The Scheduled areas in the country are not governed by
the same laws as in the rest of the country, and they are directly
administered under the laws made by the Executive as per provisions
contained in the 5th Schedule to the Constitution of India.
The AP Agency Rules (APAR)1924
The AP Agency Rules 1924 is one of the important enactments
to safeguard the interests of the tribals. These rules provide the machinery
for the administration of Civil Justice in the Agency Tracts.
According to Explanation 1 to Section 9 of Civil
Procedure Code the Suit of a civil nature is one where the right to Property
or to an office is contested. Some of the examples for a suit of civil nature as
per Civil Rules of Practice are
a) Suit for recovery of money lent
b) Suit for Specific performance of sale/purchase of
c) Suit for damages for wrongfully entering the plaintiffs
According to rule 1(3) of the AP Agency Rules, the
Agent to Government i.e., the Collector is empowered to appoint any of his
subordinates or with the sanction of the State Government any other duly qualified
person as Agency Munsiff to exercise Jurisdiction in such places and within
such portion of the Agency Tract within his District.
The Agency Mandal Revenue Officers are the Agency
Munsiffs in their respective jurisdiction.
According to rule 5(1), the Agency Munsiffs is
competent to take cognizance of Suits for movable or immovable property not
exceeding the value of Rs. 500/-
According to rule 6 the Agency Divisional Officer /
Agency Sub Judge is competent to take cognizance of Suits value more than
500/- but less than 5000/-
According to rule 7 Suits value more than 5000/- have
to be instituted in the Court of Agent to Government / Collector.
The State Govt. in GO Ms. No. 381 (Home Courts. A)
Department Dated 20-3-1968 have exempted the Schedule Tribes from paying Fees
chargeable under the AP Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act in respect of
Civil Suits instituted by them.
According to the Govt. Memo No. 2697/F1/78-15, SW
Department dated 19-9-1986 the Civil Courts in the State cannot entertain
suits of civil nature in the Scheduled Areas as per the Notification of the
Govt. in GO Ms. No. 1573 Home (Courts-A) Department Dated 30-10-1972.
The procedure for institution, trial and determination
of Suits are mentioned in Rules 14 to 20 of A P A R.
Munsiffs / Agency Divisional Officers are competent to execute Decrees and
orders passed by them under rule 29 to 38. The investigation of claims and
objections to Execution are envisaged in rule Nos. 39 to 41.
Munsiffs / Agency Divisional Officers are competent to pass orders on Interm
protection of property under rule 42 of A P A R.
According to rule 47(1) from every original Decree
passed by an Agency Munsiff an appeal shall lie to Agency Divisional
Officer, and according to rule 47(2) from every appellate Decree passed by
ADO an appeal shall lie to the Agent to State in appeal, and appeal shall to
the High Court.
For detailed appreciation of the Rules the AP Agency
Rules may be verified and followed.
Andhra Pradesh scheduled areas land transfer regulation
This Regulation was enacted to regulate the transfers
of land in the Scheduled Areas in the Districts of East Godavari, West
Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Adilabad, Warangal, Khammam and
Mehaboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh.
The transfer of lands in the Scheduled Areas prior to
the enactment of A P S A L T R 1959 were governed by
The Agency Tract Interest
and Land Transfer Act 1917 in respect of Andhra Area and
The Tribal Areas
Regulation III of Fasli 1359 in Telangana Region.
According to Section 3(1) A of the Regulation, any
transfer of immovable property situated in the Agency Tracts by a person, whether
or not such person is a member of Scheduled Tribe, shall be absolutely null
and void, unless such transfer is made in favour of person, who is a member
of ST or a society registered or deemed to be registered under the AP
Cooperative Societies Act 1964 which is composed solely of members of Scheduled Tribes.
The term "Transfer" as defined in sub section
G of Section 2 of Regulation 1959 means a Mortgage with or without
possession, lease, sale, gift, exchange or any other dealing with immovable
property, not being a testamentary disposition and includes a charge on such
property or a contract relating to such property in respect of such; Mortgage
lease, sale, gift exchange or other dealing. Further as per sub section (4)
of Section 3 of the A P S A L T R, the expression transfer includes a sale in
execution of Decree and also a Transfer made by a member of a ST in favour of
any other members of ST, benami for the benefit of a person who is not a
member of ST : but does not include a partition or a devolution by
succession. Hence even benami transfers are prohibited under the Regulation.
A P Scheduled area Land Transfer
Regulation (A P S A L T) Rules
18 of A P S A L T Rules framed in 1969 envisages the procedure by which land can
be transferred to a tribal or to a society solely composed of Scheduled Tribes
(STs). The Agent
to Government i.e., the Collector of the District has to permit the sale in Form
"L" appended to the Rules.
According to Section 3 sub section 2(a) of A P S A L T R where a transfer of
immovable property is made in contravention of sub section 3(1) a of the Regulation,
the Agent to Govt./Collector, the Agency Divisional Officer i.e., the
Special Deputy Collector Tribal Welfare appointed for the purpose, and any
other prescribed officer may, on application by any one interested, or on
information given in writing by a public servant, or suo moto, decree
ejectment against any person in possession of the property claiming under the
Transfer, after due notice to him in the manner prescribed and may restore it
to the transferor or his heirs.
procedure for notice (Form-E), enquiry and passing of order for ejection
or otherwise (Form-F) is envisaged in Rule 7 (1,2,3 and 4) of A P S A L T
The appeal provisions on the orders of the Special Deputy Collector, Tribal Welfare (SDC TW) and
Agent to Govt. are envisaged in Section 3 of the Regulation as shown
If the Decree or order was passed by the Agent the
Appeal shall lie to the State Government.
If the Decree or Order was passed by the Agency
Divisional Officer the appeal shall lie to the Agent to Govt.
If the Decree or order was passed by any other
Officer the appeal shall lie to the Agency Divisional Officer or to the Agent
as may be prescribed.
According to Section 6 of the A P S A L T R 1959, the State Govt. holds
revision powers and it may revise any decree or order passed by the Agent to
Govt. the Agency Divisional Officer and Special Deputy Collector, Tribal
Welfare (SDC TW) or any other prescribed
Officer under the Regulation.
Regulation 1 of 1970
important feature of the A P S A L T R was the presumption clause brought in by an
amendment in 1970. Section 3(b) stipulates that until the contrary is proved,
any immovable property situated in the Agency Tracts and in the possession of
a person who is not a member of ST shall be presumed to have been acquired by
such person or his predecessor in possession through a transfer made to him
by a member of ST and the burden of proof lies with the non tribal.
The Courts have held that the amendment brought in 1970
shall not have retrospective effect, but it will have prospective effect
Govt. in G.O.Ms.No. 68 Social Welfare (LTR.1) Department dated 9-7-2002 have
ordered that the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer
Regulation 1959 as amended by Regulation 1 of 1970 shall have overriding
effect of any other law for the time being in force in the Tribal areas in
the State in respect of the land transfers and any contrary determination
under any other Regulation including Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas
Settlement Regulation 2 of 1970 in the Agency Areas of the State is null and
void. The Commissioner and Director of Settlements and all the Agency
Collectors were requested to take necessary further action in the matter in
the settlement of issues in this regard.