Decided on December 11,1970

S. Naganatha Ayyar And Ors. Appellant
The Authorised Officer And Ors. Respondents


G.Ramanujam, J. - (1.) IN all the above revisions the scope of Section 22 of the Tamil Nadu Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling on Land) Act, 1961, has come up for consideration and so they are dealt with together. Before dealing with the common legal issue involved in these cases, in is necessary to set out briefly the facts relating to each of these revisions.
(2.) C .R.P. Nos. 1824 and 1825 of 1965. - -One Naganatha Iyer, whose family consisted of his wife and three daughters, submitted a return under Section 10 declaring his holding as 83 -09 ordinary acres = 73.74 standard acres as on 6th April, 1960. The Authorised Officer held that his family was entitled to 60 standard acres and as Naganatha Iyer's family was in possession of 13 acres in excess, he was liable to surrender the same. He was called upon to surrender the said excess extent. The said Naganatha Iyer pleaded that one of his daughters was given in marriage on 6th September, 1961, and she has passed into the family of her husband and as such her stridhana property of 10 -36 standard acres would vest in the family of her husband and that the Authorised Officer was not right in including the said stridhana property in his holding. He also pleaded that an extent of 4.71 acres sold by his wife Savithri Ammal to one Hamsu Ammal on 15th March, 1962, for a sum of Rs. 16,000 for the discharge of a debt due to the latter should be excluded from the holding of the family and if the said two items are excluded there will be no excess to be surrendered by the family. The transferor Savithiri Ammal and the transferee Hamsu Ammal under the sale deed, dated 15th March, 1962, also filed their objections. The Authorised Officer after considering all the objections held that the crucial date for calculating the ceiling area of a family is the date of the commencement of the Act, that is, 6th April, 1960 and that any transfer of the agricultural land after 6th April, 1960, by any member of the family which is hit by the provisions of Madras Act (LVIII of 1961), will have to be declared void under Section 22 of the Act. The Authorised Officer also held that the transfer resulting from the marriage of the daughter of her stridhana properties to the family of her husband is also void under Section 22. On appeals by Naganatha Iyer and Hamsu Ammal the Land Tribunal held that the sale in favour of Hamsu Ammal between the dates of commencement and before the notified date is void as the sale defeated the provisions of the Act, but that the transfer if any of the stridhana property of the daughter by virtue of her marriage after the commencement of the Act but before the notified date to the husband's family cannot be said to be a transfer violating the provisions of the Act. Both Naganatha Iyer and Hamsu Ammal have filed the above revision petitions contending that the bona fide transactions entered into by the parties may not be hit by Section 22 of of the Act.
(3.) C .R.P. Ms. 2293 and 2294 of 1963. - -The first petitioner in both these revisions and his wife constituted a family. Both of them held 42.86 standard acres as on 6th April, 1960. The family was eligible to hold only for 35 standard acres on 6th April, 1960. The Authorised Officer, therefore, after exempting 17 cents of land called upon the first petitioner to surrender the excess extent of 7.69 standard acres. The claim of the Authorised Officer was resisted on the ground that the first petitioner was holding only to 31.65 standard acres on 6th April, 1960, that his wife became entitled to 11.20 standard acres by virtue of a bequest in her favour by her mother -in -law, Janaki Ammal, which will take effect only after the death of Janaki Ammal on 1st October, 1961, that the accrual on 1st October, 1961, cannot be taken as the holding of the family as on 6th April, 1960, that there have been certain bona fide sales by him as executor under the will of Janaki Ammal in favour of one Abdul Karim of 1.54 acres on 27th June, 1961 and in favour of Dr. Balasubramaniam of 11.52, acres on 5th February, 1961 and that if the lands sold are excluded, he will not be bound to surrender any excess extent. The Authorised Officer overruled the objections and upheld his demand. In the appeals filed against the orders of the Authorised Officer, his orders were confirmed by the Land Tribunal. The above revisions have been filed on the ground that the Authorised Officer had no jurisdiction to act under Section 22 in respect of the sales made after the notified date and that the Tamil Nadu Act LVIII of 1961, is not a valid piece of legislation.;

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