Pending title suit , no pattadar pass book and title deed is to be issued - the Andhra Pradesh Rights in Land and Pattadar Pass Books Act, 1971 (for short 'the Act'). Thus, an appeal came to be filed/taken up by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Visakhapatnam, respondent No.4 herein. Notice was issued to the petitioner and after considering the matter in detail, respondent No.4 passed an order on 12.11.2009, directing cancellation of the entries recorded in favour of the petitioner and the pattadar pass book and the title deed issued in his favour in respect of the land referred to above. R.P.No.9 of 2009 filed by the petitioner under Section 9 of the Act before the Joint Collector, Visakhapatnam, respondent No.3 herein, was dismissed on 21.04.2012. Hence, this writ petition.


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE L. NARASIMHA REDDY        

Writ Petition No.24715 of 2012

09.08.2012

R. Siva Ramakrishna

The state of Andhra Pradesh and others

Council for the Petitioner: Sri G. Manohar

Counsel for the respondents: G.P. for Revenue

<Gist:

>Head Note:

?Citations:

ORDER:
       
The petitioner purchased an extent of Ac.1.23 cents of land, comprising
different sub-divisions of Survey No.20 of Koppaka Village, Anakapalli Mandal,
Visakhapatnam District through a sale deed, dated 28.03.2007, from
Smt.Kandregula Kanayamma, respondent No.7 herein, and her children. It is stated
that Ac.0.60 cents of that land was purchased by Kanayamma through sale deeds of
the years 1968 and 1972 with her stridhana property, and the balance of Ac.0.63
cents, which was purchased by her husband, Sri K.Pothuraju, has devolved upon
her and her children on the death of Pothuraju. The petitioner was issued
pattadar pass book and title deed and his name was also entered in the revenue
records. Sri Sakala Venkata Ramana, respondent No.6 herein, raised a plea that
the land in question was attached by the Government for recovery of arrears, the
same was brought to sale on 10.03.2000, that he emerged as the highest bidder
therein, and that the same was confirmed in his favour. On noticing this, the
petitioner filed O.S.No.16 of 2011 in the Court of the Principal District &
Sessions Judge, Visakhapatnam for declaration of his title over the land and for
consequential reliefs.
The District Collector, Visakhapatnam, respondent No.2 herein, came to know
about the issuance of pattadar pass book and title deed in favour of the
petitioner in respect of the land attached by the Revenue Department and
accordingly, instructed the Tahsildar, Anakapalli, respondent No.5 herein, to
apprise the appellate authority under Section 5 (5) of the Andhra Pradesh Rights
in Land and Pattadar Pass Books Act, 1971 (for short 'the Act'). Thus, an appeal
came to be filed/taken up by the Revenue Divisional Officer, Visakhapatnam,
respondent No.4 herein. Notice was issued to the petitioner and after
considering the matter in detail, respondent No.4 passed an order on 12.11.2009,
directing cancellation of the entries recorded in favour of the petitioner and
the pattadar pass book and the title deed issued in his favour in respect of the
land referred to above. R.P.No.9 of 2009 filed by the petitioner under Section 9
of the Act before the Joint Collector, Visakhapatnam, respondent No.3 herein,
was dismissed on 21.04.2012. Hence, this writ petition.
Sri G.Manohar, learned counsel for the petitioner, submits that the very
institution of appeal before respondent No.4 was untenable, since no aggrieved
party, much less, respondent No.6, has filed any Memorandum of Appeal. He
further submits that the so-called sale made in favour of respondent No.6 is
void ab initio, since the balance of consideration was not paid in the year 2000
within the stipulated time and that it was only in the year 2009, that the sale
was affected in favour of respondent No.6. He contends that once a suit is
pending in respect of the land for declaration of title, respondent Nos.3 and 4
ought to have desisted from disturbing the present state of affairs in the
revenue records.
The learned Government Pleader for Revenue, on the other hand, submits that the
sale in favour of the petitioner took place at a time when the property was
under attachment and thereby, is untenable. He further submits that noticing the
patent illegality that has crept into the records, respondent No.2 directed
presentation of the appeal and even, the petitioner did not challenge the
jurisdiction of respondent No.4 to entertain the matter.
The petitioner has described the manner in which his vendors have acquired title
over the property. It is a matter of record that he was issued pattadar pass
book and entries in the revenue records were also made in his favour. The appeal
against the proceedings issued by respondent No.5 in favour of the petitioner,
no doubt, was not filed by respondent No.6 or any other private individual. In
the ordinary course, one does not expect the District Collector to take any
steps in matters of this nature. Since his powers under the Act are delegated to
the Joint Collector, the matter virtually ends at that level. However, there
exist circumstances that warrant interference by the District Collector.
It is not in dispute that the land in question was attached under the provisions
of the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Recovery Act for recovery of certain arrears due
from one K.Pothuraju, the husband of respondent No.7 herein, one of the vendors
and father of other vendors. It is fairly well-settled that there cannot be a
valid transfer of property, which is under attachment. The question as to
whether the sale of the property in the auction was in any way vitiated,
virtually becomes secondary. Since the attachment was made by the Revenue
Department itself, respondent No.2 is certainly justified in ensuring that any
steps vis--vis the attached land in contravention of law are rectified.
The petitioner may have purchased the property, not being aware of the
attachment. However, once it has emerged that there existed attachment and
proceedings have also taken place, he has to take recourse to law to establish
his rights and the filing of the suit by the petitioner was a step in that
direction. When there are so many complications surrounding the land, be it as
regards attachment or the consequential sale, the issuance of pattadar pass book
and title deed in favour of the petitioner cannot be sustained. The question as
to whether respondent No.6 held any land exclusively by herself, can certainly
be examined in the pending suit. So is the case with the question as to the
legality or otherwise of the sale in favour of respondent No.6. In case the
petitioner is successful in the suit, the entries can certainly be made in his
favour.
Hence, the writ petition is disposed of, upholding the order under challenge,
but directing that issuance of pattadar pass book and title deed in respect of
the land in question shall await the outcome of O.S.No16 of 2011 on the file of
the District and Sessions Judge, Visakhapatnam. There shall be no order as to
costs.

The miscellaneous petition filed in this writ petition also stands disposed of.

_______________________  
L. NARASIMHA REDDY, J.    
Dt.09.08.2012

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