Maher Baba Vs. Tallapu Nagaraju (Dead) by LRS. and Ors.  INSC 2123 (10
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.6541 OF 2000 Badireddy Avatar Maher Baba
...Appellant(s) Versus Tallapu Nagaraju (Dead) By L.Rs. & Ors.
...Respondent(s) O R D E R
an order passed under Section 9 of the Andhra Pradesh Land Reforms (Ceiling on
Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973 (for short `the Act'), the Land Reforms
Tribunal, Kakinada, East Godavari District, decided the surplus area case of
Shri Surya Prakasa Rao (deceased), his wife and minor children including the
appellant herein and declared that they were holding 1.3560 standard hectares
of land in excess of their entitlement. Thereafter, the appellant offered to
surrender some parcels of land including the land comprised in survey nos. 14/2
and 13/4 of Tantikonda village.
On receipt of the
offer of surrender made by the appellant, the Land Reforms Tribunal issued
notice in Form-VIII. Respondent no. 1 filed objections to the proposed
surrender claiming that the land comprised in survey nos. 14/2 and 13/4 of
Tantikonda village had been purchased by him on 23.2.1981 and, therefore, the
same could not be surrendered. The Land Reforms Tribunal rejected his objections
by observing that in ...2/- -2- view of Section 17(1) of the Act, the transfer
made after 1.1.1975 is null and void.
Appeal preferred by
Respondent No.1 was dismissed by the Land Reforms Appellate Tribunal, East
Godavari (Kakinada), by holding that he does not have the locus to file
objections because the purchase made by him was hit by Section 17(1) of the
dissatisfied with the appellate order, Respondent No.1 filed Revision under
Section 21 of the Act. The High Court approved the view taken by the Land
Reforms Tribunal and Land Reforms Appellate Tribunal, that the purchase made by
respondent no.1 is violative of Section 17(1) of the Act and dismissed the
revision petition. While doing so, the High Court observed that respondent no.1
is a bonafide purchaser and, therefore, the authority should call upon the
owner to surrender some other land acceptable to the Tribunal and, thereafter,
action may be taken in respect of the land in possession of other persons.
Accordingly, the High Court directed that while taking the possession of the
land, the authority shall exercise proper discretion under clause (ii) of
sub-section (5) of Section 10 of the Act.
have heard learned counsel for the parties.
respondent no.1 purchased the land comprised in survey nos. 14/2 and 13/4 after
the appointed date, i.e., 1.1.1975. Therefore, the Land Reforms Tribunal and
Land Reforms Appellate Tribunal did not commit any illegality by invoking
Section 17(1) of the Act and holding that the transfer was void.
This being the
position, the appellant is right in contending that respondent no.1 had no
right to object to surrender of particular parcels of land by the declarant and
the High Court was not justified in giving the impugned direction. The question
relating to the locus of a person, who purchased the land after the appointed
date was considered by this Court in Appineni Vidyasagar vs. State of A.P.
& Ors. [2004(11) SCC 186], and was answered in negative. In that case it
has been held that in the absence of a valid transfer of title, the transferee
does not have the right to object to a surrender by the holder and Section
10(5) does not confer locus upon him to do so.
view of the law laid down in the afore-mentioned decision, the appeal is allowed.
The direction of the High Court to the concerned authority to exercise proper
discretion under clause (ii) of sub-section (5) of Section 10 of the Act, while
taking possession of the land, is set aside. No costs.
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