Prior to the enforcement of the Bombay Tenancy and Agri-cultural Lands (Vidarbha Region and Kutch Area) Act, 1958, the relations between the landlord and the tenant were governed by the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code and the Berar Regulation of Agricultural Leases Act of 1951. Under this Act the tenants were not entitled to the right of purchasing the land held by them as lessee, nor had they the pre-emption right of purchasing the land held by them as lessee when the landlord intended to sell the land. It was, however, provided that (i) no lease-deed would be for a period of less than five years, (ii) the protected lessee had no right to transfer his occupancy rights to any one except to the owner, and (iii) the landlord as also the tenant had a right to get the lease-money fixed by Government. These regulations were further amended. Under the amended regulations it was provided that the lessee could be declared as a protected tenant if the owner of the leased land was not a woman or a disabled person, and also that the tenant could be declared as a protected tenant if he had furnished the required information about his rights to the land by 1st February 1954. In the amendment it was also provided that the landlord had no right to oust the tenant. The protection to the tenants, however, did not apply to the tenants cultivating over 20.250 hectares (50 acres) of land, and the landlord had no right to oust a tenant unless a specific permission to the effect was obtained from Revenue Officers. The tenant was entitled to reclaim the land within a year of such ousting.

The Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (Vidarbha Region and Kutch Area) Act, 1958, which is the prevailing tenancy Act, came into force from 30th December 1958. This Act confers on all tenants the rights of purchasing the land from the owner. All the privileges of a protected tenant art-granted to the ordinary tenants as well. The present enactment has unified the provisions of the old enactments in force, and at the same time aims at finally defining the rights of the tenants. It provides for tenancy rights by succession and regulates the sale of agricultural land exceeding two-third of the ceiling area as determined under the Maharashtra Agricultural Lands (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961, to non-agriculturists or even to agriculturists holding land as tenants. Widows, minors, disabled persons, persons under preventive detention and public trusts have been granted protection under the new Act.

The new Act has made considerable changes in the provisions relating to rent, termination of tenancy, inheritance of tenancy rights, etc., of the prior enactment. It also contains provisions in regard to family holdings, ceiling on holding and compulsory purchase of land by tenants subject to certain conditions and exceptions. It has provided that the landlord can take over management of the lands which are not efficiently cultivated or which are left fallow for two or more consecutive seasons. A landlord has been given the right of resumption under the following conditions: -

(i) He was to give the necessary notice of termination of tenancy on or before 15th February 1961. and to apply for possession of land on or before 31st March 1961.

(2) Landlords whose total holding did not exceed one family holding were given a special right to terminate tenancies created by them not earlier than April 1957. The last date for application was 26th January 1962.

(3) Small holders, viz., landlords whose holding did not exceed one-third of the family holding on 15th February 1961 and who earned their livelihood from agricultural pursuits, were given a right to take back their land from the tenant by giving a written notice within one year from the date of enforcement of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (Vidarbha Region and Kutch Area) Amendment Act of 1961. The application for possession was to be made before 1st April 1963.

The following statement gives the statistics regarding the working of the Tenancy Act.

(Position as on 1st August 1963).

Number of cases filed


Number of cases disposed of


Number of cases pending


Number of cases decided in favour of tenants.


Number of cases decided in favour of landlords.