Dodamcela v. Bandiya
1968 Present: H. N. G. Fernando, C.J., and Wijayatilake, J.DODANWELA, Appellant, and BANDIYA, RespondentS.C. 309j65 (P)—D. 0. Knrunegala-, 5971L
Paddy Lands Act, I7e>. J of J03S—Section 03—Mcuuiny oj term “ cultivator ’’—Burden of proof.
Where, in on notion for declaration of title and ejectment in respect of aland, the defendant pleads that the land is a paddy hind and that ho, being thecultivator of it as tenant under the plaintiff, cannot bo ejected by reason oftho provisions of the Paddy Lauds Act, the burden is on the defendant to prov..-that he did not employ hired labour for tho work specified in paragraph (b) oftho definition of “ cultivator ” in section G3 of tho Paddy Lands Act und that hodid not employ hired labour for at least two of tho operations mentioned inparagraph («) of the definition.
H. X. G. FERNANDO, C.J.—Dodauiccla t>. JBanSiya
Appeal from a judgment of the District Court, Kurunegala.
R. Gunaratne, for the plaintiff-appellant-.
R. P. Goonelilleke, with Chulpcithmcndra Dahanayake, for thedefendant- respondent.
September 27, 196S. H. N. G. Fernando, C.J.—
The plaintiff sued the defendant for declaration of title and ejectmentin respect of two lands specified in tlie schedule to the plaint. Thedefendant pleaded that the lands were paddy lands and that he was thecultivator of the lands as tenant under the plaintiff and that he couldnot be ejected by reason of the provisions of the Paddy Lands Act. Thelearned Judge was satisfied that the defendant did not himself cultivate-land No. 2 and in respect of that land-e-ntercd judgment-for- the-piaintiff.
In the case of land No. 1 however the learned Judge has held in favourof the defendant. It would appear that the learned Trial Judge based hisdecision upon a consideration of the question whether the defendant hadworked or cultivated the field or in other words had been generally•responsible for the cultivation. In regard to land No. 1, the Judgewas satisfied that the defendant had passed that test.
The definition of ‘ cultivator ’ in Section 63 of the Paddy Lands Actrefers however to a somewhat different matter, namely, the questionwhether the tenant by himself or by any member, of his family, andwithout the employment of hired labour, carries out the major part ofthe actual work of cultivation. A burden lay on the defendant in thiscase to satisfy the Trial Judge that.he did not employ hired labour forthe work specified in paragraph (6) of the definition and that he did notemploy hired labour for at least two of the operations of work mentionedin paragraph (a) of the definition. Far from giving evidence to such aneffect, the defendant merely stated as follows :—
“ I cultivated these fields mj^self. I got the villagers to help me attimes, otherwise I employed labourers to cultivate them. ”
It seems to us that at the least the defendant made no attemptto prove the facts which the definition in the Act requires him to-prove.
The appeal is allowed without costs. The decree is amended in orderto provide that the defendant be ejected from land No. I Maltamuttetuwa.and also from land No. 2. The decree is further amended bysubstituting Rs. 300/- per annum for Rs. 60/- as the amount of the-damages.
Wijayatilake, J.—I agree.
DODANWELA, Appellant, and BANDIYA, Respondent