1. As common issues arise in these cases, the above matters are disposed of on the basis of this common judgment. W.P(C).No.22587/2018 is taken as a lead case.
2. The petitioner in W.P(C).No.22587/2018 is the Managing Partner of a partnership firm (M/s.Fibre Glass Technics Company). According to the petitioner, properties having an extent of 27.25 cents in Survey No.24/1 of Velappaya Village, had originally belonged to Kerala Finance Corporation (KFC). That the KFC had got this property by proceeding under Sec.29(1) of the Kerala State Finance Corporation Act, 1951 pursuant to proceedings dated 25.05.1990 issued by its Managing Director. That the KFC had taken possession of the said property from M/s.Kalliyath Fasteners and that one George Kalliyath, who was the proprietor of M/s.Kalliyath Fasteners, who in turn had got patta for the said property, as per the proceedings of the Tahsildar. That later, the Kerala Finance Corporation had assigned the abovesaid 27.25 cents of property in favour of the petitioner-Partnership Firm, as per Ext.P-1 sale deed No.986/1991 dated 28.04.1991 of SRO, Mundoor. That from and out of the total extent of property covered by Ext.P-1 deed, 6 cents thereof were assigned by the Managing Partners of the said firm (V.N.Balagopalan and Manohar) to Sudha Balagopal and Sobha P Menon, as per Ext.P-2 sale deed No.4844/1996 dated 06.12.1996 of SRO, Mundoor.
3. Later, as per Ext.P-3 sale deed No.3787/1997 of SRO, Mundoor, the petitionerpartnership firm had assigned 3 cents of the properties to one Lakshmi Krishnan. That after, transferring the abovesaid 9 cents of properties covered by Exts.P-2 & P-3 sale deeds, the remaining property covered by Ext.P-1 is still with the petitioner-partnership firm, it is averred. That the petitioner has paid basic land tax in respect of the property, as per Ext.P-4 and the Village Officer has issued Ext.P-5 Possession Certificate. Till the issuance of Exts.P-4 & P-5, the name of the respondent-District Industries Centre, Department of Industries, Government of Kerala, Thrissur has not been shown in the revenue records pertaining to the said property. Later, when the petitioner has paid basic land tax for the abovesaid properties for 2013-2014, as per Exts.P-6 receipt dated 18.12.2013, the name of the 4th respondent-District Industries Centre (D.I.C, for short) has been shown therein and thereupon the petitioner had filed Ext.P-7 representation dated 14.03.2018 before the 1st respondent-District Collector as well as Ext.P-8 representation dated 14.03.2018 before the 2nd respondent-RDO, requesting that the name of the respondent-DIC may be deleted from the revenue records pertaining to the abovesaid property.
4. It is in the light of these factual averments, the petitioner has filed the instant writ petition with the following prayers:
'(I) issuing a writ of mandamus or any other writ, order or direction and direct the 1st and 2nd respondent to remove the name of the 4th respondent from the revenue records.
(II) issue such other writ, direction or order as this Hon'ble Court may deems fit and proper in the circumstances of the case.'
5. The 4th respondent has filed a counter affidavit dated 07.09.2018 through the learned Sr.Government Pleader.
6. It is stated therein that as per Ext.R-4(a) G.O(Ms)No.339/82/RD dated 03.04.1982, the Government had allotted industrial land having an extent of 26.73 cents (1082 Square meter) to one Sri.George Kalliyath at Industrial development area, Athani, Thrissur District, mainly for the purpose of setting up of the industrial unit namely M/s Kalliyath Fastners. That the abovesaid allotment of land to M/s.Kalliyath Fastners, as per Ext.R-4(a) G.O(Ms) dated 03.04.1982 is only in terms of Ext.R-4(b) Rules notified in G.O. (P)No.220/Rev dated 30.03.1964, regulating assignment of government land for industrial purposes. That as per Rule 10 of Ext.R-4(b), the land so allotted shall be used only for the purpose for which it is assigned and not for any other purposes. Rule 11 mandates that the land assigned under these rules shall be heritable but it shall not be alienated or encumbered in any manner without the prior permission in writing of the Government. Rule 14 further stipulates that the government shall have power to resume the land if the industrialist allottee contravenes any of the provisions of these rules or of the order of the Government assigning the land or of the agreement, if any, executed by the industrialist allottee with the Government or in the event of the company or the industrialist unit concerned is wound up or if the industrialists is an individual or a group of individual, if the individual or individuals are dead, etc.
7. As regards the allegations in the writ petition that the petitioner-Firm had purchased the abovesaid land in an auction conducted by the KFC on 24.08.1991, vide Ext.P-1 sale deed, etc, it is stated in para.5 of the said counter affidavit that it appears that the allotte, M/s.Kalliyath Fastners had encumbered the property with the KFC and towards the liability, the KFC had auctioned the said property. It is further asserted in para.6 of the said counter affidavit that the said property was encumbered with the KFC by M/s.Kalliyath Fastners, without the prior permission of the State Government as envisaged in R-4(b) rules and that even the KFC has not informed of these facts either to the Government or to the 4th respondent. That there is a clear violation of the above assignment rules in conducting the said sale transaction, without the prior permission of the Government and that therefore it is within the competence of the governmental authorities, as per Ext.R-4(b) Rules to resume the land and steps are being taken to resume the land and therefore the petitioner cannot claim any right over this property and they are not entitled to pay basic land tax or to remove the name of the respondent from the revenue records. That the earlier action on the part of the Village Officer concerned in accepting the land tax in respect of the petitioner's property is against the rules as the very transfer of property made as per Ext.P-1 was in contravention of the Rules. Further, it is stated that the above referred Sudha Balagopal and Sobha P.Menon, who are the transferees as per Ext.P-2 sale deed, are spouses of the partners of M/s.Fibre Glass Techniques, which is the petitioner-partnership firm. Again the petitioner had transferred another 3 cents of property in favour of Lekshmi Krishnan, as per Ext.P-3 sale deed, without the prior permission of the governmental authorities, in terms of Ext.R-4(b) Rules. Accordingly, it is contended that the abovesaid assignment made by the petitioner is clearly contravention of the Rules, in as much as no prior permission either from the government or from the 4th respondent has been secured, etc.
8. In W.P(C)No.33733/2017, it appears that the property obtained by the abovesaid Sudha Balagopal and Sobha P.Menon, as per sale deed No.4844/1996 (produced as Ext.P-2 both in WP(C).Nos.22587/2018 & 33733/2017) were sold to the petitioner-partnership firm in W.P(C)No.33733/2017. The said conveyance was made by the abovesaid Sudha Balagopal and Sobha P.Menon in favour of the petitioner in W.P(C)No.33733/2017, as per sale deed No.3314/2007 of SRO, Mundoor, which has been produced as Ext.P-3 in W.P(C)No.33733/2017. Further, it is seen that 3 cents of property conveyed to the abovereferred Lekshmi Krishnan, as per sale deed No.3787/1997 (produced as Ext.P-3 in WP(C).No.22587/2018 & Ext.P-4 in W.P(C)No.33733/2017), was conveyed by her to the petitioner-partnership firm, as per sale deed No.3104/2006 of SRO, Mundoor, which has been produced as Ext.P-5 in W.P(C)No.33733/2017. Here also, the dispute raised by the petitioner in W.P(C)No.33733/2017 is that the name of the respondent-District Industries Centre (DIC), Government of Kerala has been shown in the revenue records in respect of the properties referred to in Exts.P-3 & P-5 deeds produced in W.P(C)No.33733/2017. The petitioner would contend that the name of the 6th respondent- District Industrial Centre should be deleted and effaced from the revenue records pertaining to their property covered by Exts.P-3 & P-5 deeds produced in W.P(C)No.33733/2017, etc.
9. In W.P(C)No.33733/2017 also, the respondent-DIC has filed a counter affidavit raising similar submissions and contentions as the one in the counter affidavit filed by that respondent in WP(C).No.22587/2018.
10. The petitioners have filed the reply affidavits in both the cases producing therewith Exts.P-9 & P-10. The petitioners would essentially contend based on some of the documents produced in the Writ Petition and the reply affidavits that upto 2014, the name of the respondent-DIC has not been shown in the revenue records pertaining to their respective properties and that the subsequent inclusion of the name of the respondent-DIC in the revenue records of the respective properties is illegal and wrong. Incidentally, it is pointed out by the learned Sr.Government Pleader appearing for the respondents that even in Ext.P-8 land tax receipt dated 09.11.2010 produced in page no.37 of W.P(C)No.33733/2017, it is clearly shown that the property is pertaining to 'DIC PLOT' and that DIC stands for District Industries Centre (DIC).
11. Heard Sri.V.C.Madhavankutty, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and Sri.Saigi Jacob Palatty learned Sr.Government Pleader appearing for the respondents, in both cases.
12. From a perusal of a pleadings and materials on record, it is beyond dispute that the properties involved in these cases are part of the original extent of 27.25 cents, which was assigned by the government, as per Ext.R-4(a) G.O(Ms)No.339/82/RD dated 03.04.1982 and that the said assignment/allotment of land was made by the government in favour of the industrialist concerned (Sri.George Kalliyath, Proprietor of M/s.Kalliyath Fasteners), only for the use of the said land as the land for industrial purposes, in terms of Ext.R-4(b) Rules contained in G.O.(P)No.220/Rev dated 30.03.1964. It is also not beyond dispute that the said allotment or assignment of land for industrial purposes are only regulated by Ext.R-4(b) Rules. Rules 10, 11 & 14 of Ext.R-4(b) Rules, provide as follows:
'10. The land shall be used only for the purpose for which it is assigned and for no other purpose.
11. Land assigned under these rules shall be heritable but it shall not be alienated or encumbered in any manner without the prior permission in writing of the Government. xxx xxx xxx
14. The Government shall have power to resume the land if the industrialist contravenes any of the provisions of these rules or/of the order of the Government assigning the land or of the agreement, if any, executed by the Industrialist with the Government or in the event of the company or concerned belonging to the Industrialist is wound up or if the Industrialist is an individual or a group of individuals, if the individual or individuals are dead.'
13. The petitioner has no case that the prior permission of the governmental authority like the respondent-DIC was secured before assigning part to the said original extent of 27.25 cents to the petitioners and to the spouses of the petitioners. It also appears that either the Kerala Finance Corporation was unaware that the original allotment of land in question was on the basis of Ext.R-4(a) pursuant to Ext.R-4(b) Rules or it may be that, inspite of such knowledge, they had not informed the government and sought prior permission as required in Ext.R-4(b) Rules, before effecting the transfer to the predecessors-in- interest of the petitioners, etc.
14. Therefore, going by the prescriptions in Ext.R-4(b) Rules, there is nothing illegal in showing the name of the respondent-District Industries Centre, who is the District Head of the Industries Department of the Government of Kerala, in the revenue records pertaining to the properties in question. Hence, the prayers in the Writ Petition cannot be granted.
15. However, taking into account of the fact that the land was transferred by the Kerala Finance Corporation to the predecessors-in-interest of the petitioners, it would be open to the petitioners to seek regularisation of the transfers made in respect of the abovesaid properties covered by Ext.R-4(a), by getting such orders of regularisation from the competent authority of the government like the respondent-District Industries Centre, headed by the General Manager, provided the petitioners would undertake that the lands in question would be used exclusively for industrial purposes and not for any non-industrial purposes and that in future, they would strictly abide by the terms and conditions of Ext.R-4(b) Rules. If the petitioners submit necessary application before the respondent-DIC, seeking regularisation of the transfers in respect of the abovesaid properties covered by Ext.R-4(a) a
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
nd with the undertaking that they would use the properties concerned exclusively for industrial purposes and not for non-industrial purposes and that they would abide by Ext.R-4(b) Rules, then the respondent-DIC may consider the request for regularisation of the transactions, etc., after affording a reasonable opportunity of being heard to the petitioners and then take a considered decision therein. In that regard, the petitioners should ensure that along with their respective applications, affidavits sworn by them and attested by Notary Public undertaking that they would use the lands in question, exclusively for industrial purposes and not for non-industrial purposes and that they would abide by Ext.R-4(b) Rules, etc., should be also given by them before the respondent-DIC. In other words, even if the petitioners want to transfer the property, it can be done only after getting prior permission of the Government/competent authority and the new assignee can use it only for industrial purposes, etc. However, it is also ordered that in case, the petitioners do not prefer application before the respondent-DIC for regularisation as aforestated, within 3 months, then the Governmental authority concerned and the respondent-DIC will be at liberty to proceed further as per Ext.R-4(b) Rules for the proposed resumption of the lands. With these observations and directions, the above Writ Petitions (Civil) will stand finally disposed of.