Farmland: purchase of farmland converted to non-illegal residential use: Karnataka HC

The purchase of land after it has been converted from agricultural to residential use does not contravene the provisions of the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act (prohibition of transfer of certain lands), the High Court said from Karnataka.

He confirmed the validity of the purchase of three acres of land by the Tibetan Children’s Village of Sheshagirihalli Village in Ramangara, which was originally a land grant, after the land was converted for residential use. .

The agricultural land granted to SC/ST cannot be transferred in accordance with the said law.

Giriyappa obtained the land in 1978. He transferred the land to T Prasanna Gowda in 1996. The latter converted the land use under the Karnataka Land Reform Act (KLR Act) and then transferred it to the Tibetan Children’s Village, a registered society.

Giriyappa’s heirs challenged the transfer of the lands in 2006. The Deputy Commissioner ruled in favor of the Society, but the Deputy Commissioner overturned the CA order and authorized the restoration of the lands to the heirs of Giryappa. This was challenged in the High Court by the Company.

The High Court Bench of Judge BM Shyam Prasad, in its May 23 order, granted the petition and ruled in favor of the Company.

The HC noted that a full bench had already adjudicated (Sri Munnaiah v Deputy Commissioner) in 2021, “once permission for conversion is granted under Section 95(2) of the KLR Act, the land loses its character as agricultural land and therefore the restriction under Article 4(2) of the PTCL Act would no longer apply.”

The HC said that in view of the observation made by all of its judges in the previous case, “the petitioner must succeed on this ground”. In addition, the court noted that a similar challenge to the Tibetan Children’s Village’s purchase of adjacent land on similar grounds had also failed.

The delay in filing the case has also come to the aid of the Tibetan Children’s Village.

“The first deed of sale dates from 1996 and the procedure is initiated 10 years later, which would constitute an unreasonable delay in the absence of necessary explanations and in the circumstances of the case. The applicant must succeed even on this ground “, said the HC. said.

Amalia H. Mercado