CUSTOM SEARCH

CASTE OF BHOVI AND VODDAR IN KARNATAKA

In B. Basavalingappa v. D. Munichinnappa [1965] 1 S. C. R. 316. the relevant facts were that M who was elected from a Scheduled Castes constituency claimed to belong to the Bhovi caste which was one of the Scheduled Castes mentioned in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 issued by the President under Art. 341 of the Constitution. In an election petition it- was claimed that M belonged to the Voddar caste which was not mentioned in the Order and that on- that account M was not entitled to stand for election from Scheduled Caste constituency. Evidence was led before the Election Tribunal that Bhovi was a sub-caste of the Voddar caste and as M did not belong to the Bhovi sub-caste he could not stand for election from the constituency. The High Court in appeal held that although Voddar, caste was not included in the Order, yet considering the facts and circumstances in existence at the time when the Order was passed in 1950, the Bhovi caste mentioned in the order was the same as the Voddar caste. In appeal to Supreme Court it was contended that the High Court was wrong in considering the evidence and then coming to the conclusion that the caste Bhovi mentioned in the Order was meant for the caste Voddar and that the Tribunal' should have declined to allow evidence to be produced which would have the effect of modifying the Order issued by the President. Supreme Court held that the evidence clearly showed that in 1950 when the Order was passed there was no caste in the then Mysore State which was known as Bhovi and the Order could not have intended to recognise a caste which did not exist. It was therefore necessary to find out which caste was meant by the use of the name Bhovi and for that purpose evidence was rightly recorded by the Tribunal and acted upon by the High Court. Supreme Court accordingly confirmed the, view of the High Court.

CASE LAW ON LAND REVENUE COURT MATTERS

Bharat Singh And Anr vs Bhagirathi AIR 1966 SC 405, FACTS:- The appellants filed a suit for a declaration that the entry in the name of the respondent in the Jamabandi papers of certain villages was incorrect and alleged that they along with their brother, the husband of the respondent, constituted a joint Hindu family, that their brother died as a member of the joint Hindu family and thereafter his widow- the respondent--lived with the appellants who continued to be owners and possessors of the property in suit, the widow being entitled to maintenance only, and that by mistake the respondent's name was entered in village records in place of the deceased husband. The respondent contested the suit alleging, inter alia, that her husband did not constitute a joint Hindu family with the appellants at the time of his death and also that the suit was barred by time as she had become owner and possessor of the land in suit in 1925 on the death of her husband when the entries in her favour were made, and the suit was brought in 1951. The respondent had admitted in certain documents about the existence of the joint Hindu family or a joint Hindu family firm. HELD:- There is a strong presumption in favour of Hindu brothers constituting a joint family. It is for the person alleging severance of joint Hindu family to establish it. The mere fact of the mutation entry being made in favour of the respondent on the death of her husband was no clear indication that there was no joint Hindu family of the appellant, and the respondent's husband at the time of the latter's death. In STATE OF HARYANA v. MOHINDER PAL the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed against a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had held that the Government cannot take law into its own hand while dispossessing persons in possession of land by putting up khokhas (on the ground that they were unauthorized occupants to Government land) but should have followed the due procedure prescribed by law. The Supreme court held that: ".... Question of examining the title of the parties does not arise at all as admittedly respondents were in possession of the property in question and put up structures thereon. On that admitted position, High Court took the view that ejectment of the respondents forcibly without due recourse of law was not in due process. No exception can be taken to that view at all. In fact, this view is consistent with what has been stated by this Court........" In PATIL EXHIBITORS PVT. LTD. v. BANGALORE CITY CORPORATION a Division Bench of KARNATAKA HIGH Court observed thus: "It is part of the concept of "Rule of Law" that no claim to a right to dispossess by the use of force without recourse to procedure in accordance with law is recognized or countenanced by Courts. Such a right in the respondent cannot be recognised regardless of the question whether or not the appellant (Licencee) itself has any subsisting right to remain in possession. The protection that the Court affords is not of the possession which in the circumstances is litigious possession and cannot be equated with lawful possession but a protection against forcible dispossession. The basis of relief is a corollary of the principle that even with the best of title, there can be not forcible dispossession. .... Under our jurisprudence, even an unauthorized occupant can be evicted only in the manner authorized by law. This is the essence of the Rule of law." In MUNSHI RAM v. DELHI ADMINISTRATION the Supreme Court succinctly stated the legal possession regarding settled possession thus; "It is true that no one including the true owner has a right to dispossess the trespasser by force if the trespasser is in settled possession of the land and in such a case unless he is evicted in due course of law, he is entitled to defend his possession even against the rightful owner. But, stray or even intermittent acts of trespass do not give such a right against the true owner. The possession which a trespasser is entitle to defend against the rightful owner much be a settled possession extending over a sufficiently long period and acquiesced in by the true owner. A casual act of possession would not have the effect of interrupting the possession of the rightful owner. The rightful owner may re-enter and reinstate himself provided he does not use more force than necessary, such entry will be viewed only as a resistance to an intrusion upon possession which has never been lost. The persons in possession by a stray act of trespass, a possession which has not matured into settled possession, constitute an unlawful assembly, giving right to the true owner, though not in actual possession at the time to remove the obstruction even by using necessary force." The principle was further elaborated by the Supreme Court in RAM RATTAN v. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH as follows: "..... It is well settled that a true owner has every right to dispossess or throw out a trespasser, while the trespasser is in the act or prices of trespassing, and has not accomplished his possession, but this right is not available to the true owner if the trespasser has been successful in accomplishing his possession to the knowledge of the true owner. In such circumstances, the law requires that the owner should dispossess the trespasser by taking recourse to the remedies available under the law..... it may not be possible to lay down a rule of universal application as to when the possession of a trespasser becomes complete and accomplished" In the decision reported in BABU VERGHESE v. BAR COUNCIL OF KERALA, AIR 1949 SC 1281 it is held that the power conferred upon the statutory Authority in the statute must be exercised in the manner as prescribed in the statute. It is the basic principle of law long settled that if the manner of going a particular act is prescribed under any Statute, the act must be done in that manner or not at all. The origin of this rule is traceable to the decision in Taylor v. Taylor, "Where a power is given to do a certain thing in a certain way, the thing must be done in that way or not at all". This rule has since been approved by Supreme Court in Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh v. State of Vindhya Pradesh, and again in Deep Chand v. State of Rajasthan, . These cases were considered by a Three judge Bench of Karnataka High Court in State of Uttar Pradesh v. Singhara Singh. In Mahadevappa And Ors. vs State Of Karnataka ILR 2008 KAR 1750 Hon’ble Justice H.V.G. Ramesh, Observed and directed state government with following words: ………………..As per Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, it is compulsory that property valued more than Rs. 100/- has to be registered. That conveys and sanctions such transfer from one person to the other. It is often noticed that property is being sold by a person in favour of several persons taking advantage of the anomaly of want of specific entries in the revenue records. Any prudent person before purchasing a property would necessarily approach the revenue authorities seeking for clarification or issuance of an endorsement as to the possession or encumbrance on the property and that would form the basis for him to go for negotiations and to purchase the property or get the property transferred in his name in any mode of transfer provided under the Transfer of Property Act. It is being noticed that neither the purchaser nor the registering authority are performing their obligations soon after such transfers are taking place by way of registration and re-conveyance and transfer the title or interest from the vendor to the vendee or transferee. In this regard what is being noticed is, when the original entries in the revenue records continue even after such transfers or assignments, the person who is interested in purchasing the property is being mislead on some assurance or some false promise and gets into problems in fighting litigation with the prior purchasers…………………. If the said fact of earlier sale or transfer would not have been disclosed by the original purchaser or registering authorities it not only leads to multiplicity of proceedings but also causes financial hardship to the subsequent purchasers of the same property which had been sold earlier to some other purchaser. For want of knowledge, even for an ordinary man of prudence mere enquiry with the revenue authorities would not be sufficient because of the fact the revenue authorities have only maintained the original entries in the usual course as is noticed in the years of practice, without making proper timely entries of such change of title from the original owner to the subsequent purchase or from original transferor to the tranferee. This anomaly is invariably found in all the records maintained for want of compliance of the provisions of Section 128 and 129 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 although the Act mandates such entry to be made within a reasonable time after following the procedure under the said sections. For want of such strict compliance by the purchaser or for lack of responsibility and inaction on the part of the registering authorities in intimating this aspect to the revenue authorities well within time, the ordinary man is forced to go through the ordeal of fighting litigation and often it is also being noticed even in respect of carrying out mutation entries on subsequent changes like succeeding to the property as legal heirs on the death of the original propositus, such anomalies are occurring and even the lands which are notified for acquisition are also notified in the name of the original kathedar in whose name the property stands although he has died several years back, for want of entries of the names of persons who succeed him and who are in real possession or cultivation of the property are not notified. These anomalies have to be rectified to avoid all such complications and it requires due compliance of Section 128 & 129 of the Land Revenue Act. Though the law is clear on the point, but it is either not meticulously followed or being implemented and thus causing various litigation and hardship to the parties and also at the cost of the State exchequer as well……………………… Of course, while referring to the right of this petitioner what is being noticed specifically is the anomaly that is being invariably found and neglected by the revenue authorities all because of non-compliance of the provisions of Section 128 & 129 of the Land Revenue Act which is clear as is noted above. It is time to remind the Government to take timely action to make necessary changes from time to time in the revenue records. The Sub-registrars are duty bound to intimate the revenue authorities in time as per Section 128(4) to avoid multiplicity of litigation from the hands of unscrupulous vendors who once again transfer the property although a transaction has already taken place in the hands of one of the purchasers and the timely action of the revenue authorities would form the basis for any subsequent purchaser who intends to purchase the property over whom fraud could not be played by the original transferor or the vendor when there is a transfer from the first party to the second party and thereby once again the first party shall not venture to transfer title or interest to a third party or any other person for lack of knowledge of the intended subsequent purchaser…………………. For want of these entries in the revenue records and for want of proper information from the concerned Department of the Government, often purchasers are being mislead and get into problems and hardship. It is high time to intimate the Revenue Department and the concerned Department to meticulously follow the procedure as provided under Section 128 & 129 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and also it should be made mandatory as a matter of responsibility on the part of the Government to save the public from the precarious situation and also there shall be timely action by the revenue authorities without there being any delay on their part in making entries in the mutation register and other registers in the revenue office and in the Corporation/Municipality in city limits to avoid future complications. Mariam Hussain W/O. Zaheed Hussein vs Syedani W/O. Late Syed Mustafa And Ors. ILR 2007 KAR 2715 JUSTICE N. KUMAR OBSERVED: It is to be noticed here that Ex.P-1, is not a simple agreement of sale entered into between the parties voluntarily where one party is interested in selling his property and the other interested in purchasing the property, after mutual discussion and negotiation agreed on a price and then reduce the terms in writing. It is a case of want of consensus ad-idem. Similarly execution of a document does not mean signing of a document. The word "execution" has a definite connotation in law. The person signing the document must be aware of the contents of document and consciously sign the document in token of acceptance of the contents of the said document. If the execution of a document is denied it is for the party who alleges the due execution to prove by acceptable evidence that the executant affixed his signature to the document after being aware of the contents of the document and in token of its acceptance so as to bind him. When it is stated that the executant executed an agreement of sale it must be shown that the executant had agreed to sell the property end in token of acceptance of such agreement he has affixed his signature on the said agreement of sell. The evidence on record do not disclose that the defendant affixed his signature to the the suit document agreeing to sell the schedule property in favour of the plaintiffs or in view of the decision of Panchayatdars or on the basis of what was agreed to in the said Panchayat. Therfore the finding of the courts below that the agreement of sale is duly executed by the first defendant, as it bears his signature on the document is illegal. ………………… The material on record disclose that this property was granted to the first defendant 30 years prior to the date of the suit. Mutation entries were made in his name. Attempt to delete the said mutation entry by the plaintiff was not successful. The defendant also obtained a decree of permanent injunction against the plaintiff. The material on record shows that he was cultivating the land and he has raised (sic) trees and on 18.08.1982 he has handed over possession of the property from that day till today. Ignoring all these material evidence on record only relying on the interested testimony of the plaintiff and his witness, whose evidence, as already stated do not infuse confidence, the courts below have recorded a finding that the plaintiff is in possession and the first defendant in not in possession. The said finding is perverse and capricious and cannot be sustained. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in the case of Hardatt Sharma v. Jaikishen Shamlal & Sons reported AIR 1983 J & K-page No. 36, held as under: ...True, Under Section 18 of Evidence Act, statements made by persons from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject matter of the suit, are binding on such parties as their admission, nevertheless, before the same may bind them, it has further to be shown that the statements were made by those persons during the continuance of their interest in the subject matter, and obviously so, because, if would be highly unjust and improper to divest a person of his right in the property, lawfully acquired by him form another, on the basis of the latter's admission after his own interest in the property has ceased to exist. Chapter VI of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 (hereinafter called 'the Act') deals with maintenance of Record of Rights. Section 128 deals with acquisition of rights to be reported, Section 129 deals with registration of Mutations and the procedure for such registration, Section 129A deals with issue of patta book containing the copy of the Record of Rights pertaining to such land. Section 130 deals with the obligation to furnish information for compilation or revision of the Record of Rights and as to the bar of suits against the State Government or its officials in respect of daims for having the entry made in the Record of Rights, reserving expressly the right to seek a correction of the entry in the Record of Rights against persons who are interested in denying such a right. It is clear from the above provisions that the entries in the Record of Rights made after enquiry as provided for in Section 129 of the Act is always subject to a final adjudication of the rights between the parties to the land in question. At this stage, it is also necessary to observe and reiterate that the enquiry is essentially summary in nature.

LAND OF SC & ST AND ITS REFORMS - COURT OBSERVATIONS AND PRECEDENTS:-

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Lands) Act, 1978 shows that the non-alienation clause contained in the existing Land Grant Rules and the provisions for cancellation of grants where the land is alienated in contravention of the above said provision are found not sufficient to help the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes grantees whose ignorance and poverty have been exploited by persons belonging to the affluent and powerful sections to obtain sales or mortgages either for a nominal consideration or for no consideration at all and they have become the victims of circumstances. To fulfill the purposes of the grant, the land even if it has been alienated, should be restored to the original grantee or his heirs. It is clear that in order to provide for the prohibition of transfer of certain lands granted by Government to persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the State of Karnataka, the above said Act was enacted. In order to implement the provisions of the Act, the Rules were framed. Among the provisions, we are concerned with Section 4 which prohibits transfer of "granted land". It makes it clear that notwithstanding anything in any law, agreement, contract on instrument, any transfer of granted land made either before or after the commencement of the Act, in contravention of the terms of the grant of such land or the law providing for such grant, or sub-section (2) shall be null and void and no right, title or interest in such land shall be conveyed or be deemed ever to have conveyed by such transfer. Sub-section (2) makes it clear that no person shall, after the commencement of the Act, transfer or acquire by transfer any granted land without the previous permission of the Government. As per sub-section (3), the provisions of sub-sections (1) and (2) also apply to the sale of any land in execution of a decree or order of a Civil Court or of any award or order of any other authority. 10) Among the Rules, Rule 43 is relevant which speaks about the grant of occupancies. Sub-rule(1) of Rule 43 mandates that all the lands shall ordinarily be sold by public auction. Sub-rule (5) mandates Grant of occupancies to members of depressed classes. Sub-Rule (8) makes it clear that lands granted free or at upset price shall not be alienated but may be accepted as security for loans. The note appended to the above provisions makes it clear that depressed classes occurring in these rules will have to be constructed as equivalent to the words "Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes" occurring in the Constitution of India. Papaiah vs. State of Karnataka & Others. The Supreme Court in Papaiah's case noticed the scope of the enactment and found that the same has been enacted in terms of the preamble of the Constitution to provide economic justice to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections of the society and to prevent their exploitation in terms of Articles 46 of the Constitution. Smt. Gowramma vs. State of Karnataka and others 1998(5) Kar.L.J. 702 :- Sub Rule (30 and (40 of Rule 3 cast a duty on authorities to initially issue a notice in Form No.2 to the person or persons in possession of the granted land calling upon him/them to file his/their objections to the Application made by a person under Section 5(1) of the Act, in the manner stipulated in sub-rule (3) and thereafter he shall also issue the notice of hearing in the enquiry proceedings to the occupant/occupants of the land informing him/them the date of hearing fixed by him. It is the decided principles of law and rules that the Authority has to look into the original grant records and any decision taken without verifying the original land grant records, it does not stand in the eye of law. In this connection it would be relevant to refer to the decisions reported in as per the decision reported in ILR 2002 KAR 2670 (Nagendrappa and another Vs. Deputy Commissioner, Davanagere and others): “Authority deciding the matter has to look into the original order of the grant of land and if the same is not available then contemporaneous granting documents like the Register maintained for this purpose what is known as Land Grant Register has to be looked into. Authorities deciding the validity of sale cannot act on presumption on mere mutation entries. Division Bench ruling in Pedda Reddy vs. State of Karnataka 1993(1) KLJ. P.328 – Assistant Commissioner cannot pass orders unless he records findings viz., (1) that the land belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe; (2) that the grant was for upset price or for less than the upset price or free grant and that alienation has taken place within the period of the prohibition prescribed in the rules; According to the decision reported in ILR 1998 KAR SN.No.85: Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prohibition of Transfer of Certain Lands) Act, 1978 – Terms of allotment including the caste of the allottee cannot be proved by vague particulars mentioned in mutation entries. Without the conclusive evidence particularly to indicate that the allottees belong to SC/ST or for that matter as to what were the exact conditions of the grant, it would not be proper to deprive the Petitioner of the land which he has been in possession for the last several years. Hon’ble Supreme Court in its decision reported in 2008(3) KCCR.1289 (B.K.Muniraju vs. State of Karnataka and others) has held that: whether a land is ‘granted land’ or land purchased for a price at a public auction’ must be ascertained by looking into the relevant records. Merely because the document was styled or titled as ‘Certificate of Grant’, it cannot be construed that the land was a ‘granted land’ attracting the provisions of the Act. LINGAPPA POCHANNA APPELWAR AND ORS. Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND ANR. AIR 1985 SC 389. Legislation was undertaken by different States placing restrictions on transfer of lands by members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in pursuance of the declared policy of the State of safeguarding, protecting and improving the conditions of weaker sections of the society by providing that any such transfer except in terms of the provisions of the different Acts shall be null and void. Our Constitution permits and even directs the State to administer what may be termed ’distributive justice’. The concept of distributive justice in the sphere of law−making connotes, the removal of economic inequalities and rectifying the injustice resulting from dealings or transactions between unequals in society. Law should be used as an instrument of distributive justice to achieve a fair division of wealth among the members of society based upon the principle: ’From each according to his capacity, to each according to his needs’. Distributive justice comprehends more than achieving, lessening of inequalities by differential taxation, giving debt relief or distribution of property owned by one to many who have none by imposing ceiling on holdings, both agricultural and urban, or by direct regulation of contractual transactions by forbidding certain transactions and, perhaps, by requiring others. The present legislation is a typical illustration of the concept of distributive justice. It is nothing but a remedial measure in keeping with the policy of the State for rendering social and economic justice to the weaker sections of the society. It is intended and meant as an instrument for alleviating opperession, redressing bargaining imbalance, cancelling unfair advantages, and generally overseeing and ensuring probity and fair dealings. It seeks to reopen transaction between parties having unequal bargaining power resulting in transfer of title from own to another due to force of circumstances and also seeks to restitute the parties to their original position. Nirvanappa vs The Deputy Commissioner And Ors. 2005 (1) KarLJ 234 Under the Land Grant Code and particularly in Dharkhast proceedings, it is rarely that a land is granted for full market price. The very grant by the Government is in favour of persons who are landless, who are socially backward, economically weak and to rehabilitate and provide some sustenance to them, such agricultural lands of the Government are granted in favour of such persons. Examination of the provisions of the Karnataka Land Revenue Code, 1888, indicates that any number of concessions are provided to such class of persons and conditions are imposed to ensure that the grant is sustained in favour of the grantee lest such grantees lose the land by frittering away the grant by other inducements. The conditions are imposed to dissuade and to deter other persons from eyeing such granted land by obtaining sale deeds in their favour at no cost or nominal cost and deprive the benefit to the grantees whether by purchasing the land by paying proper consideration or by inducing such persons who ultimately lose the land. In such a scenario, when the petitioner sets up a case that the land in question had been granted on receipt of full market value, the onus lies on the petitioner not only to take a specific stand through a proper plea but also to make good that plea by providing cogent material to support the plea. It should be positively proved by the persons who take up such a plea. It is the petitioner who has taken this stand and the burden is upon the petitioner to prove the same. Rule 43−G which governs such grants indicate that when such a grant is in favour of a person belonging to Scheduled caste, the first Rs. 200/− of upset price even when one is fixed is waived and in respect of the balance of the upset price such a person belonging to the Scheduled caste is allowed installment facility to pay the balance in three equal installments. If this is the legal position, it is inevitable that in respect of grants made in favour of a Scheduled caste person, whether it is a free grant or one after fixing an upset price, the amount collected from the person is never the market price of the land granted in favour of such a person. It is always at a concession of 100% of the upset price being waived if the upset price is less than or equal to Rs. 200/− and thereafter on installment facility. Therefore, the land granted in favour of the Scheduled caste person in terms of Rule 43−G(1) of the Rules under Karnataka Land Revenue Code, 1888 which reads as under: "43.G. Grant of lands under the proceeding rules shall be subject to the following conditions.−(1) In the case of grant of lands to applicants belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and to other applicants, who are unable to pay the occupancy price on account of poverty, the occupancy price may be waived upto rupees two hundred and the balance recovered in three annual installments". is always a concessional grant attracting 15 years non−alienation Clause under Sub−rule (4) of Rule 43−G of the Rules. In Guntaiah and Ors. v. Hambamma and Ors. [2005 (6) SCC 228]. In paragraph 8 of the judgment, it was inter alia observed as follows: "The finding of the Full Bench of the Karnataka High Court is that if the grant is made under Rule 43-J, there could not have been any condition restricting the alienation and if at all there were any such conditions they are null and void. This view has been taken for the reason that conditions restricting alienations are given under clause (4) of Rule 43-G and these provisions would apply to grant of lands made under the preceding rules and not apply to Rule 43-J which comes after Rule 43-G of the Rules of 1960. This view has been taken based on the title/marginal note of Rule 43-G. The Full Bench was also of the view that under Rule 43-J, it is not stated that there shall be any conditions prohibiting alienation. Therefore, the Court held that Authorities were not empowered to impose any such conditions." CONCLUSION From the above discussion we can see many levels of vigilance and monitoring checks at the sphere of State level, District level, Judiciary level, Sub-division level, Taluk level, Revenue office, Land records office, Sub-registrar office, Advocates level, Police level, Village panchayath level, etc., in order to check, prevent, eradicate, take action against, advice against, check gross abuse of, check mal-administration of any forms of atrocity against Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribes. Thus we can see many levels of vigilance and monitoring committee’s that came into existence not only as a result of acts protecting Dalits but as a result of every statutory authority functioning in its sphere eminently and upto the mark of its excellence.

ATROCITY AGAINST SCHEDULE CASTE AND SCHEDULE TRIBES AND PTCL ACT - HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE - NOTE

To begin with it is very important to introduce overselves with the subject in the learned quotes and words of Justices of Supreme Court in State Of Karnataka vs Appa Balu Ingale And Others AIR 1993 SC 1126 IT IS OBSERVED:- It is trite that the Caste system among the Hindus has been structured on graded hierarchy of Chaturvarna and the Dalits and Scheduled Tribes (for short 'tribes') from among whom Sudras occupy the last rung in the social ladder. Impregnable walls of separation with graded inequalities has, thus, been erected between different sections among Hindus. The Dalits are made to serve the society in menial jobs as slaves and serfs. Caste system segregated them from the main stream of the rational life and prevented the Hindus from becoming in integrated Society with fraternity and affinity. The Dalits are denied even access to potable water sources, education, cultural life and economic pursuits. They are made to live as beasts of burden at the outskirts of the villages, towns, slums etc. The Tribes live in intractable terrains and forests. Manu Smrithi prohibited the Dalits to wear decent clothes, wear precious metallic ornaments or even to use decent utensils, food and drink. This had led to the abominable and abnoxious practice of untouchability, depriving them of social intercourse, educational and cultural development and were condemned as worse than animals. In the words of Bharat Ratna Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in his preface to his book "The untouchables" page I, that "it is a diabolical contrivance to suppress and enslave humanity. Its proper name would be "infamy". At page 28, he stated that "untouchability.... is a unique phenomenon unknown to humanity in other parts of the world. Nothing like it is to be found in any other society - primitive, ancient or modern. In one of his post independent fiery speeches, Dr. Ambedkar with his characteristic clarity and piercing appeal to the Dalits stated thus:- In order to have a clear understanding of untouchability and its practice in real life, I want you to recall the stories of the atrocities perpetrated against you. The instances of beating by caste Hindus for the simple reason that you have claimed the right to enrol your children in government schools, or the right to draw water from a public well, or the right to take a marriage procession with the groom on horseback, are very common. You all know such instances, as they happen before your eyes. But there are several other causes for which atrocities are committed on the Untouchables by the caste Hindus which, if revealed, surprise foreigners. The Untouchables are beaten for putting on clothes of good quality. They have been whipped because they used utensils made of metal like copper, etc. Their houses are burnt because they have brought land under cultivation. They are beaten for putting on the sacred thread. [A visible symbol worn by high-caste Hindus.] They are beaten for refusing to carry dead animals and eat carrion, or for walking through the village with socks and shoes on, or for not bowing down before the caste Hindus, for taking water in a copper pot while going out to the fields to ease themselves. Recently an instance has been noted where the Untouchables were beaten for serving chapatis at a dinner party. You must have heard and some of you must have experienced such atrocities. Where beating is not possible, you are aware of how the weapon of boycott is used against you. You all know how the caste Hindus have made daily life unbearable by prohibiting you from getting work, by not allowing your cattle to graze in the jungles and prohibiting your men from entering the village. But very few of you have realised why this happens. What is the root of their tyranny? To me, it is very necessary that we understand it. The instances cited above have nothing to do with the virtue and vices of an individual. This is not a feud between two rival men. The problem of untouchability is a matter of class struggle. It is a struggle between caste Hindus and the Untouchables. This is not a matter of doing injustice against one man. This is a matter of injustice being done by one class against another. This struggle is related to social status. This struggle indicates how one class should keep its relationship with another class of people. The struggle starts as soon as you start claiming equal treatment with others. Had it not been so, there would have been no struggle over simple reason like serving chapatis, wearing good quality clothes, putting on the sacred thread, fetching water in a metal pot, sitting the bridegroom on the back of a horse, etc. In these cases you spend your own money. Why then do the high-caste Hindus get irritated? The reason for their anger is very simple. Your behaving on par with them insults them. Your status in their eyes is low, you are impure, you must remain at the lowest rung. Then alone will they allow you to live happily. The moment you cross your level the struggle starts. The instances given above also prove one more fact. Untouchability is not a short or temporary feature; it is a permanent one. To put it straight, it can be said that the struggle between the Hindus and the Untouchables is a permanent phenomenon. It is eternal, because the high caste people believe that the religion which has placed you at the lowest level of the society is itself eternal. No change according to time and circumstances is possible. You are at the lowest rung of the ladder today. You shall remain lowest forever. Poverty and penury made the Dalits as dependants and became vulnerable to oppression. The slightest attempt to assert equality or its perceived exercise receives the ire of the dominent sections of the society and the Dalits would become the object of atrocities and oppression. The lack of resources made the Dalits vulnerable to economic and social boycott. Their abject poverty and dependence on the upper classes in Rural Indian for livelihood stands a constant constraint to exercise their rights - social, legal or constitutional, though guaranteed. Thus they have neither money capacity, influence nor means to vindicate their rights except occasional collective action which would be deceased or flittered away by pressures through diverse forms. Consequently most of the Dalits are continuing to languish under the yoke of the practice of untouchability. The State has the duty to protect them and render social justice to them. M.P. Jain in his Indian Constitutional Law 4th Edition 1987 at p. 522 stated that 'Article 17 read with Article 15(2) protects an individual from discriminatory conduct not only on the part of the State but even on the part of the private persons in certain situations. The Supreme Court has stated that whenever any fundamental right like Article 17 is violated by a private individual, it is the constitutional obligation of the state to take necessary steps to interdict such violation and ensure observance of the fundamental right by the private individual who is the victim of transgression. The State is under a constitutional obligation to see that there is no violation of the fundamental rights of such person'. Regarding equality, Dr. Ambedkar stated in the Constituent Assembly : "We must begin by acknowledging the fact that there is complete absence of two things in Indian Society. One of these is equality. On the social plane, we have in India a society based on the principle of graded inequality which means elevation for some and degradation for others. On the economic plane, we have a society in which there are some who have immense wealth as against many who live in abject poverty." Dr. Rajendra Prasad, at the concluding address of the Constituent Assembly, stated in the following words:- "To all we give the assurance that it will be our endeavour to end poverty and squalor and its companions, hunger and disease; to abolish distinction and exploitation and to ensure decent conditions of living. We are embarking on a great task. We hope that in this we shall have the unstinted service and co-operation of all our people and the sympathy and support of all the communities..." Though Dr. Ambedkar intended to abolish caste system by abolishing all the privileges and disabilities of the forward classes, But The Constitution never prohibited the practice of caste and casteism. Every activity in Hindu society, from cradle to grave is carried on solely on the basis of one's caste. Even after death, a Hindu is not allowed to be cremated in the crematorium which is maintained for the exclusive use of the other caste or community. Dalits are not permitted to be buried in graves or cremated in crematoriums where upper caste people bury or cremate their dead. Christians have their own graveyards. Muslims are not allowed to be buried in the Hindu crematoriums and vice-versa. Thus, caste rules the roost in the life of a Hindu and even after his death. In such circumstances, it is entirely fallacious to advance this argument on the ground that the Constitution has prohibited the use of caste. What the Constitution aims at is achievement of equality between the castes and not elimination of castes. Special Court Justice Ramaswamy observed in the case of State of Karnataka v. Ingale that more than seventy-five percent of the cases brought under the SC/ST Act end in acquittal at all levels. The situation has not improved much since 1992 according to the figures given by the 2002 Annual Report dealing with SC/ST Act (of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) Of the total cases filed in 2002 only 21.72% were disposed of, and, of those, a mere 2.31% ended in conviction. The number of acquittals is 6 times more than the number of convictions and more than 70 percent of the cases are still pending. Going through the normal judicial system is self degrading for any dalit. This is because of the still existing biases of the court judges. One example is the conduct of an Allahabad High Court judge who had his chambers "purified" with water from the ‘ganga jal’ because a dalit judge had previously sat in that chamber before him The Andhra Pradesh High Court, in D. Ramlinga Reddy v. State of AP, took the position that provisions of Rule 7 are mandatory and held that investigation under the SC/St Act has to be carried out by only an officer not below the rank of DSP. An investigation carried out and charge sheet filed by an incompetent officer is more than likely to be quashed. Similarly, the Madras High Court in M. Kathiresam v. State of Tamil Nadu held that investigation conducted by an officer other than a DSP is improper and bad in law and proceedings based on such an investigation are required to be quashed. The Courts without taking into consideration the inadequacies of the State, have been punishing SC/STs for the same. Shri Pravin Rashtrapal, Member of Parliament rightly pointed out that there are insufficient officers at that level. His statement is supported by the Annul Report of 2005-2006 of Ministry of Home Affairs. Of the total posts sanctioned by the government under Indian Police Service (IPS) more than 15 percent of the posts are vacant. This basically means that there is one IPS officer for 77,000 SC/STs. Dalit Protection and the steps taken under the law • National Commission for SC/STs established under Article 338 of the Constitution of India • Establishment of State Commissions for SC/ST • Enforcement of The Protection of Civil Right Act, Act 22 of 1955 • Implementation of Karnataka SC/ST PTCL Act of 1978 • Implementation of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 • The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 • Implementation of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities (Rules 0f 1995)

LAND REFORMS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE - CASE LAWS AND STATISTICS

The High Court of Patna in Kameshwar v. State of Bihar [AIR 1951 Patna 91] held that a Bihar legislation relating to land reforms was unconstitutional while the High Court of Allahabad and Nagpur upheld the validity of the corresponding legislative measures passed in those States. The parties aggrieved had filed appeals before the Supreme Court. At the same time, certain Zamindars had also approached the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution. It was, at this stage, that Parliament amended the Constitution by adding Articles 31-A and 31-B to assist the process of legislation to bring about agrarian reforms and confer on such legislative measures immunity from possible attack on the ground that they contravene the fundamental rights of the citizen. Article 31-B was not part of the original Constitution. It was inserted in the Constitution by the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951. The same amendment added after Eighth Schedule a new Ninth Schedule containing thirteen items, all relating to land reform laws, immunizing these laws from challenge on the ground of contravention of Article 13 of the Constitution. Article 13, inter alia, provides that the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by Part III and any law made in contravention thereof shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void. The Constitutional validity of the First Amendment was upheld in Sri Sankari Prasad Singh Deo v. Union of India and State of Bihar [(1952) SCR 89]. The main object of the amendment was to fully secure the constitutional validity of Zamindari Abolition Laws in general and certain specified Acts in particular and save those provisions from the dilatory litigation which resulted in holding up the implementation of the social reform measures affecting large number of people. Upholding the constitutional amendment and repelling the challenge in Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan [(1965) 1 SCR 933] the law declared in Sankari Prasad was reiterated. It was noted that Articles 31A and 31B were added to the Constitution realizing that State legislative measures adopted by certain States for giving effect to the policy of agrarian reforms have to face serious challenge in the courts of law on the ground that they contravene the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizen by Part III. The Court observed that the genesis of the amendment made by adding Articles 31A and 31B is to assist the State Legislatures to give effect to the economic policy to bring about much needed agrarian reforms. In I.C. Golak Nath & Ors. v. State of Punjab & Anr. [(1967) 2 SCR 762] a Bench of 11 Judges considered the correctness of the view that had been taken in Sankari Prasad and Sajjan Singh (supra). By majority of six to five, these decisions were overruled. The decision in Kesavananda Bharati's case was rendered on 24th April, 1973 by a 13 Judges Bench and by majority of seven to six Golak Nath's case was overruled. The majority opinion held that Article 368 did not enable the Parliament to alter the basic structure or framework of the Constitution. LAND REFORMS CASE OF Vijayakumar Shankarayya Sardar vs State Of Karnataka ILR 1993 KAR 2586 Karnataka High Court held that “For proper appreciation of the matter, the provisions of Section 79A of the Act can be read as follows:- "On and from 1st March 1974, no person who or a family or a joint family which has an assured annual income of not less than rupees Fifty thousand (RS TWO LAKH AT PRESENT) from sources other than Agricultural lands shall be entitled to acquire any land whether as land owner, landlord, tenant or mortgagee with possession or otherwise or partly in one capacity and partly in another." LOCUS STANDI CASE OF The Supreme Court in FERTILIZER CORPORATION KAMAGAR UNION (Regd) SINDRI AND ORS. v. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS AIR 1981 SC 344. It was observed thus:"We have no doubt that in competition between Courts and streets as dispenser of justice, the Rule of law must win the aggrieved person for the law Court and wean him from the lawless street. In simple terms, locus standi must be liberalised to meet the challenges of the times. Ubi jus ibi remedium must be enlarged to embrace all interests of public-minded citizens or organisations with serious concern for conservation of public resources and the direction and correction of public power so as to promote justice in its truine facets." In S.P. GUPTA v. PRESIDENT OF INDIA AND ORS . (Popularly known as Judges case), it was held that the lawyers have interest and locus standi to file the petitions and they could not be told off at the gate. The Supreme Court and different High Courts have repeatedly invoked and applied the rule that a person who does not disclose all material facts has no right to be heard on the merits of his grievance - State of Haryana v. Karnal Distillery Co. Ltd. (1977) 2 SCC 431, Vijay Kumar Kathuria v. State of Haryana (1983) 3 SCC 333, Welcome Hotel and others v. State of Andhra Pradesh and others etc. (1983) 4 SCC 575, G. Narayanaswamy Reddy (dead) by LRs. and another v. Government of Karnataka and another (1991) 3 SCC 261, S.P. Chengalvaraya Naidu (dead) by L.Rs. v. Jagannath (dead) by LRs. and others (1994) 1 SCC 1, Agricultural and Processed Food Products v. Oswal Agro Furane and others (1996) 4 SCC 297, Union of India and others v. Muneesh Suneja (2001) 3 SCC 92, Prestige Lights Ltd. v. State Bank of India (2007) 8 SCC 449, Sunil Poddar and others v. Union Bank of India (2008) 2 SCC 326, K.D. Sharma v. Steel Authority of India Ltd. and others (2008) 12 SCC 481, G. Jayshree and others v. Bhagwandas S. Patel and others (2009) 3 SCC 141. When Supreme Court is implementing such principle of law, then false set of material facts disclosed / declared by a person in order to violate the land reforms act should be thrown of this society itself . In a case before KAT in Manjunath vs The Assistant Commissioner Mysore in APL 400/2009 decided on 21-08-2009 by Hon’ble A. Ramaswamy and N.K. Sudhindra Rao it is observed as follows:- Appellant ………… submitted certificate showing his annual income was 70,000-00………… The Certificate bears the heading Jati / Adaya Pramana Patra and has been issued by the Tahsildar, Mysore Taluk. The Karnataka Land Reforms Act has stipulated that the certificate that the income as assessed to Income Tax under Income Tax Act 1961 should be filed for a period of 5 years preceding the date of sale and the average of five years has to be taken to arrive at a conclusion whether the income is within the stipulated limit or otherwise. The certificate of Tahsildar is of no use as far as the case is concerned”….. “It is pertinent to note that appellant having purchased the lands in question for 11,37,500/- claims that he is an agriculturist and does not account for the income from the agricultural sources bifurcating the same from the non agricultural sources………… It is also necessary to point out that the appellant is silent to mention about the status of the lands in question as on 01-03-1974…………. Not explained the sources of income…….. documents filed by the appellant which is a copy of the declaration U/s 81-A has to be taken into consideration and its validity and relevance to the case on the hand has to be discussed and gone into carefully………. “ The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka while rendering its decision in the case of Gowtham Tendulkar vs State of Karnataka reported in 2001 (2) Kar LJ 485 has held that provisions of section 79A and 79B results in serious consequences depriving a person of his right to enjoy his property and is in the nature of penalty and that it is obligatory on the part of the Revenue Officer to confirm that requirements of the said provisions are strictly complied with. It is very strange to see that The Income Tax appellate tribunal in New Delhi has understood the implications of Karnataka Land Reforms in below stated words but our Revenue Department Officials are showing intellectual blindness : In M.V. Chandrashekar (Huf) vs Asstt. Cit, Circle 4(1) on 29 September, 2005 Reported in 2006 5 SOT 960 Delhi, As per the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961, the purchase of agricultural land by the following persons is prohibited under section 80 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act: (1) One who is not an agriculturist (2) One being an agriculturist holds land exceeding ceiling limits (54 acres - 'D' Class land) (3) One who is not an agricultural labourer (4) One whose annual income from non-agricultural sources exceeds Rs. 50,000 (earlier the limit was Rs. 12,000) the same has been increased through KLR (2nd Amendment) 1950 Karnataka Act of 1991 with effect from 5-2-1999). New limit 2 lakhs. In Moulasaheb Lalesaheb Mulla vs Aminsha ILR 1992 KAR 247, It is observed that:- “Therefore, we have independently examined the scope of Section 79A(1) of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act. Under Sub-section (3) thereof acquisition by a person who has assured income of Rs. 12,000/- or more per annum from sources other than agriculture would not be entitled to sustain such acquisition and as such the acquisition would be null and void. Though Sub-sections (3) and (1) read together do convey that impression, such acquisition is not ipso facto null and void. It will become void, only when action is initiated suo moto or on the complaint of others as provided under Section 82 of the said Act and after enquiry being held by the specified officer under Section 83 of the Act if a declaration to that effect is made……………………………….The provisions of the above quoted Section were discussed by this Court in Shivannappa Sidramappa Prantur v. Virupaxappa Allappa Bagi as also in other Judgments referred to above. Under Sections 82 and 83 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, after completion of sale it is incumbent on the village officer and every officer of the revenue, registration and land records to report to the prescribed authority i.e., the Assistant Commissioner of the Division about the transaction in respect of any land which is in contravention of the provisions of this Act, and, it is on such report, the Assistant Commissioner is required to make an enquiry regarding the illegal transaction…………………………… Assistant Commissioner ……………… gets his jurisdiction only when the sale is complete and the illegality is reported under Section 82 of the Act. By implication it is not possible to confer jurisdiction which is not envisaged by the Statute.” GENERAL INFORMATION:- Although agriculture contributes only 21% of India’s GDP, its importance in the country’s economic, social, and political fabric goes well beyond this indicator. The rural areas are still home to some 72 percent of the India’s 1.1 billion people, a large number of whom are poor. Most of the rural poor depend on rain-fed agriculture and fragile forests for their livelihoods. Since inception of the ceiling laws on agricultural holdings, according to available reports upto the 30th September, 1998, the total quantum of land declared surplus in the entire country was 73.74 lakh acres, out of which about 65.11 lakh acres have been taken possession of an a total area of 53.05 lakh acres have been distributed to 55.37 lakh beneficiaries, of whom around 36% belong to the Scheduled Castes and Around 14% belong to the Scheduled Tribes. INCOME TAX ACT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS UNDER LAND REFORMS Correctness of assessment not to be questioned. 242. In a claim under this Chapter, it shall not be open to the assessee to question the correctness of any assessment or other matter decided which has become final and conclusive or ask for a review of the same, and the assessee shall not be entitled to any relief on such claim except refund of tax wrongly paid or paid in excess. Return of income, etc., not to be invalid on certain grounds. 292B. No return of income, assessment, notice, summons or other proceeding, furnished or made or issued or taken or purported to have been furnished or made or issued or taken in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act shall be invalid or shall be deemed to be invalid merely by reason of any mistake, defect or omission in such return of income, assessment, notice, summons or other proceeding if such return of income, assessment, notice, summons or other proceeding is in substance and effect in conformity with or according to the intent and purpose of this Act. Restrictions on transfer of immovable property. 269UC. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882), or in any other law for the time being in force, 80[no transfer of any immovable property in such area and of such value exceeding five lakh rupees, as may be prescribed81], shall be effected except after an agreement for transfer is entered into between the person who intends transferring the immovable property (hereinafter referred to as the transferor) and the person to whom it is proposed to be transferred (hereinafter referred to as the transferee) in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) at least 82[four] months before the intended date of transfer. Restrictions on registration, etc., of documents in respect of transfer of immovable property. 269UL. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, no registering officer appointed under the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), shall register any document which purports to transfer immovable property exceeding the value prescribed under section 269UC unless a certificate from the appropriate authority that it has no objection to the transfer of such property for an amount equal to the apparent consideration therefor as stated in the agreement for transfer of the immovable property in respect of which it has received a statement under sub-section (3) of section 269UC, is furnished along with such document. Failure to comply with the provisions of sections 269UC, 269UE and 269UL. 276AB. Whoever fails to comply with the provisions of section 269UC or fails to surrender or deliver possession of the property under sub-section (2) of section 269UE or contravenes the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 269UL shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine : Provided that in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be recorded in the judgment of the court, such imprisonment shall not be for less than six months. Wilful attempt to evade tax, etc. 276C. (1) If a person wilfully attempts in any manner whatsoever to evade any tax, penalty or interest chargeable or imposable under this Act, he shall, without prejudice to any penalty that may be imposable on him under any other provision of this Act, be punishable,— (i) in a case where the amount sought to be evaded exceeds one hundred thousand rupees, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine; (ii) in any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to three years and with fine. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, a wilful attempt to evade any tax, penalty or interest chargeable or imposable under this Act or the payment thereof shall include a case where any person— (i) has in his possession or control any books of account or other documents (being books of account or other documents relevant to any proceeding under this Act) containing a false entry or statement; or (ii) makes or causes to be made any false entry or statement in such books of account or other documents; or (iii) wilfully omits or causes to be omitted any relevant entry or statement in such books of account or other documents; or (iv) causes any other circumstance to exist which will have the effect of enabling such person to evade any tax, penalty or interest chargeable or imposable under this Act or the payment thereof.] False statement in verification, etc. 277. If a person makes a statement in any verification under this Act or under any rule made thereunder, or delivers an account or statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false, or does not believe to be true, he shall be punishable,— (i) in a case where the amount of tax, which would have been evaded if the statement or account had been accepted as true, exceeds one hundred thousand rupees, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine; (ii) in any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to three years and with fine. Obligation to furnish annual information return 285BA. (1) Any person, being— (a) an assessee; or (b) the prescribed person in the case of an office of Government; or……………… (d) the Registrar or Sub-Registrar appointed under section 6 of the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908); or……………… (g) the Collector referred to in clause (c) of section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894); or who is responsible for registering, or, maintaining books of account or other document containing a record of any specified financial transaction, under any law for the time being in force, shall furnish an annual information return , in respect of such specified financial transaction which is registered or recorded by him during any financial year beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 2004 and information relating to which is relevant and required for the purposes of this Act, to the prescribed income-tax authority or such other authority or agency as may be prescribed. COLLECTED FROM THE JUDGEMENT OF SAMATHA VS STATE OF AP & ORS : AIR 1997 SC 3297, In Superintendent and Legal Remembrancer, State of West Bengal v. Corporation of Calcutta a Bench of nine Judges of Supreme Court held that the archaic rule based on prerogative and protection of the Crown has no relevance to a democratic republic. It is inconsistent with the rule of law based on the doctrine of equality and introduces conflicts and anomalies. The normal construction, viz., that an enactment applies to citizens as well as to the State, unless it expressly or by necessary implication exempts the State from its operation, steers clear of all the anomalies and is consistent with the philosophy of equality enshrined in the Constitution. In Union of India v. Jubbi a three-Judge Bench had held that a statute applies to State as much it does to a citizen, unless, it expressly or by necessary implication, exempts the State from its operations. If the Legislature intended to exclude the applicability of the Act to the State, it could have easily stated in Section 11 itself or by a separate provision that the Act was not to be applied to the Union or to the lands held by it. In the absence of such a provision, in a constitutional set up like the one we have in this country, and of which the overriding basis is the broad concept of equality, free from any arbitrary discrimination, the presumption would be that a law of which the avowed object is to free the tenant of landlordism and to ensure to him security of tenure would bind all landlords irrespective of whether such a landlord is an ordinary individual or the Union. Constitution envisions to establish an egalitarian social order rendering to every citizen, social, economic and political justice in a social and economic democracy of the Bharat Republic. Article 261(1) of the Constitution provides that full faith and credit shall be given, throughout the territory of India, to public acts, record and judicial decisions of the Union and of every State. In Secretary, Jaipur Development Authority v. Daulat Mal Jain , a Bench of this Court had held thus: The Governor runs the Executive Government of a State with the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers which exercise the powers and performs its duties by the individual Ministers as public officers with the assistance of the bureaucracy working in various Departments and Corporate sectors etc. Though they are expressed in the name of the Governor, each Minister is personally and collectively responsible for the actions, acts and policies. They are accountable and answerable to the people. Their powers and duties are regulated by the law and the rules. The legal and moral responsibility or liability for the acts done or omissions, duties performed and policy laid down rest solely on the Minister of the Department. Therefore, they are indictable for their conduct or omission, or misconduct or misappropriation. The Council of Ministers are jointly and severally responsible to the Legislature. He/they is/are also publicly accountable for the acts or conducts in the performance of duties. The Minister holds public office though he gets constitutional status and performs functions under Constitution, law or executive policy. The acts done and duties performed are public acts or duties as holder of the public office. Therefore, he owes certain accountability for the acts done or duties performed. In a democratic society governed by rule of law, power is conferred on the holder of the public office or the concerned authority by the Constitution by virtue of appointment. The holder of the office, therefore, gets opportunity to abuse or misuse of the office. The politician who holds public office must perform public duties with the sense of purpose, and a sense of direction, under rules or sense of priorities. The purpose must be genuine in a free democratic society governed by the rule of law to further socio-economic democracy. The executive Government should frame its policies to maintain the social order, stability, progress and morality. All actions of the Government are performed through/by individual persons in collective or joint or individual capacity. Therefore, they should morally be responsible for their actions. When a Government in office misuses its powers, figuratively, we refer to the individual Minister/ Council of Ministers who are constituents of the Government. The Government acts through its bureaucrats, who shapes its social, economic and administrative policies to further the social stability and progress socially, economically and politically. Actions of the Government, should be accounted for social morality. Therefore, the actions of the individuals would reflect on the actions of the Government. The actions are intended to further the goals set down in the Constitution, the laws or administrative policy. The action would, therefore, bear necessary integral connection between the 'purpose' and the end object of public welfare and not personal gain. The action cannot be divorced from that of the individual actor. The end is something aimed at and only individuals can have and shape the aims to further the social, economic and political goals. The ministerial responsibility thereat comes into consideration. The Minister is responsible not only for his actions but also for the job of the bureaucrats who work or have worked under him. He owes the responsibility to the electors for all his actions taken in the name of the Governor in relation to the Department of which he is the head. The bureaucracy --an arm of the political executive -- assists as an integral part of administrative mechanism. Their actions or the acts, individually or collectively, are directed to elongate and fulfil the socio-economic goals set down in the Constitution to establish the egalitarian social order in which socio-economic justice is secured to the poor and weaker sections of the society including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in particular, as enjoined in Article 46 of the Constitution, to promote their socioeconomic interest and protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. Justice is an attribute of human conduct. Law, as a social engineering, is to remedy existing imbalances, as a vehicle to establish an egalitarian social order in a Socialist Secular Bharat Republic. The Upanishad says that, "let all be happy and healthy, let all be blessed with happiness and let none be unhappy". Bhagwatgeeta preaches through Yudhishtra that, "I do not long for kingdom, heaven or rebirth, but I wish to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate". Dias, in his "Jurisprudence" (5th Edn.) on 'distributive justice' in Chapter 4 at page 66, has stated that justice is not synonymous with equality: equality is one aspect of it. Justice is not something which can be captured in a formula once and for all. It is a process, a complex and shifting balance between many factors including equality. Justice is never given, it is always a task to be achieved. Justice is just allocation of advantages and disadvantages, preventing the abuse of power, preventing the abuse of liberty by providing facilities and opportunities to the poor and disadvantaged and deprived social segments for a just decision of disputes adapting to change. The founding fathers with hind sight, engrafted with prognosis, not only inalienable human rights as part of the Constitution but also charged the State as its policy to remove obstacles, disabilities and inequalities for human development and positive actions to provide opportunities and facilities to develop human dignity and equality of status and of opportunity for social and economic democracy. Economic and social equality is a facet of liberty without which meaningful life would be hollow and mirage. In Minerva Mills Ltd. v. Union of India , the Constitution Bench had held that the edifice of our Constitution is built upon the concept crystallised in the Preamble. We "the People" resolved to constitute ourselves a socialist State which carries with it the obligation to secure to the people, justice -- social, economic and political. We, therefore, put Part IV in to our Constitution containing Directive Principles of State policy which specifies the socialistic role to be achieved. In D. S. Nakara v. Union of India , another Constitution Bench had dealt with the object to amend the Preamble by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act and pointed out that the concept of Socialist Republic was to achieve socio-economic revolution to end poverty, ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. It was pointed out that socialism is a much misunderstood word. Values determine contemporary socialism -- pure and simple. The principle aim of socialist State is to eliminate inequality in income and status and standards of life. The basic framework of socialism is to provide a decent standard of life to the working people especially to provide security from cradle to grave. The less equipped person shall be assured a decent minimum standard of life and exploitation in any form shall be prohibited. There will be equitable distribution of national cake and the worst off shall be treated in such a manner as to push them up the ladder. Supreme court of India in a series of cases, entitled Vineet Narain vs. Union of India:- 1996 (2) Scale (SP) 42, 1996 (2) SCC 199, 1997(4) SCC. 778, 1998(1) SCC 226, 1998 (8) SCC. 661. In these judgments, the Supreme Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Revenue authorities to fairly and properly conduct and complete the investigation expeditiously against every person involved, irrespective of position and status. The Supreme Court observed that it is the bounden duty of the judiciary to enforce the rule of law and to see that investigation into corruption “is conducted in accordance with law and is not scuttled by anybody”. The Court further observed:- “the holders of public offices are entrusted with certain powers to be exercised in public interest alone and, therefore, the office is held by them in trust for the people. Any deviation from the path of rectitude by any of them amounts to breach of trust and must be severely dealt with instead of being pushed under the carpet. If the conduct amounts to an offence, it must be promptly investigated and the offender against whom a prima-facie case is made out should be prosecuted expeditiously so that the majesty of law is upheld and the rule of law vindicated.

The public man should have crystal-clear and transparent personality

In one of the judgment of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Ram Singh have observed as follows and it is quoted for your kind attention:-- "Corruption in a civilised society is a disease like cancer, which if not detected in time, is sure to malignise the polity of the country leading to disastrous consequence. It is termed as plague, which is not only contagious but if not controlled spreads like a fire in a jungle. Its virus is compared with HIV leading to AIDS, being incurable, it has also been termed as royal thievery. The socio-political system exposed to such a dreaded communicable disease is likely to crumble under its own weight. Corruption is opposed to democracy and social order, being not only anti-people, but aimed and targeted against them. If affects the economy and destroys the cultural heritage, unless nipped in the bud at the earliest, it is likely to cause turbulence – shaking of the socio-economi-political system in an otherwise healthy, wealthy, effective and vibrating society". IN A CASE REPORTED IN ILR 2000 KAR 637, 2000 (3) Kar LJ 432 OF S. Bangarappa vs State By Central Bureau Of Investigation, Anti Corruption Bureau, Bangalore, JUSTICE B Sangalad OBSERVED AS FOLLOWS: No doubt corruption affects the moral fabric of the society. The citizens lose their faith in the political leaders who shout that they are for the people. No doubt many people go unpunished although corruption causes considerable damage to the economy of the nation. The roots of corruption are so deep that it is an uphill task to eradicate them. It is only possible if and only if each citizen in our country follows the philosophy of contentment. To quench the thirst of greed and lust one must be drenched in shower of honesty and the fountain of sublime love should sprinkle the magical drops on the eyes of everyone who has shut his eyes for the reality of the life. Unless one tries to find a golden key to open the gates of wisdom, the heavenly life remains as a myth and we are all making the futile effort to attain divinity in our life. The public man should have crystal-clear and transparent personality. Ceaser's wife must be above suspicion.

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS

CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS