CHENNAI: To ensure that mutation of records in property registration takes place, the Madras High Court directed the Inspector General of Registration in Santhome to issue necessary circulars to the departments and authorities for the same. Justice S Vaidyanathan gave the directive while passing orders on a writ petition from J Jayalakshmi of Poonamallee so as to make it clear that once a property is registered, the same shall be forwarded by the registering authority to other connected departments.
The petitioner, Jayalakshmi, sought to quash an order dated November 15, 1995 of the Assistant Commissioner (ULT) in Tiruvallur district, issued under TN Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act. She had purchased the property in question from one D Sarojini Ammal in 1982, who, in turn, had purchased it from one Lakshmana Reddy in 1963. Since the first owner (Reddy) did not file the return as per Sec. 7(1) of the Act, a notice was issued to Reddy after 10 years from the date of purchase of the property by the petitioner.
The court said the intention of the Assistant Commissioner (ULT) while passing the impugned order was clear that the person, who is residing at the property, had not objected to the proceedings initiated under the 1978 Act. “Admittedly, the petitioner was in possession of the property in question. No steps had been taken by the authorities concerned to verify the records from the office of the Sub-Registrar with whom the property had been registered either before issuance of the proceedings under the 1978 Act or immediately thereafter. If the respondents have verified the records, it would have come to light that Reddy was not the owner of the property on the date of issuance of the acquisition proceedings and that the petitioner was the owner as on that date. For the lapse committed by the respondents, the petitioner shall not be put to hardship,” the judge said, quashed the proceedings and gave the direction.
The notice was not issued to the petitioner as it had been issued in the name of Reddy. Even though various proceedings had been initiated and proceeded from 1995 till the notification was published in the government gazette on April 30,1997 and another notification was published in the gazette on January 14, 1998, which vested the property with the government, the possession was not taken.
A notice was affixed on February 27, 1998 but no steps had been taken after the said date. Finally, possession was handed over to the revenue authorities on October 6, 1998. Mere vesting of possession on that alleged date does not suffice and even though the authorities concerned had stated that they had complied with the mandatory provisions, the petitioner submitted that since the physical possession had not taken place earlier, the property vested with her and the entire proceedings impugned in this writ petition are liable to be quashed.
The judge pointed out that it is not in dispute that the property in question had been purchased by the petitioner on January 30, 1982, and when the petitioner had become the owner of the property, it is the duty cast upon the authorities to serve notice on the present owner, that is, the petitioner and the authority’s emphasise in the impugned order that the owner had not objected to the proceedings initiated under the Act of 1978, could not hold water.