Can com­pany buy Agri­cul­tural Land?

Accommodation Times - - .. Legal.. - By A. T. News Ser­vice

Pvt. LTD. COM­PANY CAN CER­TAINLY BUYAGRICULTURAL LAND

1. A Pvt. Ltd. com­pany CAN CER­TAINLY BUY AGRI­CUL­TURAL LAND and de­velop and per­form agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties on it, BUT SUB­JECT TO the ap­proved pro­vi­sions of ar­ti­cles and the Me­moran­dum of the pvt.ltd and MUST be ap­proved by the Reg­is­trar of Com­pa­nies (ROC). There is no re­quire­ment of any di­rec­tor be­ing an agri­cul­tur­ist. The Ar­ti­cles of the Pvt. Ltd. co. should clearly out­line the agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties the Pvt. Ltd. pro­poses to in­dulge in.

2. Self-use-Farm-house is within the def­i­ni­tion of Agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, BUT sub­ject to var­i­ous con­di­tions un­der the Act. A bungalow or a hol­i­day­home built over agri­cul­tural land, is not a Farm-house, and would be il­le­gal & unau­tho­rized and sub­ject to de­mo­li­tion by the area tehsil­dar / col­lec­tors of­fice.

3. Agri­cul­tural land can be owned ONLY & ONLY by an­ces­tral farm­ers and strictly not other­wise. Hence by this logic, the Farm-houses can be sold and pur­chased ONLY & ONLY by farm­ers / agri­cul­tur­ists and not other­wise, UN­LESS AND UN­TIL the agri­cul­tural land has been duly con­verted to non-agri­cul­tural and THEN a house has been built over it.

4. In Ma­ha­rash­tra state, an agri­cul­tur­ist / farmer has to hold a min­i­mum of 100 gun­thas (one hectare or say 2.5 acres) to get due per­mis­sion to build self use­farm-house, but sub­ject to only on one gun­tha (i.e. 1024 sq. feet). Any­thing else would be “il­le­gal & unau­tho­rized”.

This is ap­pli­ca­ble on agri­cul­tural land and not on Non-agri­cul­tural land.

The col­lec­tors’ terms and con­di­tions of con­struc­tions on a N.A. Land are to­tally dif­fer­ent.

1. Un­der the Com­pa­nies Act, a regd. co. may per­form those ac­tiv­i­ties that are listed in the Ob­jects, Ar­ti­cles and the me­moran­dum. By virtue of its ob­jects and ar­ti­cles, as regd. un­der the com­pa­nies act, the Pvt. Ltd., (now non-per­son) can func­tion and per­form agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and need not be a agri­cul­tur­ist as in the case of an in­di­vid­ual per­son.

2. The co. has an ob­ject of do­ing say. Raised Gar­den or say Hor­ti­cul­ture or say Soy­bean cul­ti­va­tion. The co. af­ter do­ing the above has to file the yearly land rev­enue fees, ac­cord­ing to the us­age of the land. i. e. land rev­enue is dif­fer­ent for agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and for non-agricul- tu­ral ac­tiv­i­ties. False dec­la­ra­tions and fil­ing will lead to prose­cu­tion by the Rev­enue dept., which has a manda­tory duty to pe­ri­od­i­cally in­spect and file re­ports with the district col­lec­tor’s of­fice.

3. In the fu­ture event, if the pvt. ltd. Co. folds- up or say closes down, then it can­not dis­pose of its agri­cul­ture land bank to non-farm­ers for non-agri­cul­tural pur­poses. The agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties are limited to the ex­is­tence of the Co. If there is no com­pany, all the property etc… Can be at­tached by statu­tory au­thor­i­ties (I. Tax, S. Tax, Rev­enue Dept., En­vi­ron­ment Dept, and Pol­lu­tion Dept among oth­ers)

The di­rec­tors of the Pvt. Ltd., DO NOT BE­COME FARM­ERS / AGRI­CUL­TUR­ISTS au­to­mat­i­cally just be­cause their co. had ear­lier owned of agri­cul­tural land and nei­ther the heir of such di­rec­tors may ever claim right as Farmer or as an agri­cul­tur­ist.

There is no such thing as in­her­i­tance in a com­pany or say to a non-in­di­vid­ual-per­son. If the an­nual re­port / bal­ance sheet / P&F of the com­pany shows any profit / loss per­tain­ing to any non-agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties on the said agri­cul­tural land, THEN it will be clear vi­o­la­tions of the ob­jects & ar­ti­cles and the col­lec­tor may at­tach / ac­quire the said land.

There are sev­eral pa­ram­e­ters which have to be taken into ac­count, when agri- land is owned by cor­po­rate and agri ac­tiv­i­ties are per­formed by such co.

4. If the col­lec­tors in­spects the ac­tiv­i­ties of a par­tic­u­lar agri­cul­tural land and finds that the agri­cul­tural land is be­ing used for other pur­poses, then he has to at­tach/ ac­quire the said land from the own­ers. Ex­am­ple:

5. a) A regd. Pvt. Ltd. whose ob­jects and ar­ti­cles com­ply with the com­pa­nies act, iden­ti­fies a agri­cul­tural land buys it. Reg­is­ters it af­ter pay­ing nec­es­sary du­ties and taxes. Co. also sub- mits un­der­tak­ing to use land only for so and so pur­poses.

b) Sub­mits documents to Tah­sil­dar’s of­fice for change in rev­enue records. Tah­sil­dar in­spects the co. reg­is­tra­tion and ar­ti­cles and the sale pa­pers etc. and ap­proves the own­er­ship ti­tle change-over, BUT af­ter tak­ing per­mis­sion from the col­lec­tors’ of­fice.

c) In fu­ture Co. vi­o­lates the un­der­tak­ing and uses the land for other pur­poses. Tah­sil­dar / Col­lec­tor, af­ter due notices may at­tach /ac­quire the land. Co loses ti­tle.

6. Lit­er­ally more than 15% land in In­dia is held in the name of cor­po­rate, hold­ing com­pa­nies, char­i­ta­ble trusts and other non­in­di­vid­u­als. The most com­mon name in Mum­bai area is Go­drej group, who holds vast tracts of agri­cul­tural and other waste land in the name of Go­drej Hold­ings. There are sev­eral hun­dreds of com­pa­nies who are do­ing plan­ta­tion and Tea Gar­dens, Hor­ti­cul­ture, Flori­cul­ture and Forestry plan­ta­tions.

7. There is land be­long­ing to Col­lec­tor, the State Govt. the Cen­tral Govt. The de­fense forces, the air­port au­thor­i­ties and other PSU. They are no re­stric­tions to them.

8. BUT, the agri­cul­tural land trans­fer to non farmer and to non- agri­cul­tur­ist is RE­STRICTED ONLY TO IN­DI­VID­U­ALS and not other­wise.

9. Agri­cul­ture in­come is presently Tax-Free in the hands of In­di­vid­u­als.

10. Agri­cul­ture in­come in NOT TAX FREE for com­pa­nies.

1. How to de­ter­mine sta­tus of “An­ces­tral Farmer “The ta­lathi or lekh-pal (vil­lage land rev­enue records) has a reg­is­ter of land hold­ings as per the then sur­vey and claims of people prior to 1950. This reg­is­ter is known as “vil­lage ex­tract” or form no. “6A”. This doc­u­ment can be clas­si­fied as “Con­clu­sive proof”, un­der the Ev­i­dence Act.

The copies of the above are also nowa­days (in Ma­ha­rash­tra) avail­able in com­put­er­ized for­mat with the sub-district Tah­sil­dar’s of­fice or the Col­lec­tors of­fice.

2. IF farmer Mr. ABC’s name is in this “Form- 6A”, since 1950, then he is clas­si­fied as “An­ces­tral Farmer” and ALL (re­peat) ALL his le­gal heir (in­line) which in­cludes his wife, daugh­ter, son and on till date are “An­ces­tral Farm­ers” and all such agri­cul­tural in­come from such lands are ex­empted un­der the In­come Tax.

3. Based & Armed with form no. 6A and the cur­rent hold­ing of land (7×12 ex­tract), and cre­den­tial cer­tifi­cate is­sued by the “Gram Pan­chayat”, ALL SUCH LE­GAL HEIR, can buy agri­cul­tural land and con­duct all agri­cul­tural + forestry + hor­ti­cul­ture + etc. ac­tiv­i­ties AND fur­ther can claim all sub­si­dies, ben­e­fits, ex­emp­tions, cred­its etc..that may be an­nounced by the Cen­tral and the State Govt. and fur­ther claim In­come-Tax ex­emp­tions.

4. There is no such thing as “non-farmer-son” if his fa­ther or fore-fa­thers have been an­ces­tral farm­ers and have land hold­ings as clas­si­fied un­der form no. 6A. A “non-ac­tive” farmer’s son, by de­fault (as above) can pur­chase agri­cul­tural land, any­where in In­dia, and activate him­self as farmer, dur­ing pre or post re­tire­ment days. No Re­stric­tions.

5. Un­der the Caste + Reser­va­tion sys­tem in In­dia, many cat­e­gories of castes have been clas­si­fied as “farm­ers”, “tod­dy­farm­ers”, “for­est farm­ers”, and so on and these cat­e­gories au­to­mat­i­cally de­rive their rights for own­er­ship of agri­cul­tural or waste or for­est lands.

6. If the land-hold­ing un­der Form no. 6A, is “TO­TALLY” liq- ui­dated by the Farmer (who-so ever in­line- of- in­her­i­tance maybe), and the ac­count or record re­mains empty for 12 years, it is deemed that the farmer has re­lin­quished his statute rights of be­ing a Farmer. This means that now af­ter emp­ty­ing his land hold­ings in en­tirely, his rights of be­ing a farmer is now over. BUT AND HOW­EVER, af­ter 25 years, now the in-line-heir can still pur­chase agri­cul­tural land, based on the ear­lier an­ces­tral-held Form no. 6A, BUT AF­TER UN­DER­TAK­INGS & DUE PRO­CE­DURE &, pay­ment of fine /penalty OF THE COL­LEC­TORS OF­FICE and the col­lec­tor has the sole dis­cre­tion to al­low pur­chase of agri­cul­tural land by the said past one-time Farmer.

7. In Ma­ha­rash­tra the fol­low­ing few Acts are ap­pli­ca­ble in con­junc­tion with each other

a) The Ma­ha­rash­tra Land Rev­enue Code Act, 1966

b) Ma­ha­rash­tra Land Rev­enue Code and Ten­ancy Laws (Amend­ment) Act, 1974

c) Ma­ha­rash­tra Restora­tion of Land to Sched­uled Tribes Act,

d) Ma­ha­rash­tra Agri­cul­tural Lands Act

e) Ma­ha­rash­tra Pri­vate Forests (Ac­qui­si­tion) Act,

f) Evic­tion of Unau­tho­rized Oc­cu­pants Act

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