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K.N. Kallyanikutty Marumalamma and anr. Vs. Block Development Officer-cum-land Tribunal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtKerala High Court
Decided On
Case NumberOriginal Petn. No. 5500 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1976Ker109
ActsKerala Land Reforms Act, 1964 - Sections 125(3)
AppellantK.N. Kallyanikutty Marumalamma and anr.
RespondentBlock Development Officer-cum-land Tribunal and ors.
Appellant Advocate Chandrasekharan and; Chandrasekhara Menon, Advs.
Respondent Advocate Govt. Pleader and; T.M Krishnan Nambiyar, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredP. Sokkalal Ramsait v. State of Madras
Excerpt:
- .....mean that there is any justification for withdrawing the proceedings pending before the munsiff landtribunals and transferring those cases to tribunals on whom the jurisdiction is newly vested under ext. p-4 notification. reliance is 'placed by the counsel for the petitioners on the decision of a division bench of this court in gopalakrishnan nair v. padmavati amma, (1970 ker lt 888), that of the calcutta high court in sardar v. state, (air 1961 cal 181) and that of the madras high court in m/s. t p. sokkalal ramsait v. state of madras, (1969) 2 mad lj 366.3. counsel for the 5th respondent, who was the party contesting the issues against the petitioners before the 2nd respondent, land tribunal (munsiff), pal-ghat, submits that by the said tribunal transferring the proceedings back to.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K. Bhaskaran, J.

1. The petitioners challenge the validity of Ext. P-l proceedings No. LB (A) 2-24988/74-1 dated 8-11-1974 issued by the 3rd respondent, the Land Board, Kerala, directing the Munsiff Land Tribunal in general to send back the files pending on their files under Sub-section (3) of Section 125, as on 30-7-1974, to the Civil Courts which made the references. Ext. P-4 is a copy of the Government notification-I No. 30718/SI/72/RD dated 23-7-1974 of the 4th respondent, the Gov-ernment of Kerala, whereby certain amendments were made to Ext. P-3 notification No. 16924/NI/70/LRD Land Reforms (N) Department dated 10-12-1970, by which jurisdiction was conferred on Mun-siff Land Tribunals for the enquiry in respect of proceedings falling under certain provisions of the Land Reforms Act. It may be noted that by Ext. P-3 notification, Munsiff Land Tribunals were constituted for the purpose of performing the functions of the Land Tribunal under the Kerala Land Reforms Act, other than those under Sections 31, 66, 72 to 72-P (both inclusive) and 80-A to 80-F and 90 (both inclusive). By the amendment, Subsections (3) and (4) of Section 125 of the Act also Were added to the provisions with respect to which the Munsiff Land Tribunals were not to function, as enumerated in Ext. P-3 notification. The amendment, in its material portion, reads as follows:--

'In the preamble to the said notification for the word and figures 'and 90' the figures, words and brackets, '90 and Sub-sections (3) and (4) of Section 125' shall be substituted'.

In Ext. P-l proceedings dated 8-11-1974 the view expressed by the 3rd respondent Board is that in and by Ext. P-4 notification the 4th respondent has taken away from the Munsiff Land Tribunals the power to decide cases under Section 125 (3) of the Kerala Land Reforms Act. According to the 3rd respondent Board, after the notification having come into force, the Munsiff Land Tribunals had no jurisdiction to decide the question referred to it; any decision rendered by the Munsiff Land Tribunals after 30-7-1974, on which date Ext. P-4 came into effect, would be without jurisdiction, and therefore nullity. The 3rd respondent Board also felt that no special provisions were made about the matters pending before the Munsiff Land Tribunals under Section 125 (3) of the Act at the time of the coming into force of Ext. P-4 notification.

2. Counsel for the petitioners submits that there is no indication, either express or by necessary implication, that Ext. P-4 order has retrospective effect. The argument is that after the coming into force of Ext. P-4 notification, the Civil Courts should make references under Sub-section (3) of Section 125, only to the Tribunal other than the Munsiff Land Tribunals. However, according to the counsel, that does not mean that there is any justification for withdrawing the proceedings pending before the Munsiff LandTribunals and transferring those cases to Tribunals on whom the jurisdiction is newly vested under Ext. P-4 notification. Reliance is 'placed by the counsel for the petitioners on the decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Gopalakrishnan Nair v. Padmavati Amma, (1970 Ker LT 888), that of the Calcutta High Court in Sardar v. State, (AIR 1961 Cal 181) and that of the Madras High Court in M/s. T P. Sokkalal Ramsait v. State of Madras, (1969) 2 Mad LJ 366.

3. Counsel for the 5th respondent, who was the party contesting the issues against the petitioners before the 2nd respondent, Land Tribunal (Munsiff), Pal-ghat, submits that by the said Tribunal transferring the proceedings back to the referring Sub-Judge for reference to respondent No. 1, Block Development Offi-cer-cum-Land Tribunal, Coyalmannam, on whom power under Ext. P-4 notification is newly conferred, no jurisdictional impropriety has been committed either by the 3rd respondent or by the 2nd respondent It is argued that by Ext. P-4 amendment, jurisdiction of the 2nd respondent to function as a Land Tribunal, in so far as it relates to matters falling under Sub-sections (3) and (4) of Section 125 of the Act is concerned, has come to an end.

4. There is no indication in the Act that it was the intention of the Government to take away the jurisdiction of ;he Land Tribunals (Munsiff) before whom references made under sub-section (3) of Section 125 were pending, with reference to the disposal of the referred cases. What should be done with respect to such proceedings, there is no indication. It is not stated in Ext. P-4 that matters pending before the Munsiff Land Tribunals should be transferred to the other Tribunals on whom power to function under sub-sections (3) and (4) of Section 125 has been conferred newly by Ext. P-4 notification. Though there is no reference to the applicability of Section 4 of the General Clauses Act, by analogy of the principle, it has to be presumed that the intention of the Government was to allow matters pending before the Munsiff Land Tribunals to proceed in the same forum, whereas future references (after the coming into force of the amendment on 30-7-1974) should be made to the Tribunals on whom the power was conferred by Ext. P-4 notification with respect to the functioning under sub-sections (3) and (4) of Section 125 of the Act.

5. It is also doubtful whether the power under Sub-section (2) (b) of Sec-tion 101 would clothe the 3rd respondent Board with power to pass an order in the nature of Ext. P-l, directing transmission of the cases back to the referring Civil Courts. With regard to the power of transfer, there are, no doubt, provisions contained in clauses (a) and (e) of sub-section (2) of Section 101; those provisions, however, are not applicable to the present case. I am leaving this point argued by counsel for the petitioners open, without deciding, as it is not necessary to do so, as I hold that Ext. P-4 notification has no retrospective effect as to divest the jurisdiction of the Munsiff Land Tribunals to dispose of the matters referred to them in exercise of the power conferred on them under Ext. P-3 notification, which power has not been expressly or by necessary implication taken away from those Tribunals. Ext. P-l proceedings passed by tine 3rd respondent Board and Ext. P-2 order passed by the 2nd respondent Tribunal, are quashed, and the 2nd respondent Munsiff Land Tribunal, Palghat, is directed to proceed with the matter referred to it under Section 125 (3) of the Act. The writ petition is allowed as above. There will be no order as to costs.


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