By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean
Pics by Norbert Crasta
Mangalore: Mulageni Vokkalu Rakshana Vedike, a forum to protect the interests of tenants on long-term lease, set up its office in Don Bosco hall premises and the inaugural ceremony was held here on June 17.
The office was inaugurated by advocate A P Gowrishankar, chief guests Vinaya Kumar Sorake, Denis D' Silva, Austin Peres and Naveen D'Souza inaugurated the programme.
A minute's silence was observed in memory of freedom-fighter, former MP and MLA, doyen of Karnataka unification movement and CPI and AITUC leader B V Kakkillaya on the occasion. President MVRV Maxim D'Silva welcomed the gathering and briefed on the activities by the Vedike. He urged the members to inform the Mulageni tenants to join the vedike in large numbers.
Gowrishankar briefed on the progress of the passing of the bill (Mulgeni Tenants' Confirmation Rights) and related developments in Delhi by the Vedike officials. Under the system of Mulageni the land is leased out on permanent basis. The rent payable is fixed in the beginning at a fixed amount, not liable to be increased or decreased till the tenure lasts.
The right of the lessee to hold and enjoy the property is heritable, and it shall pass on to his heirs from generation to generation. The landlord is entitled only to receiving the annual rent. The landlord can transfer his right in any manner and it is heritable. His heirs can divide or partition the right to receive the rent among themselves.
At long last, the Mulageni tenants of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts have succeeded in getting a legislation passed for protection of their interests. Mulageni tenancy is nothing but tenancy in perpetuity as defined under the Transfer of Property Act.
The earliest evidence now available about Mulageni is the proceedings of January 5, 1818 of the board of revenue of the then-government of Madras. The present-day Mulageni tenants are but the successors of the original Mulageni tenants or their subsequent transferees. The agitation for legal protection had been commenced from 2001 itself which has finally culminated in passing of the bill No B/2011, which is now referred to the president of India for assent.
"Under this bill, the tenants are conferred ownership right over the lands held by them by virtue of Mulageni. The tenants are required to pay to the landlords ordinarily an amount equivalent to 500 times the annual rent as compensation. We must remember that the landlords are entitled to a claim of only the annual rent. They have no rights over the land at present," the advocate said.
Further he said that the bill is not in conflict with any of the provisions of transfer of property act or the registration act. "Land, rights in or over land, land tenures, including the relation of landlord and tenant and the collection of rent, transfer and alienation of agricultural land"; therefore the bill as passed by the state legislatures is not unconstitutional for any reason he said.
General secretary of the vedike Ronald D'Silva delivered a vote of thanks. Member of the vedike Gerald Towers compered the programme. Udupi consumer forum convener Damodar Aithal, Dr K S Bhat, Dasappa Kamath, B Seetaram, A Vasudev, Dr S K Jayaram and K S Udaykumar were also present.