16 Feb 2011

Revenue records do not create title in land: High Court

Holding that the law on this aspect was settled that the name of a person appearing on the revenue records pertaining to a land did not confer legal title of the land on the person, a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in a recent decision [Pashupati Das v. The Block Land and Land Reforms Officer & Ors.] set aside the decision of the West Bengal Land Reforms and Tenancy Tribunal which held to the contrary. The High Court declared that the entry in revenue records created only a rebuttable presumption and was not a categorical proof of the title, which could be established only in a civil court.

The Bench examined the position of law in the following terms;
We are very much surprised to read the order passed by the learned Tribunal below whereby and whereunder it has been held by the learned Tribunal that irrespective of the order of the Civil Court as the writ petitioner’s name was not recorded in the revisional settlement record of rights and thereafter in the L.R. settlement, his application should be rejected. The entry in the record of rights only has a presumptive value and a rebuttable presumption so far as possession is concerned. It does not vest any title of the property to the recorded person. Since the writ petitioner set up a case of declaration of his title by decree of a Civil Court, the findings of the learned Tribunal below is contrary to the provision of law.
It is a settled law that entry of the record of rights does not vest any title over the property. Reliance is placed to the judgment passed in the case Narasamma and Ors. –Vs.- State of Karnataka and Ors. reported in 2009(2) ICC 669 (SC) wherein earlier judgment of Jattu Ram vs. Hakam Singh and others was relied upon which was reported in 1993(4) SCC 403. It is held that the revenue record cannot create any title. In the case Suraj Bhan vs. Financial Commissioner and others reported in 2007(6) SCC 186, the Court held “it is well settled that an entry in revenue records does not confer title on a person whose name appears in the record of rights. it is settled law that entries in the revenue records or Jamabandi have only ‘fiscal purpose’ i.e. payment of land revenue and no ownership is conferred on the basis of such entries. So far as the title to the properties is concerned, it can only be decided by a competent Civil Court.” Same view has been reiterated by the Apex Court in the case Narain Prasad Agrawal (Dead) by L.Rs –Vs.- State of Madhya Pradesh reported in 2007(4) ICC (SC) 105. Very recently in the case Fagruddin (Dead) L.Rs –Vs.- Tajuddin (Dead) L.Rs reported in 2010 (1) ICC (S.C) 457, the Apex Court reiterated the said proposition of law, relying upon Suraj Bhan (supra) and Narayan Prasad Agarwal (supra).

1 comment:

Hareesh Gupta said...

AIR 1995 SC 1728: Entries in records of rights maintained in official course of business is relevant piece of evidence of title. Whether this Judgment is overruled, kindly revert, because it contrary of what has been stated in the said recent judgments.