1. (a) What documents constitute title for lands? (b) Whether the entries in the revenue records constitute conclusive proof of title and if not whether they have evidentiary value in determination of title? 2. Whether multiple registered sale transactions reflecting long standing possession give rise to a presumption of title to the property? 3. Whether the entries in Resurvey and Resettlement Register (RSR) and Town Survey Land Register (TSLR) are conclusive in determining title?

HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE C.V. NAGARJUNA REDDY        

W.P.Nos.15438 of 2013  and batch

28-4-2014      

G. Satyanarayana.. Petitioner

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

Counsel for petitioner : Sri Prabhakar Sripada

Counsel for respondents : Government Pleader for Revenue
                          (Telangana Area)


<GIST:

>HEAD NOTE:  

? CASES REFERRED:    
1. AIR 1982 S.C. 1081
2. 2001(3) ALD 600
3. 1972(1) ALT 270
4. AIR 1976 A.P. 19
5. (1902) 1 MLJ 453
6. 2008(5) ALT 313 (DB)
7. 2011(5) ALT 420
8. 2011(3) ALD 571
9. (2000(3) ALT 295)
10. AIR 1974 S.C. 1178
11. AIR 2000 S.C. 3037 = 2000(7) SCC 611,
12. (1991) Supp. (2) SCC 228
13. AIR 1956 S.C. 305
14. (2006) 13 SCC 147
15. AIR 1926 P.C. 100
16. AIR 1961 A.P.361
17. 1996(11) SCC 257
18. 1989(3) SCC 612
19. 1993(4) SCC 349
20. 2002(5) ALT 370 (DB)
21. (1995) 3 SCC 426
22. 1999(5) ALD 309
23. 2002(1) ALT 466
24. AIR 1952 Hyderabad 75
25. ILR 72 A.P. 652
26. 1996(2) ALT 950
27. 1999(4) ALT 209-DB
28. AIR 1954 SC 575
29. AIR 1973 SC 1299
30. AIR 1979 SC 861
31. 2000(7) SCC 611
32. Civil Appeal No.4702/2004, dt. 7-1-2004
33. 9 Madras 175
34. 23 MLJ 32
35. AIR 1930 P.C. 103
36. (2010) 5 SCC 203
37. (2009(7) SCC 363)
38. (2009(3) ALT 419)
39. 2011(1) ALT 474
40. W.P.No.6061/2010, dt.2-7-2010
41. 2011(2) ALT 2
42. (2010) 5 SCC 382
43. 1984(1) APLJ 219
44. 1970(1) ALT 88

HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE C.V. NAGARJUNA REDDY        
W.P.Nos.15438, 31582 of 2012; 23447, 23595, 23599, 23615, 25333,  
25356, 25387, 25727, 25993, 26106, 27589 of 2013
        Date : 28-4-2014      

The Court made the following

COMMON JUDGMENT:      

PART-I
Introduction:
        Though the facts vary from case to case, a common issue is
involved in all these Writ Petitions, namely, what documents determine
title and ownership to land.  While some petitioners claimed their rights
based on entries in revenue record, others based their claims on long
standing possession as evidenced by registered sale deeds. The
Government denied their title mainly based on the entries in the revenue
records such as Re-Survey and Re-settlement Register (RSR) and Town
Survey Land Register (TSLR).  This Court, therefore, felt the necessity
of dealing with these cases together by addressing this common aspect,
which is faced by it day-in and day-out.
        Before discussing the general law governing the subject, it is
appropriate to briefly refer to the facts of each case hereunder:
Brief facts:
W.P.Nos.23595, 23599 & 23615 of 2013:  
        The petitioners in these Writ Petitions who claimed ownership
under registered sale deeds were denied pattadar passbooks and title
deeds by the Tahsildar, Bandaganipalli village, Udaigiri Mandal, Nellore
District on the ground that as per the Adangals, the lands are shown as
Government lands.  The petitioners claimed that the RSR shows these
lands as private persons.  They have also relied upon separate but
identical certificates issued by the Tahsildar concerned.
        The respondents have not filed counter-affidavit in any of these
cases.
W.P.Nos.25333 and 25356 of 2013:
        The facts in both these cases are identical. The petitioners have
claimed right under registered sale deeds.  They were granted pattadar
passbooks and title deeds for Ac.39-33 cents each in Sy.Nos.436, 438,
439 to 442 of Boodili village, Gorantla Mandal, Anantapur District.  The
petitioners vendor was declared as a surplus land holder to the extent of
Ac.5-59 cents under the provisions of the A.P. Land Reforms (Ceiling
on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973 (for short the 1973 Act) vide
C.C.No.93/75/HUP and compensation was paid to the declarant on 10-3-
1978 for taking over the surplus land.  The Tahsildar issued pattadar
passbooks and title deeds to the petitioners.  The land admeasuring
Ac.624-00 in Chilamathur, Gorantla Mandal, Anantapur District was
proposed to be alienated for establishment of BDL Project and that out
of the said land, an extent of Ac.96-49 cents was found to be assigned
land.    In W.P.No.23223/2011 filed by the brother of the petitioners
vendor, this Court has directed the Tahsildar to settle the rival claims for
compensation. The Tahsildar, Gorantla Mandal has passed an order in
Rc.No.208/2010/A, dated 16-10-2012 holding that in the RSR of Bodili
village, the lands are recorded as Government land and that there were
no entries in the village records showing that the lands were assigned to
any person.  While admitting that the lands are subjected to sale
transactions from the year 1934 and that the entries in 10(1) Register
recorded the names of private persons, it was however maintained that
the incorporation of those entries was without verification by any officer.
     Separate, but identical counter affidavits have been filed in
W.P.Nos.25333 and 25356 of 2013 by the Revenue officials and the
A.P. Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC).  In both these
Writ Petitions, the petitioners claim for compensation has been denied
based on the entries in the RSR showing the land as belonging to the
Government.
W.P.No.31582/2012:
        The mother of petitioner No.1  M. Sesharatnamma, purchased an
extent of 2000 sq. yards under registered sale deed No.677/1963, dated
21-2-1963.  In the year 1975, she obtained permission from the then
Vijayawada Municipality and constructed an A.C. sheet shed, which is
being used as a godown-cum-mosaic tiles manufacturing unit.  Since the
death of his mother in the year 1975, petitioner No.1 is in possession and
enjoyment of the subject property.  Petitioner No.2 has succeeded to an
extent of 180 2/3 sq. yards under a registered will executed by one
Vemuri Nancharamma who has purchased the said property under  
registered sale deed dated 16-5-2008.  Petitioner No.3 purchased 125.27
sq. yards of land under registered sale deed dated 20-12-1979.
        The petitioners pleaded that their lands form part of Ac.2-73 cents
of land recorded as burial ground poramboke in the Town Survey
records; that Machavaram village, in which the lands are situated, was an
estate village under the possession and enjoyment of Jagirdars; that
initially survey of the village was conducted in the year 1923 and since
then the Jagirdars are in possession and enjoyment of Ac.2-73 cents and
that sale transactions have taken place between the Jagirdars and
individuals from the year 1901 onwards in respect of Ac.155-00 cents of
land.  The petitioners further pleaded that the lands have changed many
hands during the last 110 years and that the burial ground is situated over
an extent of 9111.36 sq. yards and the same is surrounded by a
compound wall on all the sides and the said extent of Ac.2-73 is outside
the compound wall; that as the land was classified as Burial ground
poramboke in the Town Survey records, the petitioners are not able to
obtain permission from respondent No.6-Corporation for construction of
houses.  The petitioners have approached the respondents for change of
classification of the land from Burial ground poramboke to Assessed
Waste Dry (AWD).  The Revenue Divisional officer, Vijayawada
submitted his report to the Collector, Krishna District, Machilipatnam.
He has stated in his report that the land admeasuring Ac.155-00 was
registered through a sale deed during the year 1901 in favour of
Vahejullah Saheb s/o. Afizullah Saheb and that the same changed hands
under subsequent sale deeds dated 17-11-1931 and 20-6-1940.  The
report has also referred to as many as 18 sale deeds, in all, in respect of
smaller extents of lands forming part of Ac.155-00.  Based on the facts
placed by the Mandal Revenue Inspector and the Mandal Surveyor, the
Revenue Divisional officer has summarised the background as under :
1.      Machavaram village in Vijayawada Urban Mandal is an Estate
village.
2.      As verified from the copies of the Registered Documents the
land in question is Government Dry and there are link
documents to that effect since 1901 and it was known as
Government Dry.
3.      Registered sale transactions occurred several times since 1901
to 1978 and there are link documents to that effect.
4.      Since 1971, the Municipal Authorities have given the
assessment number and allotted Door Nos.
5.      Since 1969, the Municipal Authorities have approved the
building plans in the subject land in favour of the petitioners.
6.      The contention of the petitioners is that the land in question is
a private land but not Government land.
7.      In the year 1943, the Jageer Machavaram village was merged
into Vijayawada Municipality much prior to Estate Abolition
Act.

He has finally summed up in his report as under :
        Finally the field staff have reported that the said land
inspected on ground and confirmed and said boundaries for an
extent of 4000 sq. yards and also as per the documentary
evidences the land in question is merged in burial ground in
detail Town Survey instead of patta land in the year 1964 and
further submitted that the petitioners are resided in the said land
since several decades.  Hence there is no objection for Re-
classification of land measuring 4000 sq. yds. In NTS No.45,
Block No.21, Revenue Ward 16, of Machavaram village from
Burial Ground to patta land.
        The Tahsildar, Vijayawada Urban has reported that the
circumstances explained above and as per the documentary
evidences filed by the petitioners the land in question is
earmarked in Town Survey Records as Burial Ground but the
land in question is merged in burial ground in detail Town
Survey instead of patta land in the year 1964.
        On the report of the Tahsildar, Vijayawada, Urban, I have
inspected the land in question along with Tahsildar, Vijayawada
Urban, Mandal Surveyor, Vijayawada Urban on 2.4.2010 and I
agree with the report of the Tahsildar, Vijayawada Urban.

     The District Collector, in his report dated 21-2-2011 sent to the
Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA) requested for
permission to change the classification of the land admeasuring 4000 sq.
yards in N.T.S. No.45, Block 21, Revenue Ward No.16 of Machavaram  
village from Burial ground to AWD.  The CCLA appeared to have
addressed the Collector, Krishna District to re-verify the facts and
submit a fresh report.  The Collector, in his fresh report dated 3-9-2011
opined that no records are available to indicate that the land is a private
land and the same was wrongly classified as Burial ground.  The
CCLA in turn has submitted his report in CCLAs Lr.No.B2/375/2011,
dated 18-10-2011 wherein he has referred to the entry in the Fair
Adangal prepared in the year 1968 describing the land as Smasanam.
He has further stated that the Assistant Director, Survey and Land
Records reported that the Settlement Records under the Estates/Inam
Abolition Act are not available for examination; that the petitioners have
produced only the sale transactions from the year 1901 as evidence that
the schedule land is a private land; that the sale transactions alone cannot
be taken as evidence to prove that the schedule land is a private land and
that the petitioners have not produced any other relevant evidence, such
as, Ryotwari Patta in support of their claim.
        Based on the above mentioned reports, respondent No.1 has
rejected the petitioners claim for conversion of the land from Burial
Ground to patta land.
        The Collector, Krishna District, filed a counter affidavit wherein
he has inter alia averred that mere occupation of the land classified as
Burial Ground and sale of the same through registered sale deeds will
not confer title on the claimants; that no Ryotwari Patta has been
obtained by the petitioners under the Estates Abolition Act; that the
petitioners failed to approach the authorities concerned during Survey
and Settlement operations taken place in the year 1964-65 seeking
proper classification; and that the Settlement process was completed and
Town Survey Register was prepared in the year 1968.  It is further
averred that as seen from the Fair Adangal of Machavaram village
prepared in the year 1968, the ground rent was not fixed as per Section
18(4)(i) of the Estates Abolition Act and that the land was noted as
Smasanam.
W.P.Nos.25727/2013 & 26106/2013  
        The petitioner in W.P.No.25727/2013 claimed that the land
admeasuring 800 sq. mts. is a part of Matruka property; that a
compromise decree was passed in O.S.No.1420/1983 in the Court of the
learned II Additional Judge, City Civil Court, Hyderabad, as per which
the petitioner and his wife were allotted 1000 sq. yards each, comprised
in house bearing No.23-1-433/7 and 23-1-433/8, Talab Katta,
Bahadurpura Mandal, Hyderabad; that the petitioners wife died on
26-7-2010 and that after her death, the petitioner is in possession of the
said property.  The petitioner in W.P.No.26106/2013 claimed that he
was allotted a portion of 479 sq. yards, comprised in house bearing
No.23-1-433/9, Talab Katta, Bahadurpura Mandal, Hyderabad, in the
above mentioned compromise decree and that he is the absolute owner
and possessor of the same.  On 13-6-2013 and 30-8-2013, notices under
Section 7 of the A.P. Land Encroachment Act, 1905 (for short the 1905
Act) were issued alleging that the land in T.S.No.89, Block-M, Ward
No.212 is recorded as G-Abadi in the Town Survey record and that
therefore the petitioners are encroachers over an extent of 450 and 130
sq. mts. respectively.  The petitioners submitted their explanations
stating that the entries in the TSLR are not conclusive proof of title.
Rejecting the said explanations, eviction orders under Section 6 of the
1905 Act has been passed by the Tahsildar on 30-8-2013.  Assailing the
said orders, the petitioners filed these Writ Petitions.
        In the counter affidavit filed by the respondent-Tahsildar,
Bahadurpura Mandal, Hyderabad District, it is inter alia stated that the
land admeasuring 6630 sq. mts. in T.S.No.89/M, Ward No.212 is
recorded as G-Abadi (Government land); that once the Town Survey
was conducted, the same becomes final and that a Gazette notification as
required under Section 13 of the A.P. Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923
(for short the 1923 Act) was published vide notification No.36, dated
12-7-1977;  that as the petitioners failed to file suits challenging the
same, the entries in the TSLR have become final; that the entries in the
Town Survey records will prevail over any other document and the same
are conclusive proof of title as they have become final and remained
unchallenged as provided  under Section 14 of the 1923 Act.
W.P.No.27589/2013:
        The dispute pertains to 925 sq. yards of property comprised in
H.No.17-2-258 and 17-2-258/2 of Kurmaguda, Madannapet, Hyderabad.  
The petitioners traced their title to the said land as under:
        One Shahazadi Bi w/o. Gulam Dastagir, sold the property to
P. Mallesh through registered sale deed dated 17-6-1959.  One B.
Krishna purchased the said property from P. Mallesh. Under registered
sale deed dated 15-4-1966, the said B. Krishna sold the property to
Satyamma w/o. Eswar Chandra.  Satyamma and her husband filed  
O.S.No.555/1985 on the file of the learned V Additional Judge, City
Civil Court, Hyderabad, for declaration of title and the said suit was
decreed in their favour on 26-9-1995.  After the death of Satyammas
husband, her family members executed agreement of sale-cum-G.P.A. in
favour of B. Vasanth Rao under registered document No.3674/2005.
The family members of B. Vasanth Rao executed registered sale deed
dated 8-3-2006 in favour of P. Om Prakash through registered document
No.1165/2006.  The said P. Om Prakash sold the property to the
petitioners under registered document No.4610/2006.
        Respondent No.1-Tahsildar, Sayeedabad Mandal, Hyderabad,  
issued a impugned notice under Section 7 of the 1905 Act wherein it was
alleged that the subject land in T.S.No.40, Block-K, Ward No.175 is
recorded as G-Abadi in the TSLR; that the petitioners have encroached
an extent of 773 sq. mts. with structures raised in about 50 sq. yards with
a compound wall.  In their reply, the petitioners have pleaded that the
entries in the TSLR do not have any evidentiary value and that the
summary eviction proceedings cannot be initiated in view of the law laid
down by the Apex Court in Government of Andhra Pradesh Vs.
Tummala Krishna Rao .  However, respondent No.1 vide his order
dated 19-9-2013 ordered eviction of the petitioners under Section 6 of
the 1905 Act. Respondent No.1 initiated the impugned proceedings for
eviction of the petitioners under the 1905 Act.Questioning these
proceedings, the petitioners filed this Writ Petition.
        The petitioners have pleaded that no notice was issued to them
under Sections 5 and 6 of the 1923 Act.  They have also relied upon the
Judgment of this Court in Hyderabad Potteries Pvt. Ltd. Vs.
Collector, Hyderabad District and another  in support of their plea
that the entries in the TSLR do not have any presumptive value to hold
that the subject land belongs to the Government.
        Respondent No.1 filed a counter affidavit wherein it was inter alia
averred that during 1964-70, Town Survey was conducted in the twin
cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad duly following the procedure laid
down under the 1923 Act; that general notifications under Section 5 and
6 thereof were published in the Gazette informing the public that the
Town Survey operations have commenced in the twin cities; that as
required under Section 9(2), individual notices were given to the
registered holders of the properties for raising objections, if any, with
regard to fixation of boundaries; that a final notification under Section
13 was published in the Hyderabad Gazette; that in respect of the subject
land, notification was published in Gazette No.22, dated 18-4-1977,
under which boundaries were determined and recorded and that the same
have become final and conclusive proof that they are deemed to be
correct as no person has filed a suit within three years from the date of
the notification.  It is further averred that the subject land forms part of
the village site of Saidabad village, which was not surveyed in the
Revenue Survey (Cadastral survey); that during the Town Survey, the
village sites were also surveyed taking into account the physical
enjoyment of the land and the names of the occupants of the village sites
were shown as present enjoyers in column No.20 of the TSLR and in
column No.10, the land is mentioned as village site/Abadi.  It is further
averred that with regard to the unclaimed vacant land in the village site,
the Town Survey authorities have obtained clarification from the
Government vide G.O.Ms.No.1039, dated 13-9-1972, as per which the
unclaimed vacant lands in the village site area are recorded as
Government Abadi.  It is thus pleaded that as per the TSLR entries, the
Government of Andhra Pradesh is the absolute owner and possessor of
the property, and that no one, except the Government, has any right, title
or interest over it.
        In the reply affidavit, the petitioners, while reiterating their plea
that the TSLR entries cannot constitute conclusive proof of title, pointed
out the contradiction in the stand taken by the respondents.  Along with
the reply affidavit, they have filed a copy of the proceedings in
E/3412/2012, dated 12-9-2012 of respondent No.1 whereunder he has
rejected the petitioners application for grant of No Objection Certificate
(NOC).  A copy of the Check Memo enclosed to the said proceeding
giving reasons for rejection is also filed.  At column No.8 of the Check
Memo, it was mentioned As per the file No.J/B7/84 to the sketch by
DIS of this office 375 sq. mts. is covered in surplus land out of 639.65
sq.mts.  From this, the petitioners averred that if the subject land
belongs to the Government, the same would not have been the subject
matter of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 (for short
"the 1976 Act").
W.P.No.15438/2012:  The petitioner claimed title to 2300.46 sq. yards
of land situated at premises bearing municipal No.1-7-496/1 of
Zamistanpur village, Musheerabad, Hyderabad under three registered
sale deeds dated 5-6-1985, 14-6-1985 and 15-11-1985.  Proceedings
under the 1976 Act were initiated in respect of the said property.  The
Primary Authority, by its order dated 30-8-1995 in C.C.No.7576/1975
declared 270 sq. mts. as surplus land.  However, the Appellate
Authority, by order No.H1/7576/76, dated 20-6-1996, declared the
petitioner as a non-surplus holder.  The petitioner sold 1124 sq. yards out
of the subject property to a third party under a registered sale deed.
When the petitioner was intending to sell the remaining 1176.46 sq.
yards, he was informed by the Sub-Registrar, Chikkadpally that the
District Collector, Hyderabad vide his letter No.C3/5042/2007, dated
4-7-2011, instructed the registering authorities not to register any
document on the ground that the subject property is included in the
prohibitory list prepared under Section 22-A of the Registration Act,
1908 (for short "the 1908 Act").  The petitioner averred that even before
he has purchased the said property in the year 1985, he was in
possession of the land as a tenant and running a plastic industry in the
name and style of M/s. Himayala Plastic Industry by obtaining licence.
The petitioners application dated 8-2-2012 for deletion of the land from
the prohibitory list was rejected by the District Collectors endorsement
dated 7-5-2012 on the ground that as per the TSLR, column No.10 is
kept blank and column No.20 is recorded as G-Abadi.  The petitioner
has filed a copy of the Mutation Register of the year 1980 issued by the
Tahsildar, Musheerabag Taluq under which the property has been
mutated in the names of as many as 10 private persons including Shah
Mohd. Khan and Smt. Chunnu Begum.  
        The Tahsildar, Musheerabad Mandal, filed a counter affidavit
wherein it is inter alia averred that the subject property has been
identified on ground as falling in T.S.No.56, Block-A, Ward No.153
correlated to Sy.No.181/P of Zamisthanpur village, Musheerabad
Mandal, Hyderabad District, which is vacant on ground; that as per the
Town Survey records, the property is recorded in column No.10 as
Blank and in column No.20, it was recorded as G. Abadi.  From this,
the Tahsildar has concluded that the subject property belongs to the
Government.  It is further stated that the petitioner has made an
application seeking deletion of the subject property from the prohibitory
list and that as the property was recorded as G. Abadi in the TSLR, an
endorsement was issued by the District Collector on 7-5-2012 rejecting
the said request. An averment similar to that made in
W.P.No.27589/2013 has been made with regard to the conduct of Town  
Survey under the 1923 Act, to buttress the plea that in view of the failure
of the petitioner to question the entry by filing a civil suit within three
years under Section 14 of the said Act, the same have become final and
title of the Government to the subject property stands confirmed.
W.P.No.23447/2013: An extent of 271 sq. yards of vacant site, situated
in Sy.No.211 of Banoo colony, Domalguda, Himayathnagar Mandal,  
Hyderabad, is the subject matter of this Writ Petition.  One Dr. Fareed
s/o. J.D. Italia, has purchased the subject property from Mrs. Pramila
Mody w/o. Dr. C.L. Mody under registered sale deed dated 14-8-1956.
The petitioners mother purchased the property from the said Dr. Fareed
under registered sale deed dated 10-12-1984.  The application filed by
the petitioners mother for issue of NOC in connection with approval of
building plan by the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad was rejected
by the Joint Collector, Hyderabad, vide proceedings dated 31-8-2005 on
the ground that the land was shown as GVM Drain in the TSLR.  After
the death of her mother, the petitioner made an application to the District
Collector on 15-10-2012 seeking conversion of the land from GVM
Drain to patta.  The District Collector, Hyderabad, vide his
endorsement No.E2/2539/2013, dated 24-6-2013, rejected the said
request by stating that the petitioner has purchased the subject property
after preparation and implementation of the TSLR.  The petitioner
pleaded that her title to the subject property cannot be determined merely
on the basis of the entry in the TSLR.
        In the counter affidavit, the respondents asserted that the land is
shown as GVM Drain in the TSLR.  It is further averred that the
subject land was under the management of the Municipality and it was
being utilised for drainage and as such the classification of the land was
mentioned as GVM in the TSLR.    In short, the plea of the respondents
is that similar to that in W.P.No.27589/2013 and W.P.No.15438/2012.
W.P.No.25387/2013: The petitioner claims ownership over Ac.1-43
cents in Sy.No.931 and Ac.1-32 cents in Sy.No.932 of Goran Cheruvu
village, Gaaliveedu Mandal, Kadapa District.  He has averred that
registered sale transactions exist with regard to the subject lands from
the year 1950.  He has referred to registered sale deed dated 5-7-1963,
under which his vendor Karimi Reddy Chandra Reddy has purchased the  
land from Karimi Reddy Mal Reddy.  Under registered sale deed dated
6-12-1995, the petitioner purchased the land from the said Karimi Reddy
Chandra Reddy.
        Respondent No.3-Tahsildar, Gaaliveedu Mandal, issued notice in
Form-1 on 2-9-2011 alleging that the petitioner has purchased the
subject lands in contravention of the provisions of the A.P. Assigned
Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act, 1977 (for short "the 1977 Act").
Questioning the said notice, the petitioner filed W.P.No.26061/2011.
The said Writ Petition was disposed of by this Court by order dated
22-8-2012, leaving the petitioner free to submit his explanation and
directing the respondents to consider the explanation and pass an
appropriate order.  On 4-9-2012, to the petitioner submitted his
explanation wherein he has referred to the sale transactions from the year
1950 and denied that the lands belong to the Government or that the
same were assigned.  In the impugned proceedings Roc No.B/168/2011,  
dated 8-8-2013, the respondent No.3-Tahsildar agreed with the plea of
the petitioner that the records do not show that the lands were assigned
to any one and he has accordingly dropped further action under the
provisions of the 1977 Act.  Respondent No.3 has referred to the
historical background relating to the title over the lands under different
regimes.  Respondent No.3 opined that the RSR has become the basic  
record by which one can know the status of each and every piece of
land; that if any land belongs to a private person, an entry in that regard
will be made in the RSR and that if the RSR contains dots, such lands
will automatically become the Government lands.  He has further
observed that the land admeasuring Ac.1-43 cents in Sy.No.931 is
classified as Government Waste (Gayalu) in the RSR and that as no
settlement patta or assignment patta was granted in respect of the said
land, the private sale transactions taken place from the year 1950 do not
bind the Government.  Referring to the pattadar passbooks and title
deeds, respondent No.3 remarked that they might have been issued under
a mistaken impression that the lands are private patta lands and that the
petitioner would not get any right over the Government lands.  As
regards the land admeasuring Ac.1-23 cents in Sy.No.932, respondent
No.3 stated that the RSR contains dots and that as the petitioner or his
predecessors have not obtained any settlement patta, the said land is
deemed to be Government land.  Questioning these proceedings, the
petitioners filed this Writ Petition.
        The counter affidavit filed by the respondent is also in the same
vein.  Therefore, no specific reference to its contents need by made.
W.P.No.25993/2013: The dispute in this Writ Petition pertains to
Ac.0-50 cents in Sy.No.1008/1/A2 and Ac.2-50 cents in
Sy.No.1008/1/A3 (patta No.219) of Jagadevipeta village, Indukurpet
Mandal, Nellore District.  The petitioners application for conversion of
the lands from agricultural to non-agricultural was kept pending on the
ground that instructions from the Government are awaited.  The
petitioners pleaded that the subject lands are private lands.  It has traced
the transactions from 5-12-1930 when a mortgage deed was executed by
one Kande Guravaiah in favour of Ponnalur Venkata Narayana Reddy in
respect of Ac.1-59 cents in Sy.No.1008/2/A.  The petitioner have
referred to registered sale deeds dated 19-9-1945, 17-4-1955, 15-7-1968,
17-11-1971, 23-2-1999, 23-3-1999, 23-3-1999, 15-7-2008, 9-9-2009 and
3-3-2010 under which the subject properties have changed hands from
persons to persons.
        Though no counter affidavit is filed, the stand of the respondents
is reflected from the two proceedings dated 23-2-2013 and 20-6-2013 of
the respondent No.3-Revenue Divisional officer, Nellore, wherein she
has informed that in the first mentioned proceedings, respondent No.3
has informed the petitioner that the land is recorded as .
(Anadeenam Punja) as per the village Diglot and that as per the
directions of the District Collector, Nellore, in case of Anaadeenam
Punja lands, further instructions from the Government shall be awaited.
The said stand was reiterated in the latter proceedings dated 20-6-2013
of respondent No.3.


PART-II
        From the respective pleadings and the stands taken by them, the
following Points emerge for consideration :
1.      (a) What documents constitute title for lands?
(b) Whether the entries in the revenue records constitute
conclusive proof of title and if not whether they have
evidentiary value in determination of title?
2.      Whether multiple registered sale transactions reflecting long
standing possession give rise to a presumption of title to the
property?
3.      Whether the entries in Resurvey and Resettlement Register (RSR)
and Town Survey Land Register (TSLR) are conclusive in
determining title?
4.      Whether eviction proceedings under the 1905 Act can be initiated
when there is a bonafide title dispute.
     I have heard the learned Counsel for the petitioners, the learned
Government Pleader for Revenue (Andhra Area), the learned
Government Pleader for Revenue (Telangana Area) and perused the
record.  Some of the learned Counsel for the petitioners and both the
learned Government Pleaders have presented their written submissions,
besides filing material pertaining to land tenures.
Re Point No.1: The Courts are quite often faced with the problem of
resolving the disputes between two private parties or between private
parties on one side and the State on the other side on the question of
ownership over lands.  The competing claims by these adversary parties
are based on the entries in the various records which are mostly Survey
and Settlement records and revenue records.  No statutory enactment
has, with precision, indicated as to what constitutes title with reference
to the land records.  Unless a proper insight into the history and
evolution of the land systems is acquired, resolution of title disputes
continues to pose difficulties for the Courts.  It is in this context that this
Court feels the necessity of tracing the history of land tenures.
Evolution of ryotwari system in British India:
        Two seminal works, one by B.H. Baden Powell, a member of
Bengal Civil Service and one of the former Judges of the Chief Court of
Punjab and another by S. Sundara Raja Iyengar, extensively dealt with
the land systems prevailed prior to the advent of the East India Company
and the introduction of ryotwari system by the British.  These two books
Land Systems of British India by B.H. Baden Powell and Land
Tenures in Madras Presidency by S. Sundara Raja Iyengar, along with
another fabulous piece of work titled Land Law in Madras Presidency
by B.R. Chakravarthi, published by P. Rama Iyer & Co. (1927) throw
great light on the subject.  The book titled The Revenue Code
containing all the existing Revenue Regulations and Acts applicable to
the Madras Presidency from 1802 to December 1860 by C. Annadurai  
Aiyar, is also of great help in knowing the background of the Ryotwari
system.  The valuable information contained in these books is made
basis by me in dealing with the Ryotwari system in the British India.
     The East India Company started acquiring the country around
Madras, known as jagir in the 18th century from the Nawab of Mysore
and the final acquisition of the territory which was in piece-meal was
between 1750 and 1760 A.D.  By 1780, the British officers took regular
charge of revenue collection.  At that time, the entire Changalput District
formed jagir and from out of the same, a single taluq of Madras was
formed as a separate District.  In the year 1765, the East India Company
has acquired parts of Andhra area, then called as Northern Circars, from
the Mughal Emperor .   The then Madras Government has also obtained
a grant in the year 1768 from the Nizam of the Deccan, who was laying
a claim over the said territory.  The Northern Circars were divided into
five administrative divisions, namely, Chicacole (Srikakulam),
Rajamahendriviram (Rajahmundry), Ellore (Eluru), Kandapili
(Mustafanagar) and Murtazanagar (Guntur).  They are presently
Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari, Ganjam and Guntur,  
respectively.  After the areas came under the British administration,
Provincial Councils were established to supervise collection of revenue
from the ryots by the zamindars and other middlemen.  The lands were
divided under two categories i.e., (i) lands settled under zamindars as in
Bengal and (ii) Haveli lands i.e., those reserved for the support of the
Royal family and its immediate dependents (otherwise known as Crown
property).
The Ceded Districts:  The Southern and Western frontiers of the
Mysore State, namely, Salem District (Baramahal, excluding the hill
taluk of Hosur), some taluks of Madura, Dindigal (Tindukhal) and Palni,
were ceded by Tipu Sultan to the British in the year 1792.  Coimbatore,
Kanara and Hosur taluks were ceded in 1799.  The Districts of Bellari,
Anantapur, Palaud taluk of Kitsna (Krishna) Kurapa (Kadapa) and
Karnul (Kurnool) were transferred by the Mysore sultan to the Nizam in
the year 1799.  These Districts were however ceded by the Nizam to the
British in 1800 A.D.
     `Baden Powell made a graphic description of the condition of the
North-Eastern and ceded Districts regarding revenue administration
when the British has taken over .
British administration of Northern Circars: When the British took
over, the Northern Circars were managed by the existing zamindars
wielding importance and influence and others of the ordinary type of
revenue agent.  The Haveli lands which belonged as private estates to the
Mughal Crown or to the members of the Royal family, were given to
lessees (renters).  The Haveli lands were made into parcels or mutthas
and sold to the highest bidders. The mutthadars became the proprietors
and permanent settlement holders.
        Provincial Councils were formed in 1769 on the model of Bengal.
These Councils were unsuccessful in managing and supervising the
Revenue Arrangements.  In the ceded Districts, lands were in the hands
of local chieftains, called Poligars, who were used by the rulers as semi-
independent Revenue Collectors and also as Police in aid of Revenue
Collector.
        Mr. B.R. Chakravarthi wrote  that when the British took over
the reins, three categories of persons were controlling the lands.  They
were : (1) Princes and Rajas; (2) Poligars and (3) Chowdaries under
Hindu Rule who were also called Crories (Tax gatherers) under Muslim
Rule.  They were later recognised as zamindars in the Northern Districts.
There were also Mattas (Muttas) and inamdars who were permitted to
hold lands under their control by the Rulers.  All these categories of
persons used to allow ryots to cultivate and collect revenue from them as
the agents of the Rulers.
Permanent settlements:   About the year 1790, Lord Cornwallis      
attempted a ten year settlement in Bengal under instructions from the
Court of Directors.  Even before the expiry of decennial settlement,
permanent settlement was introduced into that Presidency in 1792 under
the instructions from the Court of Directors.  Having found the system a
success in Bengal, a suggestion was made by the Court of Directors on
the advise of Lord Cornwallis to extend it to other parts of India,
especially to Madras.  Under the permanent settlement, zamindars and
poligars and other landholders who were in-charge of estates were
offered the choice of settling their pesh-kush (revenue payable to the
Government) at an unalterable amount.  Many availed themselves of the
opportunity and got the benefit of Government demand once and for all
fixed.  But some looked upon this act of the Government with suspicious
eye and avoided permanent settlement.  A few poligars, according to
Badeen Powell, attempted to resist the local authorities in the hope of
continuing the same course of lawless exaction and plunder that they had
adopted for a long time. Mr. Chakravarthi attributed this as a reason for
some of the lands having remained unsettled.  The Havelley lands not
under the control of zamindars and poligars were permitted to be
converted into muttas of varying sizes and sell them in public auction to
the highest bidders.
Control of growth of permanent settlement: In 1803, Lord William
Bentinck became the Governor of Madras and objected to the further
expansion of the zamindari settlement.  Administrators like Thomas
Munro, the then Chief Controller of the ceded districts, constantly
worked for putting a stop to the zamindari settlement and introducing
individual or ryotwar settlement whereunder individual settlements or
settlement with each ryot not with a view to give the government an
opportunity to review the assessment once in 30 years or in shorter
intervals if need be, but with a view to give the ryots all the advantages
of permanency in settlement without any of the disadvantages inevitable
in the zamindari system are envisaged.
        Due to the stalling of the further growth of permanent settlement,
only 1/3rd of the Madras Presidency was permanently settled in favour of
zamindars and other landholders.
Period of transition:  Consequent on stoppage of permanent settlement,
the question arose as to what was the system of settlement to be adopted
with advantage as regards the lands which had not been permanently
settled.  Several alternative systems were tried.  Prominent among them
were individual settlement whereunder each individual mirasidar or ryot
separately without there being any community either of interest or of
responsibility between the several mirasidars or ryots of a village, was
made.  There were again sub-categories of this system Amani system,
Appanam system, Pathukattu system, Tarambarthi system and the  
Dittam system.
        Under Mozawar or village settlement system, the assessment is
fixed on the body of cultivators as a whole in the village instead of with
each cultivator.  Under this system, there was joint liability on the part of
the cultivators so that if one ryot failed to pay his quota, the others must
make good the loss.  The Olungu or Oolungu, the Bill Muktha or
Muktha and Veesabudi were most common instances of Mozawar    
system.
Ryotwari settlement:  At last all these systems were abolished and the
system of ryotwari settlement invented by Colonel Read and Colonel
Munro and tried by them in Salem District was adopted throughout the
Presidency.  Under these reforms, not only all the lands which have not
come under the permanent settlement but also zamindari and mitta lands
that had lapsed to Government for arrears of revenue or otherwise were
settled on ryotwari tenure.  Thus, these administrative measures
culminated in establishing two modes of revenue administration : (1)
Permanent settlement system and (2) Ryotwari system.
Legal regime:
       
        With a view to ameliorate the condition of ryots in zamindaries
and permanently settled estates and regulate the relationship between the
zamindars or holders of permanently settled estates and the ryots under
them, several legislative measures were taken by the British India.  The
first of these was the Permanent Settlement Regulation 25 of 1802.  This
regulation provided for issue of permanent title deeds called sunnad-i-
milkayat-istimarari by the Government to the zamindars and other land
holders where estates had been settled and in return these zamindars and
landholders should execute what are called Kabuliats in favour of the
Government.  This Regulation recognised the zamindars absolute power
of alienation of lands under their control subject to the condition of such
alienations being registered in the Collectors register.  The zamindars or
landholders shall within a reasonable period of time grant each ryot a
patta or kaul defining the amount to be paid by him and explaining the
further conditions of engagement.  The zamindars or landholders shall
grant regular receipts to the ryots for discharges in money or in kind
made by the ryots on account of the zamindars.
     Regulation 28 of 1802 conferred power on the holders of estates to
distrain for arrears of revenue.  This Regulation was later repealed by the
Rent Recovery Act 1865, which contained similar provisions.
     Regulation 29 of 1802 created the office of Kernam (Karanam
as in later years came to be popularly known as).  This office of Kernam
was created for the purpose of preservation of the rights and the property
of the people, to facilitate the decision of suits in the courts of judicature,
prevent diminution of the fixed revenue of the Government and securing
individual persons from injustice by enabling the public officers of
government and the courts of judicature to procure authentic information
and accounts.
     Regulation 30 of 1802, otherwise known as Patta Regulation,
provided for grant of patta by zamindar or landholder and execution of
counter-part by the ryot called muchilika.  The patta should contain the
description of the property, the terms of the holding such as the rent
payable by the ryot and the time or duration of the tenure.  Pattas and
muchilikas must be registered in the office of the Kernam.  Even the
landholder could not make any demand except as provided for in the
deed and for any illegal exaction, he would be liable in damages to the
extent of three times of the amount so exacted.  If the ryot demanded
patta and there was refusal or delay, he could sue the landholder for
damages.
Incongruities of Regulation 25 of 1802:   The language of this
Regulation created confusion over the mutual rights and obligations of
zamindars or landholders and the ryots.  The title to the Regulation read :
A regulation for declaring the proprietary right of the lands to be vested
in individual persons.  The Preamble, inter alia, stated that the idea was
to grant the zamindars and landholders their heirs and successors,
permanent property in land in all the time to come.  Section 2 declared
that the proprietary right of the soil shall become vested in the zamindars
and other proprietors of land and in their heirs and lawful successors
forever.
Regulations 4 and 5 of 1822: The Board of Revenue brought to the
notice of the local Government of the lacunae in the previous
Regulations and in particular, Regulation 25 of 1802.  Regulations 4 and
5 of 1822 were issued with a view to clarify the provisions of Regulation
of 1802.  Regulation 4 declared that in passing Regulation of 1802, it
had no intention of authorising any infringement or limitation of any
established rights for any class of its subjects whatever and consequently
the Regulations should not be understood as having been meant to
define, limit, infringe or destroy the actual rights of any description of
landholders or tenants but merely to point out in what manner the tenants
may be proceeded against in the event of their not paying the rents justly
due from them.
        Regulation 5 was issued to remedy certain defects in previous
Regulations.
Rent Recovery Act 1865 (8/1865) :  Regulations 4 and 5 did not repeal
Regulations of 1802.  The ryots were so completely under the control of
the landholders that they could not easily take advantage of the
provisions of Regulations 4 and 5, which were intended for their benefit.
Therefore Act 8 of 1865 was passed which contained similar provisions
regarding exchange of pattas and muchilikas and for enhancement of
rent etc.  Even after these legislative measures, the main question
whether the zamindars and landholders were the absolute owners of the
land or whether the tenants had any rights in the soil remained
unanswered and gave rise to numerous decisions, some favouring ryots
and the others favouring zamindars and landholders.  It is in this
background that Estates Land Act 1 of 1908 was passed.
Features of Estate Land Act: Section 2 of the Act defined estate as
under:
Estate means :

(a)     any permanently settled estate or temporarily settled
Zamindari;
(b)     any portion of such permanently settled estate or temporarily
settled Zamindari which is separately registered in the office
of the collector;
(c)     any unsettled Palaiyam or Jagir;
(d)     any village of which the land revenue alone has been granted
in inam to a person not owning the Kudivaram thereof,
provided that the grant has been made, confirmed or
recognised by the British Government, or any separated part
of such village;
(e)     any portion consisting of one or more villages of any of the
estates, specified above in clauses (a), (b) and (c) which is
held on a permanent under tenure.

The term Land holder is defined as :
        Land holder means a person owning an estate or part thereof
and includes every person entitled to collect the rents of the
whole or any portion of the estate by virtue of any transfer from
the owner or his predecessor in title or any order of a competent
court or of any provision of law.

The Act divided the lands in an estate as ryoti lands and private
lands.  Ryoti lands were further divided as ryoti lands proper and old
waste.  Ryoti land means cultivable land in an estate other than private
land, but does not include
(a)     tank beds;
(b)     threshing floors, cattle stands, village-sites, and other lands
situated in an estate which are set apart for the common use of
the villagers;
(c)     lands granted on service tenure either free of rent or on
favourable rates of rent if granted before the passing of the
Act, or free of rent if granted after that date, so long as the
service tenure subsists.

Ryot is defined as a person who holds for the purpose of agriculture
ryoti land in an estate on condition of paying to the landholder the rent
which is legally due upon it.  Occupancy right is defined as a ryot
having a permanent right of occupancy in his holding and the term
Kudivvaram interest is generally used only in this sense.  Private land
means the domain or home-farm land of a landholder by whatever
designation known such as Kambattam, Khas, Sir or Pannai.  Section 6
of the Act declared the right of the tenant in the soil by conferring on
him permanent right of occupancy in his holding.
        In order to treat the possession as lawful, a ryot in possession of
land must show that his possession was with the consent of the
landholder or at least not against his will.
        Occupancy right of a ryot is heritable and also transferable by
sale, gift or otherwise.  If a ryot dies intestate in respect of a right of
occupancy leaving no heirs except the Crown, his right of occupancy
will be extinguished, but the land in respect of which he had such right
of occupancy does not cease to be a ryoti land.  A ryot is liable to pay
rent either in money or in kind as the landholder will be entitled to
collect.  A landholder is entitled to collect rent in respect of a ryoti land
occupied by ryots and the rent so payable by the ryot and any interest
which may be due in respect thereof will be the first charge on the
holding and upon the produce of the land.  The landholder is entitled to
distrain and sell the properties of the ryot for non-payment of rent.
Principles of settlement under Ryotwari system:  A field to field
settlement, called, Kulwar settlement, was followed by Thomas Munro
to ascertain what fields are occupied by each ryot and to enter them with
fixed rents attached to them in his patta, their aggregate constitutes his
rent (revenue) for the year.  As per Munro, the term settlement was
used not for the money rate, but for the extent of land .
     In his report sent to the British Government in 1807, Munro stated
that the ryotwari system is better adopted to preserve simplicity of
manners and good order, because every ryot will, on his own estate, be a
proprietor, farmer and labourer; because a great body of small
proprietors instead of a few zamindars or mutthadars will be interested in
supporting the Government.
        As a result of the Read and Monro reforms accepted by the British
Government, the annual settlement hitherto followed by the settlement
system of leases for fixed tenures has given way to a somewhat
permanent settlement (30 years duration) in favour of ryots, subject to
availability of option to them to give up the land in their holding and opt
for another land, subject to its availability.
Identification of land in Ryotwari settlement: Baden Powell described
ryotwari settlement as survey-assessment.  He quoted Dr. Macleane
saying, it (revenue settlement) as the division of all arable land whether
cultivated or not, into fields, and the assessment of each field at fixed
rate for a term of years.  The occupant pays the revenue so assessed on
the area he actually occupies.  This area may be standard or varied from
year to year by relinquishment of old fields and taking up of new, which
are either available as waste or as given up by some one else.  The
occupant deals directly with the Government and is responsible for no
ones revenue, but his own.  He holds in every case, a patta showing
his fields and the revenue assessed.  Every year, an annual settling up or
jamabandi takes place at which the patta of each ryot is tested, and if
need be corrected, to see what land he has actually held and what
remissions, if any, he is entitled to, on the full revenue of his holding .
     The settlement so undertaken was completed in 1886-87 in as
many as 14 Districts in Madras Presidency and was in progress in five
Districts.  The completed Districts included Godavari, Krishna, Nellore,
Kadapa and Kurnool, and the settlement was in progress in Bellari and
Anantapur Districts.
Preparation of record: On completion of settlement, the entire area of
the village was entered in the Land Registers under the following
categories: (i) Assessed ryotwari land; (ii) Inam land granted free or at
reduced rates for village service, charitable, religious or other purposes,
within the village (iii) Waste cultivable; (iv) Unassessed waste,
including poramboke, which means, unassessed waste set-aside for
special purposes as for the village residences site, threshing floor, burial
ground, site of a well, grazing ground etc.  Rough pattas (like chitta of
village settlement in Punjab) are then given out so that each ryot may see
what is going to be put down in the Register as far as it affects him.
After all that is done, the completed Registers of each village prepared in
English and in the vernacular (Diglott) are forwarded to the Settlement
Commissioners office to be printed.  The following are the records
prepared after settlement :
(i)     Settlement Register : This register is also termed as Diglot or
A Register.  It is the foundation on which the whole revenue
administration rests.  It forms complete recording of accurate
information as to whether it is Government or inam land, dry,
wet, unassessed or poramboke, source of irrigation, class and
sort of soil, taram, rate per acre, extent etc.  It records every
separate holding, whether large or small.  The area is given in
acres and cents and the assessment thereon stands in parallel
columns.  If a single field on the survey map is divided among
ryots, a special letter is allotted to each ryot with a separate line
giving full particulars of his holding.
(ii)    Ledger/Chitta:  From the Settlement Register is prepared a
ledger known as Chitta giving each ryot personal account with
the Government.  Every field or a fraction of a field held by the
same ryot is picked out from the Settlement Register and
entered in this ledger under his name with particulars of area,
assessment and other details.  The total of the area shows the
extent of his different holdings in the village and the total of
the assessment is the amount due thereon by him to the
Government.  A copy of this is given to each ryot with a note
as to the date on which each instalment falls due and the same
is known as patta.
(iii)   Memoir and village maps: This memoir is prepared in
English giving full description and details touching each
village and its settlement and an account of all lands held
revenue rent free or on favourable tenure is also printed.  A
sketch map of the village showing the tanks and channels and
all similarly assessed fields laid out into blocks is attached to it.
It is an index to the Field Measurement Book (FMB).
(iv)    Field Measurement Book: It contains pictorial representation
of the survey fields and sub-divisions.  A record of
measurement of individual fields and sub-divisions is thus
provided which will enable any inspecting officer to identify
the boundaries whenever it is required for investigation of the
disputed boundaries, for detection of encroachments, for
measurement of further sub-divisions etc.  It also enables the
revenue officials to check the cultivation of each holding
during azmaish.  Three copies are prepared by the survey
authorities.  The original copy is preserved in State Archieves,
duplicate is supplied to Tahsildars office and the triplicate
copy is supplied to the Village functionary.

Settlement of Inam claims: The settlement was done under ryotwari
tenure.  Where parts of land were revenue free or covered by reduced
revenue, they were shown in the Village Registers.  Where the whole
village is inam, it constitutes a separate estate like a zamindari or a
pollam and it does not come within the scope of settlement.  The
Government had no claim to the land or to the revenue unless there is a
fixed quit rent, which is recorded as permanently settled revenue or
pesh-kash of the zamindari or pollam estate. A special procedure was
adopted under which the right and title of the holders of these favoured
estates was elucidated and put on a sound basis.  In Madras Presidency,
as was in Bombay, while the ryotwari lands were treated as
Government lands the inam lands were treated as alienated as the
Government has parted with its right of assessing the land and revising
the assessment, the same being either rent free or more commonly
charged with jodi or quit rent, which is unalterable.  The following
imams were recognised :
(i)     Inams proper, where the land granted is either a field, or a
village, or a village or a group of villages;
(ii)    Mohammadan jagirs, which were personal grants.
(iii)   Shrotriyams and agraharams: These are grants to certain
classes of Brahmins.
These imams include the inams given for religious institutions, public
utility  such as for the support of choultries etc.; construction
maintenance and repair of irrigation works in the ceded Districts, in
Kistna, Nellore, North Arcot and Salem; to Brahmins and other religious
persons for their maintenance; maintenance grants for the families of
poligars ancient land officers in the ceded Districts, Changalput etc.
Permanent accounts at Taluq/Mandal Level: These accounts
consisted of five Registers representing the state of the land and its
assessment as fixed at settlement.  They are adaptations of the Registers
made at survey-settlement.
(i)  Register-A: It shows every field (survey field and sub-division) in
the village, whether Government or inam, wet, dry, cultivated or
poramboke, the source of irrigation; whether one crop or two, what
group it is in, what is its soil class, the taram or revenue rate
applied, the extent in area and the total assessment, the name of the
occupant and remarks.
(ii) Register-B: It is a register of any inam fields in the village, giving
particulars of the field, its taram, its quit-rent, the part of this payable
to Imperial Revenue and the part to the village service fund.
(iii) Register-C : It shows the sources of irrigation and the fields
included in the area of or ayacut supplied by each.
(iv) Register-D:  It shows the area occupied and charged as irrigated
under each source of irrigation for a series of years.
(v) Register-E:  It shows the land revenue settlement for a series of
years under dry and wet  showing the area and assessment of
holdings, waste remitted (i.e., allowance for unculturable bits like the
pot kharab of Bombay), the waste, and the net charge, besides
miscellaneous revenue, local and special funds.  Columns at the end
show the actual collections on this demand.

     While the above discussed record pertains to survey and
settlement of both Government (ryotwari) and inam lands maintained at
Taluq level, the record discussed infra relates to Revenue accounts
maintained at village level.
Village accounts (Pre-Independence): These accounts consist of as
many as 38 Registers.  The following are notable among them :
No.1 Accounts: This Register shows the particulars of monthly
cultivation for each field by its number and letter, whether Government
or inam, the source of irrigation, the name of the holder, the kind of crop
raised (first and second).
No.2 Account: It is also popularly known as Adangal or annual
statement of occupation and cultivation, field by field.  It shows the
fields (Government or inam, number and letter, revenue-rate (taram),
single or double crop, area and assessment) as they appear in the
Settlement survey or Mamool account.  The next follows the name of the
holder, sources of irrigation if any, the occupation, the actual cultivatioin
and remarks of the karnam.  Adangal forms the main basis of annual
jamabandi settlement.
No.3 Account : It is the Annual Register of changes.  It contains entries
of fields taken up on darkhast, transferred by sale, relinquished, sold for
arrears of Government revenue, converted from single to double crop
land etc.
No.10 Account: It is a sort of individual chitta or personal ledger of
each cultivator.  Section-I shows the particulars of the original holding,
additions by transfer, or by land taken up on application etc., under dry
and wet separately.  Section-II shows the assessment on these lands,
deducting remissions and adding miscellaneous revenue, land cess,
village service and special funds.
No.11 Account:  It is the form of patta granted to each ryot.
Register of Holdings:  This is a very important Register maintained at
the village level under Board Standing Order 31.  It is apt to extract sub-
para-1 thereof, which is as under:
        The register of holdings kept in every village should, as far as
possible, show the names of persons who are the real owners or
who, in virtue of their title, whatever its nature, are in the
enjoyment of the lands and it is of great importance that the
register should be maintained accurately and upto-date, as it is to
the registered-holder that the Collector must look for the revenue
from the land.  The following instructions are therefore laid
down for regulating the procedure to be adopted in effecting
changes of registry in the revenue accounts when transfers of
landed property take place. (Emphasis added)

The agrarian reforms:

A.P. (Andhra Area) Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari)
Act, 1948:

        This was the first legislation made after the Independence
governing the agrarian reforms.  As could be seen from its Statement of
Objects and Reasons, the main purpose of the Enactment was to abolish
the Zamindari system in the Madras province.  The Act is intended to
confer rights in lands on cultivators/pattadars by introducing ryotwari
system in the Estates . The Statement by the Honble Revenue Minister
while presenting the report of the Joint Select Committee to the
Legislative Assembly throws light on the land tenure in the Madras
province under the British rule.  It is evident from the said speech that
permanent settlement introduced by Lord Cornwallis acting for the
British Government, was sought to be done away with, thereby bringing
the cultivators directly under the control of the Government.  The long
title of the Act reads :
        An Act to provide for the repeal of the Permanent Settlement,
the acquisition of the rights of land holders in permanently
settled and certain other estates in the State of Andhra Pradesh
and the introduction of the ryotwari settlement in such estate.
        Whereas it is expedient to provide for the repeal of Permanent
Settlement, acquisitions of the rights of landholders in
permanently settled and certain other estates in the State of
Andhra Pradesh and the introduction of the ryotwari settlement
in such estates;

The Act repealed the Estate Land Act, 1908.  Under Section 3 of the Act,
on and from the notified date, the entire estate land and communal lands,
porambokes, other non-ryoti lands, waste lands, pasture lands, lanka
lands, forests, mines and minerals, quarries, rivers and streams, tanks
and irrigation works, fisheries and ferries, shall stand transferred to the
Government and vest in them free of all encumbrances.  However, under
the proviso to Section 3 of the Act, the Government shall not dispossess
any person of land in the estate in respect of which they consider that he
is prima facie entitled to a ryotwari patta under the proviso to Section 3
of the Act.  The Act envisaged appointment of functionaries such as
Director of Settlements, Settlement Officers, Managers of Estates etc.,
and gave control to the Board of Revenue inter alia for giving effect to
the provisions of the Act, superintendence of taking over of estates to
make due arrangements for interim administration therefor.  The Act
also abolished inam estates.  Under Section 11 of the Act, every ryot in
an estate shall, with effect on and from the notified date is entitled to a
ryotwari patta in respect of all ryoti lands which immediately before the
notified date were properly included or ought to have been properly
included in his holding and which are not either lanka lands or lands in
respect of which a landholder or some other person is entitled to a
ryotwari patta under any other provision of the Act and all lanka lands in
his occupation immediately before the notified date, such lands having
been in his occupation or in that of his predecessors-in-title continuously
from 1st day of July 1939.  Under Section 12, in case of zamindari estate,
the land holder shall with effect on and from the notified date be entitled
to ryotwari patta in respect of all the lands mentioned in clauses(a) and
(b) thereof.  Section 13 enumerated the lands situated in an inam estate
in which the land holder is entitled to a ryotwari patta.  Under Section
14, the land holder is entitled to ryotwari patta in respect of the lands in
an under-tenure estate.  The Act also made provision for survey and
settlement of the estates, the manner of effecting ryotwari settlement of
estates, determination of land revenue before the ryotwari settlement is
brought into force, payment of compensation to land holders etc.
A.P. (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition and Conversion into
Ryotwari) Act, 1956:    This Act was made for the abolition of minor
imams, including charitable and religious service imams .  Under
Section 4  of the Act, in case of inam land in a ryotwari or Zamindari
village, a person or institution, holding such land as inamdar on the date
of commencement of the Act shall be entitled to a ryotwari patta in
respect thereof.  Under Section 7, the Tahsildar may suo motu and shall
on application by a person or institution, after serving notice in the
prescribed manner on all the persons or institutions interested in the
grant of ryotwari pattas in respect of the inam lands concerned and after
giving them a reasonable opportunity of being heard and examining all
the land records determine the persons or institutions in accordance with
the provisions of Section 4 and grant them pattas in the prescribed form.
Land tenure in Telangana Area:  Before the Telangana Area was
included in the State of Andhra Pradesh with effect from 1-11-1956, it
was a part of the Hyderabad State.  The land revenue system in the
Hyderabad State is extensively dealt by the book titled Survey and
Settlement Manual of Hyderabad published under the auspices of the
then Revenue Secretary Nagendra Bahadur and P.N. Krishna Swami,  
Officer on Special Duty.  This Manual in turn has gathered information
from two standard books i.e., Hyderabad Affairs by Moulvi Syed
Mehdi Ali and Hyderabad under Sir Salar Jung by Moulvi Chirag Ali.
I am able to collect the history concerning the land revenue system in the
Hyderabad State by referring to the above mentioned Manual.  I have
also referred to and relied on the Hand Book of Land Records by Mr.
P. Kasturi Reddy.  As could be culled out from these books, the brief
history of the land revenue system in the Telangana Area is referred
hereunder :
        Under the Muslim rule, revenue was generally farmed out.  Traces
of settlement made by the Bahmani Kings and by the Adilshahi and
Kutubshahi rulers were found in some places. Regular settlements were
introduced only when Akbar annexed Berar in 1596 and Malikambar
became the Governor of Aurangabad.  The assessment according to  
Akbars settlement was fixed by measuring the arable lands and making
a careful assessment of the produce.  The land was measured in Bighas.
Revenue was assessed on 1/4th of the estimated produce per each Bigha
and the total demand on a village was termed as Tankhwah or
Standard rent-roll.  The assessment was originally based on the
quantity of the grain sown in a field or on its produce on which a certain
share was taken by the State as revenue.
        Though the assessment was based on the ryotwari system, in
reality it was Villagewar or Mozawar.  Each village was separately
assessed as a whole.  Any deficiency in the revenue which might arise
owing to relinquishment of certain fields by the cultivators or desertion
by the ryots from the village was made good by taxing other cultivators
proportionately in excess of the proper amount so as to cover the loss
sustained.  Thus the responsibility of the people of the village was
sought to be enforced, the main object being that the revenue from the
village did not fall short of the previous revenue.  Revenue payments
were either in cash or in grain.  Standing crops were not permitted to be
removed until the Government demand has been first satisfied.
Reforms introduced by Sir Salar Jung:
        As in Andhra area, there were two kinds of land tenures under the
Nizam rule.  They were (i) Khalsa and (ii) Non-Khalsa.  Khalsa areas
were equivalent to Ryotwari lands in Andhra area, directly under the
control and administration of the Government.
        Sir Salar Jung became the Prime Minister in 1853.  After
assumption of office of Prime Ministership, Sir Salar Jung abolished the
system of revenue farming.  The State undertook to deal directly with
the cultivators, the practice of assessing villages in the gross was
discontinued and the method of assessing each individual cultivator was
introduced.  These beneficent reforms led to a security of tenure of the
cultivator and the area under occupation steadily increased.  However,
there were certain drawbacks in the system.  The fields had not been
accurately measured; the soils had not been classed according to their
relative values and as a natural consequence it followed that the
assessments were very unequally distributed on the different holdings.
        The Government therefore decided on introducing a regular
survey and settlement into the State in 1875.  In Hyderabad ryotwari
system prevailed. In the north-west provinces, the tenure was a
Zamindari one.  Before the settlement operations were extended to the
Telangana Area, the period of settlement was for 30 years.  However,
after the settlement operations were extended to the Telangana Area, the
period of guarantee of settlement was reduced to 15 years only.  In five
years period upto 1880, 94,61,328 acres were surveyed.  Classification
operations were completed in respect of 50,29,863 acres.
Non-Khalsa:  Non-Khalsa areas were areas in respect of which the land
tenure was different from Khalsa areas.  These areas would include
jagirs and imams.  These are equivalents of estate tenure/overlord
tenure in the Andhra area.  The intermediary between the cultivating
ryot and the Government in these areas would be the landholders i.e., the
jagirdars/inamdars/mukhtedars etc., who controlled the administration of
non-Khalsa villages and they would collect the land revenue from the
cultivating ryots in relation to these areas.
        The expression Jagir includes (a) Paiga, (b) Samsthan part of
Jagir, (c) Village Mukhtha, (d) Agrahar, (e) Umli and (f) Mukasa (This
definition is found in Regulation 2(f) of the Abolition of Jagirs
Regulation, 1358 Fasli).
        The expression Inam is defined in Section 2(10) of the Land
Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli and is also defined in Section 2(1)(c) of the
A.P. (Telangana Area) Abolition of Inams Act, 1955.
        After abolition of Jagirs/Inams, the entire tenure in the Telangana
area became uniform and the Khalsa tenure applied even to the areas that
were hitherto non-Khalsa areas.


Hyderabad Land Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli and the Hyderabad  
Record of Rights in Land Regulation, 1358 Fasli :

        In Telangana Area, the two most important among the statutory
enactments are the Hyderabad Land Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli (for short
the 1317 Fasli Act) and the Hyderabad Record of Rights in Land
Regulation, 1358 Fasli (for short the 1358 Fasli Regulation).  The
1317 Fasli Act is a comprehensive enactment intended to govern the
entire revenue administration in the erstwhile Hyderabad State.  It
provided for appointment of Revenue officers and defined their powers.
Section 24 thereof declared that all public roads, lanes, paths, bridges,
ditches, dikes, rivers, streams, tanks, ponds etc., except those belonging
to persons or class legally capable of holding property and those in
respect of which any other order under any law may have been given,
are the property of the Government.  Chapter V of the Act (Sections 54
to 76) specifically  dealt with Khalsa lands.  It provided for granting of
pattas/assignments of  khalsa lands.  It also provided for succession in
case of death of pattadars.  It has further provided for revising the
settlements in Tehsils after the expiry of the period of first settlement.  It
is the first enactment which statutorily prescribed Revision Survey and
Settlement.  Chapter VII thereof provided for Settlement and Partition of
areas.  Section 77 provided for survey of any land for the purpose of
settlement and assessment of land revenue and record and preservation
of the rights relating thereto, or for any other similar purpose.  Section
78 authorised the Survey Officer to require the attendance of the land
holders and holders interested in such persons by issuing general notice
or summons.  Section 81 provided for making of assessment by the
Settlement Officers.  Section 86 provided for preparation of register.
Under this provision, the Survey Officer is bound to maintain at each
settlement, a separate register called Sethwar for each village showing
the area and assessment number together with the name of the pattadar.
The nature of record prepared and maintained under this Act will be
discussed at appropriate place hereafter.
        The Hyderabad Land Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli and the Hyderabad  
Record of Rights in Land Regulation, 1358 Fasli are not only inter-
related but are complementary to each other.  They are comprehensive
pieces of legislation dealing with the rights and obligations of
pattadars/owners of the land and the duties of the revenue officers
appointed by the Government.
Land Revenue Rules, 1951:  These are statutory rules framed under
Section 172 of the Land Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli and the various rights
and responsibilities of the pattadar are enumerated thereunder.  Rule 4
thereof stipulates the conditions on which the registered holder may
alienate the land.  Rule 5 deals with transfer of registry of holding.
Rules regarding grant of pattadari rights in Non-Khalsa villages:
     These rules were framed  under Section 172 of the Land Revenue
Act, 1317 Fasli and were published during the year 1356 Fasli (1946
A.D.) as a precursor to the Abolition of Jagirs Regulation, 1358 Fasli.
Under these Rules, the land tenure in Jagirs was equated with that in the
Khalsa villages (villages administered by the Government directly).
Rule 2 of the said rules reads as under:
        From the date of the coming into force of these rules all
persons who hold jagir land and pay revenue direct to the
Jagirdars shall, in all Jagirs, whether settled or unsettled, for all
purposes be deemed to be pattadars of the land held by them
notwithstanding any oral or written agreement between the
Jagirdar and such persons or any entry in the concerned village
records to the contrary, and their rights and liabilities shall be the
same as those of the Pattadars of Khalsa lands.

A reading of the above provision would indicate that after coming into
effect of the aforementioned rules, persons holding Jagir land and
hitherto paying revenue to the Jagirdars, would become the pattadars of
the said lands and would have the legal status of pattadars holding
Khalsa lands (Khalsa villages were directly controlled by the
Government).
The Hyderabad Abolition of Jagirs Regulation 1358 Fasli (1948
A.D.):

        This statute, which came into force on 20-9-1948 marked a
watershed in the history of land tenures in the Telangana Area.  The
statement of objects and reasons thereof, reads as under :
        Whereas it is expedient to abolish jagirs and to provide,
pending determination of terms of commutation for payment to
jagirdars and hissedars of certain interim allowances

Under the said statute, the jagirs were abolished and were transferred
and included in the Diwani i.e., the Government, and pending such
inclusion, were to be administered by the Jagir Administrator.  Statutory
Rules were also framed thereunder and a separate regulation for
commutation was also enacted, i.e., Jagirs (Commutation Regulation
1359 Fasli for the purpose of the procedure in relation to payment of
commutation sums.  The Jagirdars Debt Settlement Act, 1952 was also
enacted.  Under the Atiyat Enquiries Act, 1952, the procedure for
determining the commutation for abolished jagirs, compensation for
abolished imams etc., was prescribed.
The Hyderabad Abolition of Inams Act 1955: Under this statute,
imams in the erstwhile Hyderabad State (i.e., including Telangana Area)
were abolished and vested with the State with effect from date of
vesting.  The date of vesting was 20-7-1955, which was notified in the
official Gazette, as specified in Section 2(b) of the said statute.
However, the date of determination of occupancy rights was 1-11-1973.
This unusual and avoidable circumstance wherein there were two dates
crucial for the purpose of the said statute, arose because the Abolition of
Inams Act, 1955 was repealed by a new Act i.e., Act 8 of 1967 and the
Act of 1967 was declared void and not protected by Article 31A of the
Constitution of India by this Court in Raja S.V. Jagannadha Rao and
others Vs. State of A.P. and others .  As a result of the pending
litigation and the challenge to Act 8 of 1967, resulting in the said statute
being declared void, the provisions of the Abolition of Inams Act, 1955,
could only be enforced in letter and spirit after the said judicial decision
on the issue.  As a result, for the purpose of determination of occupancy
rights, the crucial date was 1-11-1973.
The Hyderabad Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1950:
        This important statute was enacted in the year 1950 and its
Preamble reads thus:
        Whereas, it is expedient to amend the law regulating the
relations of landholders and tenants of agricultural land and the
alienation of such land.
        And whereas it is also expedient to enable landholders to
prevent the excessive sub-division of agricultural holdings to
empower Government to assume in certain circumstances the  
management of agricultural lands, to provide for the registration
of Co-operative Farms and to make further provision for matters
incidental to the aforesaid purposes.

This statute introduced drastic reforms in land tenure and provided for
conferring absolute ownership of lands held by protected tenants under
Section 38E thereof, thereby transferring such ownership in their favour
w.e.f. the notified date i.e., 1-11-1973.  Several sets of statutory Rules
were framed under the said enactment dealing with various
contingencies.
The Telangana Area Land Census Rules, 1954: These rules were
made under Section 97 of the Tenancy Act.  Under these Rules, land
census, as defined by Rule 2(f) of the Rules, was taken up by the
Government.  The important record i.e., Khasra Pahani is a document
prepared under these Rules.  Rules 8 to 13 speak of provisional Khasra
Pahani and Rule 14 speaks of fair copy of Khasra Pahani.  The said
record is an important record and entry as pattadar in the same would
confer absolute title over the land occupied.
Laoni Rules issued vide Gashthi No.19 of 1347 Fasli (1937 A.D.):
     These rules were framed under Section 172 of the Land Revenue
Act, 1317 Fasli and dealt with grant of Laoni (assignment).  There was
no non-alienation clause in those grants made under the said provision.
Laoni Rules 1950: These are statutory Rules framed under Section 172
of the Land Revenue Act 1317 Fasli and deal with assignment of lands.
These Rules were amended by the Revised Assignment Policy vide  
G.O.Ms.1406, Revenue, dated 25-7-1958 and for the first time non-
alienation clause was incorporated in the conditions of assignment
hitherto dealt with under the Laoni Rules.
Government Order No.9, dated 27-10-1949:        Reorganisation of the
Survey and Settlement Department was undertaken by the Hyderabad  
State under Government Order No.9, dated 27-10-1949.  Before such
reorganisation, two revision surveys were conducted in most of the
places.  This Government Order has divided the Hyderabad State into
three Circles as noted below :
(a)     Aurangabad Circle with headquarters at Aurangabad, comprises
the districts of Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhir, Parbhani, Nizamabad
and Osmanabad.  
(b)     Gulbarga Circle with headquarters at Gulbarga, comprises the
four districts of Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur and Mahabubnagar.
(c)     Warangal Circle with headquarters at Warangal, comprises the
districts of Warangal, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Hyderabad
and Nalgonda.

Each Circle was placed under a Deputy Commissioner.  Survey was held
by classifying the lands broadly under the categories of dry, wet or
garden lands.
     Portions of land which are either uncultivable or should not be
allowed to be cultivated in the interests of public were treated as pot
kharab lands in respect of which no assessment is to be levied.  The area
determined and treated as pot kharab are excluded from the total area of
each survey number and the balance area is only liable to be assessed.
The pot kharab lands comprise foot paths, cart tracks, wells, out-cropped
rocks, gokattes or other small kuntas which are not treated as separate
survey numbers; topes - places where trees are found together and which
are intended to be retained for being used as such and where it is usual to
hold annual Jatras, weekly markets, or such other functions, are usually
assigned pot kharab by multiplying length and width; places set apart for
use of the community at large or Hallas or Nalas, cattle tracks or made
Roads and Railways, trees; the area over which shade of big trees falls;
cultivation ridges, area covered by buildings etc.
Land records in Telangana Area:
        The Hyderabad Record of Rights in Land Regulation 1358 Fasli
Act (for short 1358 Fasli Regulation) governed the preparation and
maintenance of record of rights in land in Hyderabad State.  Section 3(c)
defined land records to mean the records under the provisions of, or for
the purposes of that Regulation and the Hyderabad Land Revenue Act
1317 Fasli.  Section 4 mandates preparation and maintenance of records
in all lands and the record of rights shall include the names of all persons
who are holders, occupants, owners and mortgagees of land or assignees
of the rent or revenue thereof, the nature and its extent and the respective
interests of such persons and the conditions or liabilities (if any) payable
by or to any of such persons and such other particulars as may be
prescribed.  Such record is to be prepared after due enquiry.  Section 6
deals with mutation and enquiries thereof and publication of records.
Under Section 13, any entry in the record of rights and a certified entry
in the register of mutations shall be presumed to be true until the
contrary is proved or a new entry is lawfully substituted therefor.  The
note on Rule 3 of Hyderabad Record of Rights Rules, 1956 made under
the Hyderabad Land Revenue Act, 1317 Fasli reads The pahani patrika
now in use, contains besides columns 1 to 19 of Form No.1, several
other columns pertaining to agricultural statistics; and columns 1 to 19 of
pahani patrika which corresponds to Form-I shall be deemed to be the
Record of Rights.
Survey and Settlement records:
Sethwar Register: This is equivalent of A-Register/Diglot in Andhra
Area.  After disposing of all the representations/appeals filed by the
khatedars for the correction of survey errors, a final survey register is
prepared called Sethwar Register.  This Register is regarded as the king
of all Registers.  This contains the full details of survey number,
patta/grant, gairan/inam, name of the khatedar, total area, pot kharab
area, balance area, rate of assessment (Dhar), final assessment in case of
wet lands, sources of irrigation etc.
Wasool Baqi Register: After completion of Akarband Register at the
final stage of Jamabandi process, a very important register, written on
the Alphabetical order of the Khatedars (pattadars) of the village,
showing all old S.Nos., extents and assessments of the khatedar on one
page and on the opposite page the details of corresponding New S.Nos.,
extents and assessments is prepared which is called as the Wasool
Baqi register or correlation register.  All old entries of the khata are
noted down as per the Theka Bandi Register, which is prepared basing
upon the revenue records existing at the time of classification of soil
work (Parath bandi) and got it attested by the concerned Tahsildar.
        The corresponding new survey details shown on the opposite
page, are noted down as per the entries recorded in the just prepared
Akar land register.
        At the end of the entries of each khata, totals are noted for old
entries and corresponding new survey entries.  This will give the clear
picture of each khata particularly to ascertain the discrepancy of extents
if any .
Village Accounts (Pre-Independence): After completion of Survey and
Settlement and announcement of settlement rates, a copy of the Basic
records (ie) Village map, Sethwar Register and Wasulbaqi Register will
be supplied to the Tahsildar.  Tahsildar will get two copies of Pahani
prepared by the Patwari in his office and attested by him.  Pahani is an
important Register maintained by the Patwari for the purpose of
Azimash and also for various statistical Returns and accounts to be
prepared by him in connection with day to day Land Revenue
Administration.  This corresponds to No.2 Account i.e., Adangal
maintained by the village Karnams in Andhra region.  One copy of the
village map, and Pahani are supplied to the Patwari.  In order to collect
land Revenue, Patwari will have to prepare Chowfasla register
Khatawise yearly along with Pahani.  One copy of the Sethwar is sent to
Central Survey Office.
        One copy of the village map, Sethwar, Wasulbaqi Register,and
Pahani are kept in the Taluk office.  All the remaining Survey and
Settlement Records are transferred to the District Land Record Office
which is part of the Collectors office .
     Following were the important Registers among 40 Registers to be
maintained by the Patwaris:
1.  Pahani patrik                       ..      Register No.3
2.  Choufasla                   ..      Register No.4
3.  Faisalpatti                 ..      Register Nos.5, 6 & 7
4.  Qabile Wasool                       ..      Register No.8
5.  Jamabandi Goshwara          ..      Register No.9          
6.  Araziyath Sarkari           ..      Register No.10
7.  Araziyath-e-Inam            ..      Register No.11
8.  Zarai Abupashi                      ..      Register No.19
9.  Kist Bandi                  ..      Register No.20
10. Asamwari Wasoolbaqui        ..      Register No.21
11. Irsalnama                   ..      Register No.23
12. Kirdi                               ..      Register No.27
13. Khata                               ..      Register No.28
14. Khartiwar Rainfall          ..      Register No.33
15. Paidawar Register           ..      Register No.34

Village Accounts after Independence: Prior to Independence, land
revenue was the main source of income to the Government in both
Andhra and Telangana regions.  The main function of the Revenue
administration was fixation of revenue demand and collection of land
revenue.  There were 38 village accounts in Andhra Area and 40 village
accounts in Telangana Area.  The purpose of maintenance of these
village accounts was mainly fixation of assessment and watching
revenue collections.  After Independence, land revenue was no longer
the source of revenue to the Government as it used to be and
maintenance of land records lost its significance.  The Government has
reduced village accounts from 40 to 22 in Telangana Area and from 38
to 23 in Andhra Area vide G.O.Ms.No.599, Revenue (N) Department,
dated 1-7-1976 and G.O.Ms.No.1474 Revenue (N) Department, dated  
15-12-1979, respectively.  Account No.2 adangal in Andhra Area and
Account No.3 (pahani) in Telangana Area have been integrated vide
G.O.Ms.No.734 Revenue (N) Department, dated 27-4-1983 and  
G.O.Ms.No.1070 Revenue (N) Department, dated 6-8-1983.  The  
Estimates Committee of 1985-86 has recommended in its third report,
appointment of Specialists Committee for introduction of common
village accounts for both the regions in view of the evolution of
institution of Village Officers. The Specialists Committee was appointed
by the Government under the Chairmanship of Commissioner of Land
Revenue vide G.O.Ms.No.115 Revenue (N) Department, dated 8-2-  
1989.  Based on the recommendation of the Specialists Committee, 11
village accounts common to both the regions were introduced vide
G.O.Ms.No.265, Revenue (LR-II) Department, dated 10-3-1992.  The
following new integrated records have been adopted from 1-7-1992 i.e.,
1402 Fasli.
Survey and Settlement record:
(i) Village Map, (ii) Field Measurement Book, (iii) Printed Diglot or A-
Register.
Revenue record :
(i)     Village Account No.1  Register showing Government lands
and land on lease, assignments, alienations and area available
for assignment.
(ii)    Village Account No.2  Register of changes in the village
(Annual Register).
(iii)   No.3-Register  Statement of occupation and cultivation field
by field (columns 11 to 15 of this Account are meant for record
of rights)
(iv)    Village Account No.4  Register of holding and land revenue
demand (Column Nos.8, 16 to 19, 24 to 28, 30 to 33 are not
applicable in view of abolition of land revenue).
(a) Documents of ownership/title :
        Having traced the backdrop of the land tenures and the evolution
of ryotwari system, the stage is set for considering what are the
documents that constitute ownership/title to land.  The Board Standing
Orders (BSO) of the Board of Revenue of Madras (1907 Edition)
succinctly dealt with the rights and obligations under a patta.  Paras 27
and 28 of the BSO included in Part III Title to Land read :
27.  Issue of pattas  (1) Form of patta  The Form of patta is given in
the Manual of Village Accounts.
(2) Renewal of patta  As a rule, fresh pattas need only be issued when
desired by the ryots concerned.  When the holding of a ryot has
undergone no change, it is obviously unnecessary to issue fresh patta.
Each ryot should have one original patta containing a detailed list of the
fields comprising his holding as it stood when the patta was drawn up.
The pattas of future years should show only the changes which have
taken place in his holding or in the revenue payable by him.  In the
event, however, of numerous changes taking place in the original patta,
it may be convenient to issue a fresh one.
(3) (Omitted as not relevant)
(4)  Entry of names in joint-patta  The entries of names in a joint-patta
will be made without reference to the extent of land enjoyed by each
pattadar.

28. (1) Effect of registry as pattadar : The registered pattadar of a
ryotwari holding is, as regards Government, the responsible proprietor of
the ryotwari lands registered in his name in the Land Register of the
district, until they pass from his possession by sale for arrears or in some
other legal manner.  Lands which a ryot has left waste will not be struck
out of his patta on that account.
1.      Conditions on which pattadar may alienate : A registered pattadar
may, so far as Government are concerned, alienate, sublet,
mortgage, sell, give, bequeath, or otherwise dispose of the whole
or any portion of his holding, provided always : (1) that unless and
until such transfer or disposal is registered in the Land Register of
the district, the registered pattadar remains liable for the
assessment and such other legal charges due on the land, just as if
no such transfer or disposal had occurred; and (2) that when the
transfer is registered, the transferee takes the land subject to
payment of any arrears of assessment or other legal charges due
on it, and to the same obligations and conditions, special or
general, as the transferor held it on.
2.      Effect of absence of pattadar: Mere prolonged absence of non-
occupation does not invalidate the right of transfer just mentioned.
3.      Patta not affected by improvements:  A registered pattadar
improving his holding by constructing a tank on it, digging a well,
or erecting buildings on it, is not chargeable with any additional
assessment for such improvements; but he is not entitled to claim,
as of right, any reduction of assessment on account of the space
occupied by such improvements.
4.      Pattadars obligation:  The registered pattadar of a field or
holding is bound to pay the fixed assessment on it, whether
cultivated, waste or fallow, in the presented instalments, unless it
be remitted in accordance with the rules laid down in Standing
Order No.13.
5.      Currency of patta : A patta retains its validity until superseded by
one of later date.  It does not necessarily require renewal from
year to year.
6.      Mineral right of pattadar: The registered pattadar is entitled to
work minerals on his land, but is liable to pay therefor a separate
assessment in addition to the usual assessment for surface
cultivation.
7.      Joint-pattadars rights to receipt book: Sub-receipt books should
be given to all holders of land on joint-pattas who want them.  The
entries in these sub-receipts will be transferred to the principal
receipt book when it is produced for the purpose before the village
officers by the possessor.  The sub-receipts will be in the same
form as the receipt, but will not mention the extent of the land on
account of which payment is made.
8.      Tree-patta:  For the rights and restrictions implied in a tree-patta
vide Standing Order No.18, paragraph 2, clause b(ii).

It is thus deducible from the above that the British treated patta as a
document whereunder possessory right with absolute rights to alienate,
sub-let, mortgage, sell, bequeath or otherwise dispose of in any manner
he likes were conferred on the pattadar.
        It is not out of place to note here that two enactments gave
statutory recognition to pattas.  They are (1) the 1317 Fasli Act covering
the Telangana area and the A.P. Rights in Lands and Pattadar Passbooks
Act, 1971 (for short the 1971 Act) which covered the entire State of
Andhra Pradesh from the time of its coming into force.
        Section 2(11) of the 1317 Fasli Act defined pattadar as the
person who is directly responsible to the Government for payment of
land revenue and whose name has not been entered as such in the
Government records whether he be in personal possession of the holding
or through his shikmidar.  Section 2(12) defined shikmidar as the
person who, like a pattadar possesses a title to the land or who from the
beginning has been jointly in possession of the land with the pattadar or
who, before the commencement of the Act has acquired by virtue of any
regulation in force or may acquire by virtue of that law, the right of a
shikmidar.  From these two definitions, it is clear that a patta is
recognised as a document of title/ownership in Telangana area.
        For the first time, the record of rights in Andhra Area was brought
under a statutory enactment viz., the 1971 Act.  It has been enacted for
the entire State of Andhra Pradesh.  It has repealed the 1358 Fasli
Regulation and all standing orders and any other provisions of law
relating to the record of rights in the land in force in the State.  Sub-
Section (6) of Section 2 thereof defined occupant as a person in actual
possession of land, other than a tenant or a usufructory mortgagee.  Sub-
section (6)(a) defined owner as a person who has permanent and
heritable rights of possession on the land which can be alienated and
includes the holder of a patta issued to him as a landless poor person.
Sub-section (7) defined pattadar as including every person who holds
land directly under the Government under a patta whose name is
registered in the land revenue accounts of the Government as pattadar
and who is liable to pay land revenue.  Sub-section (9) defined record of
rights (ROR) as records prepared and maintained under the provisions
or for the purposes of the Act.  Section 3 envisages preparation and
updating of ROR in all lands.  Section 4 obligates every person acquiring
rights as owner, pattadar, mortgagee, occupant or tenant of the land or
otherwise to intimate such acquisition of rights to the Mandal Revenue
Officer (Tahsildar).  Section 5 provides for amendment and updating of
ROR.  This provision also provides for the remedy of appeal by an
aggrieved party.  Section 5-A provides for regularisation of certain
alienations.  Under Section 5-B, an aggrieved party is entitled to file an
appeal against the order passed under Section 5-A. Under Section 6,
every entry in the ROR is presumed to be true until the contrary is
proved or until it is otherwise amended in accordance with the
provisions of the Act.  Section 6-A, which was introduced by Act 11 of
1980, provided for issue of pattadar passbook and title deed to every
owner, pattadar, mortgagee or tenant of any land.  Sub-Section (5) of
Section 6-A declared that the title deed so issued shall be the title deed in
respect of owner-pattadar and it shall have the same evidentiary value
with regard to the title for the purpose of creation of equitable mortgage
under the provisions of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 as a document
registered in accordance with the provisions of the 1908 Act.  Section 9
empowers the Collector to revise the orders of the lower authorities
passed under Sections 3, 5, 5-A or 5-B in respect of any ROR prepared
and maintained or to satisfy himself as to the regularity, correctness,
legality or propriety of any order passed by the recording authority i.e.,
the Mandal Revenue Officer of Revenue Divisional Officer.
     The A.P. Rights in Land and Pattadar Passbooks Rules, 1989 were
made under the rule making power of the State Government under
Section 11 of the 1971 Act.  Rule 3 ordains that an ROR shall be
prepared and maintained in Form-I for every separate revenue village.
Under the Note to the said Rule, it is mentioned that pahani/adangal does
not constitute the ROR for the village and that it reflects the ground
position including the name of the cultivator who actually cultivates the
land; and whether the person in occupation of the land has violated any
law and if so, the details of the same.  The Rules provided for elaborate
procedure for preparation of ROR which shall be prepared in Forms-1
and 1-B in triplicate.  After finalisation of such ROR, the pattadar
passbook and title deed shall be issued in favour of the persons in whose
names the ROR is prepared.
     A Division Bench of this Court in Syed Jalal and others Vs.
Tarrgopal Ram Reddy and others  while construing various
provisions of the Land Revenue Act 1317 Fasli observed that
indubitably the patta of agricultural land itself is evidence of right of
the holder a transfer of which is also deemed to be a permanent
alienation.
     It is thus evident from these statutory provisions that a pattadar
under ryotwari tenure and his successors in interest without any doubt
hold title for the land covered by the patta.  The purchaser from the
pattadars or their successors-in-interest through legally recognised
modes will become the rightful owners of the property on such purchase.
        As regards the pattas granted under the A.P. (Andhra Area)
Estates Abolition Act, 1948, the A.P. (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition
and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1956, the Hyderabad Abolition of
Inams Act, 1955, and the Hyderabad Jagir Abolition Act, the pattadars
(persons in whose favour pattas are granted by way of
regrant)/occupancy right certificate holders and their successors-in-
interest, hold title.  Title will be divested from them in the event of
transfer of these properties through legally recognised modes.  In case of
persons claiming rights under the Hyderabad Tenancy and Agricultural
Lands Act, 1950, protected tenants and land holders on whom ownership
rights are conferred hold title to the lands over which such rights are
conferred.
Darkhast lands:         Bhashyam Ayyangar.,J, speaking for the Division
Bench in The Secretary of State for India Council, represented by
Changalput Vs. Kasturi Reddy  traced the history of transfer of all
properties from East India Company to the Crown.  It is instructive to
quote the relevant portion of the Judgment below:
        .The law applicable to the subject is contained in the
following statutes: 21 and 22 Vict. Ch.106, Ss. 39 and 40; 22 and
23 Vict. Ch. 41. Ss.1 and 2; 32 and 33 Vict. Ch.29, S.1; 33 and
34 Vict. Ch.59, Ss.1 and 2; India Act XV of 1895 (Crown
grants).  Ss.39 and 40 of 21 and 22 Vict. Ch. 106 vested all lands
and hereditaments and other real and personal estate of the East
India Company, including such as may thereafter be acquired, in
the Crown, to be applied and disposed of for the purposes of the
Government of India and empowered the Secretary of State in
Council to sell and dispose of the same, as he may think fit, the
necessary conveyance and assurances being required to be made  
by the authority of the Secretary of State in Council under the
hands and seats of three members of the Council.

The Bench further held :

. The Crown Grants (India) Act VII of 1895 exempts Crown
grants from the operation of the Transfer of Property Act (1882)
and S. 17(j) and 90(d) of the Indian Registration Act (1877)
exempt from registration, grants of immoveable property by
Government and all documents purporting to be or to evidence
grants or assignments by Government of land or of any interest
in land.

The Court also held that under Statute 22 Vict. Ch.106, all waste lands
whether assessed or otherwise, are, real estate vested in the Crown, in
trust for the purposes of Government of India.
        All assignments under Darkhast were accordingly governed by
various statutes including the Crown Grants (India) Act VII of 1895.
     BSO-15 in Part-II prescribed the officers and laid down the
procedure for grant of Darkhast.  It envisages grant of land for
occupation subject to payment of assessment.  Sub-para (i) of BSO 15(2)
dealing with the Scope of the Standing Order, reads:
        This Standing Order applies to land at the disposal of
Government other than (a) Building sites, in towns and villages
(Standing Order No.21); (b) valuable relinquished land on which
there are arrears of revenue (Standing Order No.33-5); (c) land
sold for arrears of revenue and bought in by Government
(Standing Order No.45-2); and (d) land acquired by Government
for public purposes but no longer required (Standing Order
No.90-32).

Under this para, lands other than the lands in occupation of registered
occupants available at the disposal of the Government will be granted to
the applicants under Darkhast.  The following categories of lands are
dealt with under this:
(i) Land prima facie available for assignment:

(a) Assessed land which is not reserved.
(b) Unassessed land which is not reserved

(ii) Land prima facie not available for assignment:

(a)  Poramboke;
(b) Reserved land (assessed and unassessed).

As vast tracts of lands were available for cultivation and it was the
policy of the administration to bring as much land as possible under
cultivation with a view to earn revenue, and also to increase food
production to overcome food shortage after the First World War (1914-
1918), the conditions of grant were liberal to the extent that there was
not much distinction between the regular patta and darkhast grant.  The
concept of landless poor person as the eligibility criterion was not in
existence.  The only restriction on alienation was contained in clause (3)
which reads : Alienation of the land without the sanction of the
Government, to a person other than the British subject or a subject of an
Indian State shall invalidate the grant.  Later, certain amendments were
made to the BSO.  Para-23 of the BSO (1920 Edition) reads :
No land belonging to Government shall be assigned or sold
under this Standing Order to any person other than a British
subject or to a subject of a Native State, except by the Collector
or the Board and with the previous permission of Government.
Every assignment or sale made under this Standing Order shall
be subject to the condition that, if the land is alienated without
the sanction of Government in favour of any person other than a
British subject or a subject of a Native State, the grant shall
thereupon become null and void.

This condition permits the sale of land (without governments
permission) in favour of two categories of persons:
 Firstly, British subjects i.e., Indians belonging to British ruled States
(such as Madras, Bombay, Bengal, United Provinces, Central Provinces,
etc).

Secondly, subjects of native states i.e., Indians belonging to Princely
States (such as Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, Gwalior, Patiala etc).

It is only in respect of lands assigned to depressed classes (Harijans)
under the special conditions of grant in Special Form-D", that the non-
alienation clause would operate and not to assignments made under
general conditions of grant in Form-D", irrespective of whether such
assignment was made to members of the depressed class/tribes or
persons belonging to other communities. Such assignments made under  
the general conditions of grant are only subject to the condition that sale
of such land (without permission of the Government) to persons other
than British subjects/subjects of native Indian States, is prohibited.
        As discussed else where, in Telangana Area, assignments were
governed by Laoni Rules.  A Board was constituted under the
Hyderabad Board of Revenue Regulation 1358 Fasli.  After formation of
the State of Andhra Pradesh, the Government, acting under Section 122
of the States Reorganisation Act issued G.O.Ms.No.1270, Revenue,
dated 3-7-1957 inter alia providing that the Board of Revenue
functioning in Andhra Area immediately before 1-11-1957 is the
competent authority to exercise functions under the Board of Hyderabad
Revenue Regulation of 1358 Fasli.  Thus, with effect from 1-11-1956, a
unified Board of Revenue for the entire State came into being.  Till 18-6-
1954 the assignments granted to landless poor persons did not contain
any prohibition on alienation in Andhra area.  In Telangana Area, such a
provision was not incorporated till 25-7-1958.
Rulings on alienability of assigned lands:
        A Division Bench of this Court in Letter Sent from Plot No.338
Vs. The Collector and District Magistrate , while dealing with the
right of pattadar under Laoni Rules, 1950 framed the following Points:
1.  Whether the land in question was assigned in the year 1960, 1961 in
favour of the petitioners predecessors in title under the Telangana Area
Land Revenue Act read with Laoni Rules made thereunder or whether
the grant of patta is attributable to Revised Assignment Policy issued in
G.O.Ms.No.1406, dt. 25-7-1958?

2.  Whether the provisions of Act No.9/77 can be applicable to all types
of pattas under Laoni Rules after collection of market value under
Chapter V of the Telangana Area Land Revenue Act?

On Point No.2, which is relevant for the present purpose, the Division
Bench at paras 36 and 52 held as under :
A combined reading of the statutory provisions and the Rules as
referred to would clearly indicate that grant of pattas are of two
kinds; one is by way of sale in favour of persons who desirous of
taking up unoccupied land. As per Rule-III of the Revised
Assignment Policy issued in G.O.Ms. No. 1406 dt. 25-7-1958
assignment of land in favour of landless poor persons who
directly engage themselves in cultivation by giving preference to
Harijans, Girijans, Harijan Christians. In case of granting patta
for the persons who are desirous to occupy unoccupied land
made a claim for such grant of patta under Laoni Rules or under
Circular 14, the same shall be transferred by way of sale as per
the rules referred to above. In case of occupation of land, old
occupants are entitled to grant of patta under Circular No. 14, the
same shall be granted either by collecting upset price equal to 16
times the land revenue to the extent of one family holding which
is an out right sale. The family holding has not been defined
under Telangana Area Land Revenue Act but the same has been  
defined under A.P. (Telangana Area) Tenancy and Agricultural
Lands Act, 1950.



We are of the view that provisions of Act No.9 of 1977 will not
be applicable to the cases where assignments were made on
collection of market value or under Circular 14 except it were
granted to the landless poor persons free of market value.  Point
No.2 is answered accordingly.

At para-54, The Division Bench gave the following directions:

     Whenever any proceedings are to be initiated by the
revenue authorities for resumption of the land, they have to
specify
(a) the nature of occupancy rights granted, namely, whether
occupancy rights were granted on collection of market value or
free of market value in favour of the landless poor persons;
(b) whether the said land falls within the notified area restricting
inalienability as per the notification issued under Section 58-A of
the Telangana Area Land Revenue Act;
(c) whether Act No. 9 of 1977 applies to the nature of occupancy
right/assignment granted;
(d) if any changes in the revenue records are effected, reasons for
change from the original entries in khasra pahani of 1954-55 or
subsequent to the same;
in the notice to be issued for enabling them to make an effective
explanation to meet the contentions and submit their explanation
to the action proposed. Unless such particulars are furnished for
submitting an effective explanation, lands cannot be resumed
merely basing upon the revenue entries so made.
        While dealing with Laoni patta issued prior to 25-7-1958, in
Akkem Anjaiah Vs. Deputy Collector and Tahsildar , I have held
that as the assignment was granted prior issuance of G.O.Ms.No.1406,
dated 25-7-1958, the initial burden lies on the Revenue officials to show
that the patta did not contain a condition against alienation of the land
and that unless the Revenue officials are first satisfied that the land was
an assigned land within the meaning of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of
Act 9 of 1977, no proceeding for cancellation of assignment for
alienation of the assigned land can be initiated.
        A Division Bench of this Court by order dated 23-10-2013 in
W.A.No.1728/2013 confirmed the above Judgment.  
        In P.V. Rajendra Kumar Vs. Government of A.P. , I have held
at paras 21 and 22 as under:
        The term assigned land is defined by Section 2(1) of the
Act to the effect that the lands assigned by the Government to the
landless poor persons under the rules for the time being in force
subject to the condition of non-alienation and includes lands
allotted or transferred to landless poor persons under the relevant
law for the time being in force relating to land ceilings.  In order
to attract the bar of registration, the land must be an assigned
land within the above mentioned definition.  Unless the patta
under which the assignment is made contains a condition of non-
alienability, such land cannot be treated as assigned land within
the provisions of the Act.
        In several Judgments, various learned Judges of this Court
have taken similar views (See : K.M. Kamallula Basha and
others Vs. District Collector, Chittoor District, Chittoor and
others (2009(3) ALD 385), The A.P. State Electricity Board
Employees Union, Madanapalli Division, Madanapalli Vs. The
Joint Collector, Chittoor (W.P.Nos.19258/1998, dt.14-9-2007)
and D. Parthasaradhi Sarma Vs. Government of A.P. Revenue  
(Assn.II) Dept, W.P.No.27217/2013, dt.15-4-2008).  The above
noted judgments are only illustrative of a slew of Judgments in
which the above mentioned consistent view is taken by this
Court. Most unfortunately, the precedential value of these
Judgments is persistently being ignored by the Revenue officials
as well as the Registering authorities. While on one hand the
Revenue authorities, such as, Tahsildars, Revenue Divisional
Officers, and in some cases even District Collectors, have been
sending the lists styling them as "prohibitory lists" by including
the lands which are not notified under Section 22A(2) of the Act
without verifying whether the assignment was made prior to
issuance of G.O.Ms. No. 1142, dated 18-6-1954, or G.O.Ms. No.
1406, dated 25-7-1958, or that the lands were assigned on
payment of market value, or assigned to political suffers or ex-
servicemen or freedom fighters, in whose cases prohibition of
alienation only for a limited period of ten years is imposed, on
the other hand, the Registering authorities have been refusing to
receive the documents unless the party who sought to present the
document produces No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the
Revenue authorities. This fundamentally flawed approach of
both the Revenue and the Registering authorities, has become the
root cause for sprouting up of the litigation, and I am afraid,
unless the flood gates are closed, there is a danger of this
litigation reaching morbid proportions.

   The ratio that could be culled out from the slew of authorities of this
Court is that assignments made prior to issue of G.O.Ms.No.1142, dt.
18-6-1954 in Andhra Area and that were made prior to issue of
G.O.Ms.No.1406, dt. 25-7-1958 in Telangana Area, did not contain
prohibition on alienation that the assignees are entitled to exercise all the
rights including transfer of lands; that the initial burden lies on the
Government and its functionaries to show that the assignments contain a
condition against alienation of the land and that unless the revenue
functionaries are first satisfied that the land is an assigned land within
the meaning of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of Act 9 of 1977, no
proceeding for cancellation of assignment can be initiated.
Waste lands: Act XXIII of 1863 deals with the manner of disposal of
waste lands including unassessed waste lands.  It provided for
adjudication of claims to waste lands and the preamble reads as under:
Whereas it is expedient to make special provision for the speedy
adjudication of claims which may be preferred to waste lands
proposed to be sold or otherwise dealt with on account of
Government, and of objections taken to the sale or other
disposition of such lands; it is enacted as follows:
                When any claim shall be preferred to any waste land
proposed to be sold or otherwise dealt with on account of
Government, or when any objection shall be taken to the sale or
other disposition of such land, the Collector of the district in
which such land is situate, or other officer performing the duties
of a Collector of land revenue in such district, by whatsoever
name his office is designated, shall, if the claim or objection be
preferred within the period mentioned in the advertisement to be
issued for the sale or other disposition of such land which period
shall not be less than three months, proceed to make an enquiry
into the claim or objection.

     Act XXVI of 1871 defined land to mean land used for
agricultural purposes, or waste land which is cultivable.
        Under BSO-15, both assessed and unassessed lands are available
for assignment and the lands which are classified as poramboke and
reserved lands -  assessed and unassessed, are not available for
assignment.  All arable lands are assessed.  There may be cases where,
after assessment of land, a ryot may have left it uncultivated for one or
more Faslies.  In such cases, the lands are shown as waste in the
records.  However, in the RSR, the word waste is not generally used
and it only contains a column whether the land is assessed or
unassessed.  In case of unassessed waste as assignment is permissible,
the entry in revenue record describing the land as unassessed waste
cannot be treated as conclusive, an assignment may have been made and
not recorded or in the absence of such assignment, the same may be
under the cultivation of ryots.  Therefore, there cannot be a presumption
that all waste lands, assessed or unassessed, continue to be vested in the
Government.  When a dispute in this regard arises, such disputes need to
be settled based on the patta, if produced by the claimants, and in its
absence, based on the relevant revenue record.
        Thus, the assessed and unassessed waste lands do not fall within
the expression of poramboke or reserved which are generally used for
communal purposes.  Para-4(ii) of BSO-15 prohibited assignment of
various categories of lands.  These lands are therefore vested in the
Government and no one can claim right over the same unless there is
evidence to show that these lands are subsequently converted into
assessed waste lands and assignments have been granted.  While there is
a presumption that all porambokes and lands reserved for communal
purposes vest in the Government, no such presumption arises in respect
of waste lands, assessed or unassessed.
(b) Evidentiary value of entries in revenue record: What will be the
right of a claimant over the land if he is unable to produce proof of patta;
and in such cases would the entries in the record of rights help him
establish his title, are the questions to be answered under this Point.
     Based on the discussion made earlier, the following record could
be held to constitute the core revenue record in Andhra area prior to the
integration of the revenue record of both areas : Diglot or A-Register,
Ledger/Chitta constituting settlement record, No.2 Account, otherwise
known as Adangal/Annual Settlement of occupation and cultivation,
No.3 Account which reflects changes in respect of land held by way of
transfer by sale, relinquishment etc., and the Register of Holdings
maintained under BSO-31 and No.10 Account which is an individual
chitta or personal ledger of each cultivator.
     In Telangana area, Sethwar Register, Supplementary Sethwar,
Wasool Baqui Register, Khasra Pahani (prepared under the Land Census
1954  under the provisions of the A.P. (Telangana Area) Tenancy and
Agricultural Lands Act, 1950), Pahani, Chowfasla and Faisal Patti
constitute the core revenue record.
     After integration of records of both the Andhra and Telangana
areas, the following constitute the core relevant revenue record :
        (i) Printed Diglot or A-Register; (ii) Village Account No.1, (iii)
Village Account No.2; (iv) No.3 Register; and (v) Village Account No.4
 Register of holdings.
Case law:
     Before discussing the case law on this aspect, Section 35 of the
Indian Evidence Act, 1872 deserves to be noticed. It reads:
     Relevancy of entry in public record or an electronic
record made in performance of duty:- An entry in any public
or other official book, register or record or an electronic record,
stating a fact in issue or relevant fact, and made by a public
servant in the discharge of his official duty, or by any other
person in performance of a duty specially enjoined by the law of
the country in which such book, register, or record or an
electronic record is kept, is itself a relevant fact.

The presumption envisaged under Section 6 of the 1971 Act is evidently
based on the principle contained in Section 35 of the Evidence Act,
1872.
     In M. Narasimha Reddy and others Vs. The Superintending
Engineer, Irrigation and others  this Court held at para-7 as under:
         It may be noted here that Section 6 of the A.P. Rights in
Land and Pattadar Passbooks Act, 1971 create a statutory
presumption about the correctness of the entries in record of
rights.    As already noted, the petitioners names were entered in
the said record of rights by the revenue authorities.  Therefore, it
is not open to the Government now to contend that the
petitioners are not the owners of the land.

     In Shikharchand Jain Vs. Digamber Jain Praband Karini
Sabha and others , the Supreme Court held that Khasra is a record of
right under Section 45(2) of the Central Provinces Land Revenue Act,
1917 and that the entries in the record of rights shall be presumed to be
correct unless contrary is shown as per Section 80(3) of that Act.  The
relevant portion of the said Judgment, at para-5, reads :
     The Khasra entries from 1937-38 to 1941-42 and
1943-44 to 1951-52 are all in favour of Smt. Rajrani.  They show
that she was in possession over the land during those years.
Khasra is a record of right according to Section 45(2) of the
Central Provinces Land Revenue Act, 1917.  Section 80(3) of
that Act provides that entries in a record of rights shall be
presumed to be correct unless the contrary is shown.  This
provision raises a presumption of correctness of the aforesaid
Khasra entries.  The burden of proving adverse possession
accordingly was a heavy one...

        Considering the provisions of the Madhya Bharath Land
Revenue and Tenancy Act, 1950, in Kasturchand Vs. Harbilash
the Supreme Court reiterated the legal position on the evidentiary
value of the entries in the village records.  The Apex Court, at para-
17, held:
         As per Section 45 of the said Act, Khasra, Jamabandi or
Khatoni and such other village papers as the Government may
from time to time prescribe shall be annual village papers.
Section 46 enjoins preparation of annual village papers each year
for each village of a District in accordance with the rules made
under the Act.  Section 52 embodies the presumption that all
entries made under that Chapter in the annual village papers shall
be presumed to be correct until the contrary is proved and
Section 50 prescribes the method or procedure for correction of
wrong entries in the annual village papers by superior officers.
Thus it is clear that in the event of wrong entries in the annual
village papers the same is liable to be corrected under Section 50
and unless they are so corrected the presumption under Section
52 will govern the position.

        In Vatticherukuru Village Panchayat Vs. Nori Venkatarama
Deekshithulu and others , the Supreme Court described the entries in
Inams Fair Register under the A.P. (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition and
Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1956 as great acts of the State and held
that the entries in the Inams Fair Register coupled with the entries in the
survey and settlement record furnish unimpeachable evidence of title.
   In Harihar Prasad Vs. Deonarain Prasad  dealing with the Bihar
Tenancy Act 8 of 1885, the Supreme Court held that in view of Section
103-B(3) of the said Act, every entry in the record of rights will be
evidence of the matter referred to in such entry and shall be presumed to
be correct until it is proved by evidence to be incorrect and that the
burden lies heavily on the person who claims to be the proprietor of the
land contrary to the entries recorded in the revenue record.
   In State of A.P. Vs. V. Prameela Modi  the Supreme Court held as
under:
        Supplementary sethwar issued by the Sarfekhas
authorities of the erstwhile Nizam Government which was
accepted by the survey and revenue authorities including the
Government of A.P. constituted title and the same is legally
binding on the successive governments i.e., the Government of
Hyderabad and later the Government of A.P. and that this issue
therefore cannot be reopened.

     While the above discussed line of Judgments held in no uncertain
terms that entries in the revenue records carry great evidentiary value in
determining ones title and possession, there is another line of Judgments
in which the Courts held that revenue records are not evidence of title
and mutation proceedings before the revenue hierarchical authorities are
not judicial proceedings declaring title of the parties.
        While dealing with the nature of mutation proceedings, the Privy
Council, in Thakur Nirman Singh and others Vs. Thakur Lal Rubra
Partab Narain Singh and others  held that the proceedings for
mutation of names are much more in the nature of Fiscal inquiries
instituted in the interest of State for the purpose of ascertaining which of
the several claimants for the occupation of certain denominations of
immovable property may be put into occupation of it with the greater
confidence that the revenue for it will be paid.  These observations were
made by the Privy Council in a case where one Lal Bahadur Singh, one
of the joint family members set up his exclusive title based on the
mutation proceedings showing his name as the owner of the land.  The
Privy Council held that the revenue authorities have no jurisdiction to
pronounce upon the validity of the claim of Lal Bahadur Singh to be the
sole proprietary owner of the estate to the exclusion of his brothers as
such questions have to be adjudicated only by the competent civil court.
        A Division Bench of this Court in Ramanna Vs. Samba
Murthy   which inter alia relied upon the Judgment in Thakur Nirman
Singh (26-supra) and held :
     In our view the entries in the revenue records though they
may be relevant evidence under Section 35 of the Evidence Act,
are not evidence of title.
Dealing with the entries in Diglot, the Division Bench held at para-10 as
under :
        In our view, therefore, though the entries in the Diglot register
may be evidence, they are by themselves not conclusive evidence of the
facts which they purport to record.  It may turn out that they are in
accord with the general bulk of the evidence in the case and they may
supply gaps in it.  When viewed in the light of other compelling
circumstances from which inference contrary to such entries can be
drawn, they may become unimportant and their value insignificant
     In State of Himachal Pradesh Vs. Keshav Ram and others ,
the Supreme Court held that the entries made in revenue record cannot
form basis for declaration of title.  In Corporation of the City of
Bangalore Vs. M. Papaiah and another , the Apex Court held that it
is firmly established that the revenue records are not documents of title.
In Guru Amarjit Singh Vs. Rattan Chand and others , the Supreme
Court held that the entries in jama bandi are not proof of title.
     A Division Bench of this Court speaking through B. Sudershan
Reddy., J (as his Lordship then was) made a thorough analysis of the
provisions of 1317 Fasli Act and 1358 Fasli Act in Union of India,
represented by its Secretary Vs. Vasavi Coop. Housing Society Ltd.
and others .  While dealing with a Civil Appeal filed under Section 96
CPC against the Judgment and decree of the trial Court, the Division
Bench placed heavy reliance on sethwar prepared under the provisions
of the 1358 Fasli Regulation.  It has analysed the Judgments in
Corporation of the city of Bangalore (29-supra), Guru Amarjit
Singh Vs. Rattan Chand (30-supra), State of Himachal Pradesh Vs.
Keshav Ram (28-supra), Nagar Palika Vs. Jagat Singh   and
Ramanna Vs. Samba Murthy (27-supra), Ch.S. Hanumantha Rao    
vs. R. Sainath  and Sajana Granites Vs. Manduva  and distinguished
the said Judgments with reference to the ROR prepared under the 1358
Fasli Regulation.  It is instructive to refer to para-76 of the Judgment
hereunder :
        We are required to notice that in none of the judgments
referred to hereinabove, there is any reference to any of the
statutory provisions under which the revenue records referred to
therein viz., the Revenue Registers/Settlement
Registers/Jamabandi Registers are maintained.  There is no
indication as to whether those registers or records were
maintained under any statute.  It is not even clear as to whether
those documents were maintained by any statutory authority in
discharge of its normal official duties.  The nature of the
documents and the entries made therein are not dealt with in any
one of those judgments.

By placing reliance upon the Judgments in Rajeswararao Vs.
Narsingarao , Mylaram Lachaiah Vs. Nafeezunnisa Begum , Md.  
Ibrahim Vs. Secretary to Government of India , Commissioner of
Survey Vs. G. Padmavathi , Choote Khan Vs. Mal Khan , B.S.V.
Temple Vs. P. Krishna Murthy , Avadh Kishore Vs. Ram Gopal  
and Kasturchand Vs. Harbilash , the Division Bench held at paras 97
and 98 as under :
        A careful analysis of the decisions referred to hereinabove of
this court as well as of the Apex Court would make it clear that
the entries made in the Record of Rights carry with them a very
great evidentiary value, provided the Record of Rights is
prepared and maintained under the provisions of the relevant
statutes or the Regulations, as the case may be, and further
provided that the entries therein are made after holding public
enquiries.  Sometimes, they constitute the only evidence
available in order to establish ones title to the lands.  The entries
made in Columns 1 to 19 of the pahani patrikas shall be deemed
to be the record of Rights prepared and maintained by a public
servant in discharge of his official duties.
        However, the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Record of
Rights in Land Regulation, 1358 Fasli and all standing orders
made thereunder relating to the record of rights of land as in
force in the State have been repealed under Section 13 of the
Andhra Pradesh Rights in Land and Pattadar Pass Books Act,
1971 (for short the 1971 Act).  In the instant case, we are not
concerned with the pahanies, if any, prepared and the nature of
the entries made in such pahanies after the repealing of 1358
Fasli Regulations.  The entries in Ex.A-6 sesala pahani of 1955-
58, Ex.A-8 pahani for the year 1972-73 and Ex.A-81 pahani for
the year 1980-81 were made, prepared and maintained under the
regulations since the 1971 Act has not been implemented in
Secunderabad Taluq of Hyderabad District in which the lands in
question are situated. (Emphasis added)

The Judgment of the Division Bench was carried in Civil Appeal
No.4702/2004.  The Supreme Court, vide its recent Judgment dated 7-1-
2004 has reversed the said Judgment in Union of India Vs. Vasavi
Coop. Housing Society Ltd (31-supra).  The Apex Court laid emphasis
on its Judgment in State of H.P. Vs. Keshav Ram (28-supra),
Corporation of the City of Bangalore (29-supra), Guru Amarjit
Singh Vs. Rattan Chand (30-supra), and did not agree with the view of
the Division Bench that Ex.A-3-sethwar constituted title.  In paras 19
and 20 of the Judgment, their Lordships held as under :
     We notice that the above principle laid down by this
Court sought to be distinguished by the High Court on the
ground that none of the above-mentioned judgments, there is any
reference to any statutory provisions under which revenue
records referred therein, namely, revenue register, settlement
register, jamabandi registers are maintained. The High Court
took the view that Ext.A-3 has evidentiary value since the same
has been prepared on the basis of Hyderabad record of Rights in
Land Regulation, 1358 Fasli. It was also noticed that column 1 to
19 of Pahani Patrika is nothing but record of rights and the
entries in column 1 to 19 in Pahani Patrika shall be deemed to be
entries made and maintained under Regulations.
     We are of the view that even if the entries in the Record of
Rights carry evidentiary value, that itself would not confer any
title on the plaintiff on the suit land in question. Ext.X-1 is
Classer Register of 1347 which according to the trial court,
speaks of the ownership of the plaintiffs vendors property. We
are of the view that these entries, as such, would not confer any
title. Plaintiffs have to show, independent of those entries, that
the plaintiffs predecessors had title over the property in question
and it is that property which they have purchased. The only
document that has been produced before the court was the
registered family settlement and partition deed dated 11.12.1939
of their predecessor in interest, wherein, admittedly, the suit land
in question has not been mentioned. (Emphasis added)

        On a careful reading of the Judgment of the Apex Court in Union
of India Vs. Vasavi Coop. Housing Society Ltd. , I am of the opinion
that the legal position as enunciated by the Division Bench with respect
to the evidentiary value to be given to the record of rights has not been
disturbed by the Supreme Court.  While overturning the decision of the
Division Bench, the Supreme Court has proceeded on the premise that
even if the entries in the record of rights carry evidentiary value, the
plaintiffs title could not be declared solely based on Classer Register of
1347. The Supreme Court observed that independent of the entries in the
Classer Register, the plaintiff has to show that his predecessors had title
over the property in question and that it is that property which the
plaintiffs have purchased.  The Supreme Court observed that except the
registered family settlement and partition deed dated 11-12-1939 of their
predecessors in interest, wherein, admittedly, the suit land in question
has not been mentioned, in the absence of any independent evidence
dehors the entries in the Classer Register, the plaintiffs failed to establish
their title.  This Judgment therefore cannot be understood as laying down
any law different from that laid down by the long line of Judgments
discussed above holding that the entries in the revenue records carry
high evidentiary value in deciding ones title.
     It is noticeable from all the Judgments which held that revenue
records do not constitute title that not much reasoning supported this
conclusion.  However, on a close analysis of the background in which
the registers were prepared and the entries were made, two reasons
appear to constitute the basis for this dicta.  First, the properties may
change hands from person to person from time to time.  There may be
lapse on the part of the persons who maintain the record in updating the
transactions.  A person to whom the land is lawfully conveyed cannot be
denied title only on the basis of absence of entries to this effect in the
revenue records.  Second, there may be unscrupulous revenue officials at
village and taluk levels who, in collusion with private individuals may
manipulate entries.
     From the lengthy discussion on the land tenures undertaken
hereinbefore, it could be deduced that the genesis of ones title is
traceable to his possession.  A registered occupant of the land, both
under the ryotwari tenure and also under the estates, is recognised as a
person holding rights over the land.  Subject to payment of land revenue
till the land is transferred to another person, a registered occupant was
conferred with the right of selling the land to any third party without
restrictions.  Thus, the recognised possession can be said to be the source
of a persons title.  The possession of a person is reflected in the records.
As noticed earlier, the A-Register/Diglot in Madras Presidency and the
Sethwar in Telangana Area was the mother of all the Registers.  Though
the primary intention of preparing this Register was to classify the lands
according to the soil and potentiality and assess the revenue, recording
the names of the persons in occupation was an equally important object
in preparing this Register, for, without recording the names of the
persons in occupation, the Government will not be able to collect
revenue.  All the revenue records such as Registers A to E and monthly
and annual Accounts No.1 to 4 and No.10 Accounts in Andhra area and
Wasool Baqui, Khasra Pahani, Pahani Patrik, Choufasla, Faisal patti etc.,
discussed hereinbefore, in Telangana Area are based on the basic register
of Diglot/Sethwar.  Therefore, if a persons name is recorded as an
occupant or pattadar in these records, a necessary presumption would
arise in his favour or in favour of the persons who claim through him
that he holds title to the land.  In case of a dispute between two private
parties, this presumption can be rebutted by the rival claimant by
producing better evidence, such as subsequent partitions, mutation in the
revenue record and registered sale transactions etc.  In many cases, after
preparation of Diglot/Sethwar, changes in ownership of land may occur.
In such cases, a person who sets up rival claim must be able to show that
either he or his predecessor-in-title derived right through sale deeds
supported by entries in revenue record.
Conclusion on Point No.1(a) & (b):
(i)     A patta granted under BSO-27 constitutes absolute title.
(ii)    An assignment made under BSO-15 prior to 18-6-1954 in
Andhra Area and a patta granted under the Laoni Rules before
25-7-1958 in Telangana Area confer absolute title on the
assignee with right to transfer the land.  Unless the Revenue
functionaries are first satisfied that the land is an assigned land
within the meaning of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of Act 9 of
1977, no proceeding for cancellation of assignment can be
initiated.
(iii)   In case of Laoni pattas granted on collection of market value,
the pattadar is entitled to sell the land without any restrictions.
(iv)     In respect of estate and inam lands, ryotwari pattas/occupancy
rights certificates constitute title.  In case of protected tenants
under the Hyderabad Tenancy and Agricultural Act 1950, the
protected tenants having ownership certificates hold absolute
title.
(v)     In the absence of patta, revenue records form basis for
determining title.  A-Register/Diglot and Ledger/Chitta in
Andhra Area and Sethwar, Supplementary Sethwar and  
Wasool Baqui in Telangana Area are the basic settlement
record which provide basis for subsequent entries in the
Village Accounts.  Before integration of revenue record, No.1
and No.2 Accounts (old), No.3 Account, No.10 Account and
Register of Holdings in Andhra Area and Pahani patrika,
Chowfasla, Faisal Patti and Khasra Pahani in Telangana Area
are relevant Village Accounts for determination of title.  After
integration of the Village Accounts under the 1971 Act, (i)
Printed Diglot or A-Register, (ii) Village Account No.1, (iii)
Village Account No.2, (iv) No.3 Register and (v) Village
Account No.4  Register of Holdings constitute relevant
record.
(vi)    Between two rival claimants relying upon the entries in
revenue record, the person whose name is recorded in the basic
records such as A-Register and Record of Holdings and their
successors-in-interest will be considered as the rightful owners.
In deciding such disputes, the revenue authorities and the
courts need to carefully weigh the evidence relied upon by the
rival parties with reference to the record referred to
hereinbefore.  Even in cases of disputes between the
Government and private persons, the above referred record
constitute material evidence in determination of title.
(vii)   While there is a presumption that all poramboke and
communal lands vest in the Government, no such presumption
arises in case of waste lands, assessed or unassessed. In
deciding the claim of persons on these lands, isolated entries in
documents such as RSR are not conclusive.  All other relevant
revenue record shall be considered while deciding this dispute.

Re Point No.2:  In the absence of proof of patta, the right of a person in
possession supported by multiple registered sale transactions needs to be
considered.  Both under the ancient Hindu and Muhammadan laws, the
land was not vested in the King.   Possession has always played an
important part in all systems of jurisprudence .  Under the Hindu
system, possession, however brief, is necessary for a perfected title.  As
between title and possession, the former predominates, unless the latter
is hereditary.  A person who claims under title must, when it is disputed,
prove it.  Just in some way title can be acquired by possession, it can be
lost by adverse possession of another and the effect of such adverse
possession is that the latter keeps the property as his own.  Possession
lawfully obtained, prima facie, raises a presumption of ownership in the
absence of evidence rebutting such presumption.  Possession, however
short, will raise that presumption and a long possession is not only
evidence of title but is a good and valid title by itself.  A person in
possession, without title, has a right to remain in possession against all,
but the true owner, and has an interest capable of being inherited,
devised or conveyed.
        According to Salmond, in the whole range of legal theory, there is
no conception more difficult than that of possession.  He observed :
        The legal consequences which flow from the acquisition and
loss of possession are many and serious.  Possession, for
example, is evidence of ownership; the possessor of a thing is
presumed to be the owner of it, and may put all other claimants
to proof of their title.  Long possession is a sufficient title even to
property which belonged to another.  The transfer of possession
is one of the chief methods of transferring ownership. The first
possession of a thing which as yet belongs to no one is a good
title of right.  Even in respect of property already owned, the
wrongful possession of it is a good title for the wrong doer as
against all the work except the true owner.

On the relationship between possession and ownership, he said :

It (possession) is in fact what ownership is in right.  Possession
is the de facto exercise of a claim; ownership is the de jure
recognition of one . Possession therefore is the de facto
counterpart of ownership. Possession without ownership is the
body of fact, uninformed by the spirit of right which usually
accompanies it. Ownership without possession is right,
unaccompanied by that environment of fact in which it normally
realises itself.


        The Courts in modern India have also recognised the right of the
first occupant to the possession of the land under the Hindu law.
According to what may be termed  the Hindu common law, a right to
take possession of land is acquired by the first person who makes a
beneficial use of the soil.  The interest of the person thus taking
possession is not a limited but an absolute one  (See: Secretary of State
Vs. Vira Rayan ).  Subject to payment of revenue, a ryotwari
proprietor enjoys an absolute proprietorship over the soil and can deal
with and use it in any manner he likes .  Possession is therefore
recognised as nine points in law with the ownership completing the
residue.
        Para-7 of BSO-31 recognised possession of a person without title
for 12 years or more and enjoins on the Revenue officers to recognise
such persons right by transferring the register in his name after notice.
Under this provision, obligation is cast on the officers to confer such
right on their own motion even without an application by the individual.
     In Rama Iyyangar Vs. Kasinivenda Iyyangar , a Division
Bench of Madras High Court held that transactions by a party dealing
with the property to which he lays a claim are important evidence of his
title and some times they constitute the only evidence available.
     In Syed. Md. Muzaffaralmusavi Vs. Bibi Jabeda Khatun , the
Privy Council held that where no actual proof of title is forthcoming,
presumption of lawful title is necessary to support possessory rights
enjoyed for long.  The Privy Council further held that the longer the
period within which and the remoter the time when first a grant might be
reasonably supposed to have occurred the less force is there is in an
objection to the lawful title.
     Delving into the nature of proof required in suits for declaration of
title against the Government, in R. Hanumaiah Vs. State of
Karnataka , the Supreme Court observed that all lands which are not
the property of any person or which are not vested in a local authority
belong to the Government; that all unoccupied lands are the property of
the Government unless any person can establish his right or title to any
such land.  Taking judicial notice of collusion between private citizens
with Government servants in getting their names entered in the revenue
record as occupants of government land, the Apex Court held that only
entries based on appropriate documents like grants, title deeds, etc., or
based upon actual verification of physical possession by an authority
authorised to recognise such possession and make appropriate entries
can be used against the Government.  The Court further held that in the
case of claim for adverse possession, the Court must examine whether
the plaintiff has established his adverse possession to the knowledge of
the Government for a period of more than 30 years so as to convert his
possession into title and that as incidental to that question the Court
should also find out whether the plaintiff is recorded to be the owner or
holder or occupant of the property in the revenue records or municipal
records, for more than thirty years and what is the nature of possession
claimed by the plaintiff, if he is in possession  authorised or
unauthorised; permissive; casual and occasional; furtive and clandestine;
open, continuous and hostile; deemed or implied.
     In this context, Section 2  of the 1905 Act is relevant.  As per this
provision, the lands held by persons under ryotwari tenure and land held
by other registered holders under proprietary right are two of the
exclusions in the said provision and these two categories of lands do not
belong to the Government.
Conclusion on Point No.2:
     From what is discussed above, it appears to me that in the absence
of a document such as patta or a grant, a person in possession of land for
12 years or more without title can claim transfer of registry in his favour
as envisaged by para-7 of BSO-31.  The possession of a person coupled
with multiple sale transactions would also form basis for his claim to
title.  In such cases, the burden shifts to the rival claimant, be it a private
citizen or the Government, to prove that the land belongs to or vested in
them.  In many cases, despite successive registered sale transactions, the
Government denies title set up by private citizens.  In these cases, the
burden on the Government is heavier, for, the presumption goes in
favour of the person who claims the land on the strength of registered
sale transactions which constitute public notice, as held by the Supreme
Court in Suraj Lamp & Industries (P) Ltd. Vs. State of Haryana .
In cases of repeated sale transactions over a number of years, a
presumption arises that since the land is not vested in the Government,
the same is permitted to be sold.  Such a presumption can only be
displaced by the Government with reference to the evidence proving that
the land is vested in it.
Re Point No.3:
I. (a) Description as Government land in RSR: With regard to
ryotwari lands, duration of settlement was generally restricted to 30
years.  Therefore, the need for resettlement arose on the expiry of the
period of settlement.  For undertaking resettlement, resurvey was
necessary in order to demarcate the fields with specific boundaries as
many changes may have occurred during the currency of the previous
settlements.  After completion of re-survey and re-settlement, RSRs are
prepared.  A comparison of the Survey and Settlement Register (A-
Register/Diglot/Sethwar) with the Re-survey and Resettlement Register
is necessary for proper appreciation.  It needs to be noted in this context
that the proformas of RSRs for different Districts varied in their
columns.  For instance, column No.14 of the RSR of Pottur village,
Guntur Taluk, Guntur District, pertains to the Name of pattadar or
Manager of the institution to which it belongs.  In contrast, in the RSR of
Thimmarajupeta village of Vizagapatnam District, there is no such
column.  It is noticed from this RSR that the names of the individuals are
mentioned in the Remarks column.  For better appreciation, the A-
Register/Diglot and the RSRs of Guntur and Vizagapatnam Districts are
extracted below:
A-Register/Diglot of Adivivaram village of Vizianagaram Estate:
Survey
Number
and
letter

Jirayiti
or
Inam
Dry,
Wet
or
Poramboke
Source
of
irrigation
Extent   Rate per   Assessment
                 acre
Acres Cts Rs.  A.        Rs.     A.
Number and
name of
pattadar or
name of
inamdar or the
manager of the
institution to
which the land
belongs and
the No. of the
Inam title-
deed, if any
Remarks
1
2
3
4
5       6       7
8
9

Re-Survey and Re-Settlement Register (RSR) of Pottur village,
Guntur Taluk, Guntur District :


R
e
-
s
u
r
v
e
y

N
u
m
b
e
r
L
e
t
t
e
r
D
i
r
e
c
t
i
o
n
Ol
d
Sy.
No
.
an
d
lett
er,
if
an
y
G
o
v
e
r
n
m
e
n
t
o
r
I
n
a
m
Dr
y,
We
t or
Por
am
bo
ke
S
o
u
r
c
e
o
f
i
r
r
i
g
a
t
i
o
n
S
i
n
g
l
e
o
r
D
o
u
b
l
e
c
r
o
p
C
l
a
s
s
a
n
d

s
o
r
t
o
f
s
o
i
l
T
a
r
a
m
R
a
t
e
p
e
r
a
c
r
e
Extent


Ac.  cts.
Assess-
ment

Rs.    A.
Name
of
pattad
ar or
mana
ger of
the
institu
tion
to
which
the
land
belon
gs
Re
ma
rks
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
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Re-Survey and Re-Settlement Register (RSR) of Timmarajupeta,
No.3 Sarvasiddhi Taluk, Vizagapatnam District:

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A perusal of the columns of A-Register/Diglot and the RSRs would
show that broadly both the registers contain similar columns except a
few additional columns in the RSR register e.g., column pertaining to
old survey number and letter.  One significant column for comparison
between these two registers is the column relating to tenure of the land.
In the A-Register, column No.2 reads Jirayati or Inam.  The equivalent
column in RSR is column No.5 (In some proformas it is column No.4).
It reads Government or Inam.  The consistent stand of the Government
which has become rather well-known over years is that if column No.4
or 5 in RSR shows the land as belonging to Government, unless the
name of the pattadar is mentioned in column No.13 or 14 devoted to
Name of pattadar or Inamdar or the Manager of the Institution to which
the land belongs the land is deemed to belong to the Government.  This
assumption, in the opinion of this Court, is wholly misconceived.

     In this context, it is necessary to have a peep into the background
leading to the genesis of survey.  The British India has enacted Act 28 of
1860 for survey and demarcation of the lands.  Its long title reads An
Act for the establishment and maintenance of Boundary marks and for
facilitating the settlement of Boundary disputes in the Presidency of Fort
St. George; Passed on 29th June 1860.  The preamble of the Act reads:
     Whereas it is desirable, with a view to the better
definition and security of landed property, the prevention of
encroachments and disputes, and the identification of lands
assessed to, or exempted from, the public revenue in the
Presidency of Fort St. George, that provision should be
made for the establishment and maintenance of permanent
villages, and for facilitating the settlement of boundary
disputes and claims;

Section 2 of the said Act discloses the main purpose of survey and
demarcation, namely, to facilitate the Collector if he is of the opinion
that demarcation is necessary for prevention or adjustment of disputes
(or for conducting and perpetuating a survey or a settlement of land
revenue), to fix the boundaries of fields, holdings, estates or villages etc.
The Act does not define the phrases owner and occupant.  Act
28/1860 was replaced by Act 4/1897.  This Act was repealed by the
provisions of the Madras Survey and Boundaries Act 1923, which on the
formation of the State of Andhra Pradesh, included the Telangana Area,
by Section 3 of the A.P. Survey and Boundaries (Extension and
Amendment) Act 1958.  A reading of the statement of objects and
reasons of this Act would show that the majority of the general surveys
was completed and the Act was largely required in connection with
survey of estates or other similar areas, re-surveys, maintenance and the
like.  It is significant to note that what was implicit in Act 28/1860 and
Act 4/1897 have been made explicit in respect of the definitions of the
words such as estate, Government land, proprietor, registered
holder etc.  Section 3(i) defined estate as under :
        Estate means:
(a)     any permanently-settled estate whether a Zamindari Jaghir, mitta
or palaiyam;
(b)     any portion of such permanently-settled estate which has been
separately registered in the office of the Collector;
(c)     any unsettled palaiyam or Jaghir;
(d)     any inam village of which the grant was made or has been
confirmed by the British Government;
(e)     any portion, consisting of one or more villages of any of the
estates specified above in Clauses (a), (b) and (c) which is held on
a permanent under-tenure.

Under Section 3(ii), Government land is defined as any land not
forming an estate or any portion thereof.  Under sub-section (iv),
proprietor is defined as any person in whose name any estate is for the
time being registered in the office of the Collector of the district within
the estate situated, and, in respect of an estate specified in Clause (e) of
sub-section (i) the holder thereof.  Under sub-section (v), registered
holder is defined as the person in whose name the land in question is
registered in the Government accounts of the village: Provided that when
any person other than the registered holder is in lawful management of
the Government land otherwise than as agents or servant of the
registered holder or as mortgagor or lessee such person shall be deemed
to be the registered holder in respect of such Government land.
     The above noted definitions would reveal that an estate included
all permanently settled lands of whatever name i.e., Zamindari, Jagir,
Mitta, Palaiyam and all Inam villages of which grant was made or was
confirmed by the British Government.  All the other lands are treated as
Government land under Section 3(ii).  The estate holders are
recognised as proprietors while persons who are in occupation of
Government lands and registered as such in the Government accounts of
the village are called registered holders.
     What is discernible from these provisions is that all lands other
than estate lands are treated as Government lands irrespective of
whether they were in occupation of ryots and whether pattas were
granted to them or not.  In other words, Jirayati land as mentioned in
Column No.2 of A-Register/Diglot/Sethwar is termed as Government
land in the RSR.  It would therefore be a travesty of reality if the
Government assumes that by mere description of the land as
Government or Sarkari in column Nos.4 or 5, as the case may be, in
the RSR, the land belongs to and vested in it.  If the literal meaning of
the phrase Government land is to be ascribed to the said column, then,
the column pertaining to Name of pattadar or inamdar would be
rendered nugatory.  The correct way of understanding the term
Government land in the RSR is that it takes into its sweep all lands
including patta lands and those in possession of private persons other
than the inam lands.  If the pattadar column shows the names of
pattadars they are private lands belonging to the persons named therein
or their successors in interest.
(b) Dots in RSR:  This is another important aspect which is quite often
troubling the Courts and litigant public alike for several years.  In many
cases under ryotwari tenure, the column pertaining to pattadar/inamdar is
left blank or it contains dots.  The statutory enactments such as Act
28/1860, 4/1897 and 8/1923 were made with the main purpose of
demarcating the boundaries between estate lands and non-estate lands
which are otherwise termed as Government lands.  Another purpose
was to cause survey for making settlement or re-settlement, as the case
may be, with regard to ryotwari lands.  That the RSR is not principally
meant to be a document of title is clear from the fact of absence of
Pattadar column in some of the Districts (e.g. Vizagapatnam (supra).
The Government is not coming out with any explanation for keeping the
Pattadar column (wherever such column exists) blank or leaving dots.
In the absence of reasons assigned by the Government, this Court can
visualise three reasons for this; firstly, the information as to the persons
in actual occupation of the lands may not have been available with the
survey personnel involved in the preparation of RSRs.  Secondly, the
persons in occupation of the lands may have left the village temporarily
at the time of conducting the re-survey; and thirdly, the RSR not being
meant to be a document of title not much importance is given either in
providing a column for pattadar or in filling the column wherever it
exists.  Therefore, based on such an unfilled and incomplete document, it
is neither proper nor reasonable to presume that the land is not held by
the pattadar or that the same is not in occupation of a ryot and that the
same is vested in the Government.
     It is significant to notice in some of the RSRs filed before this
Court that in respect of some of the lands where dots are shown under
pattadar column, in the remarks column, they are shown as Hill-
stream (vagu), Footpath (donka), Jungle (adavi).  In such cases, the
burden lies on the persons who claim ownership over lands to prove that
these entries are wrong and that they are ryoti lands under their
cultivation.  For this purpose, they can rely upon the record such as
Diglot, Register of Holdings and the Village accounts prepared after re-
survey and re-settlement. Such evidence will displace the entries in the
RSR.
     Interestingly, in the RSR prepared for Bandaganipalli village,
Udaygiri taluq, Nellore District, the pattadar column in respect of many
survey numbers was filled with dots.  Some of these lands are shown
as dry or wet or poramboke indicating its taram and the land
revenue is assessed. The Remarks column is kept blank.  So where the
lands are properly assessed, it raises a presumption that they are in
occupation of ryots, whether holding patta or otherwise.  In my opinion,
keeping the pattadar column blank or showing dots is an indication
that no information is forthcoming on the details of pattadar or person in
occupation.  In a given case, if patta was granted to the person in
occupation and his name is not shown in the pattadar column, can such
land be treated as belonging to the Government?  The answer must be in
the negative.  Proof of a patta will displace the initial presumption that
the land is not held by a private person.  In the absence of patta, the
subsequent entries in the revenue record and registered sale transactions
also displace such presumption.  The State being the author and
custodian of the RSRs, the burden lies on it to explain why the pattadar
column is not filled up and the reasons therefor are not indicated in the
Remarks column.
     It is apt to note that Section 10 of the 1923 Act envisages enquiry
if any registered holder of the land raises dispute regarding boundary.
Section 12 provides for appeal to the party aggrieved by the decision of
the Survey Officer on the determination of the boundary.  Section 14
provides for further remedy to the aggrieved party of a civil suit within
three years of determination of the boundary dispute.  The said Act
neither provides for any remedy to question the correctness of the entries
nor does it envisage presumption as to the correctness of entries unlike
Section 6 of the 1971 Act.  These provisions would thus indicate without
any cavil of doubt that the RSR is not intended to be a document of title
and the same cannot be treated as a stand alone document in
determination of ownership/title.
(c) Case law:  In several Judgments, this Court held that entries in RSR
cannot be taken as conclusive proof in determining the ownership of
lands.  In P. Suresh Vs. State of A.P.  while dealing with a case
pertaining to refusal of registration of a document only on the basis of
entry in the RSR showing the land as belonging to the Government, this
Court held that the entries made in the RSR in the year 1909 without
taking into consideration the evidence for the subsequent period such as
registered sale transactions cannot be taken as conclusive proof of
ownership. In Shaik Ali Vs. District Collector  this Court has referred
to and relied upon various other Judgments of this Court in reiterating
the position that the mere entries in RSR will not offer conclusive proof
of ownership of the land.  In Shaik Dudekula Pyari Jan Vs. Revenue
Divisional Officer   this Court has weighed the entries in the RSR of
Doddipalli village showing the lands as Government lands on the one
side and registered transactions of the years 1938, 1942, 1959 and 1972
on the other side and held that in the face of the subsequent registered
sale transactions, it is for the Government to assert and prove its title if it
chooses to do so in a properly constituted proceeding before the
appropriate forum in accordance with law and that without doing so it is
not open to the revenue authorities or the registration authorities to deny
persons claiming rights over such land merely on the basis of the RSR
entries.  This dicta was reiterated by this Court in Madiga Papanna Vs.
State of A.P.
Conclusion on Point No.3-I(a) and (b)
     The inevitable conclusions that can be drawn from the above
discussion are :
(a) RSR is not a stand alone document and entries therein cannot be
taken as conclusive proof to determine title.  It constitutes one of the
many revenue records which have to be considered in determination of
title.
(b)  Entries in RSR showing the land as belonging to Government do not
necessarily mean that the same is not a patta land, but they only mean
that it is not an inam land.
(c)  The pattadar column in RSR left blank or containing dots cannot
be understood to mean that the land is vested in the Government.  A
private person can still claim ownership over the land based on the patta
and/or entries in the revenue record prepared both prior to and after the
commencement of the 1971 Act, besides registered sale transactions.  If,
the Government disputes such entries, it needs to get its right declared by
instituting proceedings before the competent court of law.
II.  Entries in Town Survey Land Register (TSLR):  Detailed Town
Survey was carried out in some municipalities and Panchayats in Andhra
Area.  In Telangana region detailed Town Survey of the twin cities was
carried out in 1966-70.  The object of undertaking detailed surveys is not
only to survey the boundary between the streets and private properties,
but also the boundaries of all private properties whether built up or
vacant, Government lands and Municipality lands .  The system of
survey held is quite different from the system followed in respect of
villages containing open lands.  The nature and scope of entries in TSLR
fell for consideration of a Division Bench of this Court in W.A.Nos.115
and 160 of 2000.  P.Venkatramam Reddy.,J (as his Lordship then was)
while speaking for the Division Bench held that entries in TSLR are no
doubt relevant, but they are not conclusive; that TSLR cannot be
regarded as the sole guiding factor while dealing with applications for
building permissions; and that TSLRs have to be considered in
conjunction with other documents which the applicant would like to
place reliance upon.
        B. Sudershan Reddy.,J (as his Lordship then was), considered the
scheme of the A.P. Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923 in Hyderabad
Potteries Pvt. Ltd. (2-supra) and held that the survey made under the
said Act is mainly intended for the purposes of identification of lands
and fixation of boundaries and that there is no provision thereunder to
make any detailed enquiries with regard to the right, title and interest of
persons in the lands.  It is apposite to quote the relevant passage in the
said Judgment (para-21):
        A bare reading of scheme of the A.P. Survey and Boundaries
Act, 1923 would make it clear that the survey made under the
said Act is mainly intended for the purposes of identification of
the lands and fixation of boundaries.  There is no provision under
the Act intending to make any detailed enquiries with regard to
the right, title and interest of the persons in the lands.  It is
neither the object nor the scheme of the said Act.  There is no
presumption that every entry made in the TSLR shall be
presumed to be true until contrary is proved as in the case of
entries made in the record of rights under the provisions of A.P.
Record of Rights in Land and Pattadar Passbooks Act, 1971.  It
is not a record of right.  There is no such provision in the Andhra
Pradesh Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923 (Emphasis added)  

The dispute raised in Hyderabad Potteries Pvt. Ltd. (2-supra) again
arose, albeit, in a different context in State of A.P. Vs. Hyderabad
Potteries Pvt. Ltd .  Interestingly, in respect of the same land which
was the subject matter before this Court in the said case, proceedings
under the A.P. Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 1982 were initiated for
eviction of Hyderabad Potteries Pvt. Ltd. in respect of 17,786.56 sq. mts
of land in T.S.No.4/2, Block-D Ward No.66 of Bakaram village,
Musheerabad Mandal, Hyderabad District, after declaring that they are
land grabbers and for award of compensation to the State.  The only
basis for institution of the said proceedings was that in the Town Survey
conducted in respect of Bakaram and Gaganmahal villages for the years
1355 and 1357 Faslies (1945 and 1947 respectively) and further in the
year 1965 and 1971, it was found that certain extent of area existing
between the said two villages was left unsurveyed and that the same was
not accounted for and consequently it remained as a gap area; that gap
area means unsurveyed land and would be deemed to be Government  
land.  In the Gazette notification dated 17-7-1996 published under the
A.P. Survey and Boundaries Act, 1923, in column No.20 of the TSLR,
the schedule property admeasuring 19,214 sq. mts. was recorded as
Government land.  The State has pleaded that as the survey has attained
finality, Hyderabad Potteries Pvt. Ltd. should be declared as land
grabbers.  On consideration of the evidence, the Special Court, by
majority, dismissed the application filed by the State, but one of its
Revenue Members, gave dissenting Judgment upholding the claim of the
State only on the basis of the entries available in the TSLR.  The State
filed W.P.No.4432/2005 in this Court.  The Division Bench upheld the
majority view of the Special Court and dismissed the Writ Petition.  The
State filed Civil Appeal with the leave of the Supreme Court.  While
dismissing the Civil Appeal, the Supreme Court held at para-26 as
under:
        The sole basis of the appellant to claim the land was on the
strength of entries made in survey records showing that the
schedule property was surveyed as TS No.4/2, Ward No.66 of
Bakaram village having an area of 19,214 sq. m. showing it as a
gap area i.e., unsurveyed area as per the old survey records and
as such it could only be declared to be government land as has
been recorded in Column 20 of TSLR.  Apart from the said
revenue record and issuance of gazette notification as mentioned
hereinabove, no other material document was filed by the
appellant to show that the said land belonged only to the
Government.  It is trite that entry in the revenue record alone
may not be sufficient as conclusive proof of title nor can be
relied on for proof of establishing the title as such. (Emphasis
supplied)

Conclusion on Point No.3-II: The above judicial pronouncements
thus placed the controversy beyond any pale of doubt that the entry
in the TSLR does not constitute conclusive proof of ones title.
Re Point No.4: The issue under this point is no longer res integra.  In
Thummala Krishna Rao (1-supra), a serious dispute arose as to
whether three plots of land were included in the acquisition notified by
the Government of Nizam for establishment of Osmania University.  The
suit filed by the Osmania University against Nawab Habibuddin in the
City Civil Court, Hyderabad for eviction was dismissed on the finding
that plot No.111 was not acquired by the Government and that though
plot Nos.94 and 104 were acquired, the University failed to prove its
possession thereof 12 years the before filing of the suit.  The appeal filed
by the University was dismissed by this Court.  The State Government
was not impleaded as a party to those proceedings.  On the Osmania
University addressing a letter to the Government of Andhra Pradesh for
summary eviction of the persons in occupation of the three plots, the
Tahsildar initiated proceedings under the 1905 Act by issuing a notice
under Section 7 thereof.  It was followed by an order passed under
Section 6 directing eviction of Habibuddin.  The appeal filed by
Habibuddin before the Collector was dismissed and the said order was
affirmed by the Board of Revenue.  During the pendency of the appeal
before the Board of Revenue, the plots were purchased by the
respondents before the Supreme Court for a valuable consideration.
After being unsuccessful before the Government against the order of the
Board of Revenue, the purchasers have filed Writ Petition in this Court.
A learned single Judge dismissed the Writ Petition.  The Division Bench
has however allowed the Writ Appeals by taking the view that the aspect
whether the land belongs to the Osmania University or not will have to
be decided by a competent Civil Court as and when a civil suit is filed by
the Government and that the summary eviction proceedings under
Section 7 cannot be resorted to unless there is an attempt at
encroachment of a very recent origin.  The State carried the matter in
appeal before the Supreme Court.  While affirming the Judgment of the
Division Bench, the Supreme Court held :
     It seems to us clear from these provisions that the
summary remedy for eviction which is provided for by Section 6
of the Act can be resorted to by the Government only against
persons who are in unauthorized occupation of any land which is
"the property of Government" In regard to property described in
Sub-sections (1) and (2) Of Section 2, there can be no doubt,
difficulty or dispute as to the title of the Government and,
therefore, in respect of such property, the Government would be
free to take recourse to the summary remedy of eviction provided
for in Section 6. A person who occupies a part of a public road,
street, bridge, the bed of the sea and the like is in unauthorised
occupation of property which is declared by Section 2 to be the
property of the Government and therefore it is in public interest
to evict him expeditiously, which can only be done by resorting
to the summary remedy provided by the Act. But Section 6(1)
which confers the power of summary eviction on the
Government limits that power to cases in which a person is in
unauthorised occupation of a land "for which he is liable to pay
assessment under Section 3". Section 3 in turn, refers to
unauthorised occupation of any land "which is the property of
Government". If there is a bona fide dispute regarding the title of
the Government to any property, the Government cannot take a
unilateral decision in its own favour that the property belong to it
and on the basis of such decision take recourse to the summary
remedy provided by Section 6 for evicting the person who is in
possession of the property under a bona fide claim or title in the
instant case, there" unquestionably a genuine dispute between the
State Government and the respondents as to whether the three
plots of land were the subject-matter of acquisition proceeding
taken by the then Government of Hyderabad and whether the
Osmania University, for whose benefit the plots are alleged to
have been acquired, had lost title to the property by operation of
the law of limitation. The suit filed by University was dismissed
on the ground of limitation, inter alia, since Nawab Habibuddin
was found to have encroached on the property more than twelve
years Sore the date of the suit and the University was not in
possession of the property at any time within that period. Having
failed in the suit, the University activated the Government to
evict the Nawab and his transferees summarily, which seems to
us impermissible. The respondents have a bona fide claim to
litigate and they cannot be evicted save by the due process of
law. The summary remedy prescribed by Section 6 is not the
kind of legal process which is suited to an adjudication of
complicated question of title. That procedure is, therefore, not
the due process of law for evicting the respondents.
     The view of the Division Bench that the summary remedy
provided for by Section 6 cannot be resorted to unless the alleged
encroachment is of "a very recent origin", cannot be stretched too
far. That was also the view taken by the learned single Judge
himself in another case which is reported in Meherunnissa
Begum v. State of A.P. (1970) 1 ALT 88 which was affirmed by
a Division Bench : AIR 1971 AP 382.  It is not the duration,
short or long, of encroachment that is conclusive of the question
whether the summary remedy prescribed by the Act can be put
into operation for evicting a person. What is relevant for the
decision of that question is more the nature of the property on
which the encroachment is alleged to have been committed and
the consideration whether the claim of the occupant is bona fide.
Facts which raise a bona fide dispute of title between the
Government and the occupant must be adjudicated upon by the
ordinary courts of law. The Government cannot decide such
questions unilaterally in its own favour and evict any person
summarily on the basis of such decision. But duration of
occupation is relevant in the sense that a person who is in
occupation of a property openly for an appreciable length of time
can be taken, prima facie, to have a bona fide claim to the
property requiring an impartial adjudication according to the
established procedure of law. (Emphasis added)

This ratio is since being followed.
     One of the Judgments which deserves a mention in this regard is
that of a Division Bench of this Court in Special Deputy Collector,
Land Eviction Vs. Konda Lakshman Bapuji .  While referring to an
earlier Judgment of this Court by O. Chinnappa Reddy.,J (as his
Lordship then was) in Meharunnisa Begum Vs. State of A.P.  which
was also considered in Tummala Krishna Rao (1-supra), the Division
Bench observed that the petitioners before it were in possession nearly
for 25 years prior to the issue of the impugned notices; that the
occupation of the writ petitioners is open and for an appreciable length
of time as observed by the Supreme Court and the petitioner can be
taken prima facie to have a bonafide claim to the property requiring an
impartial adjudication according to the established procedure of law; and
that the Government cannot decide such questions unilaterally in its own
favour and evict them summarily on the basis of such decision.  The
Division Bench also made the following significant observations:
     The land in possession of the writ petitioners is not a part of a
public road, street, bridge or the bed of the sea and the like.  Therefore
we are clearly of the view that the proceedings under the A.P. Land
Encroachment Act cannot be taken and no enquiry can be held by the
Tahsildar and the petitioners cannot be evicted in pursuance of any such
enquiry.

Conclusion on Point No.4: The settled legal position therefore
emanating from the above noted Judgments is that where there is a
bonafide dispute regarding title of a person over the lands other than
public roads, streets, bridges or the bed of the sea, or the like, summary
proceedings under the 1905 Act cannot be initiated and that in all such
cases, the Government which claims title shall approach the competent
Civil Court for declaring its title.

        For ease of reference, conclusions on Point Nos.1 to 4 are
compendiously reproduced in the addendum enclosed which shall form
part of this Judgment.
PART-IV
Consideration of individual Writ Petitions :
        Let me now consider the Writ Petitions by applying the legal
position elucidated hereinabove.  For convenience, these Writ Petitions
are categorised based on the nature of the dispute.
W.P.Nos.23595/2013, 23599/2013, 23615/2013, 25333/2013 and  
25356/2013: These writ Petitions involve dispute relating to the entries
in RSRs.  Of these, W.P.Nos.23595, 23599 and 23615 of 2013 present
identical facts.  Though the facts were already stated at the beginning,
their repetition is unavoidable in order to apply the principles of law
discussed above to the facts of each case.
        The petitioner in W.P.No.23595/2013 pleaded that he has
purchased lands admeasuring Ac.23-43 cents in Sy.No.408, Ac.2-44 in
Sy.No.589, Ac.1-40 cents in Sy.No.385, Ac.1-35 cents in Sy.No.407 and
Ac.2-23 cents in Sy.No.410 of Bandaganipalli village, Udaigiri Mandal,
Nellore District, under registered sale deeds from Byreddy Cheera
Reddy and others.  The petitioner further pleaded that the names of the
predecessors of the vendors of the petitioner have been entered in the
RSR.   The petitioner filed a copy of certificate in Rc.No.108B, dated
29-12-2008 issued by respondent No.3 wherein he has clarified that the
lands in question belonged to Byreddy Cheera Reddy and others.
Consequent on purchase of the lands, the petitioner has made an
application to respondent No.3 (wrongly stated as respondent No.4) in
the prescribed form on 3-6-2013 for grant of pattadar passbooks and title
deeds.  By endorsement in L.Dis.No.425/2013(F), dated 3-8-2013,
respondent No.3 has rejected the petitioners application for grant of
pattadar passbooks and title deeds only on the ground that as per the
adangals, the lands are shown as Government lands.
        In W.P.No.23599/2013, an extent of Ac.37-30 cents in Sy.No.384
of Badaganipalli village, Udaigiri Mandal, SPSR Nellore District was
purchased by the petitioner from the same vendors as in
W.P.No.23595/2013.  In this case also, respondent No.3 has issued a
certificate stating that the lands are recorded in the name of Byreddy
Cheera Reddy and others.  The petitioner has filed a similar certificate
issued by respondent No.3 showing that the lands were recorded in the
name of Byreddy Cheera Reddy and others in the Diglot.  The grievance
of the petitioner is that respondent No.3 has issued the impugned
endorsement dated 3-8-2013 refusing to issue pattadar passbooks and
title deeds on the same ground as in W.P.No.23595/2013.
     The facts in W.P.No.23615/2013 are also identical except that the
survey numbers and the extents of the land purchased by the petitioner
herein vary.  The petitioner has filed copies of RSR.  Based on the
entries in the RSR, respondent No.3 has issued a certificate to the effect
that all the lands purchased by the petitioners stood in the name of
Byreddy Cheera Reddy and others from whom the petitioner has
purchased the lands under registered sale deeds.
     As no counter-affidavits have been filed in these Writ Petitions
(W.P.Nos.23595, 23599 and 23615/2013) by the respondents, the
pleadings of the petitioners and the contents of separate certificates
issued by respondent No.3 remained uncontroverted.  It is therefore
reasonable for this Court to proceed on the premise that the names of the
petitioners vendors have been recorded in the RSR as pattadars.
     As concluded under Point No.3, if any evidence contrary to the
entries in RSR exist, such entries cannot be taken as conclusive proof of
title.  In these cases, the only document which contradicts the entries in
the RSR is Adangal.  As noticed by this Court earlier, under Rule 3 of
the A.P. Rights in Land and Pattadar Passbooks Rules, 1989,
pahani/adangal does not constitute record of rights (ROR) for a village.
Under the Scheme of the 1971 Act the procedure for preparation and
updating of record of rights, intimation of acquisition of rights,
amendment and updating of ROR on receipt of such intimation, the
provisions of appeal and revision, relate only to ROR.  Therefore, even if
there is an error in the entry in the Adangal, a person who asserts his title
and ownership to the properties need not avail the remedies provided
under this Act for rectification of entries for the simple reason that
Adangal pertaining to post 1971 Act period does not form part of ROR.
Consequently, the presumption of correctness of the entries as envisaged
under Section 6 of the 1971 Act is not available in respect of Adangal.
Therefore, if an entry in the Adangal contradicts the basic record such as
Diglot or RSR, the entries in the latter documents will prevail over the
entry in the Adangal.  Unless any document other than Adangal which
constitutes ROR showing the land as belonging to Government exists,
the revenue functionaries cannot claim the land as belonging to the
Government merely based on an entry in the Adangal.  The purported
entries in the Adangal are in the teeth of the entries in the RSR and the
certificate issued by respondent No.3 himself in the year 2008 based on
such entries.  Therefore, on the facts of these cases, the entries in the
Adangal have no legal force and are hence liable to be ignored.
W.P.Nos.25333/2013 and 25356 of 2013: From the facts of these cases
already noted, it could be seen that it is an admitted fact that registered
sale transactions have taken place in respect of these lands from the year
1934 as admitted in the counter-affidavits of the Tahsildar, Gorantla
Mandal, Anantapur District.  It is also admitted that 10(1) Account
incorporated the names of the petitioners.  It is however stated that the
said entries were made without the certification of any officers.  It is also
admitted that these lands were included in the declarations made by the
petitioners vendors under the 1973 Act whereunder these lands were
treated as private lands by the Land Reforms Tribunal.  Further, in
respect of these lands, pattadar passbooks and title deeds have been
issued.  The only ground on which these lands were treated as
Government lands is that the RSR has shown that they are Government
lands.  The respondents have not filed a copy of the RSR.  It is not
known whether the RSR contains the names of pattadars or the pattadar
column is kept blank or it contains dots.  Following the findings
rendered on Point No.3, the plea of the respondents that in view of the
entries in the RSR the lands are treated as Government lands has to be
termed as wholly meritless.  The RSR entry cannot be taken as the sole
guiding factor to determine the title of a person.  The overwhelming
documentary evidence such as 10(1) Register, the proceedings of the
Land Reforms Tribunal and the registered sale deeds from the year 1934
would overweigh the entries in the RSR.  The issue of pattadar passbook
and title deed based on the entries in the record of rights such as 10(1)
Account raise a presumption in favour of these entries under Section 6 of
the 1971 Act.  For all these reasons, the petitioners have established their
ownership for receiving compensation and there is no justification for
the respondents to deny compensation.
W.P.No.15438/2012, 31582/2012, 26106/2013, 25727/2013,  
27589/2013 and 23447/2013:

        On broad classification, these Writ Petitions fall under one
category.  In all these Writ Petitions, the genesis of the dispute is the
entries in TSLR.  As the facts vary from case to case, each Writ Petition
needs to be considered on its own facts:
W.P.No.31582/2012: Since the facts have already been noted earlier,
they need not be repeated.  The request of the petitioners for change of
classification of the land in the TSLR from burial ground to
poramboke was rejected only based on Fair Adangal prepared in the
year 1968 describing the land as smasanam.  The admitted facts
however remain that as far back as 1901, an extent of Ac.155-00 was
purchased by one Vahejullah Saheb s/o. Afizullah Saheb through
registered sale deed from a private person and the same changed hands
under as many as 18 sale deeds from 17-11-1931 to 20-6-1940 and
further sale deeds were registered upto the year 1978.  The report of the
Revenue Divisional Officer revealed that in all the registered documents,
the land is described as Government land.  In the year 1971, the
Municipal authorities have given assessment numbers to properties and
allotted door numbers.  Since the year 1969, the Municipal authorities
have approved building plans for the subject land.  The Revenue
Divisional Officers report was endorsed by the District Collector in his
report dated 21-3-2011.  However, on a reference made by the Chief
Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA) to the Collector, Krishna
District, for rectification of the facts and submission of a report, the
Collector has relied upon the Fair Adangal prepared in the year 1968
describing the land as smasanam.  On the report submitted by the
CCLA, the Government has rejected the petitioners claim for
conversion of land from burial ground to AWD  In essence, the
respondents sought to treat the entries in the TSLR and the Fair Adangal
as conclusive proof of the nature of the land.  This, in my opinion, is a
highly unsound approach.  No entry in the revenue or survey record can
be treated as conclusive proof if circumstances exist which render such
entries as unrealistic and contrary to the ground realities.  There is no
dispute about the fact that the land was a part of Machavaram village
estate and even before the estates were abolished, the same was merged
in the then Vijayawada Municipality in the year 1943.  As per the report
of the Assistant Director, Survey and Land Records, the settlement
records under the Estates/Inams Abolition Acts are not available for
examination.  No documents have been discussed based on which the  
entry in the Fair Adangal describing the land as burial ground was
made in the year 1968.  Had the land been correctly described as burial
ground it would be beyond ones comprehension as to how registered
sale transactions were allowed to take place from the year 1901, and how
the Vijayawada Municipality has made assessment of the properties,
approved building plans and allotted door numbers.  It is therefore a case
where the ratio in Rama Iyyengar (50-supra) as referred to and
discussed under Point No.2 squarely applies.  The continuous flow of
registered sale transactions reflects on the conduct of the Government in
treating the land as a private land and not as a burial ground.  Therefore,
this is a fit case to which the doctrine of estoppel by conduct needs to be
applied.  The Government cannot rely upon a stand alone entry in the
Fair Adangal prepared in the year 1968 by which time more than 18
registered sale transactions have taken place.  Thus, ex facie, the entry in
the Fair Adangal is incorrect.  In my opinion, respondent No.1 ought to
have accepted the earlier reports of the Revenue Divisional Officer and
the District Collector.  The petitioner is therefore entitled for change of
classification of the land from burial ground to AWD.
W.P.Nos.25727 and 26106 of 2013: The petitioners have claimed
ownership of the land in respect of a common property based on a
compromise decree passed in O.S.No.1420/1983.  The petitioners have
traced their title through their grand mother late Sultan Khatoon who has
purchased an extent of 23445 sq. mtrs. of land under registered sale deed
932 of 1336 Fasli (1926).  In O.S.No.1420/1983, compromise decree
dated 2-12-1983, was obtained by the petitioners whereunder the
property was partitioned between them.  The proceedings under the 1905
Act were initiated only based on the entry in the TSLR describing the
land as G-Abadi.  In the counter-affidavit, the respondents have not
denied the existence of registered sale deed under which the petitioners
grand mother has purchased the property as far back as the year 1926.
They have also not disputed the plea of the petitioners that for almost 90
years, their family has been in possession of the property.  The long
standing uninterrupted possession of the petitioners family raises a
reasonable presumption that the property in question is a private
property and the same does not belong to the Government.  Such a
presumption can be displaced by the Government only in a properly
constituted civil proceeding.  On these undisputed facts of the case, the
ratio in the Judgment of the Supreme Court in Tummala Krishna Rao
(1-supra) squarely applies.  The respondents cannot therefore resort to
summary proceedings of eviction under the provisions of the 1905 Act
as there is a bona fide dispute relating to ownership of the land.
Following the dicta laid down in Tummala Krishna Rao (1-supra) and
the finding rendered by this Court on Point No.4, the only option left
with the respondents is to file a civil suit.  The impugned proceedings
are therefore liable to be quashed with liberty to the respondents to
approach the competent Civil Court.
W.P.No.27589/2013:  From the uncontroverted facts recorded in the
earlier part of the Judgment, it is evident that the only ground on which
eviction proceedings under the 1905 Act have been issued is that the
land is recorded as G-Abadi in the TSLR.  The respondents have not
denied the genesis of the petitioners title.  There are as many as four
registered sale transactions commencing from 17-6-1959.  The property
was also the subject matter of O.S.No.555/1985 wherein a decree was
passed on 26-9-1995 in favour of Satyamma and her husband, the
predecessors-in-title of the petitioners.  The long standing possession of
the predecessors-in-title of the petitioners, at least from the year 1959, is
not disputed by the respondents.  In view of the finding on Point No.4,
the respondents cannot initiate eviction proceedings under the provisions
of 1905 Act only based on the entry in the TSLR describing the land as
G-Abadi.  The impugned proceedings are liable to be quashed,
however, with liberty to the respondents to approach the competent Civil
Court for declaration of title of the Government over the land in
question.
W.P.No.15438/2012:  The petitioners have claimed title to 2300.46 sq.
yards under three registered sale transactions dated 5-6-1985, 14-6-1985
and 15-11-1985.  The petitioners have also relied upon the proceedings
initiated under the 1973 Act in respect of the same land by order dated
30-8-1995 passed in C.C.No.7576/1975 declaring 270 sq. yards as
surplus land.  However, the appellate authority by order dated 20-6-1996
declared the petitioner as a non-surplus holder.  The petitioner has
already sold 1124 sq. yards out of the said property to a third party under
registered sale deed and when the remaining property of 1176.46 sq.
yards was sought to be sold, the petitioner was informed by the Sub-
Registrar, Chikkadpally that the District Collector, Hyderabad by letter
dated 4-7-2011 instructed the Registering authorities not to register any
document on the ground that the subject property is included in the
prohibitory list under Section 22-A of the 1908 Act.
     On the pleadings of the respondents, it is evident that the only
ground on which the land was included in the prohibitory list was that
the same was recorded as G-Abadi in the TSLR.  Except the TSLR
entry, no other document is relied upon by the respondents to show that
the land in question belongs to the Government.  The fact that mutation
was made in favour of the petitioners vendors is not disputed by any of
the respondents. As noted above, in contrast to the TSLR entry, the
petitioners have relied upon the proceedings of the Primary and
Appellate Authorities under the 1976 Act whereunder the land has been
treated as a private land.  The fact that the petitioner was allowed to
purchase the land under three registered sale deeds in the year 1985 and
sell a part of the land under a separate registered sale deed later to a third
party would show that despite the entry in the TSLR, the Government
functionaries have treated the land as private land.  In the face of these
undisputed facts and having allowed the petitioner to sell 1124 sq. yards
of land, the respondent cannot raise an objection for registration of the
balance property solely based on the entry in the TSLR.  If the subject
property was included in the prohibitolry list under Section 22-A of the
1908 Act based on such an entry in the TSLR, such inclusion cannot be
legally sustained.  Accordingly, respondent No.5 is directed to ignore the
prohibitory list to the extent of the subject property and entertain the sale
deed that may be presented by the petitioner for registration.  However,
respondent Nos.1 to 3 are left with the liberty of filing a civil suit for
declaration that the property is vested in the Government.
W.P.No.23447/2013:  Except the TSLR entry, no other document is
relied upon by the respondents on the basis of which the said entry in the
TSLR has been made.  The registered sale deed of as far back as 14-8-
1956 standing in favour of Dr. Fareed s/o. J.D. Italia and the registered
sale deed dated 10-12-1984 under which the petitioner has purchased the
property would prove the long standing possession of the property by
private individuals.  In view of the settled legal position that title cannot
be decided solely based on TSLR entry, the plea of the respondents
suffers from serious legal flaw.  This case is identical to the case dealt in
Hyderabad Potteries Pvt. Ltd. (2-supra) the only difference being that
in that case, the land was shown as gap area in the TSLR while in this
case, the land is shown as GVM drain.
     A perusal of the impugned endorsement dated 24-6-2013 shows
that the petitioner has not produced any documentary evidence to prove
that the classification in the TSLR is wrong.  Even in this Writ Petition,
the petitioner has not pleaded that other than the two registered sale
deeds and the Encumbrance Certificate, any other document has been
filed to show that wrong classification has been made.  The Judgments
dated 20-6-2012 in W.P.No.25840/2011 on which reliance has been
placed by the petitioner does not help her for the reason that in that case,
the petitioner therein has sought relief against the Greater Hyderabad
Municipal Corporation for considering her application for grtant of
building permission  relying on the Judgment of this Court in
Hyderabad Potteries Pvt. Ltd. (2-supra).  However, in this case, the
petitioner sought the relief of directing the District Collector to grant
NOC to enable her to obtain building permission.
     While the settled legal position is that the TSLR entry is not the
conclusive evidence of title, the said entry cannot be altogether
discounted if there is no other evidence to show that the land is a private
property.  Any other relevant evidence such as revenue records,
municipal records etc., other than the TSLR is necessary to displace the
entry in the TSLR.  In the absence of such material, it is not possible to
direct respondent No.1 to grant NOC.  Therefore, while setting aside the
impugned endorsement, the petitioner is given liberty to approach
respondent No.1 with the relevant material to show that the entry made
in the TSLR is wrong.  If such record is produced, respondent No.1 shall
consider the same, take appropriate decision and communicate the same
to the petitioner within one month from the date of the petitioner
producing the material.
W.P.No.25387/2013: In this case, initially proceedings under the 1977
Act were initiated.  On the petitioner approaching this Court by filing
W.P.No.26061/2011 to direct respondent No.3 to consider his
explanation submitted to notice dated 2-9-2011 issued in Form-1 under
the 2007 Rules framed under the 1977 Act 1977, respondent No.3-
Tahsildar has taken up the enquiry, wherein he was reconciled to the
reality that the subject lands were not assigned lands.  Therefore, while
dropping the said proceedings, respondent No.3, however, strangely
went to the extent of declaring that the lands in question belong to the
Government.
     The impugned order is liable to be set aside for two reasons.
Firstly, on the finding that lands are not assigned lands, respondent No.3
has lost jurisdiction to continue the proceedings.  It was incumbent upon
respondent No.3 to close the proceedings initiated under the 1977 Act.
Instead of doing so, he has acted beyond his jurisdiction in declaring the
lands as belonging to the Government.  While exercising his powers
under the provisions of the 1977 Act, respondent No.3 cannot exceed his
jurisdiction by adjudicating on the title over the property like a civil
court.  Thus, the declaration made by respondent No.3 in the impugned
proceedings that the title of the land is vested in the Government is
without jurisdiction.  Secondly, the reasoning and the conclusion drawn
by respondent No.3 that the dots in the RSR indicate that the lands
belong to the Government is in the teeth of the conclusions drawn by this
Court under Point No.3.  Similarly, the reasoning of respondent No.3
that the classification of the land as Gayalu in the RSR is also
conclusive proof of the Governments title to the lands is also legally
unsound for the detailed discussion made and the findings rendered in
this Judgment.  Therefore, the impugned order to the extent of declaring
the land as belonging to the Government cannot be sustained and the
same is set-aside.  However, the question whether the land belongs to the
petitioner, or the same is vested in the Government, is left open to be
adjudicated by a competent court in appropriate proceedings.
W.P.No.25993/2013: On the facts already noted, it is seen that the
petitioners application for conversion of land from agriculture to non-
agriculture was kept pending on the ground that instructions from the
Government are awaited in view of recording of the land as dots and
Anaadeenam punja in the village Diglot and the District Collector also
has given directions to await further instructions from the Government in
respect of Anaadeenam punja lands.  Since no decision has been taken
by the competent authority till now, it is appropriate that respondent
No.3 decides the petitioners application for conversion considering the
evidence that may be placed by the petitioners including the series of
sale deeds commencing from 19-9-1945, without treating the entry in the
Diglot/RSR as conclusive proof of the nature of the land. Respondent
No.3 is also directed to follow the findings rendered in this Judgment
with respect to the evidentiary value of the entries in the revenue record
including the RSR and take a decision within two months from the date
of receipt of this order.
        In the result, W.P.Nos.23595, 23599, 23615, 25333, 25356,
25727, 26106, 27589 of 2013, 15438 and 31582 of 2012 are allowed as
prayed for and W.P.Nos.23447, 25387 and 25993 of 2013 are disposed
of.
        As a sequel to the disposal of the Writ Petitions, WPMP
Nos.29000, 29004, 29020, 31249, 31286, 31756, 32237, 36804, 34216  
of 2013; 19886, 21320, 40274 of 2012; 28808, 31325 and 32114 of 2013
filed in the respective Writ Petitions for interim relief are disposed of as
infructuous.

________________________  
Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy
Date : 28-4-2014

L.R. copies

AM


       

















HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE C.V. NAGARJUNA REDDY        
W.P.Nos.15438, 31582 of 2012; 23447, 23595, 23599, 23615, 25333,  
25356, 25387, 25727, 25993, 26106, 27589 of 2013

Date : 28-4-2014
ADDENDUM  

Summation of conclusions on Point Nos.1 to 4

(1)     A patta granted under BSO-27 confers absolute title.
(2)     An assignment made under BSO-15 prior to 18-6-1954 in
Andhra Area and a patta granted under Laoni Rules before 25-7-
1958 in Telangana Area confer absolute title with right to
transfer the land.  Unless the Revenue functionaries are first
satisfied that the land is an assigned land within the meaning of
sub-section (1) of Section 2 of Act 9 of 1977, no proceeding for
cancellation of assignment can be initiated.
(3)     In case of Laoni pattas granted on collection of market value, the
pattadar is entitled to sell the land without any restrictions.
(4)     In respect of estate and inam lands, ryotwari pattas/occupancy
rights certificates constitute title.  In case of protected tenants
under the Hyderabad Tenancy and Agricultural Act 1950, the
protected tenants having ownership certificates hold absolute
title.
(5)     In the absence of patta, revenue records form basis for
determining title.  A-Register/Diglot, Ledger/Chitta in Andhra
Area and Sethwar, Supplementary Sethwar and Wasool Baqui in  
Telangana Area are the basic settlement record which provide
basis for subsequent entries in the Village Accounts.  Before
integration of revenue record, No.1 and No.2 Accounts (old),
No.3 Account, No.10 Account and Register of Holdings in
Andhra Area and Pahani patrika, Chowfasla, Faisal Patti and
Khasra Pahani in Telangana Area are relevant Village Accounts
for determination of title.  After integration of the Village
Accounts under the 1971 Act, (i) Printed Diglot or A-Register,
(ii) Village Account No.1, (iii) Village Account No.2, (iv) No.3
Register and (v) Village Account No.4  Register of Holdings
constitute relevant record.
(6)     Between two rival claimants relying upon the entries in revenue
record, the person whose name is recorded in the basic records
such as A-Register and Record of Holdings and their successors-
in-interest will be considered as the rightful owners.  In deciding
such disputes, the revenue authorities and the courts need to
carefully weigh the evidence relied upon by the rival parties with
reference to the record referred to hereinbefore.  Even in cases of
disputes between the Government and private persons, the above
referred record constitute material evidence in determination of
title.
(7)     While there is a presumption that all porambokes and lands
reserved for communal purposes vest in the Government, no such
presumption arises in respect of waste lands, assessed or
unassessed.
(8)     A person in possession of land for 12 years or more without title
can claim transfer of registry in his favour as envisaged by para-7
of BSO-31.
(9)     Long possession supported by multiple registered sale
transactions give rise to presumption of title.  Such presumption
is however rebuttable.
(10)     RSR is not a stand alone document.  It is one of the relevant
records in determination of ownership.
(11)     Description of Government land in RSR only means that it is not
an inam land.  It can include patta lands also.
(12)     Dots or blank in pattadar column does not necessarily mean that
the land is vested in or it belongs to the Government.  Despite
such blanks or dots, a private person can claim ownership based
on entries in revenue record prepared both prior to and after the
commencement of the 1971 Act, besides registered sale
transactions.  If the Government disputes such entries, it needs to
get its right declared by instituting proceedings before the
competent court of law.
(13)    The entries in TSLR do not constitute conclusive proof of title.
(14)     Where there is a bonafide dispute regarding title of a person in
possession of the lands other than public roads, streets, bridges or
the bed of the sea or the like, summary proceedings under the
1905 Act cannot be initiated.  In all such cases, the Government
which claims title shall approach the competent Civil Court for
declaration of its title.
________________________  
Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy
Date : 28-4-2014

AM




  AIR 1982 S.C. 1081
  2001(3) ALD 600
  Land Systems of British India by B.H. Baden Powell (page-7)
  B.H. Baden Powell explained : (Land Systems of British India  Pages 10 & 11)
:
The state of these territories, when they came under British rule, was in many
cases
uniformly deplorable.
        The districts forming the Northern Sirkars which had been under the
Muhammadan dominion in its decline, had passed, as I have said, under the
Zamindari system of revenue-collection, which marked the days of the fall; but
the
Zamindars do not seem to have been exceptionally exacting.
        The districts that had been taken from Mysore were oppressively assessed,
but otherwise had been kept in some order.  The Mysore sultans were too careful
of
their treasury to allow great Zamindar agents to intercept the profits; but they
left the
revenue-officials or amils, and petty middlemen, to get the most out of the
people
they could.  Haidar Ali did not object to his agents sqeezing the people; for,
as
Colonel Wilks, in his account of Mysore, says: it was part of his system to
squeeze
the sponges which absorbed his peoples surplus wealth.
        The Ceded Districts, however, were overrun with a class of local chiefs
(to be
described presently) called poligar.
        In Karnul there was a tributary Nawab, and his oppressions were grievous:-
The revenue administration was in the greatest disorder, and was carried
on without any system whatever.  No public accounts were kept except by
the village officers.   The amount to be paid by each village was changed
according to the caprice of the Nawab, and he would increase his demand
without any ostensible reason.  When his demands passed all bounds, the
people would fly.
        Then the Nawab would allure them back with promises, and give them a
cowle (agreement of terms) to reassure them; but as soon as the crops were
ready to be cut, he would seize the produce, breaking through his word
without scruple.
  Law in Madras Presidency by Mr. B.R. Chakravarthi
  It is the essential feature of a raiyatwari Settlement that every raiyat is
free to hold
or to relinquish whatever fields of his holding he likes, or to ask for other
available
numbers, provided all is done by a certain date.  Hence, an account or
Settlement is
necessary both to see what the raiyat has actually held, and has to pay revenue
for,
during the year, as well as (in Madras) to determine the amount of any
remissions he
may, by rule, be entitled to.   So it is a feature of the raiyatwari system,
that besides
the initial assessment of the land-revenue, there is an annual jamabandi or
settling
up with the cultivator, taking account of any change in his holding as shown in
his
patta, and noting deductions (if the system allows any) from his total
payment.
(Land Systems of British India by B.H. Baden-Powell  page-33)
  Land Systems of British India by B.H. Baden Powell (page-54)
  Statement of Objects and Reasons of A.P. (Andhra Area) Estates (Abolition and
Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1948: In many estates in the Province of Madras,
the
rent levied by the landholder from his ryots is substantially in excess of the
assessments charged by the Government on similar land in the neighbouring
ryotwari
area and is beyond the capacity of the ryots to pay.  The zamindari system has
perpetuated an assessment which has no relation to the productive capacity of
the
land.  It has further led to loss of contract between the Government and the
actual
cultivator and has acted as a brake in regard to agricultural improvement.  Most
of
the irrigation works in estates are in a state of despair.  The complexities of
the
zamindari system have led to an immense volume of litigation.  Many of the
records
in the offices of zamindars are indifferently maintained and the peasantry, most
of
whom are illiterate, are at the mercy of unscrupulous agents.  Zamindary
administration has rarely, if ever, been as efficient as administration in
Government
areas.  There is thus acute discontent among estate ryots and there has been a
good
deal of agitation by them.  The Government are convinced that the zamindari
system
in force in the province has outlived its usefulness, and should be abolished at
the
earliest possible date.
  Statement of Objects and Reasons of the A.P. (Andhra Area) Inams (Abolition
and
Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1956:  The Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Area) Inams
Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1956, mainly, provides for the abolition of all
minor
imams including charitable and religious service imams.  In the case of inam
lands in
an inam village which are not held by an institution and are in occupation of
tenants
the tenants get ryotwari pattas for two-thirds of the lands and the inamdars for
one-
third of the lands.  If there are no tenants in occupation, the inamdar gets a
ryotwari
or zamindari village, the inamdars get the patta in respect thereof.  In other
words, in
the case of inam village, the Act recognises the existence of occupancy rights
in
favour of the tenants, whereas it does not recognise the existence of such
rights in the
case of inam lands in the ryotwari and zamindari villages.  There are however,
certain inam lands in ryotwari and zamindari villages where tenants have been
recognised to possess rights of permanent occupancy through custom having the
force of law or by virtue of a courts decree etc.
  Section 4(1):  In the case of an inam land in a ryotwari or zamindari village
the
person or institution holding such land as inamdar or the date of commencement
of
this Act shall be entitled to a ryotwari patta in respect thereof.
(2)     In the case of inam land in an inam village  (a) if such a land is held
by any
institution on the date of commencement of this Act, such institution shall be
entitled to a ryotwari patta in respect of that land; (b) if such a land is held
by
an inamdar other than an institution on the date of commencement of this
Act, and is in his actual occupation on the said date, the tenant who is
declared to be in occupation of that land on the 7th January, 1948, by the
Revenue Court under sub-section (3) of Section 5, or the Collector under sub-
section (5) of that section, as the case may be, shall be entitled to a ryotwari
patta for two-thirds share of that land and the inamdar shall be entitled to a
ryotwari patta for the remaining one-third share thereof; and if no tenant has
filed an application before the Revenue Court under sub-section (2) of that
section within the period specified therein, the inamdar shall be entitled to a
ryotwari patta in respect of that land; (c) if such a land is held by an inamdar
other than an institution on the date of commencement of this Act, but is in
the occupation of a tenant on the said date, the tenant who is declared to be in
occupation of that land on the 7th January, 1948, by the Revenue Court under
sub-section (3) of Section 5, or the Collector under sub-section (5) of that
section, as the case may be, shall be entitled to a ryotwari patta of two-thirds
share of that land and the inamdar shall be entitled to a ryotwari patta for the
remaining one-third share thereof and if no tenant has filed an application
before the Revenue Court under sub-section (2) of that section within the
period specified therein the tenant in occupation of the land on the date of
commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to a ryotwari patta for two-thirds
share of that land and the inamdar shall be entitled to a ryotwari patta for the
remaining one-third share threof.
(3)     The one-third share of the inam land in occupation of the tenant in
respect of
which the inamdar is entitled to a ryotwari patta under clause (b) or clause (c)
of sub-section (2) shall be deemed to be the compensation payable to the
inamdar in lieu of the extinguishment of his rights in the two-thirds share of
such land.
  1972(1) ALT 270
  Page-55 of Hand Book of Land Records  by Mr. P. Kasturi Reddy
  Page-56 of Hand Book of Land Records by Mr. P. Kasthuri Reddy
  Page-58 of Hand Book of Land Records by Mr. P. Kasthuri Reddy

  AIR 1976 A.P. 19
   (1902) 1 MLJ 453
  2008(5) ALT 313 (DB)
  2011(5) ALT 420
  2011(3) ALD 571
  (2000(3) ALT 295)
  AIR 1974 S.C. 1178
  AIR 2000 S.C. 3037 = 2000(7) SCC 611,
  (1991) Supp. (2) SCC 228
  AIR 1956 S.C. 305
  (2006) 13 SCC 147
  AIR 1926 P.C. 100
  AIR 1961 A.P.361
  1996(11) SCC 257
  1989(3) SCC 612
  1993(4) SCC 349
  2002(5) ALT 370 (DB)
  1995) 3 SCC 426
  1999(5) ALD 309
  2002(1) ALT 466
  AIR 1952 Hyderabad 75
  ILR 72 A.P. 652
  1996(2) ALT 950
  1999(4) ALT 209-DB
  AIR 1954 SC 575
  AIR 1973 SC 1299
  AIR 1979 SC 861
  2000(7) SCC 611
  Civil Appeal No.4702/2004, dt. 7-1-2004
  Land Systems of British India, by B.H. Baden Powell : From the very early
times a
right was asserted in favour of the person who first cleared the land, had
undertaken
the great work of removing the dense jungle and contending against tropical
nature,
till the land was one for the plough.  In Manu it is written the sages declare
a field
belong to him who first cleared away the timber and a deer to him who first
wounded
it.  The original theory of the Muslims was that conquered races were to be
offered
the option between adopting the creed or death or slavery.  But the thing was
given
away to the more practicable one, that conquered races, if they submitted and
agreed
to pay tribute (Khiraj) were to be set alone.  The author of Hidaya (a text book
of
Muhammadan Law) lays it down that if a prince conquers a country, he is at
liberty
either to divide the land among his soldiers or to have it in the possession of
the
inhabitants on their agreeing to pay capitation (Jaziya) and land taxes in the
later
case, the right of the property remains with the inhabitants.  The author of
Hidaya
also has adopted the same rule as the law of Manu asserts, viz., the land is the
property of him who first cleared it and Col. Vanis Kinnedy (on the Mohammadan
law, Journal Associate Society) says that all Muhammadan jurists agree that the
person who first appropriates and cultivates waste land becomes ipso facto the
lord
of the soil.

  9 Madras 175
  Manual of Administration-I, page-104
  23 MLJ 32
  AIR 1930 P.C. 103
  (2010) 5 SCC 203
  Section 2 : Right of property in public roads, etc., water and lands: (1) All
public
roads, streets, lanes and paths, the bridges, ditches, dikes and fences, on or
beside the
same the bed of the sea and of harbours and creeks below high water mark, and of
rivers, streams, nalas, lakes and tanks and all canals and water-courses, and
all
standing and flowing water, and all lands, wherever situated, save in so far as
the
same are the property, -
(a) of any zamindar, poligar, mittadar, jagirdars, shrotriemdar or any person
claiming
through or holding under any of them, or
(b) of any person paying shist, Kattubadi, jodi, poruppu or quit-rent to any of
the
aforesaid persons, or
(c) of any person holding under ryotwari tenure, or in any way subject to the
payment of land-revenue direct to Government; or
(d) of any other registered holder of land in proprietary right, or
(e) of any other person holding land under grant from the Government otherwise
than by way of licence,
and as to the lands, save also in so far as they are temple sites or owned as
housesite
or backward,
be and are hereby declared to be the property of Government except as may be
otherwise provided by any law for the time being in force, subject always to all
rights of way and other public rights and to the natural and easement rights of
other
land owners, and to all customary rights legally subsisting.
(2)  All public roads and streets vested in any locality shall, for the purposes
of this
Act, be deemed to be the property of Government.
  (2009(7) SCC 363)
  (2009(3) ALT 419)
  2011(1) ALT 474
  W.P.No.6061/2010, dt.2-7-2010
  2011(2) ALT 2
  See : Handbook of Land Records by Mr. P. Kasturi Reddy  1st Edition
  (2010) 5 SCC 382
  1984(1) APLJ 219
  1970(1) ALT 88

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