The Karnataka land Reforms Act, 1961, (“the Act”) was enacted, inter alia, to address agrarian relations, tenancy, ownership and ceiling in ownership of agricultural land in Karnataka.
The Karnataka Land Reforms Amendment (Ordinance), 2020 (“the Ordinance”) was notified on July 13, 2020 by the Government of Karnataka (“the Government”) after having received the Governor of Karnataka’s assent. The Ordinance has been promulgated to allow non-agriculturists, companies, trusts, societies to purchase agricultural land. It also increases the ceiling limit of ownership of agricultural land. The stated intention of the Government is to, inter alia,
The significant amendments are as below:
a. 79A: prohibition of acquisition of agricultural land by certain persons. By virtue of this section a person (or family) that has an assured annual income of at least Rs. 25,00,000 (Rupees twenty five lacs) from a non-agricultural land could not acquire land as a land owner, landlord tenant or mortgagee with possession or otherwise or partly in one capacity and partly in another.
b. 79B: prohibition of holding of agricultural land by certain persons. The Section mandated that only a person cultivating land personally could hold agricultural land. By virtue of the said Section it was unlawful for educational, religious or charitable institution or society or trust, company, co-operative society, to hold agricultural land.
c. 79C: penalty for falsely claiming eligibility to hold agricultural land. The penalty for falsely claiming was the vesting away of the right title and interest in the land with the state government.
a. 80(1)(b): pertained to prohibition of mortgage of any land or interest therein (in which the possession of the mortgaged property was being delivered to the mortgagee) when it was in favour of a person who was not an agriculturist or not an agricultural labourer or who had land which exceeded the limits mentioned in Sections 63 and 64 or who was disentitled to hold as per Sections 79A or 79B of the Act.
b. 80(1)(a)(iii): pertained prohibition on transfer of agricultural land to a non-agricultural labourer
c. 80(1)(a)(iv): pertained to prohibition of land to ones disentailed to ownership of agricultural land by virtue of Sections 79A or 79B of the Act.
Sale, including sale in execution of a decree of a civil court or recovery of arrears of land revenue, gift or exchange or lease of any land or interest thereon, of agricultural land is now restricted to owners of certain classes of irrigated land who do not use the land for agriculture. Sale is also restricted to owners or tenants (or partly as owner and partly as tenant) who hold land exceeding the limits specified in Sections 63 and 64 of the Act.
This update has been contributed by Maneesha Kongovi (Partner) and Shivabhushan S. Hatti (Associate).
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