37 years later, Kerala family’s protracted battle for land rights ends on a happy note

Despite a High Court order to give back the land to the family, the inhuman attitude of Revenue officers left the family miserable.

Published: 12th April 2018 02:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2018 02:48 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: The protracted legal battle waged by a family for around 37 years to get rights to their land has come to a happy ending with the Revenue Department issuing an order in their favour.

The family of Puleerkkandi Kanaran, a farmer from Thamarassery, had been running from pillar to post for nearly four decades to remit land tax of their 2.5-acre land which was wrongly declared as surplus land by the Revenue Department. Despite a High Court order to give back the land to the family, the inhuman attitude of Revenue officers left the family miserable.

In 1978, the Revenue Department had notified 5.44 acres owned by the 10-member family as surplus land. Challenging the order, the family approached the High Court. Finding errors in the order, the court cancelled the notification and ordered to give back 2.5 acres from the notified surplus land in 1980.
Though the order was a relief to the family, official apathy turned villain for them as the Revenue Department wrongly marked the survey number of their 2.5 acre land as 1773 (which was the survey number of surplus land taken over by the Revenue Department) instead of 1774.

The family was not allowed to remit land tax or get possession certificate. In fact, all legal rights on the land were denied to the family. The family had been fighting to resolve the issue. But, Revenue officers had turned a blind eye towards their plaint.

After a decades-long struggle, the family received fresh hope when Deputy Collector (Land Acquisition) M K Abraham took charge as chairman of Taluk land board, Thamarassery. Incidentally, Abraham figured in the list of Revenue officers transferred recently. Though the government bills the transfer as routine, it is reported the stand taken by the officer in P V Anvar MLA’s controversial land issue was the trigger for the transfer.

Receiving a petition from the family, the Deputy Collector issued a fresh order to Kanthaladi village officer directing to rectify the mistake in survey number and to receive land tax.
“Finally, we won our 37-year-long battle. The new order is definitely  a blessing for the family which is facing revenue recovery from Canara bank and Cooperative bank,” said Pathmanabhan, the younger son of Kanaran.

However, he feels sad at the loss of his father and mother who struggled a lot for the cause. “My father had spent a huge time for the legal battle and I really miss him on this occasion,” said Pathmanabhan.


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