HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
STATE OF WEST BENGAL
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NIKHIL NATH BHATTACHARJEE -
(1.)In this writ application the petitioner has challenged an order of refusal for mutation of petitioner's name in respect of her purchased Plot No. 264, Block-CF, Sector-I, Northern Salt Lake City Extension Area, Calcutta-700064.
(2.)Petitioner's case is that by virtue of an indenture dated 3rd January, 1975 between the Governor of the State of West Bengal as lessor of the one part and one Prasanta Kamal Dutt as the lessee of the other part, registered with the office of the Sub-Registrar, Alipore, 24-Paraganas, the State of West Bengal granted and demised with the said Prasanta 0 Kamal Dutt the said plot 264 measuring 4.3249 cottahs. After purchase said Prasanta Kamal Dutt took over possession and constructed an incomplete structure thereon according to the plan sanctioned by the appropriate authority. It is stated that there is no restrictive clause in the said lease deed dated 3rd January, 1975 prohibiting transfer of lease-hold interest of the aforesaid plot. While in possession of the said plot said Sri Prasanta Kamal Dutt transferred his right and interest in the said plot with incomplete structure erected thereon to the writ petitioner for valuable consideration by a registered deed of conveyance dated 8th April, 1985. Being a bona fide purchaser for value, the petitioner acquired valid title to the property and the petitioner by a letter dated 8th October, 1986 requested the respondent authority to mutate her name in place of the original lessee in respect of the said plot. The respondent No. 3 in reply by a letter dated 10th February, 1987 directed the petitioner to furnish necessary documents regarding the transfer. The petitioner furnished the documents as directed. Keeping silence for quite sometime the respondent No. 3 by a letter dated 5/20-12-1991 refused to mutate the name of the petitioner on the ground that the transfer is hit by S. 2 of the Government Grants Act, 1985. It is the petitioner's case that S. 2 read with S. 3 of the Government Grants Act, 1895 has no manner of application in respect of leases of land in Salt Lake for 999 years granted by the Govt. by a registered lease deed on receipt of salamy. It is her case that such a lease is to be governed by the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. It has been stated that the matter in issue came up for consideration before Tarun Kr. Chatterjee, J. in two cases Nos. C.O. 12850(W)/ 1990 and C.O. No. 501(W)/1991 and that in both the writ applications. His Lordship observed that S. 2 of the Government Grants Act, 1895 has no manner of application to the leases granted by the Govt. for 999 years for valuable consideration, particularly in respect of plots of Salt Lake City and that the respondent acted illegally in rejecting the prayer for mutation of the writ petitioners in the said cases by applying Section 2 of the Government Grants Act against them. In the said two Civil Orders Justice Chatterjee directed the names of the concerned writ petitioners to be mutated. In spite of the aforesaid judgments having been brought to the notice of the respondents the respondents have not mutated the name of the present petitioner in respect of her purchased plot of land. By filing this writ application the writ petitioner has therefore prayed for issuance of a writ of mandamus by directing the respondents to allow the petitioner's prayer for mutation in respect of her purchased plot of land in pursuance of the deed of conveyance standing in her favour.
(3.)None has appeared for the State in spite of specific services upon the State of West Bengal through the Secretary of the Department and the Assistant Secretary, Urban Development Department Salt Lake Branch, Sech Bhawan, Calcutta-64. No affidavit-in-opposition has also been filed by or on behalf of any of the respondents.
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