can pvt ltd company in maharashtra buy agricultural land


Dear Sir / Madam,

Kindly advise if a PVT. Ltd. Company can buy agricultural land in maharashtra. Purpose is to develop it into farmhouse plots and sell. Land is around 50 acres and can be sold into plots of 1.5 acres each. Directors of te company are not agriculturists, but intend to retain 5 acres of land for agricultural purpose.

Thanks and regards

 

Abhijit

 

 
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Adv P & H High Court Chandigarh

Not possible in the given facts.

 
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Dear Sir,

Thanks for the prompt response. May i request you kindly elaborate a bit how in this case do the farmhouse development companies condust operations ?

 
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ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

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 P.Ltd. co. should clearly outline the agricultural activities  the P.Ltd. proposes to indulge in.


 

2.    Self-use-Farm-house is within the defination of Agricultural activities, BUT subject to various conditions under the Act.    A bungalow or a holiday-home built over agricultural land, is not a Farm-house, and would be illegal & unauthorised and subject to demolation 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 Maharashtsra 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-use-farm-house,  but subject to only on one guntha (i.e. 1024 sq.feet).  Anything else would be "illegal & unauthorised".
This is applicable on agricultural land and not on Non-agricultural land.
The collectors terms and conditions of constructions on a N.A. Land is totally different.

 

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal
 


Total likes : 1 times

 
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Hi Hemant,

 

While on the one hand you say that agricultural land can be owned only & only by ancestral farmers and strictly not otherwise, you have also mentioned that a private limited company can buy agricultural land and develop and perform agricultural activities on it. Could you please specify how and in what circumstances a private limited company can own agricultural land and also list out any specific compliances that are required on the part of such a company?

 

Thanks.

 
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ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

Devendra'ji,

 

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 P.Ltd., (now non-person)  can function and perform agricultural activites and need not be a agricuturist as in the case of an individual person.

 

2.  The co. has a object of doing say. Rose Garden or say Horticulture or say  Soyabean 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-agricultural 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 collectors 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, Pollution Dept among others)

 

The directors of the P.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 inheirtance in a company or say to a non-individual-person.

 

If the annnual 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 corporates 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 articiles comply with the companies act,  identifies a agricultural land. Buys it. Registers it after paying necessary duties and taxes. Co. also submits  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 corporates, holding companies, charitable trusts and other non-individuals.  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 are land belonging to Collector, the State Govt. the Central Govt, The defence 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 Invididuals.

 

10.  Agriculture income in NOT TAX FREE for companies.

 

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal
 


Total likes : 1 times

 
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Dear Hemantji

Thanks for providing valuable information on Agricultural Land in maharashtra. I just want to know if a Pvt. Ltd. is newly registered then condition of Agrilculturist would apply or not for buying Agricultural Land in maharashtra. Alternatively if this company purchase land in Madya Pradesh (Where I believe that condition of Agriculturist is not necessary for transferring Agricultural land) and do agricultural activity for one year and then purchase agricultural land in maharashtra. Under this case whether the company will be treated as Agriculturist or not. As per your writ-up the company becomes agriculturist on its incorporation if provided as per object clause but I have raised this query for more safer side. Pl. advice. I will be in touch with you in future through your ID. Thanks

 
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Hemant sir,

Can you please clarify "ancestral farmer". e.f. if father was a farmer/agricultrist can the son acquire agricultral land although son is not carrying out any agricultural activity?

Secondly can non farmer son acquire agricultural land jointly with his father who is an agricultrist?

Can you please specify by which statute these matters are governed? Thanks

 
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ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

TO:  Adv.Anil Kumar Menon :

 

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  "Consclusive proof",  under the Evidence Act.
The copies of the above are also nowadays (in Maharashtra) available in computerised 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 (in-line) which includes his wife, daughter, son and so 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 (7x!2 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 Govts and further claim Income-Tax exemptions.

 

4.  There is no such thing as  "non-farmer-son"   if his father or fore-fathers have been anscestral farmers and have land holdings as classified under form no. 6A.  A  "non-active" farmer's son,  by default (as above)  can purchase agricultrual 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",  "toddy-farmers", "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"   liquidated by the Farmer (who-soever in-line-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 entire'ity, 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 &, payent 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 Unauthorised Occupants Act

 

 

TO:   MR. J.KUMAR.

 

1.  P.Ltd. cannot be classified as a "Agriculturist",  since it is not a physical person and cannot have farmer-inheritance rights, which includes its directors, share-holders and their legal heirs.  The right to do "agricutural activities" is derived from company articles/ objects.  However, these rights do not confer any right or title to a status called "Farmer or Agriculturist".
Similarly a   "non-farmer-paid-labourer"  who works in a agricultural field for scores of years,  does not gain automatic status of a "Farmer or an agriculturist".

 

2.  The right  to the status of a "farmer or agriculturist" is not by virtue of the labour-work or activities (farming)  being done by anybody (eg. non-farmers, or companies or anybody),  BUT SUCH STATUS OF A FARMER IS DERIVED DUE TO  Form no. 6A and Form no. 7 & 12 and further classification by the statute.

 

3.   P.Ltd., can buy agricultural land anywhere in India and do agricultural activities, subject to parameters as suggested in earlier above posts.  There is no time-frame problem.  The law relating to acquiring or holding  "agricultural" category lands   SHOULD (I presume) be uniform throughout India and  WOULD be NOT limited only to Maharashtra.

 

4.  The activities of a P.Ltd.  may be to do  "various types of farming",   which can / may be changed as and when the articles or objects or memorandum or constitution of the P.Ltd. changes or is modified.  Each such changes will have to be registered with the Collector / Tahilsdar, which may pertain to objects related to Agricultural activities.  Note : The district collector is well within his rights to  seize / acquire or nullify all rights of the land holder, IF violations are detected by his office.

 

5.  A non-farmer or say a compay cannot claim  subsidies, benefits, exemptions, credits etc... that may be announced by the Central and the State Govts, which are meant only for individuals, which in turn is determined by Village form no. 6A and Land holding Extract form no. 7 & 12.


 

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal


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Thank you sir.

Do I therfore understand you to say that, if the name of any ancestor of a person  is not available in form no. 6A since 1950, such a person can never become a farmer or agricultarist?

 
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