..::What is procedure of Partition of Agricultural Land?

Partition of Agricultural land.

Any joint owner of land may apply to a Revenue Officer for partition of his share in the land if–

(a)  at the date of the application the share belonging to him; or

(b)  his right to the share has been established by a decree which is still subsisting at the date; or

(c)  a written acknowledgment of that right has been executed by all persons interested in the admission or denial thereof.

Restrictions and limitations on partition.– Notwithstanding the provisions of section 135–

(a)  places of worship and burial grounds held in common before partition shall continue to be so held after partition; and

(b)  partition of any of the following properties, namely:-

(i)  any embankment, water-course, well or tank and any land on which the supply of water to any such work may depend;

(ii)  any grazing ground; and

(iii)  any land which is occupied as the site of a town or village, may be refused if, in the opinion of the Revenue Officer, the partition of such property is likely to cause inconvenience to the co-sharers or other persons directly or indirectly interested therein, or to diminish the utility thereof to those persons.

Notice of application for partition.– The Revenue Officer, on receiving the application shall, if it is in order, and not open to objection on the face of it, fix a day for the hearing thereof, and–

(a)  cause notice of the application and of the day so fixed to be served on such of the recorded co-sharers as have not joined in the application; and

(b)  If he thinks fit, cause the notice to be served on or proclaimed for the information of any other persons whom he may deem to be directly or indirectly interested in the application.

Addition of parties to application.– On the day fixed for the hearing of the application, or on any other day to which the hearing may be adjourned, the Revenue Officer shall ascertain whether any of the other co-shares desire the partition of their shares also, and if any of them so desires, he shall add him as an applicant for partition.

Dis-allowance of partition.– After examining such of the co-sharers and other persons as may be present on that day, the Revenue Officer may, if he is of opinion that there is good and sufficient cause for partition to be disallowed, reject the application, recording the grounds for such rejection.

Procedure on admission of application.– If the Revenue Officer does not reject the application, he shall ascertain the questions, if any, in dispute between any of the persons interested, distinguishing between–

(a)  questions as to title in the property of which partition is sought; and

(b)  questions as to the property to be divided or the mode of making the partition.

Disposal of questions as to title in the property to be divided.–

(1) When there is a question as to title in any property of which partition is sought, the Revenue Officer may decline to grant the application for partition until the question has been determined by a competent Court, or he may himself proceed to determine the question as though he were such a Court.

(2)  Where the Revenue Officer does not himself proceed to determine the question of title as a Civil Court, he may, for reasons to be recorded by him in this behalf, require a party specified by him to file a suit in a Civil Court, within such period not exceeding ninety days from the date of his order as he may fix, for obtaining a decision regarding the question.

(3)  On the filing of a civil suit by the party required so to do within the specified period, the Revenue Officer shall suspend further action on the application for partition till the said civil suit is decided by the Court and a copy of the Court’s order is produced before him.

(4)  In case the party so required fails to file a suit within the specified period, the Revenue Officer may proceed with the partition and decide the question of title himself.

(5)  Where the Revenue Officer himself proceeds to determine the question, the following rules shall apply, namely:-

(a)  If the question is one over which a Revenue Court has jurisdiction, the Revenue Officer shall proceed as a Revenue Court under the law for the time being in force.

(b)  If the question is one over which a Civil Court has jurisdiction, the procedure of the Revenue Officer shall be that applicable to the trial of an original suit by a Civil Court, and he shall record a judgement and a decree containing the particulars required by the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 (Act V of 1908), to be specified therein.

(c)  An appeal shall lie from the decree of the Revenue Officer under clause (b) as though that decree were a decree of a Civil Judge in an original suit.

(d)  Upon such an appeal being made, the District Court or the High Court, as the case may be, may issue an injunction to the Revenue Officer requiring him to stay proceedings pending the disposal of the appeal.

(e)  From the appellate decree of a District Court upon such an appeal, a further appeal shall lie to the High Court, if such further appeal is allowed by the law for the time being in force.

Disposal of other questions.–

(1) When there is a question as to the property to be divided, or the mode of making a partition, the Revenue Officer shall, after such inquiry as he deems necessary, record an order stating his decision on the question and his reasons for the decision.

(2)  An appeal may be preferred from an order under sub-section (1) within thirty days from the date thereof, and, when such an appeal is preferred and the institution thereof has been certified to the Revenue Officer by the authority to whom the appeal has been preferred, the Revenue Officer shall stay further proceedings pending the disposal of the appeal.

(3)  If an applicant for partition is dissatisfied with an original or appellate order under this section, and applies for permission to withdraw from the proceedings in so far as they relate to the partition of his share, he shall be permitted to withdraw therefrom on such terms as the Revenue Officer thinks fit.

(4)  When an applicant withdraws under the provisions of sub-section (3), the Revenue Officer may, where the other applicants, if any, desire the continuance of the proceedings, continue them in so far as they relate to the partition of the shares of those other applicants.

Administration of property excluded from partition.– When any such property as is referred above is excluded from partition, the Revenue Officer may determine the extent to and the manner in which the co-shares and other persons interested therein may make use thereof, and the proportion in which expenditure incurred thereon and profit derived therefrom are, respectively, to be borne by and divided among those persons or any of them.

Distribution of revenue and rent after partition.–

(1) The amount of revenue to be paid in respect of each of the holdings into which land has been divided on a partition shall be determined by the Revenue Officer making the partition.

(2)  The decision of the Revenue Officer under sub-section (1) as to the revenue to be paid in respect of each holding shall, where the estate in which the holding is situate is subject to a fixed assessment, be deemed to be an order under sub-section (1) of section 67 of Land Revenue Act.

(3)  Where new estates have been created at a partition and the land-revenue has been fraudulently or erroneously distributed among them, the Board of Revenue may, within twelve years from the time of discovery of the fraud or error, order a new distribution of the land revenue among the several estates, on an estimate of the assets of each estate at the time of the partition to be made conformably to the best evidence and information procurable respecting the same.

Instrument of partition.– When a partition is completed, the Revenue Officer shall cause an instrument of partition to be prepared and the date on which the partition is to take effect to be recorded therein.

Delivery of possession of property allotted on partition.– An owner to whom any land is allotted in proceedings for partition shall be entitled to possession thereof as against the other parties to the proceedings and their legal representatives, and a Revenue Officer shall, on application made to him for the purpose by any such owner at any time within three years from the date recorded in the instrument of partition under section 145 of Land revenue Act, give effect to that instrument so far as it concerns the applicant as if it were a decree for immovable property.

Affirmation of partition privately effected.–

(1) In any case in which a partition has been made without the intervention of a Revenue Officer, any party thereto may apply to a Revenue Officer for an order affirming the partition.

(2)  On receiving the application, the Revenue Officer shall enquire into the case, and if he finds that the partition has in fact been made, he may make an order affirming it and proceed, in the same manner as if the partition had been made on an application to himself under this Chapter.

Power to make rules as to cost of partition.– The Board of Revenue may, with the previous approval of Government, make rules for determining the costs of partitions under this Chapter and the mode in which such costs are to be apportioned.

Re-distribution of land according to custom.– When by established custom, any land in an estate is subject to periodical re-distribution, a Revenue Officer may, on the application of any of the land-owners, enforce the re-distribution according to the custom, and for this purpose may exercise all or any of the powers of a Revenue Officer in proceedings for partition.

Officers who may be empowered to act under this Chapter.– The Revenue Officer by whom proceedings may be taken under this Chapter shall be a Revenue Officer not below an Assistant Collector of the First Grade.