Entitled to sue for possession:
In view of Exhibit the plaintiff had obtained an interest in the property leased and he was entitled to sue for possession of the same on his own right, if there were no other legal impediments. That being so, the suit for specific performance is misconceived, even if it is maintainable. The proper relief was to sue for possession and the plaintiff has done so in this case.
In the instant case, the appellant’s vendor ‘R’ has failed to obtain permission from the Collector in terms of the agreement entered into by him with the appellant for converting the land into village site and execute a deed of conveyance in his favour.
The appellant had an imperfect title and therefore, the right to specific performance of the suit Banakhat did not arise inasmuch as the conversion of the Girasdari lands at the instance of R’ was a condition, on which the mutual rights and obligations of the parties would arise. The submission proceeds on the basis that the two transactions were interdependent and R’s application for permission for conversion of the agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes having been rejected, the appellant was relieved of his obligation to convey the suit lands under the Banakhat. There is no basis for the submission that the contract between the parties as embodied in the suit Banakhat was contingent contract, the performance of which was dependent upon fulfillment of the condition under the earlier agreement by which the appellant’s vendor ‘R’ had undertaken upon himself the obligation of procuring the necessary sanction from the Collector. It is common ground that shortly after, the Saurashtra Land “Reforms Act, 1951 came into force w.e.f. 1.9.
1951. Under the provisions of the Act, there was an extinguishment of the right and title of ‘R’ as a Girasdar of the suit land and the appellant was recognised to be an occupant thereof under the provisions of Bombay Land Revenue Code. It would, therefore, appear that the contention that the appellant had and imperfect title is without any basis whatever.
With the extinction of the title ‘R’ and the conferral of the rights of an occupant on the appellant, the property became transferable by him. As such occupant, it is undisputed that the appellant made an application to the revenue authorities permitting the conversion of the disputed land into village site. Thereafter, there was no legal impediment in the way of the appellant in executing a sale-deed.
The expressions ‘tenant’, ‘subtenant’ as also other similar expressions have to be understood in the sense they have been used in other statutes dealing with the relationship of landlord and tenant in agricultural lands.
Section 27 of the Limitation Act provides for a transfer by law of the right, title and interest of the land owner to the State Government under sub-section (1). Sub-section (2) is by way of an exception with respect to land under the personal cultivation of the land owner. Sub-section (4) directs that the right, title and interest of the land owner thus acquired, shall be transferred by the State, on payment of compensation, to the tenant who cultivates such land. Under this provision, the order in the present case was passed in favour of Moti. If Moti was not a tenant or sub-tenant he was not entitled to the benefits under the subsection. If the land was in cultivating possession of the plaintiffs, as held in the present suit, the Compensation Officer did not have the jurisdiction to pass any order in difference of subsection (2) and the land did not vest in the State at all. Further, for the additional reason that Moti was not a tenant of the land the order passed in his favour under Section 27 (4) was again without jurisdiction.
In absence of the conditions necessary for the exercise of power under Section 27 (4) the Officer lacked jurisdiction to act and it was not necessary for the civil Court to formally set aside his order before passing a decree. What necessitated the plaintiff to come to the civil Court was the challenge to his title, and the suit must be held to be covered by Article 65, and, therefore, not barred by shorter periods of limitation either under Article 100 or Article 113.
If the vendor agrees to sell the property which can be transferred only with the sanction of some Government authority, the Court has jurisdiction to order the vendor to apply to the authority within a specified period.