
- Any order passed by the jurisdictional Tahsildar under the provisions of Section 129 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act touches the title in respect of the immoveable properties, there is no need for the aggrieved party to file an appeal/revision before the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner as it is a futile exercise and therefore, the aggrieved party can straightaway approach the competent Civil Court for declaration of title and consequential relief and the judgment and decree to be passed will be binding on the parties as well as the Revenue Authorities.
- Any person aggrieved by the order passed by the jurisdiction Tahsildar exercising powers under the provisions of Section 129 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act regarding entries based on the source of title and if there is no dispute with regard to title, then only an appeal/revision can be filed before the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner under the provisions of Section 136(2) and 136(3) of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act.
In view of the procedure of filing an appeal/revision before the Assistant Commissioner, and prolonging the matters either by the Authorities or the Officers for their protocol or executive work, the following recommendations are suggested to the State Government for framing proper Rules with regard to disposal of the case in a time bound manner:
- In case any application is filed for transfer of Mutation or Khatha or RTC, based on the source of title without there being any dispute, the said application shall be considered for transfer of mutation or Khatha or RTC, within a period of three months from the date of receipt of notice by the other side.
- As soon as the application is filed for change of entries, khatha or mutation, at the first instance, the Tahsildar shall have to verify whether there is any dispute with regard to title in respect of the property in question and then, the Tahsildar can direct the parties to approach the competent Civil Court.
- Aggrieved by the orders passed by the Tashildar, if an appeal/revision is filed before the Assistant Commissioner , Deputy Commissioner, then the Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner shall take necessary steps to dispose of the appeal/revision within six months from the date of filing of such revision after service of notice on the other side
- If the authorities are not in a position to adhere to the time fixed, then cogent reasons must be aspired by the concerned Officer and in case, if there is a delay of more than three months for transfer of mutation, khatha and entries, the Tahsildar shall record the reasons for the delay and submit to the higher Authorities.
- In case, if there is delay in disposing of the appeal by the Assistant Commissioner, he has to submit the reasons to the Deputy Commissioner and if the Deputy Commissioner in disposing off the revision, he has to submit the reasons to the Secretary to the Revenue Department and ultimately, the higher authorities shall ensure speedy disposal of the proceedings.
- Consideration of application for change of Khatha or Mutation/Entries and appeals/revisions under the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, shall be included in the schedule to the Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Act 2011.
- The Government with an object of ensuring speedy disposal of revenue cases including RRT proceedings has to implement Revenue Court Case Monitoring System (RCCMS) and the same should be implemented in all the revenue matters in letter and spirit of the said system.
- As soon as any application is filed for change of khatha entries, mutation, the Tahsildar should verify whether the dispute pertains to title or inheritance of properties or revenue entries or Karnataka Land Revenue Act, Inams Abolition Act, PTCL Act, survey work or incidental thereto and be specified within 30 days from the date of receipt of notice by the opposite party.
- The State Government shall take appropriate steps to constitute the High Level Committee chaired by the Principal Secretary, Department of Revenue and other Officers concerned with the object of monitoring and reviewing the system which is in place and to update the entire process in order to ensure speedy disposal of revenue cases.
- The State Government shall direct the concerned Revenue Officers to hold meetings every month under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner of the District to monitor various issues including progress of the revenue cases.
- The State Government shall also direct the Regional Commissioners to conduct periodical meetings of the Revenue Officers for reviewing progress of the cases.
- The State Government shall constitute a Committee under the Chairmanship of a retired Judicial Officer of the cadre of District Judge to review the orders passed by the Revenue Courts randomly and to make appropriate recommendations for the Government.
- The State Government shall take necessary steps to appoint the Tahsildars-Revenue Court, Assistant Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners only as Appellate Authority and Revisional Authority exclusively for revenue cases without assigning any protocol or executive work to them.
- The State Government shall take necessary steps to amend the Rules as suggested by us in order to provide speedy justice to the general public at large within a period of six months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
- With the above declarations, recommendations and directions, the registry is directed to place the matter before the learned Referral Judge, after obtaining necessary orders from the Hon’ble Chief Justice.
Edited by Vartika Gajendra Singh
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje