Gundaji Satwaji Shinde v. Ramachandra Bhikaji Joshi (AIR 1979 SC 653)
Plaintiff sued for specific performance of a contract for sale of agricultural land in the civil court and defendant appeared and raised a contention in Sec 63 of the Tenancy Act the plaintiff being not an agriculturist, he is barred from purchasing the land.
Such an issue being within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Mamlatadar (competent authority set up under the Tenancy Act).
Whether the plaintiff is an agriculturist or not, would the civil court have jurisdiction to decide the issue or the Civil Court would have to refer the issue under Sec. 85-A of the Tenancy Act to the authority constituted under the Act, viz. Mamlatdar.
There can be a civil suit properly constituted which the civil court will have jurisdiction to entertain but therein an issue may arise upon a contest when contentions are raised by the party against whom the civil suit is filed. Upon such contest, issues will have to be determined to finally dispose of the suit. If any such issue arise which is required to be settled, decided or dealt with by the competent authority under the Tenancy Act, even if it arises in civil suit, the jurisdiction of the Civil Court to settle, decide and deal with the same would be barred by the provision contained in Sec. 85 and the Civil Court will have to take recourse to the provision contained in Sec. 85-A for reference of the issue to the competent authority under the Tenancy Act.
The court further observed that a suit for specific performance of a contract for sale of land is cognizable by the civil court and its jurisdiction would not be ousted merely because contract, if enforced, would violate some provisions of the Tenancy Act, If contract when enforced would violate some provisions of the Tenancy Act it may be that the competent authority under the Tenancy Act, it may be that the competent authority under the tenancy Act may proceed to take action as permissible under the law but the Court cannot refuse to enforce the contract.
If there is an issue which had to be settled, decided or dealt with by the competent authority under the Tenancy Act, the jurisdiction of the Civil Court, notwithstanding the fact that it arises in an incidental manner in a civil suit, will be barred and it will have to be referred to the competent authority under the Tenancy Act.
Therefore court overruled the decision of the High Court, upholding the jurisdiction of the Civil court to deal with the issue instead of referring it to the Mamlatdar.