1. Thillavazh Andanar Annam Palippu -Nidhi, a trust represented by its trustee, is the petitioner in this Civil Revision petition, which is directed against the order of the Land Tribunal (District Revenue Officer), Thanjavur, holding that the trust in question is entitled to hold only 5 standard acres under Section 5 (1) (d) (ii) of the Tamil Nadu Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling on Land) Act, 58 of 1961 as amended by Act 37 of 1972 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). The trust in question had been created 'by the Head of Thirupparmandal Mutt Sri-la-Sri Kasivasi Muthukumaraswami Thambirari, under a deed of trust dated 16-7-1954 and the trust held agricultural lands of an extent of 199-33 ordinary acres equivalent to 185-23 standard acres as on 1-3-1972 in Ukkarai Village, Kumbakonamtaluk. The Head of the Mutt has been constituted the trustee of this trust. Proceedings under the Act were initiated against the trust by the Authorised Officer (Land Reforms). In response to a notice in Form 4, the manager of the Mutt representing the trustee filed a statement of objections on 6-11-1976 and it had been stated therein that though the trust is known as ThillavazhPalippu Trust its purposes both religious as well as and as the lands held trust are controlled by Mutt of Thiruppanandal, lands are also exempt under Section 2 (3) (b) of the Act as amended by Act 37 of 1972 on the ground that the lands owned by the Mutt are exempt from the provisions of the Act.The Authorised Officer (Land Reforms), Thanjavur, on a consideration of the terms of the trust deed in the light of the provisions of the Act, held that the trust was formed for religious and charitable purposes and that it is a public trust which was in existence on the date of the commencement of Act 37 of 1972 that is on 1-3-1972 and the trust is a religious trust of a public nature as well. It was also further held by the Authorised Officer that though the lands stand registered in the name of the trust, they are held and administered by the Head of Thiruppanandal Mutt and, therefore, in view of the finding that the trust is a religious trust of a public nature, further proceedings should be dropped. Aggrieved by this, the respondent here in preferred an appeal in L. T. C. M. A. No. 36 of 1979 before the Land Tribunal (District Revenue Officer), Thaniavur. The Land Tribunal held that the lands in question are held by Thillaivazh Andanar Annam Palippu Trust and not by the Kasi Mutt and that the primary intention of the founders of the trust is only to set apart properties for charitable purposes and hence the trust cannot be treated as a trust for public purpose of a religious nature. In this view, the Land Tribunal concluded that the trust is entitled to hold only 5 standard acres and allowed the appeal. It is the correctness of this order of the Land Tribunal that is questioned by the trust in this Civil Revision petition.
2. The learned counsel for the petitioner raised two contentions. The first is, that the appeal in L. T. C. M. A. No. 36 of 1979 preferred by the respondent before the Land Tribunal, Thaniavur, was barred by limitation therefore the Land Tribunal was error in proceeding to entertain appeal and dispose of the same. According to the learned counsel for petitioner, the Authorised Officer Reforms), Thanjavur, passed an on 9-11-1976 and this order was communicated to the respondent on 1976. Relying upon these dates, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that under Section 78 (1) Act the respondent should have and in the Act the respondent should have preferred an appeal to the Land Tribunal on or before 15-1-1977 or at least before 15-2-1977 with an application to condone the delay and that not having been so done so the appeal filed by the respondent on 30-4-77 before the Land Tribunal was clearly out of time. The learned counsel for the respondent, on the other hand. would however accept the correctness of the date of the order of the Authorised Officer as well as the date of receipt of that order by the respondent, but contends an application in I. A. No. 759 of 1978 to condone the delay had been made and ordered and, therefore, the petitioner cannot claim that the appeal before the Land Tribunal preferred by the respondent was out of time. Before proceeding to consider these contentions, it is necessary to note certain statutory provisions. It is not in dispute that the Authorised.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner next contended that the Land Tribunal erred in its construction of the terms of the terms deed and in arriving at the conclusion that the trust constituted thereunder is a charitable trust. In view of the acceptance of the first, contention of the 'learned counsel for the petitioner that the appeal before the Land Tribunal was out of time and could not, therefore, be dealt with by the Land Tribunal, it is unnecessary to no into this question. The order of the Land Tribunal passed in an appeal presented to it after the period prescribed for such an appeal had expired and even beyond the period of the permitted or excusable delay cannot, therefore, be sustained. Consequently, the order of the Land Tribunal is set aside and that of the Authorised Officer (Land Reforms) restored. The Civil petition is allowed. No costs.
4. Petition allowed.