Tillekeratne Banda and another v. Kalubanda and another
TILLEKERATNE BANDA AND ANOTHER
v.KALUBANDA AND ANOTHER
G. P. S. DE SILVA, C.J., KULATUNGA, J.
AND RAMANATHAN, J.
SC APPEAL NO. 29/92.
MARCH 02, 1993.
Tenant cultivator – Dispossession by injunction – Eviction – Agrarian ServicesAct s. 5 (5) – Jurisdiction of District Court.
The respondent was deprived of the occupation of a paddy field pursuant to aninterim injunction issued by the District Court. An Assistant Commissioner ofAgrarian Services made order that the respondent was a tenant cultivator andthat he had been evicted. The Court of Appeal affirmed the said order holdingthat the District Court had no jurisdiction to issue an injunction as the matterwas within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Agrarian Services.
The District Court lacks jurisdiction where the owner of a paddy field seeksto have his tenant cultivator ejected from it
Here the landlord instituted the action on the basis that the respondent wasa trespasser ; hence it cannot be stated that the interim order was madewithout jurisdiction.
The view that there was an eviction of the respondent by the landlord iserroneous.
Cases relied on :
Hendrick Appuhamy v. John AppuhamyAPPEAL from judgment of the Court of Appeal.
K. S. Tillekeratne for appellant.
S. C. B. Walgampaya for respondent.
Sri Lanka Law Reports
(1993) 1 Sri L.R.
March 02, 1993.
G. P. S. DE SILVA, C. J.
The respondent to this appeal made an application dated 15th March1977 to the Assistant Commissioner of Agrarian Services complainingthat he was evicted by the landlord (who is now the appellant beforeus) from the paddy field called ' Webodakumbura The basic groundof his complaint was that by virtue of an order of the District Courtof Kurunegala he was prevented from cultivating the paddy field. Theother point that arises for decision on this appeal is whether the factthat the applicant was prevented from cultivating the paddy field byvirtue of an order of Court amounts to "eviction” within the meaningof section 5 (5) of the Agrarian Services Act, No. 58 of 1979 readwith the definition of the expression “eviction" in section 68 of thesaid Act. The Court of Appeal took the view that the order of theDistrict Court amounts to "eviction" within the meaning of the Act.
It is to be noted that the respondent who relied on the order ofthe District Court has not produced a copy of that order nor hadhe produced a copy of the plaint and proceedings in the DistrictCourt. In fact the Court of Appeal in the course of its judgmentobserved that "it is rather unfortunate that neither the plaint nor theorder of the District Court had been produced at the inquiry (beforethe Assistant Commissioner of Agrarian Services) or in this Court".Mr. Walgampaya for the respondent contended that the DistrictCourt had no jurisdiction to issue the order complained of, andhe relied strongly on the judgment in Hendrick Appuhamy v. JohnAppuhamy 0). In the first place, it would appear that HendrickAppuhamy's case was an action instituted by the owner of apaddy field seeking to have his tenant cultivator ejected from it.Mr. Walgampaya stated that according to the proceedings beforethe Assistant Commissioner for Agrarian Services, the landlord hadinstituted in the District Court of Kurunegala an action of declarationof title and ejectment of the respondent on the basis that therespondent was a trespasser. Therefore in our view HendrickAppuhamy's case has no application to the instant case.
Moreover having regard to the fact that the action in the DistrictCourt was on the basis that the respondent was a ' trespasser ',it cannot be stated that the issue of the order by the Court was madewithout jurisdiction. In these circumstances we are of the view that
Lrvinis Silva and another v. Fernando and another
the Court of Appeal was in error when it took the view that therewas an eviction of the respondent by the Appellant-Landlord. Weaccordingly allow the appeal and set aside the order of the Courtof Appeal and the order of the Assistant Commissioner of AgrarianServices. The decision in this appeal will not effect any proceedingspending in any Court or other forum. In all the circumstances wemake no order for costs.
KULATUNGA, J. – I agree.
RAMANATHAN, J. – I agree.