as per the Resettlement Register of the Village, the land is classified as temple Adyapaka Service and as per the provision of Section 4(4) of the Act, 1956, no ryotwari patta can be granted and even if it is already granted, it is null and void and property continues to be vested in the institution. Thus, as per the material on record, the property continues to vest in the 6th respondent temple. Therefore, petitioner cannot claim, merely on the factum of his possession or the earlier inam granted to his ancestors for the service rendered by them, to contend that he is the owner and entitled to alienate. Thus, in the facts of this case, the petitioner is not entitled to relief prayed by him and writ petition is liable to be dismissed and it is accordingly dismissed. However, it is left open to the petitioner to ascertain his title by due process of law and any observations made in the writ petition do not come in the way in adjudicating the claim of the petitioner on the title to the property in issue. No costs.

HONBLE SRI  JUSTICE P.NAVEEN RAO      

WRIT PETITION NO. 31409 OF 2014    

29-01-2015

Vinjamuri Rajagopala Chary, S/o. V.Parthasarathacharyulu, Occu: Advocate, r/o.
3rd Lane, Arundalpet, Guntur, Guntur District. . Petitioner

The Government of Andhra Pradesh, rep.by its Principal Secretary, Revenue
Department, Secretariat, Hyderabad and others.. Respondents

Counsel for the petitioner: Smt. T.S.Sridevi,   counsel for
                                  petitioner

Counsel for the respondents: Government Pleader for  Revenue
                             for respondents 1, 2, and 4
                             Sri V.T.M.Prasad, standing counsel
                             for respondent No.6
                             Government Pleader for Endowments
                             For respondents 3 and 5

<Gist:

>Head Note:

? Cases referred:

1.2013 (1) ALT 345
2.2013 (4) ALT 541

HONBLE SRI JUSTICE P.NAVEEN RAO      
WRIT PETITION No.31409 of 2014  

ORDER:

        The case of the petitioner is that land to an extent of Ac.4.64
cents in Sy.No.91 of Harischandrapuram Village, Tulluru Mandal,
Guntur District is ancestral property of the petitioner and the
same was in possession and enjoyment of the family members of
the petitioner for more than 90 years.   After demise of the father,
petitioner succeeded to the property.  Pattadar pass books and title
deeds were issued on 20.02.1996.   With an intention to dispose of
the said property, petitioner approached the Sub-Registrar,
Amaravathi (4th respondent) to ascertain the market value and
stamp duty.   The 4th respondent informed the petitioner that
Commissioner and Inspector General of Registration and Stamps
vide Memo G1/7106/2014 dated 20.08.2014 circulated list of
prohibited lands.  Survey No.91 is also included and the same is
shown as belonging to Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple (6th  
respondent).   Petitioner was therefore informed that in view of the
letter of Commissioner, he is not entertaining any document with
respect to land situated in Sy.No.91.  Aggrieved thereby, this writ
petition is instituted.
2.      Heard Ms. T.V.Sridevi, learned counsel for the petitioner,
learned Government Pleader for Revenue, Sri V.T.M.Prasad,
standing counsel for respondent No.6 and  learned Government
Pleader for Endowments.        

3.      Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that land in
Sy.No.91 to an extent of Ac.4.64 cents is a private patta land and
in possession and enjoyment of the family members of the
petitioner for several decades.  Unless notification is issued in
accordance with Section 22-A(1)(c) of the  Registration Act
prohibiting such registration, no authority including Commissioner
and Inspector General of Registration and Stamps can prohibit the
registration of any property.  Thus, order of Commissioner and
Inspector General of Registration and Stamps is ex facie illegal
without competence and jurisdiction.   It is further contended that
registering authority cannot refuse to act on the request of a
person for processing a document for registration based on
executive orders.

4.      In support of the contentions urged, learned counsel for the
petitioner placed reliance on the following decisions:
        i)  P.Srinivasulu and others v. Sub-Registrar, Renigunta,
Chittoor District and others
        ii) Pasuparthi Jayaram and others v. Government of
Andhra Pradesh, rep. by its Commissioner, Endowments  
Department, Hyderabad and others
        iii) Judgment in Writ Appeal No.106 of 2014 dated
14.02.2014

5.      Sri V.T.M.Prasad, entered appearance on behalf of 6th
respondent temple and filed counter-affidavit.    The stand of the
respondent-temple is that the temple owns Ac.528.92 cents of land
in various survey numbers including the land to an extent of
Ac.4.64 cents in Sy.No.91 of Harischandrapuram village.   This
extent of land is classified as Adyapaka Service.  Various extents
of land is earmarked for various services for the temple, such as,
Bhajantri, Kumba Dance, decoration, Chamara Kainkaryam etc.
This piece of land was given in view of rendering of Adyapaka
Service to the ancestors of the petitioner.  If service is not
rendered, the person cannot continue to enjoy the property.   It
being a service inam and as petitioner is not rendering the service,
he cannot be allowed to continue in possession of the property.
Land was never permanently granted to the ancestors of the
petitioner as claimed by the petitioner and the temple is taking
steps for recovery of possession from the encroachers by filing
appropriate application under Section 83 of the Andhra Pradesh
Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act,
1987 ( for short, the Act, 1987).

6.      Learned standing counsel further contended that
respondent-temple is a public institution as per Section 6(c) of the
Act, 1966.  The property in issue is included in the property
register maintained under Section 38 of the Act 17/66
(corresponding  provision is Section 43 of Act, 1987).    The register
shows that an extent of Ac.11.60 cents in Sy.No.91 was endowed
to Madabhusi Rangamma.   He further contended that once such
an entry is made in the register, the same shall be presumed to be
genuine unless contrary is proved.  The entry made in the
statutory register has not been challenged by any person including
the petitioner.  What is  communicated by the Commissioner and
Inspector General of Registration and Stamps  is reiteration of the
status of the property as endowment property.    Learned standing
counsel further contended that if petitioner disputes the status of
the property as reflected in the statutory register, he has to avail
effective remedy as available under the Act, 1987 and that the writ
petition is not maintainable when the petitioner has effective and
efficacious remedy available under the Act, 1987.  In support of the
said contention, learned standing counsel placed reliance on the
decision of this Court in W.A.NO.500 of 2012, dated 09.10.2012
and W.P.No.26566 of 2011, dated 18.01.2012.

7.      Learned standing counsel further contended that Andhra
Pradesh (A.A.) Inams (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act,
1956 was amended by Amendment Act 16/2013 and is    
retrospective in operation.   According to the Amendment, pattas
granted for the service inams burdened with service should be
deemed to have been null and void and no effect can be given to
the pattas in that manner.

8.      In the instant case, no earlier alienation of the property in
issue is brought on record.   Ryotwari patta claimed to have been
granted in favour of the petitioner is not filed.  The claim of the
petitioner rests only on the fact that the property was given to the
ancestors of the petitioner for the services rendered to the temple
and it vested permanently in the family of the petitioner and, thus,
petitioner is entitled  to deal with the property as his private patta
land.    The stand of the respondent temple that the property is
shown in the statutory register as belonging to the temple and as
per Resettlement Register of the village, the property is classified as
temple  Adyapaka Service  is not  controverted.

9.      As per Section 38 of the old Act and Section 43 of the new
Act, it is mandatory to maintain register of any registered
institution/endowment, which contain all the details of movable
and immovable assets of the temple.  The 6th respondent
contended that in terms of the said provision, register is
maintained and in the said register the property in issue is also
included as belonging to the 6th respondent temple. This
contention is not controverted.  As per Section 46(3) of the new
Act, until the contrary is established presumption is that all the
entries made in the register maintained under Section 43 of the
new Act are genuine.   Thus, burden lies on the petitioner to
disprove the stand of the 6th respondent temple that the subject
land is not land belonging to the 6th respondent.  Except filing of
extract of pattadar pass book and title deeds, no material is filed to
disprove the stand of the 6th respondent temple.  As can be
deduced from the narration of the facts in the affidavit filed in
support of the writ petition, pattadar pass books and title deeds
may have been issued by relying on the ryotwari patta granted to
the petitioner.

10.     It is specific stand of the 6th respondent temple that this
piece of land was given as service inam and the service inam is not
a permanent grant.  The title of the land continuously  vests in the
temple and such inam is available as long as service is rendered.
As the inam granted in this case was for Adyapaka Service
rendered by the ancestors of the petitioner,  as long as such
service was rendered, such inam  subsisted and once the service
was not rendered, the inam cannot be continued.  Act, 1956 was
amended by way of Act 16/2013, whereby Section 4 was amended  
and sub-section (4) was added.   According to the provision in sub-
section 4, if the inam land is burdened to render service  to an
institution or endowment, no person would be entitled to ryotwari
patta and institution or  endowment alone would be entitled to
ryotwari patta for such inam land.    According to the first proviso
appended to sub-section 4,  even if ryotwari patta is granted, such
patta is deemed to have been null and void and no effect can be
given to such patta granted.

11.     In support of the claim that the land in issue is granted as
Adyapaka Service, the extract of village Resettlement register is
filed.  It would thus show that the inam granted to the ancestors of
the petitioner was service inam.   In accordance with the mandate
of Section 4(4) of the Act, 1956, even if ryotwari patta was granted
to the petitioner, the same has no legal validity and thus, pattadar
pass books or title deeds issued in terms thereof have no legal
validity.   Having regard to the mandate of Sections 43 and 46(3) of
Act, 1987 and Section 4(4) of Act, 1956, the title continues to  vest
in the temple and petitioner is not entitled to alienate the said
property.  According to Section 75 of Act, 1987, sale of land
granted as service inam would be null and void unless such
transaction is effected with the prior sanction of the Government.
In fact, the case of the 6th respondent-temple is that even petitioner
is not entitled to be in possession of the said property as petitioner
is not rendering any service to the temple and the temple is
entitled to claim possession of the property.

12.     In view of the statutory mandate as referred to above, even in
the absence of the letter written by the Commissioner and
Inspector General of Registration and Stamps, the petitioner is not
entitled to alienate the property as the property does not belong to
him and continues to be vested in the 6th respondent temple.
What is communicated by Memo dated 20.08.2014 is the list
supplied by Endowment Department.  The said list of  Endowment
Department is not filed, but apparently it reflects the various
extent of land standing in the name of various temples.    This list
would come to the aid of the registering authority while processing
any document for registration presented before him. Unless a
document is presented by an authorized person entitled to
undertake transaction on behalf of the endowment institution,  the
registering authority cannot entertain the document.   As record
would disclose and in view of  the  statutory mandate of provisions
referred to above, the property in issue falls within the domain of
Section 22-A(1)(c) of the Registration Act.   Thus, the memo under
challenge has to be understand in the context of the statutory
provision referred to above.

13.     The facts in P.Srinivasulu are entirely different.  The
Trustees of the temple passed resolution authorizing the Life
Trustee to execute sale deeds in respect of the trust land.
Consequently the lands were transferred by way of execution of
sale deeds during the years 1981, 1983 and 1985.   The concerned
Trust was brought under the provision of the Endowments Act
only with effect from on 13.04.1995.   Thus, the provisions of the
Act would apply only from that date.   In the above factual context,
this Court held that title is validly  passed on to the purchaser and
Government or religious institution cannot claim the subject land
as still owned by them.   The Court also further observed that
without taking steps for nullification of the sale deeds executed by
the Life Trustee in favour of the father of the first petitioner, the
respondents could not prevent transfer of the subject land in
favour of the other petitioners.  The Court also observed that
whenever  there was a bona fide   claim with regard to the title and
possession by any third party,  such  claim cannot be  curtailed
merely on the ground that such land belongs to either Government
or Religious Institutions.   Court also further held that the
complicated questions with regard to title and possession cannot
be gone into by the respondents by preventing transfer of lands in
exercise of power under Section 22-A of the Registration Act.

14.     In Pasuparthi Jayaram, letter addressed by the
Commissioner of Endowment on 19.04.2010  to various authorities
in Chittoor district indicating the particulars of the immovable
properties  allegedly belonging to Sri Hathi Ramji Math, Tirupati
and  Sri Bugga Math, Tirupati, directing the registering authority
not to entertain registration of the documents in connection with
the properties listed out was in issue.

15.     Learned single Judge of this Court observed that Section
22-A of the Registration Act pre-supposes title of the institution
over the land and merely prohibits the registration of the
documents executed  without valid authorisation.   Learned single
Judge further held that unless there is a notification under Section
22-A(2) of the Act,  no prohibition can be enforced and, therefore,
communication dated 19.04.2010 held without jurisdiction  and
unsustainable.

16.     In W.P.No.11635 of 2013, letter dated 21.01.2013 of the
Commissioner of Endowments directing the Sub-Registrar,
Visakhapatnam, not to entertain registrations on properties listed
out in the said letter was challenged.   The writ petition was
allowed setting aside the said letter.

17.     The temple preferred W.A.No.106 of 2014 contending that
Survey number in question was registered in the name of appellant
temple and, therefore, in accordance with the provision contained
in Section 22-A(1)(c), there was a prohibition against the
registration of the properties.  Reliance was placed on the
judgment of single judge in Pasuparthi Jayaram (supra).  The
Division Bench held that for properties covered under Section 22-
A(1)(c), there was no need for notification, but Commissioner of
Endowments has no jurisdiction directing Sub-Registrar not to
register documents without any specific permission.  In the
absence of such power conferred under the Registration Act or the
Rules made thereunder, it was not open for the Commissioner to
address such letter.   The Division Bench noticed that L.G.C.No.5
of 2000 filed by the temple was dismissed for non-prosecution long
ago and application filed after more than 11 years for restoration
was pending consideration.   The Division Bench also noticed that
as early as in the year 1949 lay out was approved by the
competent authority, house plots were carved out, buildings were
constructed and people are living in the colony.    Thus, Division
Bench of this Court held that it is not open for the registering
authority to prohibit registration.  Reiterating the principles laid
down in P.Srinivasulu case, Division Bench held that registering
authority cannot embark on enquiry, with regard to title and
possession when there is bona fide dispute with regard to such
title and possession.

18.     The decisions relied upon by the petitioner do not come to
the aid of the petitioner.   In the facts of this case, as successfully
contested by the 6th respondent-temple, as per the Resettlement
Register of the Village, the land is classified as temple Adyapaka
Service and as per the provision of Section 4(4) of the Act, 1956,
no ryotwari patta can be granted and even if it is already granted,
it is null and void and property continues to be vested in the
institution.  Thus, as per the material on record, the property
continues to vest in the 6th respondent temple.    Therefore,
petitioner cannot claim, merely on the factum of his possession or
the earlier inam granted to his ancestors for the service rendered
by them, to contend that he is the owner and entitled to alienate.
Thus, in the facts of this case, the petitioner is not entitled to relief
prayed by him and writ petition is liable to be dismissed and it is
accordingly dismissed.   However, it is left open to the petitioner to
ascertain his title by due process of law and any observations
made in the writ petition do not come in the way in adjudicating
the claim of the petitioner on the title to the property in issue.  No
costs.
        Miscellaneous petitions if any pending in this writ petition
shall stand closed.

__________________________  
JUSTICE P.NAVEEN RAO    
Date : 29.01.2015

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