Karnataka High Court ruled that the SARFAESI Act is applicable to coffee plantations in the state

Case Title: U M Ramesh Rao and Union Bank of India.

Section 31(i) of the SARFAESI Act says that the coffee plantation does not come under the ambit of agricultural land. But the Karnataka High Court ruled that realization of debts can be enforced in the coffee plantation as well even though it does not come under the ambit of agricultural land under the Act.

The single Judge bench had rejected the petition as they had alternative remedy under Section 17 of SARFAESI Act. The petitioners have challenged this order before the High court. The petitioners contended that the writ petition was dismissed without appreciating the fact that they have raised issues regarding the jurisdiction of respondent’s action under SARFAESI Act. The petitioners wanted the court to interpret and give a clear meaning of the expression of agricultural land under SARFAESI Act.

The respondents contended that the DRT only has the jurisdiction to subject’s relation to coffee plantation under this Act. They submitted that DRT is the alternative remedy and raised issues in the case. The court held that the petitions field under Article 226 was maintainable. It also held that the right to property is an important right and under Article 300A, no person shall be deprived of it. The Court clarified that the coffee plantations are included under the ambit of agricultural lands under the Act.

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