KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed that the Commissioner for Land Revenue does not have jurisdiction to determine issues related to vesting of land under the Kerala Land Reforms Act (KLR) - 1963.
The court issued the order while quashing an order by former Land Revenue Commissioner T O Sooraj, cancelling mutation of a 98.80-cent property at Kalamassery, which is included in the land grab case involving Oommen Chandy’s former gunman Salim Raj.
The court also directed the authorities concerned to receive land tax from the petitioners - Pathadipalam-natives N A Sherifa, A K Nazar and two others who owns the property in Thrikkakara North village.
Justice A V Ramakrishna Pillai made it clear that receiving of the tax should be subject to the final outcome of the ongoing civil suit between the parties in the case. The court observed that the Commissioner of Land Revenue was dealing with a matter arising under the Transfer of Registry Rules.
“There is no power of review conferred on the Commissioner, under the Rules, to pass the order. Hence, the order issued by the Commissioner on September 4, 2012 was without jurisdiction or authority of law,” the court observed.
“Also, the reason pointed out for cancelling the ‘thandaper’ of the property has no legal force to stand. The basis of the decision to cancel the ‘thandaper’ was that the land was vested in the State under Section-72 of the KLR Act,” the court held.