At, High Court of Karnataka
By, THE HONOURABLE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE MR. ALOK ARADHE & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. VISHWAJITH SHETTY
For the Petitioner: D. Manjula, L. Srinivasa Babu, Advocates. For the Respondents: R3, R4 & R7, K.G. Dayananda, Advocate.
(Prayer: This writ appeal is filed u/s 4 of the Karnataka High Court Act praying to call for records and set aside the order passed by the learned single Judge Order dated 06.06.2021 in Wp No.8127/2020 (SC-ST) and to allow the wa as prayed for by allowing the writ appeal.)
1. Smt.Manjula D., learned counsel for the appellants.
Mr.Dayananda K.G., learned counsel for the respondent Nos.3(A), 4 and 7.
This intra Court appeal has been filed against the order dated 06.06.2022 passed by the learned Single Judge by which the writ petition preferred by the petitioners has been dismissed. In order to appreciate the appellants' grievance, few facts need mention which are stated infra.
2. Facts giving rise to the filing of the appeal briefly stated are that the land bearing Sy.No.6/4 of Thubarahalli Village, Varthur Hobli, Bangalore East Taluk was granted in favour of Mr.Thimmappa @ Thimma on 10.05.1940. The aforesaid land was alienated under a registered sale deed dated 07.12.1965 and thereafter was re-conveyed on 27.01.1975, 28.08.1982 and 13.04.1987. Some time in the year 2005, after a period of 38 years, the legal representatives of the original grantee filed an application under Section 5 of the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Lands) Act, 1978 (hereinafter referred to as 'the 1978 Act' for short). The aforesaid application was rejected by the Assistant Commissioner by an order dated 09.03.2007. Thereafter, the appellants preferred an appeal which was allowed by the Deputy Commissioner by an order dated 23.03.2009. The order passed by the Deputy Commissioner was assailed by the respondent Nos.3 and 4 in a writ petition namely W.P.No.14973/2009, wherein the matter was remanded to the Assistant Commissioner for fresh consideration. Thereafter, the Assistant Commissioner has allowed the petition filed by the appellants on 05.02.2018. Aggrieved by the same, the respondent Nos.3 and 4 preferred an appeal before the Deputy Commissioner which was allowed on 02.04.2019. Aggrieved by the orders of the Deputy Commissioner, the appellants have preferred a writ petition in W.P.No.8127/2019. The aforesaid writ petition has been dismissed by the impugned order on the ground of delay.
3. Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that within the period of non-alienation, the land in question was sold on account of illiteracy of the original grantee.
4. We have considered the submission made by the learned counsel for the appellants and have perused the record. The Supreme Court in NEKKANTI RAMA LAKSHMI Vs. STATE OF KARNATAKA AND OTHERS (2020) 14 SCC 232 has held that Section 5 of the 1978 Act enables any interested person to make an application for having the transfer annulled as void under Section 4 of the Act. The aforesaid Section does not prescribe for any period of limitation. However, it has been held that any action whether on an application of the parties or suo motu, must be taken within a reasonable period of time. The Supreme Court, in the aforesaid decision, held that the application seeking resumption of the land filed after a period of 24 years, suffered from inordinate delay and was therefore, liable to be dismissed on that ground. Similar view was taken by the Supreme Court in VIVEK M.HINDUJA & ANR. Vs. M.ASHWATHA (2020) 14 SCC 228 and it was held that whenever limitation is not prescribed, the party ought to approach the competent Court or Authority within a reasonable time beyond which no relief can be granted. In the aforesaid case, delay of 20 years in filing the application for resumption was held to be unreasonable.
5. In the instant case, the proce
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eding under the Act has been initiated after a delay of 38 years. Thus, the proceeding initiated under the Act suffers from delay and laches for which no explanation has been offered. The learned Single Judge has therefore, rightly rejected the petition preferred by the appellants. For the aforementioned reasons, we do not find any merit in the appeal. The same fails and is hereby dismissed.