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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Millions of acres of land of Gujarat farmers will be the biggest impact, the Supreme Court has given a big verdict that

The Gujarat High Court has ruled that the transfer of agricultural land to non-farmers in the state and its use for non-agricultural purposes has a very important and far-reaching effect. The Supreme Court ruled 11 years ago that agricultural land could not be transferred to a non-farmer through a farmer's will. Maintained.

A bench of Justice U U Lalit, Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice A S Bopanna of the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the then Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Qureshi dated 18-2-2008. Although the means of 'will' for acquisition or transfer of agricultural land is not mentioned in 2 (1) and 2, but the land transferred in this way cannot be assessed in the light of the provisions of 'Transfer of Property Act 18'.

Because by doing so, the original purpose of maintaining the interest of the farmer, the owner of the agricultural land and the Ganotia, which is specified in the Ganotadhara, is killed. The apex court also indirectly clarified how a testamentary disposal can be sanctioned after the death of a farmer who is not allowed in the law to transfer farmland to a non-farmer.

What was the case

Between 2002 and 2006, more than six petitions were filed in the Gujarat High Court by non-farmer heirs of agricultural land. The decisions were challenged by a collector or tribunal set out in the law to use agricultural land inherited through a will for non-agricultural purposes. The single judge upheld all the petitions and allowed the transfer. An appeal against this was made before the bench and a joint judgment was passed on 18-3-2008 declaring it illegal to transfer agricultural land to a non-farmer through a will. Against which an appeal was made to the Supreme Court.

What was the argument of the non-farmer heirs

In support of their claim, the non-farmer heirs who acquired agricultural land argued that Sections 3, 4 (1) or 2 of the Computation Act, which provides for the transfer of land, prohibits sale, gift, exchange, mortgage, lease transfer but There is no mention of transfer via will. Therefore, such a transfer has to be assessed in the light of the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act. At the end of the assessment, the single judge ruled that the transfer from the will does not violate any of the provisions of section 7 of the Computation Act. Consequently, such a transfer should be considered legal. Further, the petitioners also argued that in the same way that non-farmers cannot be deprived of any other inheritance they are entitled to, the beneficiary of a will cannot be prevented from inheriting any agricultural land if he is a non-farmer. The Revenue Act on agricultural land also does not state that land is not eligible for inheritance or that a non-farmer is ineligible to inherit such land.

What was the Government's argument

In the High Court and also in the Supreme Court, the state government had argued that the basic purpose of land revenue and especially the Bombay Tenancy Act was to safeguard the interests of counties, farmers, farm laborers or artisans on land. The law provides various protections for the efficient use of agricultural land to improve the economic and social status of the farmer and enable him to manage his property effectively as a land owner. At the same time, certain restrictions have been imposed on the transfer of agricultural land, dwellings, assets, etc. on this land. Only Ganotia has been given the right to purchase from the land owner so that the farmer can retain his ownership as per the principle of his land and non-economic farming can be banned. That is why Ganotia has special rights in allotment of land for personal farming in section 3 of the Ganotadhara and restrictions on transfer of land in section 6. If non-farmers are allowed to transfer agricultural land through a will, the very purpose of the law will be defeated. What cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly in law. A law that does not allow a farmer to transfer agricultural land to a non-farmer while he is alive is a violation of the original purpose of the law.

Millions of acres of land in Gujarat could be affected

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The petitioners themselves have mentioned that even before a series of petitions were filed in the Gujarat High Court, agricultural lands in the state were being transferred to non-farmers through wills. But now that this has come to a halt, the acquisition of millions of acres of land in Gujarat and its development for non-agricultural purposes could be severely hampered.

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