Bare dispossession of land not' land-grabbing': SC
New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) A bare attempt to dispossess a person from property does not amount to an offence of land-grabbing unless and until actual dispossession has taken place, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The ruling was handed down by a Supreme Court bench comprising Mr Justice BP Singh and Mr Justice Altamas Kabir, in judgment dated March 23, while dismissing the appeal against the Andhra Pradesh High court judgment of November 21,1997, rejecting the application for clarification filed by the appellant N Srinivasa Rao.
Uppari Ramiah purchased 14 acres and 6 guntas of land, situated in Yousufguda village, from Kaneez Fatima Begum on May 1, 1961 for Rs 13,000. He later sold 20,086 sq. yards of land to one Mir Riyasat Ali before exectuion of sale deed by Kaneez in his favour.
Ali, further on, sold part of the land to Ms P Neelakanteswaramma and to one Chandra Ramalingaiah by sale deed dated November 21,1961.
Heirs of Ramalingaiah and Neelkanteswaramma filed a complaint against the legal heirs of Uppari Ramaiah in the court of the Special Judge, alleging a conspiracy to grab the land. They also executed three powers of attorney in favour of N Srinivasda Rao.
The Special Judge came to the conclusion that Riyasat Ali was in actual physical possession of land and had enjoyed uninterrupted possession till 1980. Hence, the applicants had perfected their title by adverse possession, notwithstanding the mischief of section 47 of Tenancy Act 1950. The plea of the respondents that the application was time-barred was also overruled by the judge.
The Andhra High Court reversed the findings of the special judge, holding that the sales effected by Kaneez Begum in favour of Uppari Ramaiah and the sale deed executed by Ramaiah in favour of Riyasat Ali were not valid as they were hit by section 47 of Tenancy Act. Without a validation certificate, transfers, if any, in favour of others, including the applicants before the special judge, did not confer any right or title on them.
The attempt by heirs of Uppari Ramaiah to dispossess others from the lands can, at best, be called an attempt to gain possession of land without actually obtaining possession thereof, which would not constitute an act of land grabbing within the meaning of the Andhra Pradesh Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act 1982, the Supreme Court said.
UNI AKS/SC VD RK1235