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Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam & Sri Venkakateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Health, Medical Education & Research Foundation, Tirupati v/s State of Andhra Pradesh & Others

    WP. No. 16911 of 2013

    Decided On, 26 July 2013

    At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh


    For the Petitioner: E. Manohar for A. Chandraiah Naidu Advocates. For the Respondents: Additional Advocate General for Government Pleader for Revenue.

Judgment Text

1. This write petition is filed for a mandamus to declare the inaction of respondent No.3 in amending the Record of Rights (ROR) by incorporating the name of the petitioner-Trust as the pattadar of Ac.1-14 cents in Sy.No.249, Acs.8-39 in Survey. No.252, Acs. 7-02 cents in Sy.No.253, Acs.6-29 in Sy.No.254, Acs.4-40 cents in Sy. No.255, Acs.3-46 cents in Sy.No.256, Acs5-12 cents in Sy.No.258, Ac.0-16 cents in Sy.No.259 and Acs.18-66 cents in Sy.No.269 of Kurukalva Village and Acs.5-36 cents in Sy.No.97 of Kothaoalem Village, Renigunta Mandal, Chittoor District, as illegal and arbitrary.

2. I have heard Sri E. Manahar, learned Senior Counsel appearing for Sri A. Chandraiah Naidu, Learned Counsel for the petitioner, and Sri K.G. Krishna Murthy, learned Additional Advocate General, appearing for the respondents.

3. The petitioner is a joint venture of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam (for short 'the Peetam') and Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Science (SVIMS) constituted for the purpose of establishment of a medical college. The State Government issued G.O.Ms. No.1404, Revenue (Assignment-IV) Department, dated 3.11.2007, whereunder it has agreed for alienation of Acs.60.00 of Government land in Survey Nos.218,88 etc., of Kurukalva and Kothapalem Villages, Renigunta Mandal, Chittoor Districtin favour of the Peetam and SVIMS for establishment of a Health Education Medical Trust and also alienation of Acs.91.45 cents in Survey Nos.249, 96/4 etc., of the said villages in favour of SVIMS for construction of University Buildings, College, Pharmacy etc., on payment of Rs.75,000/- per acre. It is not in dispute that in pursuance of the said G.O., steps were initiated for construction of a Hospital and establishment of a Medical College. On 11.8.2010, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was entered into between the Peetam and SVIMS about various aspects, including the composition of the Trust and its management etc. Later, the State Government has issued G.O. Ms. No.116, Revenue (Assignment-IV), dated 14.2.2011, according permission to respondent No.2-District Collector, Chittoor for exchange of Acs.60.00 in various survey numbers from the SVIMS to the petitioner-Trust and another extent of Acs.60.00 in various survey numbers from the petitioners-Trust to the SVIMS. In pursuance of the said G.O. a transfer deed was executed between the SVIMS and the Peetam on 2.2.2012 under which an extent of Acs.60-00 was transferred to the latter. In pursuance of the MOU and subsequent to the execution of the transfer deed, the Peetam has by paid a sum of Rs.12,93,12,000/- towards cost of the unfinished structures raised by the SVIMS over the land of Acs.60-00 prior to the exchange in favour of the petitioner-Trust in addition to the payment of Rs.45 lakhs through Treasury challan dated 27.8.2012 towards the cost of Acs.60-00 of land to Government.

4. The petitioners has pleaded that it has applied to the Medical Council of India (MCI) for permission for starting the medical college and that one of the requirements for grant of permission by the MCI is the filling of document of title over the land on which the college is proposed to be constructed. In order to establish the right of the petitioners over Acs.60-00 of land, the petitioners has applied to respondent No.3 for entering its name in the ROR in respect of the said land. As no action was taken on the said application, the petitioner filed the present writ petition.

5. This Court, on 24.6.2013, while admitting the writ petition has passed a detailed order wherein it was observed that the inaction of respondent No.3 in taking a decision on the petitioner’s application is likely to cause grave prejudice to the petitioner as the last date for completion of formalities and obtaining permission from the MCI was fast approaching. This Court accordingly directed respondent No.3 to consider the petitioner’s request for making necessary entries in the ROR and pass orders according to law within two weeks from the date of receipt of the order. Instead of respondent No.3 passing an appropriate order, he, along with the other respondents, has filed WVMP No.1939/2013 seeking vacation of the said order.

6. In the ordinary course, this Court would not have ventured to deal with the various aspects raised on the entitlement or otherwise of the petitioner for entering its name in the ROR, for, respondent No.3 is yet to dispose of the petitioner’s application. However, having regard to the stand taken by the respondents in the counter-affidavit that the petitioner is not entitled to the amendment of ROR in respect of the above mentioned Acs.60-00 of land, it has become necessary for this Court to dispose of the writ petition no merits.

7. In the counter-affidavit, the main objection raised by the respondents for mutation of the petitioner’s name in the ROR is that the MoU has not been registered. However, interestingly, in Paragraph 14 of the counter-affidavit, it is stated that the lands were allotted on free of cost to the Institution for public purpose and that as these lands would be the Government lands, the trustee or other allottees will be registered in adangal/pahani of the revenue records.

8. At the hearing, the learned Additional Advocate-General while fairly stating that the MoU in question does not require registration, has however stated that the transfer deed dated 2.2.2012 requires registration. He has further submitted that as the petitioner’s whole claim of title is based in the said transfer, the same requires registration under Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 (for short 'the Act'). The learned Additional Advocate-General further contended that on the fact of this case, Section 4 of the A.P. Rights in Land and Pattadar Pass Books Act, 1971 (for short 'the ROR Act'), which deals with acquisition of rights to be intimated, has no application. He has also submitted that as the composition of the petitioner-Trust was changed unilaterally by the Trustees by including the family members of the Managing Trustee, the petitioner is not entitled to mutation of the subject land in its favour.

9. Opposing the above submissions, Sri E. Manohar, the learned Senior counsel, submitted that even though the land was initially allotted on market value, it is an admitted fact that subsequently the Government decided to allot the same free of cost, and that in either of the events, the alienation or allotment of the lands by the Government is exempted from registration under clause (vii) of sub-section (2) of Section 17 of the Act. He has submitted that as the petitioner acquired right over the property through the Government orders, Section 4 of the ROR Act is attracted. He has also submitted that reconstitution of the petitioner-trust is not a relevant factor in considering an application for mutation under the ROR Act.

10. I have carefully perused the record and considered the respective submissions of the learned Counsel for the parties.

11. The uncontroverted facts are that the State Government permitted the petitioner-Trust to come into existence as a joint venture with a view to start a medical college. Initially, the Government has alienated the land on market value. Subsequently, by G.O. Ms. No.1029, dated 14.8.2008, modified G.O. Ms.No.1404, dated 3.11.2007, andallotted the land free of cost in favour of the petitioner-Trust. It is different matter that the petitioner-Trust has chosen to pay a sum of Rs.45 lakhs in pursuance of G.O. Ms. No.1404 dated 3.11.2007. From the above facts, it is clearly discernible that the State Government has made a grant to the petitioner-trust for establishment of a medical college.

12. Section 17 of the Act, enumerated the nature of documents which are compulsorily registrable. Sub-section (2) of Section 17, however, exempted certain categories of documents from the application of clause (b) and (c) of sub-section (1) of therof. Clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 17 specifies various documents requiring compulsory registration. The said Clauses reads as under:

'The following documents shall be registered if the property to which they relate is situate in a district in which and if they have been executed on or after the date on which Act No.XVI of 1864, or thr Indian Registration Act, 1866 (20 of 1866), or the Indian Registration Act, 1871 (8 of 1871), or Indian Registration Act, 1877 (3 of 1877), or this came or comes into force, name:


(b) other non-testamentary instruments which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest whether vested or contingent, of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards, to or in immovable property.

According to the learned Additional Advocate-General, the transfer deed in this case falls under this Clause.

13. Clause (vii) of sub-section (2) of Section 17 of the Act pertains to any grant of immovable property by the Government. Thus, under this provision, immovable property granted by the Government is exempted from the requirement of registration. In Paragraph 20 of the affidavit filed in the writ petition, on which heavy emphasis is laid by the learned Advocate General, it is categorically pleaded that following various G.Os. under which the grant was made and exchange was permitted, a consequential transfer deed was executed on 2.2.2012 between the petitioner-Trust and SVIMS. Therefore, I am unable to agree with the learned Additional Advocated General that the substantial source of the petitioner’s title is traceable to the transfer deed dated 2.2.2012. On the contrary, the said transfer deed is only a consequential document executed in pursuance of G.O. Ms. Nos.1404 dated 3.11.2007, 1029, dated 14.2.2011. The petitioner has got the land as a grant under these Government orders and a formal exchange deed which was necessitated on account of the fact that the land required by the petitioners-Trust was in occupation of the SVIMS along with the building and the land needed by the SVIMS was in occupation of the petitioner-trust. In my opinion, the transfer deed dated 2.2.2012 is not the real source of title for the petitioner-Trust and therefore its non-registration will be of no consequence. By virtue of G.O. Ms. No.116 dated 14.2.2011, the State Government has given a grant of Acs.60-00 of land in various survey numbers mentioned therein to the grant, the petitioner-Trust. On the strength of this grant, the petitioner-Trust is entitled to claim mutation of its name in the ROR.

14. As pointed out herein before, the respondents are not very sure of their stand. If they really felt that without registration of the transfer deed no mutation can be made, stand taken by them in Paragraph 14 of the counter-affidavit that mutation can be effected in the name of the trustees or other allottees, is without any basis. The petitioner-Trust being the transferee, its name alone is entitled to be incorporated in the ROR in respect of the land in question.

15. With regard to the submission of the learned Additional Advocate-General that Section 4 of the ROR Act is not applicable to the case on hand, I am afraid, I cannot accept the said submission. The said provisions reads as under:

Section 4(1): Any person acquiring by succession, survivorship, inheritance, partition, Government patta, decree of a Court or otherwise any right as owner, pattadar, mortgagee, occupant or tenant of a land and any person acquiring any right as occupant of a land by any other method shall intimate in writing his acquisition of such right, to the Mandal Revenue Officer within ninety days from the date of such acquisition, and the said Mandal Revenue Officer shall give or send a written acknowledgement of the receipt of such intimation to the person making it:

Provided that where the person acquiring the right is a minor or otherwise disqualified, his guardian or other persons having charge of his property shall intimate the fact of such acquisition to the Mandal Revenue Officer.

Explanation I: The right mentioned above shall include a mortgagee without possession and a right determined by civil Court.

Explanation II: A person in whose favour a mortgage is discharged or extinguished, or a lease is determined, acquires a right within the meaning of this section.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Registration Act, 1908 (Central Act 16 of 1908) every registration officer appointed under the Act and registering a document relating to a transaction in land, such as sale, mortgage, gift, lease or otherwise shall intimate the Mandal Revenue Officer of the Mandal in which the property is situate of such transaction.

In my opinion, the expression 'any other method' in sub-section (1) of Section 4, reproduced above, is wide enough to comprehend the present case where the petitioner has acquired a right through the grant made by the State Government.

16. The submission of the learned Additional Advocate-General that the petitioner-Trust is not entitled for mutation of the land on the ground of alteration of its composition, also cannot be countenanced.

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In my opinion, so long as the Trust Deed under which the petitioner-Trust was constituted, remains in force and the allotment made in its favour subsists, respondent No.3 cannot refuse to incorporate the name of the petitioner-Trust in the ROR. As an authority vested with the changes in the ROR, respondent No.3 is no way concerned with the change of composition of the petitioner- Trust. 17. The learned Additional Advocate-General has placed certain material before the Court at the hearing and submitted that the State Government has decided to cancel the MoU and that a letter was addressed to that effect to the Executive Officer, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the Director of SVIMS and respondent No.2-District Collector, Chittoor. In my opinion, this subsequent event has no bearing on the issue raised in this writ petition. So long as the MoU and the allotment of the land are not cancelled, respondent No.3 cannot refuse mutation in favour of the petitioner. 18. For the above mentioned reasons, the writ petition is allowed. Respondent No.3 is directed to forthwith mutate the name of the petitioner-Trust in the ROR in respect of the various extents of lands in different survey number mentioned in the prayer of the writ petition and communicate the same to the petitioner-trust within a period of one week from the date of receipt of this order. 19. As a sequel to the disposal of the writ petition, WVMP No. 1939/2013 is disposed of as infructuous.