G. Ramanujam, J.
1. The first respondent herein filed an application before the Authorised Officer under Section 61 of the Act bringing to his notice that the petitioner herein is having more than the cultivating tenant's ceiling area of 5 acres and requesting that the excess land over and above the cultivating tenant's ceiling area might be reverted to him as a landlord for self-cultivation. Notice of this application was issued by the Authorised Officer to the petitioner and he was asked to file his objections. The petitioner filed his objections stating that he was not in possession of any excess over and above the cultivating tenant's ceiling area, that he is in possession of 0.62 cents as owner and 368 acres as a lessee, and that, therefore, his total holding is only 4.30 standard acres which is well within the cultivating tenant's ceiling area as fixed under Section 60 of Madras Act LVIII of 1961. The matter was taken up for enquiry by the Authorised Officer and at that stage it was found that as on the notified date i.e., 2nd October, 1962, the petitioner owned 1.85 standard acres, that he purchased an extent of 0.77 cents after the notified date, that he had executed a settlement deed in respect of certain items of properties measuring 2 acres in favour of his son and that after such execution of the settlement deed he is in possession as owner of only 0.62 cents and 3.68 acres as lessee. Some of the lands held by the petitioner as lessee belong to the respondent. The extent belonging to him was 1.63 standard acres. The Authorised Officer held that the settlement deed executed by the petitioner in favour of his son was with a view to defeat the provisions of the Act and therefore, the extent of land held by him both as owner and as tenant should be computed after ignoring the said settlement deed. In that view, the Authorised Officer directed under Section 61(3)(6) of the Act that the respondent shall surrender possession of the lands belonging to the petitioner amounting to 2.037 acres. Since the rest of the surplus extent was less than half a standard acre, the same was ignored.
2. The petitioner filed an appeal to the Land Tribunal contending that the settlement deed executed by him in favour of his son on 14th April, 1975, has to be taken into account for the determination of the cultivating tenant's ceiling area, and that if it is done, there will not be any excess over and above the cultivating tenant's ceiling area in his hands. The Land Tribunal took the view that the settlement deed (Exhibit R. 6) executed by the petitioner in favour of his son is not a genuine document and that the same has been brought into existence with a view to defeat the provisions of the Act and to deprive the 1st respondent's right to resume his lands. The Land Tribunal, therefore, felt that there was no justification for interfering with the order of the Authorised Officer.
3. In the revision petition it is contended that the Authorised Officer as well as the Land Tribunal were not justified in holding that the settlement deed, Exhibit R. 6 executed by the petitioner in favour of his son was not genuine and that the same has been motivated In my view it is not necessary in this case to go into the question as to whether the settlement deed is genuine or whether it is purposely brought into existence with a view to defeat the 1st respondent's right to have resumption of the lands. Even if the document Exhibit R. 6 is true and valid still the question is, whether the petitioner by acquiring certain lands after the notified date came to possess any extent in excess of the ceiling area. If on any date subsequent to the notified date, the petitioner came to possess either by purchase or by inheritance or otherwise any area in excess of the tenant's ceiling area, he has to submit a return as to his holding and the Authorised Officer has to proceed under Section 61 of the Act for the purpose of determination of the tenant ceiling area after such acquisition. The mere fact that the petitioner has subsequently alienated some of the properties from out of his holding will not deprive the right of the Authorised Officer to determine the cultivating tenants ceiling area under the provisions of Section 60 and to take over the excess under Section 61 of the Act. Therefore, I am inclined to hold that even if Exhibit R. 6 settlement is valid, since the petitioner's holding on the date of the acquisition was more than the cultivating tenant's ceiling area, it automatically attracts the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Act.
4. The learned Counsel for the petitioner then contends that in any event, the Authorised Officer has not given him the option to select the lands for retention by him as contemplated by Form No. 30. I think there is considerable force in this submission. It is true that the petitioner has not submitted a return within three months from the date of the acquisition in respect of the extent under his holding. But that will not mean that he is not entitled to be given the option as contemplated by the rules. Form 30 which is prescribed in pursuance of Rule 51(1) of the Act specifically refers to the particulars of the land which the cultivating tenant desires to retain within the cultivating tenant's ceiling area out of the lands held by him as cultivating tenant. Rule 51(1) enjoins the Authorised Officer to serve on the cultivating tenant and the landowner of the land a statement in Form 30 and call for their objections. But the complaint of the petitioner in this case is that he was not served with the statement in Form 30 at any time prior to the passing of the order, dated 22nd December, 1975. Since the petitioner was not given the option to select the lands for retention within the cultivating tenant's ceiling area which he is entitled co under the rules, the orders of the Authorised Officer as well as the Tribunal will have to be set aside and the matter has to be remitted to the Authorised Officer for giving the above option to the petitioner and to determine the ands to be taken over as surplus after considering his option. In this view, the civil revision petition is allowed and the matter is remitted to the Authorised Officer for disposal in accordance with the observations made in the judgment. There will be no order as to costs.