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Smt. Ratan Kaur Vs. Union of India & Ors [1997] INSC 494 (2 May 1997)

K. RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

Present:

Hon'ble Mr. Justice K. Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr. Justice d.P. Wadhwa Om Prakash Dubey, R.D. Upadhyay and Subrata Das, Advs. for the appellant M.S. Usgaocar,additional Solicitor General, Dhruv Mehta, D.S. Mehra, Advs. with him for the Respondents The following order of thecourt was delivered:

O R D E R Delay condoned.

Leave granted.

Originallythe land of an extentof 68 acres, 7 Kanal and 11marlas situated in Andaman & NicobarIslands was assigned on May1, 1922to Khansahib Naban Ali for 30 years.

After his demise in 1947, his widow Smt. Noorjahan Begum had transferred the land in the name of father-in-law of the appellant in the year1949-50. Mutation was effected by an officerin thename of appellant after the demise of her father-in-law. She filed an applicationfor assignment.That was rejected. On a writ petition filed in the High Court, the learned single Judge directed grant of assignment. IN writ Appeal No. 2490/93, by judgmentand order datedJuly 25,1995, the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court allowedthe writ appeal and held thatshe hadno right for second renewal after the expiryof 30 years. Since under the covenant, the predecessor-in-interest was entitled toonly one renewal, after the first renewal, she had no right.

Rejection of her application for assignment isquite legal.

The view takenby theHigh Court iscorrect. The lands absolutely belonged to the Government and they were assigned to Khansahib Naban Ali. The assigneehas a right only for one renewal, Admittedly, the lease was made in May 1922.

After the expiry of 30 yearsin 1952, further renewal for another30 years having been rejected,she hadno right for assignment. The rejection of the application for renewal of grant is clearly intra vires.

Itis stated that the appellant does not have any house to accommodatelarge family. In thatview, we direct the respondents to consider grant ofsuitable land for construction ofthe house.

The appealis accordingly disposedof. No costs.

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