13 Nov 2017 03:12am IST
Sanjay S. Usgaonker
The Goa Agricultural Tenancy Act, 1964 came into force w.e.f. February 8, 1965. Its preamble reads thus : “An Act to provide for the regulation of the terms of tenancy with respect to agricultural lands in the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu and for matters connected therewith.
The authorities under the said Act are the Mamlatdar, Collector and the Administrative Tribunal. Civil courts have no jurisdiction to settle, decide or deal with any question which is by, or under, the said Act required to be settled, decided or dealt with by the said authorities ; and no order made by these authorities under the said Act shall be questioned in any court.
It is the jurisdiction of the Mamlatdar to decide any question as to whether any person is or was a tenant or deemed to be a tenant and whether any land is or is not used for agricultural purposes.
Appeals from orders made by the Mamlatdar lie to the Collector and revisions against appellate orders made by the Collector lie to the Tribunal. The Government has appointed all the Joint Mamlatdars to perform the duties of the Mamlatdar for the purpose of the said Act. The Government has delegated to the Deputy Collector the powers conferred on the Collector by the said Act.
The main causes for delay in disposal of cases under the said Act are as under : adjournments leniently granted by the said authorities, too many cases listed on a day for hearings, absence of advocates for several hearings, lack of adequate knowledge of procedure and law on the part of the Mamlatdars and the Deputy Collectors, frequent transfers of the Mamlatdars and the Deputy Collectors fresh arguments on account of transfers, unscientific manner in which the files are maintained, lengthy cross-examinations of witnesses by some advocates with irrelevant questions, prolix oral arguments by some advocates, adjournments by the authorities for making orders after hearing arguments , slipshod orders made by the authorities, on account of lack of proper knowledge or efficiency resulting in remand of the cases, tossing of the cases from the said authorities to the civil courts and vice versa, absence of a sunset clause of a certain number of years for filing applications claiming tenancy, absence of the Mamlatdars and the Deputy Collectors for several hearings on account of election duty, Legislative Assembly sessions, meetings, law and order problems, etc, the remedies of appeal as well as revision provided against orders made by the Mamlatdar.
There ought to have been only appeal provided against orders made by the Mamlatdar to the Tribunal.
If the mind is applied to the above causes and corrective measures are taken it will certainly help in early disposal of cases.