Skip to content


The State of Kerala and anr. Vs. M.T. Joseph (Dead) by Lrs. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1977SC625; (1977)1SCC213; [1977]2SCR178; 1976(8)LC1023(SC)
ActsKerala Government Land Assignment Act, 1960 - Sections 8
AppellantThe State of Kerala and anr.
RespondentM.T. Joseph (Dead) by Lrs. and ors.
Excerpt:
.....as single unit or separate units transferred in name of children of assignee of said land - under deed of settlement executed by assignee children got separate units of land in question - if children had acquired rights under deed of settlement then each of them could be treated as entitled to compensation for separate unit - but if deed was of no effect then mere fact that children were in possession under some authority from their father could not change ownership of said land - clear from facts of case that children of assignee had right to alienate said property in land - thus children of assignee entitled to get compensation separately. - section 100: [dalveer bhandari & harjit singh bedi, jj] second appeal jurisdiction is limited to substantial question of law. such question has..........large tracts of land to be reclaimed under paddy cultivation. in june 1957, m.t. joseph executed a deed of settlement of all this land, after he had acquired full ownership rights by fulfilling the terms of the agreement. the act which is sought to be now applied was then passed. after that, the kerala land board' started proceedings for the surrender of these lands in accordance with the provisions of the land reforms act.3. the only question now before us is whether, by an application of section 8 of the act, the whole land is to be treated as a single with unit belonging to m.t. joseph (since dead), or the dispositions made by m.t. joseph, under the deed of settlement executed by him on 15th june, 1957, distributing the land among his children, resulted in separate units for the.....
Judgment:

M.H. Beg, J.

1. These appeals by special raise the question where the Kerala High Court had correctly interpreted and applied Section 8 of the Kerala Govt. Land Assignment Act, I960 (Hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') to the cases before us. This provision reads as follows:

8. All provisions, restrictions, conditions and limitations over, contained in any Pattah or other document evidencing an assignment of Government land shall be valid and take effect according to their tenor, and any rule of law or usage to the contrary hot-withstanding.

2. The fact upon which the provision was sought to be applied are these. On 23 October, 1939, the Government of Travancore sanctioned a scheme for the reclamation of the Vembanad Lake upon terms and conditions which were set forth in a document dated 4 October, 1939. The agreement provided that one M.T. Joseph and his father, on payment if Rs. 10/- per acre, which were to be recovered in ten equal instalments, would be given possession of certain tracts of land which they under took to reclaim. For the first two years after that is called the 'Registry' of the names of the two lessees no tax has to be levied. The 'Registry' was liable to be cancelled if adequate progress was not made within these two years. It appears that the agreement was modified by an order dated 12 February, 1941, and a fresh agreement was executed in July 1941 by M.T. Joseph (now dead) who entered into possession of Kayal Land, constituted the ring bunds at considerable expense, and brought the very large tracts of land to be reclaimed under paddy cultivation. In June 1957, M.T. JOSEPH executed a deed of settlement of all this land, after he had acquired full ownership rights by fulfilling the terms of the agreement. The Act which is sought to be now applied was then passed. After that, the Kerala Land Board' started proceedings for the surrender of these lands in accordance with the provisions of the Land Reforms Act.

3. The only question now before us is whether, by an application of Section 8 of the Act, the whole land is to be treated as a single with unit belonging to M.T. Joseph (since dead), or the dispositions made by M.T. Joseph, under the deed of settlement executed by him on 15th June, 1957, distributing the land among his children, resulted in separate units for the purposes of compensation for the land surrendered. If the children had acquired rights under the deed of settlement each of them could be treated as entitled to compensation for a separate unit. If the deed was of no effect, the mere fact that the children were in possession, under an authority from their father, could not change the ownership of the land in the constructive possession of the father.

4. We have been taken through the deed of agreement of July, 1941, with the Government which contains the following term, the effect of which has to be determined:

Till the remittance of all amounts due to the Government by way of tharavila (land value) etc. the executant shall have no right of alienation in respect of the schedule property and the property shall remain with the Government as sole owner. The executant shall remit the tax at the thirteenth thoram in the village office every year after the first two years of registry so long as no default is made in the payment of instalment and obtain receipt therefore. Until the entire tharavila (land value) under this agreement as stated above is paid by the executant and until the assignment of the land and issue of patta is completed the executant undertakes not to do any act which may reduce the value of the property and if as stated above due to any reason the property is recovered from the executant he shall not put forward any claim for improvements etc, and the property shall be surrendered to Government.

5. It is clear to us that this term in the agreement operated as a restraint upon the alienation of rights only so long as all the amounts due to the Government as tharavila had not been paid up. The whole amount had to be paid up in ten yearly instalments. It had been paid up before 1957. Furthermore, as the Kerala High Court found, the settlement of land on 15th June, 1957 had not merely been given effect to by a mutation in the relevant Government records but pattas had actually been given by the Government, acting upon the settlement of 1957, in favour of the children of M.T. Joseph. Hence it could not be said that there was any patta or other document containing any condition to which Section 8 of the Act could apply. We find, from the judgment under appeal, that several questions, which have no real bearing the rights of the parties, were also argued. One of these questions was whether land could be acquired by adverse possession by the alienees of the allottees of the land from the Government under the scheme for its reclamation. We fail to see now a question of adverse possession arises more when the Government itself recognises the rights of the children of M.T. Joseph in the pattas executed by it in their favour.

6. The High Court recorded the following findings about the Government acting on the terms of the settlement of 15th June, 1957, the correctness of which had not been challanged before us:

This settlement deed has been recognised by the Government mutation had been effected in the names of the children and pattahs have also been issued to them. It has been further stated on behalf of the revision petitioners (the heirs of the said Joseph and those who took under the settlement deed dated 15.6.1957) that levy under the Kerala Rice and Paddy (Procurement by Levy) Order, 1966, has been collected from each of the shares under the deed of 1957, that land tax has been imposed on each of the shares separately and agricultural income-tax collected on the income of the properties of each of the sharers.

7. We do not think it is necessary to go into any other question. The High Court was of opinion that some facts had still to be ascertained when the case goes back to the Land Board for proceeding on the footing determined by the: High Court. We think that we should make it clear that matters to be still determined could not, in view of our finding, involve determination of any question of adverse possession of the claimants, the children of M.T. Joseph.

8. For the reasons given above, we dismiss these appeals. We make no order as to costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //