Hiring Of Middlemen To Get Farmers’ Land For Cooperative Society Can’t Be Allowed: SC [Read Judgment]

Hiring Of Middlemen To Get Farmers’ Land For Cooperative Society Can’t Be Allowed: SC [Read Judgment]


The concept of hiring middlemen to get lands of the poor agricultural workers acquired by the state government in favour of a Cooperative Society is abhorrent and cannot be granted the sanction of law, the Bench observed.


The Supreme Court in R. RAJASHEKAR AND ORS. VS. TRINITY HOUSE BUILDING CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY AND ORS., has observed that the concept of hiring middlemen to get lands of poor agricultural workers acquired by the state government in favour of a Cooperative Society is abhorrent and cannot be granted the sanction of law.

The Bench comprising Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel upheld a Single Bench order of the Karnataka High Court which had quashed the acquisition notifications in favour of a Cooperative Society, which had paid consideration to a person to act as an agent between it and the state government, to ensure that the lands of the original land owners are acquired in its favour.

Referring to Rattan Chand Hira Chand v. Askar Nawaz Jung, the court said: “The principle of law that an agreement under which a party to an agreement is required to influence a statutory authority and to procure a decision favourable to the other party, is certainly opposed to public policy.”

The court also observed that neither was a scheme framed by the Society nor was a prior approval granted by the state government. Setting aside the Division Bench order, the court held: “The Division Bench of the High Court in the instant case, accordingly, held that the approval granted in the case on hand sufficiently satisfied the requirements of Section 3(f)(vi) of the L.A. Act. The Division Bench of the High Court, however, crucially fails to appreciate the fact that the said letter issued by the state government to the Deputy Commissioner does not speak of either framing of a housing scheme as contemplated under Section 3(f)(vi) of the L.A. Act or approval of the same as has been interpreted by the three-judge Bench decision of this court in the case of H.M.T. House Building Co-operative Society (supra), which has been reiterated by this court in subsequent judgments on the similar set of facts including that of Bangalore City Coop. Housing Society Ltd.(supra).”

The court further observed: “The evidence on record clearly indicates that the respondent-Society paid consideration to S. Rangarajan to act as the agent between it and the state government, to ensure that the lands of the original landowners are acquired in its favour. Upholding such an acquisition would be akin to approving to such type of agreements, which are opposed to public policy, and the same cannot be allowed by this court under any circumstances, as the concept of hiring middlemen to get lands of the poor agricultural workers acquired by the state government in favour of a Cooperative Society is abhorrent and cannot be granted the sanction of law.”

Read the Judgment here.