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CASE LAW ON LAND REVENUE COURT MATTERS

Bharat Singh And Anr vs Bhagirathi AIR 1966 SC 405, FACTS:- The appellants filed a suit for a declaration that the entry in the name of the respondent in the Jamabandi papers of certain villages was incorrect and alleged that they along with their brother, the husband of the respondent, constituted a joint Hindu family, that their brother died as a member of the joint Hindu family and thereafter his widow- the respondent--lived with the appellants who continued to be owners and possessors of the property in suit, the widow being entitled to maintenance only, and that by mistake the respondent's name was entered in village records in place of the deceased husband. The respondent contested the suit alleging, inter alia, that her husband did not constitute a joint Hindu family with the appellants at the time of his death and also that the suit was barred by time as she had become owner and possessor of the land in suit in 1925 on the death of her husband when the entries in her favour were made, and the suit was brought in 1951. The respondent had admitted in certain documents about the existence of the joint Hindu family or a joint Hindu family firm. HELD:- There is a strong presumption in favour of Hindu brothers constituting a joint family. It is for the person alleging severance of joint Hindu family to establish it. The mere fact of the mutation entry being made in favour of the respondent on the death of her husband was no clear indication that there was no joint Hindu family of the appellant, and the respondent's husband at the time of the latter's death. In STATE OF HARYANA v. MOHINDER PAL the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed against a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had held that the Government cannot take law into its own hand while dispossessing persons in possession of land by putting up khokhas (on the ground that they were unauthorized occupants to Government land) but should have followed the due procedure prescribed by law. The Supreme court held that: ".... Question of examining the title of the parties does not arise at all as admittedly respondents were in possession of the property in question and put up structures thereon. On that admitted position, High Court took the view that ejectment of the respondents forcibly without due recourse of law was not in due process. No exception can be taken to that view at all. In fact, this view is consistent with what has been stated by this Court........" In PATIL EXHIBITORS PVT. LTD. v. BANGALORE CITY CORPORATION a Division Bench of KARNATAKA HIGH Court observed thus: "It is part of the concept of "Rule of Law" that no claim to a right to dispossess by the use of force without recourse to procedure in accordance with law is recognized or countenanced by Courts. Such a right in the respondent cannot be recognised regardless of the question whether or not the appellant (Licencee) itself has any subsisting right to remain in possession. The protection that the Court affords is not of the possession which in the circumstances is litigious possession and cannot be equated with lawful possession but a protection against forcible dispossession. The basis of relief is a corollary of the principle that even with the best of title, there can be not forcible dispossession. .... Under our jurisprudence, even an unauthorized occupant can be evicted only in the manner authorized by law. This is the essence of the Rule of law." In MUNSHI RAM v. DELHI ADMINISTRATION the Supreme Court succinctly stated the legal possession regarding settled possession thus; "It is true that no one including the true owner has a right to dispossess the trespasser by force if the trespasser is in settled possession of the land and in such a case unless he is evicted in due course of law, he is entitled to defend his possession even against the rightful owner. But, stray or even intermittent acts of trespass do not give such a right against the true owner. The possession which a trespasser is entitle to defend against the rightful owner much be a settled possession extending over a sufficiently long period and acquiesced in by the true owner. A casual act of possession would not have the effect of interrupting the possession of the rightful owner. The rightful owner may re-enter and reinstate himself provided he does not use more force than necessary, such entry will be viewed only as a resistance to an intrusion upon possession which has never been lost. The persons in possession by a stray act of trespass, a possession which has not matured into settled possession, constitute an unlawful assembly, giving right to the true owner, though not in actual possession at the time to remove the obstruction even by using necessary force." The principle was further elaborated by the Supreme Court in RAM RATTAN v. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH as follows: "..... It is well settled that a true owner has every right to dispossess or throw out a trespasser, while the trespasser is in the act or prices of trespassing, and has not accomplished his possession, but this right is not available to the true owner if the trespasser has been successful in accomplishing his possession to the knowledge of the true owner. In such circumstances, the law requires that the owner should dispossess the trespasser by taking recourse to the remedies available under the law..... it may not be possible to lay down a rule of universal application as to when the possession of a trespasser becomes complete and accomplished" In the decision reported in BABU VERGHESE v. BAR COUNCIL OF KERALA, AIR 1949 SC 1281 it is held that the power conferred upon the statutory Authority in the statute must be exercised in the manner as prescribed in the statute. It is the basic principle of law long settled that if the manner of going a particular act is prescribed under any Statute, the act must be done in that manner or not at all. The origin of this rule is traceable to the decision in Taylor v. Taylor, "Where a power is given to do a certain thing in a certain way, the thing must be done in that way or not at all". This rule has since been approved by Supreme Court in Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh v. State of Vindhya Pradesh, and again in Deep Chand v. State of Rajasthan, . These cases were considered by a Three judge Bench of Karnataka High Court in State of Uttar Pradesh v. Singhara Singh. In Mahadevappa And Ors. vs State Of Karnataka ILR 2008 KAR 1750 Hon’ble Justice H.V.G. Ramesh, Observed and directed state government with following words: ………………..As per Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, it is compulsory that property valued more than Rs. 100/- has to be registered. That conveys and sanctions such transfer from one person to the other. It is often noticed that property is being sold by a person in favour of several persons taking advantage of the anomaly of want of specific entries in the revenue records. Any prudent person before purchasing a property would necessarily approach the revenue authorities seeking for clarification or issuance of an endorsement as to the possession or encumbrance on the property and that would form the basis for him to go for negotiations and to purchase the property or get the property transferred in his name in any mode of transfer provided under the Transfer of Property Act. It is being noticed that neither the purchaser nor the registering authority are performing their obligations soon after such transfers are taking place by way of registration and re-conveyance and transfer the title or interest from the vendor to the vendee or transferee. In this regard what is being noticed is, when the original entries in the revenue records continue even after such transfers or assignments, the person who is interested in purchasing the property is being mislead on some assurance or some false promise and gets into problems in fighting litigation with the prior purchasers…………………. If the said fact of earlier sale or transfer would not have been disclosed by the original purchaser or registering authorities it not only leads to multiplicity of proceedings but also causes financial hardship to the subsequent purchasers of the same property which had been sold earlier to some other purchaser. For want of knowledge, even for an ordinary man of prudence mere enquiry with the revenue authorities would not be sufficient because of the fact the revenue authorities have only maintained the original entries in the usual course as is noticed in the years of practice, without making proper timely entries of such change of title from the original owner to the subsequent purchase or from original transferor to the tranferee. This anomaly is invariably found in all the records maintained for want of compliance of the provisions of Section 128 and 129 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 although the Act mandates such entry to be made within a reasonable time after following the procedure under the said sections. For want of such strict compliance by the purchaser or for lack of responsibility and inaction on the part of the registering authorities in intimating this aspect to the revenue authorities well within time, the ordinary man is forced to go through the ordeal of fighting litigation and often it is also being noticed even in respect of carrying out mutation entries on subsequent changes like succeeding to the property as legal heirs on the death of the original propositus, such anomalies are occurring and even the lands which are notified for acquisition are also notified in the name of the original kathedar in whose name the property stands although he has died several years back, for want of entries of the names of persons who succeed him and who are in real possession or cultivation of the property are not notified. These anomalies have to be rectified to avoid all such complications and it requires due compliance of Section 128 & 129 of the Land Revenue Act. Though the law is clear on the point, but it is either not meticulously followed or being implemented and thus causing various litigation and hardship to the parties and also at the cost of the State exchequer as well……………………… Of course, while referring to the right of this petitioner what is being noticed specifically is the anomaly that is being invariably found and neglected by the revenue authorities all because of non-compliance of the provisions of Section 128 & 129 of the Land Revenue Act which is clear as is noted above. It is time to remind the Government to take timely action to make necessary changes from time to time in the revenue records. The Sub-registrars are duty bound to intimate the revenue authorities in time as per Section 128(4) to avoid multiplicity of litigation from the hands of unscrupulous vendors who once again transfer the property although a transaction has already taken place in the hands of one of the purchasers and the timely action of the revenue authorities would form the basis for any subsequent purchaser who intends to purchase the property over whom fraud could not be played by the original transferor or the vendor when there is a transfer from the first party to the second party and thereby once again the first party shall not venture to transfer title or interest to a third party or any other person for lack of knowledge of the intended subsequent purchaser…………………. For want of these entries in the revenue records and for want of proper information from the concerned Department of the Government, often purchasers are being mislead and get into problems and hardship. It is high time to intimate the Revenue Department and the concerned Department to meticulously follow the procedure as provided under Section 128 & 129 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and also it should be made mandatory as a matter of responsibility on the part of the Government to save the public from the precarious situation and also there shall be timely action by the revenue authorities without there being any delay on their part in making entries in the mutation register and other registers in the revenue office and in the Corporation/Municipality in city limits to avoid future complications. Mariam Hussain W/O. Zaheed Hussein vs Syedani W/O. Late Syed Mustafa And Ors. ILR 2007 KAR 2715 JUSTICE N. KUMAR OBSERVED: It is to be noticed here that Ex.P-1, is not a simple agreement of sale entered into between the parties voluntarily where one party is interested in selling his property and the other interested in purchasing the property, after mutual discussion and negotiation agreed on a price and then reduce the terms in writing. It is a case of want of consensus ad-idem. Similarly execution of a document does not mean signing of a document. The word "execution" has a definite connotation in law. The person signing the document must be aware of the contents of document and consciously sign the document in token of acceptance of the contents of the said document. If the execution of a document is denied it is for the party who alleges the due execution to prove by acceptable evidence that the executant affixed his signature to the document after being aware of the contents of the document and in token of its acceptance so as to bind him. When it is stated that the executant executed an agreement of sale it must be shown that the executant had agreed to sell the property end in token of acceptance of such agreement he has affixed his signature on the said agreement of sell. The evidence on record do not disclose that the defendant affixed his signature to the the suit document agreeing to sell the schedule property in favour of the plaintiffs or in view of the decision of Panchayatdars or on the basis of what was agreed to in the said Panchayat. Therfore the finding of the courts below that the agreement of sale is duly executed by the first defendant, as it bears his signature on the document is illegal. ………………… The material on record disclose that this property was granted to the first defendant 30 years prior to the date of the suit. Mutation entries were made in his name. Attempt to delete the said mutation entry by the plaintiff was not successful. The defendant also obtained a decree of permanent injunction against the plaintiff. The material on record shows that he was cultivating the land and he has raised (sic) trees and on 18.08.1982 he has handed over possession of the property from that day till today. Ignoring all these material evidence on record only relying on the interested testimony of the plaintiff and his witness, whose evidence, as already stated do not infuse confidence, the courts below have recorded a finding that the plaintiff is in possession and the first defendant in not in possession. The said finding is perverse and capricious and cannot be sustained. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in the case of Hardatt Sharma v. Jaikishen Shamlal & Sons reported AIR 1983 J & K-page No. 36, held as under: ...True, Under Section 18 of Evidence Act, statements made by persons from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject matter of the suit, are binding on such parties as their admission, nevertheless, before the same may bind them, it has further to be shown that the statements were made by those persons during the continuance of their interest in the subject matter, and obviously so, because, if would be highly unjust and improper to divest a person of his right in the property, lawfully acquired by him form another, on the basis of the latter's admission after his own interest in the property has ceased to exist. Chapter VI of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964 (hereinafter called 'the Act') deals with maintenance of Record of Rights. Section 128 deals with acquisition of rights to be reported, Section 129 deals with registration of Mutations and the procedure for such registration, Section 129A deals with issue of patta book containing the copy of the Record of Rights pertaining to such land. Section 130 deals with the obligation to furnish information for compilation or revision of the Record of Rights and as to the bar of suits against the State Government or its officials in respect of daims for having the entry made in the Record of Rights, reserving expressly the right to seek a correction of the entry in the Record of Rights against persons who are interested in denying such a right. It is clear from the above provisions that the entries in the Record of Rights made after enquiry as provided for in Section 129 of the Act is always subject to a final adjudication of the rights between the parties to the land in question. At this stage, it is also necessary to observe and reiterate that the enquiry is essentially summary in nature.

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS