Transfer of title of land by ostensible owner:

Effect of Transfer of Property Act, Section 43:

The amount of deposit under Section 134 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition Act was made on October 28, 1961 and it was on the same day that the sale deed was executed by Matbar Mal. It is clear that Matbar Mal erroneously represented to the vendee that he was authorised to transfer the property and professed to transfer such property for consideration. The very execution of the sale deed on the same day as the deposit of the requisite amount under Section 134 is significant enough to establish that the sale deed was the result of an erroneous representation by Matbar Mal. It is also clear that the present plaintiffs who are the sons of the vendor, Matbar Mal cannot possibly claim to be transferees in good faith which indeed they do not claim to be. Section 43 clearly applies to the situation.

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Objections to the execution of decree for possession

Scope of powers of Executing Court:

The respondents instituted a suit under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act against the appellant, alleging that the appellant had forcibly taken possession of the land. In response it was the case of the appellant that he was neither in possession of the land nor had he dispossessed the respondents. The suit was decreed by the trial court ex-parte on 30 May 2009, upon which execution was initiated by the respondents as decree-holders.

Bar u/s 185 of Land Reforms Act:

The appellant appears to have filed objections to the execution of the decree on 12 July 2010 on the ground that Section 185 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act bars a civil suit for the recovery of possession. The objections were dismissed by the executing Court on 21 August 2010 with the following observations:

“The Delhi Land Reforms Act is applicable with regard to the agricultural land only but the land in question is not agriculture land which has been vehemently argued by the counsel for the DH and in support of her contention placed on record the copies of the electricity bills pertaining to the same khasra number which is subject matter of the instant execution proceedings. Even otherwise, it is a matter of common knowledge that most of the rural land in Delhi has become urbanized and private colonies, may be unauthorized, have mushroomed on such agricultural land. This fact has since been substantiated with the help of electricity bills which takes out the sting from the contentions raised by the counsel for the objector and in the process strengthens the case of the DH, the arguments is thus, brushed aside that the court lack of inherent jurisdiction on account of the fact that land in question is governed by the Delhi Land Reforms Act being agriculture land.” The order of the executing court was challenged by the appellant under Article 227 of the Constitution. The High Court dismissed the petition by its judgment dated 19 September 2014. The High Court rejected the submission that the decree obtained under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act was a nullity on the ground that the suit was barred by Section 185 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954.”

The High Court has relied upon the earlier decisions of the court following Ram Lubbaya Kapoor v J R Chawla (1986 RLR 432), in which it has been held that to be ‘land’ for the purpose of the Delhi Land Reforms Act,1954, the land must be held or occupied for purposes connected with agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry and if it is not used for such purposes, it ceases to be land for the purposes of the Act. The same view has been taken by the Delhi High Court in Narain Singh and Anr v Financial Commissioner ((2008) 105 DRJ 122), Neelima Gupta and Ors v Yogesh Saroha (156 (2009) DLT 129), and Anand J Datwani v Ms Geeti Bhagat Datwani (2013 (137) DRJ 146).

Scope of power of executing court: (See section 47 of CPC)

The validity of a decree can be challenged before an executing court only on the ground of an inherent lack of jurisdiction which renders the decree a nullity. In Hira Lal Patni v Sri Kali Nath ((1962) 2 SCR 747),  Court held thus: Continue reading “Objections to the execution of decree for possession”

Unregistered lease of agricultural land

Bar on unregistered document under Registration Act, 1908

Section 49 of Registration Act, 1908:

Effect of non-registration of documents required to be registered.—No document required by section 17 or by any provision of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882)], to be registered shall—
(a) affect any immovable property comprised therein, or
(b) confer any power to adopt, or
(c) be received as evidence of any transaction affecting such property or conferring such power, unless it has been registered: 54 Provided that an unregistered document affecting immovable property and required by this Act or the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882), to be registered may be received as evidence of a contract in a suit for specific performance under Chapter II of the Specific Relief Act, 1877 (3 of 1877) 55, 56  or as evidence of any collateral transaction not required to be effected by registered instrument.

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Urdu words used in revenue records

Hindi Urdu words used by Revenue/Land Records Department in India

राजस्व भाषा की जानकारी –

1 आबादी देह→ गॉंव का बसा हुआ क्षेत्र ।
2 मौजा→ ग्राम
3 हदबस्त →त्हसील में गॉंव का सिलसिलावार नम्बर ।
4 मौजा बेचिराग →बिना आबादी का गॉंव ।
5 मिसल हकीयत→ बन्दोबस्त के समय विस्तारपूर्वक तैयार की गई जमाबन्दी ।
6 जमाबन्दी→ भूमि की मलकियत व बोने के अधिकारों की पुस्तक ।
7 इन्तकाल →मलकियत की तबदीली का आदेश ।
8 खसरा गिरदावरी→ खातेवार मलकियत,बोने व लगान का रजिस्टर ।
9 लाल किताब →गॉंव की भूमि से सम्बन्धित पूर्ण जानकारी देने वाली पुस्तक ।
11 शजरा नसब→ भूमिदारों की वंशावली ।
12 पैमाईश →भूमि का नापना ।
13 गज →भूमि नापने का पैमाना ।
14 अडडा →जरीब की पडताल करने के लिए भूमि पर बनाया गया माप ।
15 जरीब →भूमि नापने की 10 कर्म लम्बी लोहे की जंजीर ।
16 गठठा →57.157 ईंच जरीब का दसवां भाग ।
17 क्रम →66 ईंच लम्बा जरीब का दसवां भाग ।
18 क््रास →लम्ब डालने के लिए लकडी का यन्त्र ।
19 झण्डी →लाईन की सीधाई के लिए 12 फुट का बांस ।
20 फरेरा→ दूर से झण्डी देखने के लिए बांस पर बंधा तिकोना रंग बिरंगा कपडा ।
21 सूए →पैमाईश के लिए एक फुट सरिया ।
22 पैमाना पीतल →म्सावी बनाने के लिए पीतल का बना हुआ ईंच ।
23 म्ुसावी→ मोटे कागज पर खेतों की सीमायें दर्शाने वाला नक्शा ।
24 शजरा→ खेतों की सीमायें दिखाने वाला नक्शा ।

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Lapse of land acquisition due to delay.

Effect of Delay in Land Acquisition Proceedings:

Delay of over two years in publication of declaration:
Under Land Acquisition Act, 1894, notification of declaration must be published within 2 years from date of notification u/s. 4 of the said Act of 1894:

In this case,

(1) Declaration under Section 6 is published in the Gazette on 22/5/2008;

(2) Declaration under Section 6 is published in two local news papers on 10/6/2008 and 13/6/2008. There is no publication in village Chawadi as per the record and

(3) The award is passed on 12/10/2010. Continue reading “Lapse of land acquisition due to delay.”

Urdu terms used in land revenue records in India

Revenue Vocabulary:

Revenue records of agricultural lands were first formalized during the Mughal rule under the King Akbar. His revenue minister Raja Man Singh is said to have created the system of accounting of agricultural land in India and till date the same system of book keeping of agricultural records is maintained. While the most records have switched to writing in Hindi but the record keepers still use Urdu words to describe various facts. These are the frequent words and phrases used in the Revenue records:

राजस्व भाषा:

1 आबादी देह→ गॉंव का बसा हुआ क्षेत्र ।

2 मौजा→ ग्राम Continue reading “Urdu terms used in land revenue records in India”

Meaning of: Girasdars Barkhalidars Gharkhed

Revenue terms: Girasdars Barkhalidars Gharkhed

Short history of Land Revenue collection in State of Sourashtra (now part of Gujarat).

The erstwhile Saurashtra State consisted of 220 princely states rules by sovereign Rulers in their own rights. The lands in these appeals form present parts of Surendra Nagar and Bhavnagar districts. In the State of Saurashtra, the Rulers entered into agreements with Taluqadar and estate holders and also created a class of interested people known as “Barkhalidars or Girasdars. Various parcels of lands together with all rights in or interest over those lands were granted for cultivation on payment of revenue etc. with a right of succession in favour of their cadets or relations or favourites known as “Girasdars” or “Barkhalidars”. “Gharkhed”, known in South India estate tenures as “Homefarm lands”, means land reserved by land holder for personal cultivation.


Meaning of revenue term: Bid Land:

“Bid Land” means such lands as has been used by the land holders for grazing his cattle or for cutting grass for the cattle. “Land holder” means Zamindar, Jagirdar, Girasdar, Taluqadar etc. or any person who is a holder of land or who is interested in land and whom the Government has declared, on account of the extent and value of the land or his interests therein, to be a landholder.

Meaning of revenue term: Kali:

The system in vogue was that the lands that were under control of the rulers through the agriculturists, the latter had to bring their produce to a common place “khali” meaning thereby threshing floor. The ruler or his agent used to take stock of the total produce harvested and set apart towards the ruler’s share according to the custom or the contract and the remainder belong to the agriculturists. In the other system the land was granted to the “Girasdars” or “barkhalidars”, and the requirement of bringing the harvest by the agriculturists to the threshing floor was dispensed with.

Source: Jilubhai Nanbhai Khachar vs. State Of Gujarat, AIR 1995 SC 142, JT 1994 (4) SC 473, 1994 (3) SCALE 389.

Exemption to land mortgaged by Bank from Ceiling Law.

Simple mortgage of land executed by the land owner.

Bank filing suit for recovery which was permitted by the Tribunal.

Under Section 23 of the Andhra Pradesh Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973 certain categories of land are exempted from the provisions of the Ceiling Act . The relevant portion of Section 23 is as under :

“23. Exemption:- Nothing in this Act shall apply to the following lands, namely:-



(c) ..



(f) lands held by a bank;



The first and second Provisos to Section 23 read thus:

“Provided that where any of the lands specified in clause (a), (b),

(c), (d), (e), (f), or (g), are held by any person other than the authority, institution, body corporate or society specified in such clause, whether as a tenant or usufructuary mortgagee or otherwise, the provisions of this Act shall apply to such person in respect of such land;

Provided further that the exemptions under item (ii) of clause (e) and clause (f) shall be available only in respect of the lands acquired by such co-operative societies or banks in pursuance of the recovery of their dues.”

Section 23(f) would apply only in respect of lands acquired by co-operative societies or banks. In the instant case, State Bank of India had not acquired title over the lands in question pursuant to the recovery of the mortgage money due to them. The Bank was not holding the land on behalf of the declarants/mortgagees. There was only a simple mortgage in favour of the Bank and the Bank never held or possessed the land either as a mortgagee or otherwise. Moreover, when the Ceiling Act came into force, the Bank had not even filed the suit for recovery of the amount due under the mortgage nor obtained a decree against the mortgagor. The preliminary decree in the suit (No. 27 of 1973) filed by the Bank was passed on 29.8.1975. The Bank did not acquire any title in respect of the mortgaged land when the Ceiling Act came into force. By no stretch of imagination, it could be held that for the surplus lands the declarants were entitled to get exemption under Section 23(f) of the Ceiling Act.

It is unnecessary for us to refer to the definition of “holding” contained in Section 3(i) of the Ceiling Act, as the State Bank of India had no case that it was either a limited owner or usufructuary mortgagee or in possession of the land by virtue of a mortgage by conditional sale. The legal status of the Bank being a simple mortgagee, the surplus land will not come under any of the categories mentioned in the definition of “holding” under Section 3(1) of the Ceiling Act.

[Source: V. Swarajyalaxmi vs. Authorised Officer, Land Reforms, Medak decided by SC on 16 April 2003].

Section 29A of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (as applicable in Andhra Pradesh)

Joint property of minor female:

The Andhra Pradesh and Ceiling Act (Act 1 of 1973) Act was published in Andhra Pradesh Gazette on 1.1.73. Under the Act, the determination of the retainable area of agricultural land was to be done with reference to the land held by the ‘family unit’ on 1.1.75. The ‘family unit’ was defined in section 2(f) as comprising the individual, his or her spouse or spouses and their minor sons and their unmarried minor daughters. The petitioner before us was a member of the family unit as she was an unmarried minor daughter of the 2nd respondent as on 1.1.75. The declarant, her father under Section 8 was obliged to declare the total land held by himself and those lands held by other member of the family unit. The excess land was computed in respect of her father’s family unit under Section 9 of the Act and the father had to surrender the same as provided in Section 10. That excess land would vest in the State free of encumbrances under Section 11.

Under the Land Reforms Act, 1973 if the family property comprised ancestral or coparcenary property of a Hindu, and if the declarant had no major sons, the entire extent of the said property was liable to be shown in the declaration together with any separate property held by the declarant or other members of the family unit. If on the other hand, there was (say) a major son as on 1.1.75 entitled to a share in the ancestral or coparcenary property then the declarant was to declare his share in the said property along with any separate property held by himself or other members of the family unit.

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Scope of Revisional jurisdiction under section 21 of A.P. Land Ceiling Act.

Revisional jurisdiction do not entitle to upset the pure findings of fact recorded by the appellate jurisdiction.

Section 21 of the Andhra Pradesh Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973 (Act 1 of 1973) reads as under :

“21. Revision :- An application for revision from any party aggrieved, including the Government, shall lie to the High Court, within the prescribed period, from any order passed on appeal by the Appellate Tribunal on any of the following grounds, namely :-

(a) that it exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or

(b) that it failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or

(c) that it acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.” A mere look at the section shows that it is pan materia with Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure which is identically worded.

So far as Section 115 is concerned, the scope and ambit of the revisional jurisdiction under the said Section as conferred on the High Court is now well settled by a series of decisions of this Court. It is obvious that the revisional jurisdiction under Section 115, C.P.C. or for that matter under pan materia provision of Section 21 of the Act is not an appellate jurisdiction and pure finding of fact reached by the court of appeal could not be interfered with. The Court can interfere in revision only when it is satisfied that the findings reached by the court below suffer from any jurisdictional errors.

Continue reading “Scope of Revisional jurisdiction under section 21 of A.P. Land Ceiling Act.”