Challenging a Decision: The Battle for Land Conversion in India


Chandra Naik S/O Ramudu vs The State Of Karnataka

29 May, 2023

Bench: Hon’ble S.Vishwajith Shettypresided Bysvsj



In a recent case heard under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, a petitioner sought to overturn the rejection of their application for land conversion. The petitioner, claiming ownership of agricultural land, had filed an application requesting permission to convert it into non-agricultural use. However, the Deputy Commissioner rejected the application based on a report from the planning authority. Aggrieved by this decision, the petitioner approached the court for relief. This blog explores the petitioner’s plight, the court’s analysis, and the implications of the ruling in the context of land conversion regulations.

The Petitioner’s Appeal:

The petitioner, who identified as the owner of a piece of agricultural land, filed an application before the Deputy Commissioner. The application sought permission to convert the land from agricultural to non-agricultural use. However, the Deputy Commissioner rejected the application, relying on a report from the planning authority that stated the land fell under the agricultural zone. Dissatisfied with this decision, the petitioner approached the court seeking redress.

Arguments Presented:

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the adjacent lands, bearing different survey numbers, had been granted conversion from agricultural to non-agricultural use by the Deputy Commissioner. These conversions were authorized based on reports from the jurisdictional Tahsildar. The counsel emphasized that the petitioner’s land, falling within the jurisdiction of the Kallahalli Gram Panchayat, was wrongly subjected to scrutiny by the planning authority. According to the counsel, the planning authority did not have the jurisdiction to raise objections to the conversion application.

Court’s Observations and Decision:

After examining the facts and submissions, the court found that the Deputy Commissioner had approved the conversion of adjacent lands, similar in nature to the petitioner’s land, based on reports from the Tahsildar. In contrast, the petitioner’s application was rejected solely based on the planning authority’s report.

The court noted that, according to Section 95 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964, the Deputy Commissioner, as the competent authority, had the power to consider land conversion applications. The planning authority had no jurisdiction to object to such applications.

Taking these observations into account, the court partially allowed the writ petition. The court quashed the Deputy Commissioner’s rejection endorsement and directed them to reconsider the petitioner’s application for land conversion. The Deputy Commissioner was instructed to do so in accordance with the law, expeditiously, within two months of receiving a certified copy of the court’s order.


The case exemplifies the challenges faced by individuals seeking land conversion in India and their recourse through the legal system. The court’s decision provides hope to those who have been subjected to arbitrary rejections based on improper jurisdiction. By emphasizing the appropriate powers vested in the competent authority and the need for consistent application of regulations, the court has reasserted the importance of fair and lawful decision-making in land conversion matters.

As the battle for land conversion continues, it is crucial for authorities to adhere to the relevant legal provisions and consider applications on a case-by-case basis. The ruling serves as a reminder that the process should be transparent, objective, and based on the principles of natural justice, ensuring equitable treatment for all applicants.

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