Legal Advice

Right to irrigation of agricultural land

Question: I was Bataidar of the agricultural land of Solan, Himachal Pradesh. I had been Bataidar from 1967 to 1977 and thereafter I purchased that land from the owner. There is a common well for irrigation of land. When I was bataidar I used that well for irrigation but when I became the owner of the land my previous landlord objected to using that well. He filed a civil suit for the injunction order for stopping me to use that well. I have right to irrigation of agricultural land because due to irrigation I have paid more money otherwise the land would be sold on less price. His suit is dismissed by the court of the junior and senior division. Now he filed an appeal before the high court. Section 36 of the H.P. Tenancy and land reform act gives such right to me.

Advise

According to section 36 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and land reform act, the tenant has the right to use all the facilities available before commencement of the act. This act came in force in the year 1972 and your tenancy had been in existence from the year 1967.

When you had right irrigated your land from that common well then the landlord has no right to curtail or terminate use of well water enjoyed by tenant immediately before the commencement of this act. Subsection 3 of section 104 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and land reform act also protect your right. According to this section, you have all the rights, title and interest in respect of the land which was enjoyed by the landowner immediately before sell or transfer of land.

This common well has been used by the landowners for irrigation of their lands. So you have accrued that interest and right by the taking ownership of that land. All the incidental and contingent rights of the property are transferred to the purchaser at the time of sell or transfer of property, so you got the right to irrigation of agricultural land from the landowner.

You should not be afraid of the High Court because it is a court of record and not need to re-appreciation of evidence in deciding right of the parties.

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow