The A P Land encroachment Act
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THE ANDHRA PRADESH LAND ENCROACHMENT ACT, 19051

(Act No. III of 1905)

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

(1)         The objects of the bill is to provide means of protecting public lands from encroachment, and
to place upon a statutory basis the customary levy of assessment on such lands when
occupied without authority.

(2)         There are two classes of land which it is desired to protect. The first and more important is
that which is termed 'Poramboke' that is, unassessed land set apart for public purposes or
for the communal use of the villagers as village site, threshing floors, roads, paths, water
courses and the like. The second class! "> 'assessed waste', or land available for occupation by
private persons, but which has not been formally applied for or assigned by the revenue
authorities under the rules prescribed in that behalf. The occupation of the latter class is
ordinarily unobjectionable, but it is desirable to provide means of enforcing the strict
observance of the rules laid down for its assignment. As regards the other class, encroachments
upon such 'Poramboke' lands are all together objectionable and require prompt and stringent
measures for their prevention.

(3)         Before the year 1869 unauthorised encroachments were generally dealt with as criminal
trespass, for which imprisonment might be awarded, and were suppressed accordingly; but
in that year the High Court of Madras-ruled under the Penal Code the Procedure was illegal,
the Collectors were accordingly authorised by Government to evict trespasser by charging
them assessment at rates calculated to be prohibitive, such assessment being collected in
accordance with the provisions of the Madras Revenue Recovery Act. 1864.

(4)         The practice of charging this Penal a ssessment has continued upto the present time, and has
generally proved effective in checking encroachment. Recently, however, the High Court of
Madras has decided that the practice is not authorised by law. Hence the necessity for the
present Legislation.

An Act to provide measures for checking unauthorised occupation of lands which are the property of Government.

Preamble: Whereas it has been the practice to check the unauthorized occupation of lands whicn are the property of Government by the imposition of penal or prohibitory assessment or charge, and whereas doubts have arisen as to how far such practice is authorized by law and it is expedient to make statutory provision for checking such occupation: It is hereby enacted as follows:

1. Short title and extent:—

This Act may be cited as the Andhra Pradesh Land Encroachment Act, 1935. It extends to the whole of the State of Andhra Pradesh.

1-A.  Definitions:—

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,— (a) "Collector" means any officer incharge of a revenue division and includes

a Deputy Collector, a Sub-Collector and an Assistant Collector. 2[(b)  "Deputy Tahsildar" means the Deputy Tahsildar in independent charge of a Taluk or Sub-Taluk, the dependent Deputy Tahsildar of a Sub-Taluk, or the Headquarters Deputy Tahsildar, in whose jurisdiction the land is situated and includes a Special Deputy Tahsildar.]

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1.  Published in Fort St. Georege Gazette, Part-IV, Page 595, dt. 23-12-1904.

2.          Subs. byA.P. Act 22 of 1978 (w.e.f. 22-8-1978).

 

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 1(c) "Tahsildar" means the Tahsildar in whose jurisdiction the land is situate and includes Special Tahsildar.

2. Right of Property in public roads, etc, waters and lands:—

(1)   All public roads, streets, lanes and paths, the bridges, ditches, dikes and
fences, on or beside the same, the bed of the sea and of harbours and
creeks below high water mark, and of rivers, streams, nallas, lakes and
tanks, and all canals and water-courses, and all standing and flowing
water, and all lands, wherever situated, save in so far as the same are the
property—

(a)            of any Zamindar, poligar, mittadar, jagirdars, shrortriemdar or any
person claiming through or holding under any of them, or

(b)           of any, person paying shist, Kattubadi, jodi, poruppu or quit-rent to
any of the aforesaid persons, or

(c)            of any person holding under ryotwari tenure, 2[ *  *  *] or in any way
subject to the payment of land-revenue direct to Government, or

(d)           of any other registered holder of land in proprietary right, or.

(e)            of any other person holding land under grant from the Government
otherwise than by way of licence.

and, as to lands, save also in so far as they are temple sites or owned as housesite or backyard, are and are hereby declared to be the property of Government except as may be otherwise provided by any law for the time being in force, subject always to all rights of way and other public rights and to the natural and easement rights of other land owners, and to all customary rights legally subsisting.

(2)   All public roads and streets vested in any local authority shall, for the
purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the property of Government.

Explanation: In this section "high water mark" means the highest point reached by ordinary spring tides at any session of the year.

CASE LAW

Section 2 - Where the public have a right of way over the plan tiff s land the Government is not justified in levying penalty under Section 3 of the Act. Alaudin Saheb vs. Secretary of State, AIR 1918 Mad. 502 (2).

The natural stream of channel, which passes through the patta lands of a ryotwari pattadar, all though it is not demarcated as poramboke, is the property of the Government. Secretary of State for India in Council vs. Raghava Charier ILR 47 Mad. 861.

Where a cart track runs through patta land holds from the Government the cart track must be regarded as part of patta land. Same holds good for the rills running through the land. Ramakrishna Rao vs. Province of Madras, AIR 1951 Mad. 684.

Government, as the owner of the public streets and appurtenances there to, can vest them in any Municipality and withdraw the control from them. Government is a necessary party in suits of declaration of such sites. ProddatarMunicipality vs. GurnamHanumanthu, AIR 1954 Mad. 479.

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1.          Amended by Act 15 of 1968.

2.          For the words "including that of a Janni in Malabar or of Wargolar in South Canara" omitted
by Andhra Adoption of Laws Order, 1953.

 

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Right in a pond or a channel - Presumption and burden of proof under. Government cannot throw burden on pattedar by imposing penalty on him. V. Narayya vs. State of Andhra, ILR 1956 A.P. 1050.

Section 2 and A.P. Estates Abolition Act, 1948, Sees. 18 (9) and (5) -Abolition of estate

-  Buildings not belonging to landholder and the sites around them vested in those who
owned them before the Act. State of
A.P. vs. R. Rangaiah, AIR 1973 A.P. 71.

Section2(2) andA.P.GramPanchayatsAct, Sec. 62 -Encroachment into a Public Street

-  Government can take action for removal of encroachment. P. Rosamma In Re, S.A. No.
411/80, dt. 22-6-81 (Unreported).

Section 2(1) and Gram Panchayat Act, Sec. 85 - Public Water Courses, Springs Reservoirs, Tanks etc. are vested in the Gram Panchayat and the Government has power to assume administration on the basis of its paramount title. The Government has to issue a notification in the Gazette giving notice to Gram Panchayat and calling for objections for the purpose of resumption. Resumption of land, which was in the encroachment of six landlords for the last 20 years and assignment was made to the Landless Harijans, is a circumstances in which there is only irregularity and the order was not without any authority of law or unwarranted. Veera Raghavulu vs. District Collector, 1986 (1JAPLJ44 (SN).

Government have no power to permit encroachment on public street. Gopalakrishna vs. Narasimham, AIR 1958 A.P. 586.

Whether the bed of a natural stream is proved to belong to Government or pattadar is a question of fact in each case. Mere omission to register natural stream as poramboke in Government records would not affect rights of Government to collect cess. P. Ayyanna vs State of A.P., 1965(1) An.WR 361.

3. Levy of assessment on lands unauthorizedly occupied:—

(1)   Any person who shall unauthorizedly occupy any land which is the
property of Government shall be liable to pay by way of assessment—
(i) if the land so occupied forms an assessed survey number or part

thereof, the full assessment of such number for the whole period of his

occupation or a part thereof proportionate to the area occupied, as the

case maybe, provided that, for special reasons, the Collector or subject

to his control, the Tahsildar may impose the full assessment of such

number or any lesser sum irrespective of the area occupied.

(ii) if the land so occupied be unassessed, an assessment on the area

occupied calculated for the same period at the rate imposed on lands

of a similar quality in the neighbourhood, or at the highest dry or wet

rate of the village, as the case may be, or when no such rates exist in

such manner as maybe prescribed in rules or orders under Section 8:

Provided that payment of assessment under this sub-section shall not confer

any right of occupancy.

Explanation: For the purposes of this sub-section occupation for an incomplete portion of a fasli may be deemed to be occupation for a whole fasli.

(2)   In the case of any class of land which is ordinarily granted on lease or
licence, the Government may levy, in addition to the assessment imposed
under sub-section (1), a further sum equivalent to the annual rent or fee
which would normally be realisable thereon.


4.     Conclusiveness of decision as to amount of assessment:—

The decision as to the rate or amount of assessment, rent or fee, payable under Section 3 shall be recorded in writing and shall not be questioned in any civil court.

5.  Liability of person unauthorized!y occupying land to penalty after
notice:—

Any person liable to pay assessment under Section 3 shall also be liable at the discretion of the Collector or subject to his control, the Tahsildar or Deputy Tahsildar to pay in addition by way of penalty—

(i) if the land be an assessed land, a sum not exceeding five rupees or, when ten times the assessment payable for one year under Section 3 exceeds five rupees, a sum not exceeding ten times such assessment, provided that no penalty shall ordinarily be imposed in respect of the unauthorized occupation of such land for any period not exceeding one year; (ii) if the land been assessed, a sum not exceeding ten rupees, or when twenty times the assessment payable for one year under Section 3 exceeds ten rupees, a sum not exceeding twenty times such assessment.

6. Liability  of person  unauthorizedly  occupying land  to  summary
eviction, forfeiture of crops, etc.:—

(1)            Any person unauthorizedly occupying any land for which he is liable to
pay assessment under Section 3 may be summarily evicted by the
Collector, Tahsildar or Deputy Tahsildar, and any crop or other product
raised on the land shall be liable to forfeiture and any building or other
construction erected or anything deposited thereon shall also, if not
removed by him after such written notice as the Collector, Tahsildar or
Deputy Tashildar may deem reasonable, be liable to forfeiture. Forfeitures
under this section shall be adjudged by the Collector, Tahsildar or Deputy
Tahsildar and any property so forfeited shall be disposed of as the
Collector, Tahsildar or Deputy Tahsildar may direct1.

(2)    Mode of eviction:—An eviction under this section shall be made in the
following manner, namely:— By serving a notice in the manner provided
in Section 7 on the person reputed to be in occupation or his agent
requiring him within such time as the Collector, Tahsildar or Deputy
Tahsildar may deem reasonable after receipt of the said notice to vacate
the land, and if such notice is not obeyed, by removing or deputing a
subordinate to remove any person who may refuse to vacate the same, and
if the officer removing any such person shall be resisted or obstructed by
any person, the Collector shall hold a summary inquiry into the facts of
the case, and if satisfied that the resistance or obstruction was without
any just cause and that such resistance or obstruction shall continue,
may issue a warrant for the arrest of the said person and on his
appearance commit him to close custody in the office of the Collector or
of any Tahsildar or Deputy Tahsildar for such period not exceeding 30

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1.   Ins. byA.P. Act 22 of 1978 (w.e.f. 22-8-1978).

 

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days as may be necessary to prevent the continuance of such obstruction or resistance or may send him with a warrant in the form of the schedule for imprisonment in the civil jail of the district for the like period: Provided that no person so committed or imprisoned under this section shall

be liable to be prosecuted under Sections 183, 186or 188 of the Indian Penal Code

in respect of the same facts.

(3) Any person who unauthorized by re-enters and occupies any land from which he was evicted under this section, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both."

CASE LAW

Section 6 - Unauthorised occupation of Government land - Summary eviction -Procedure to be followed - Government cannot take unilateral decision that the property belongs to it and cannot take recourse to summary remedy if a person is in possession of property under a bona fide claim or title. Long possession would raise a genuine dispute between claimant and Government on the question of title. Prime consideration is whether claim of occupant to property is bona fide. A person in occupation of property openly for an appreciable length of time can be taken, prima facie, to have a bona fide claim to property requiring impartial adjudication under law. Summary procedure of eviction be avoided in such cases. Unauthorised constructions made in the case without complying with the provisions of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act. Government resorting to summary procedure under Sec. 6 of demolishing constructions. Order of single Judge in restraining Government from evicting the petitioners by adopting summary procedure held to be not correct. Held that best course would be to leave the dispute for adjudication by civil Court. Status quo ordered to be maintained in the circumstnaces of the case for one month to enable petitioners-respondents to move civil Court for appropriate relief. District Collector, Rangareddy vs. K. Narasing Rao, 1997 (4) ALT 428 (D.B.).

Since checking of unauthorised occupation was the object of the Act, the provisions of summary eviction must be understood and utilised in that context, namely the provisions of this must be resorted to in case where unauthorised occupation is admitted or of recent origin. It can not be contended that Sections 6 and 7 gave unfettered and unguided discretion to the Collector and Tahsildar. The provisions dealing with summary eviction are not violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution. Meharunnisa Begum vs. State of A.P., 1970 (1) ALT 88.

Eviction of persons already in the possession on the notified date. Procedure laid down in Section 6 has no application. They can be dispossessed only in accordance with Section 3 (d) of Estates Abolition Act and Rules thereunder. N. Narayana Prasad Rao vs. State ojA.P., AIR 1972 AP331 = 1972 (l)An.W.R. 123.

Notice issued under Section 6 - An appeal under Section 10 lies against that notice. S. Sriramulu us.'Tahsildar, W.P. 3560/69, dt 19-7-1971 (Unreported).

Persons in possession of land under registered lease deeds from 1956. Dispute as regards the title between the Government and the lessees and lessor. It must be adjudicated upon by the ordinary Courts of law. Spl Dy. Collector, Land Eviction, Hyderabad vs. KondaLaxmanBapaji, 1983 (2) ALT 138 (NRC) = 1984 (l)An.WR 404.

Levy of penal assessment by Government - Does not preclude taking proceedings under Section 6 (1) against persons in unauthorised occupation of Government lands. L. Permallu. vs. R.D.O., Gudivada, 1956An.WR 140 (NRC).


Sections 6 and 15-A - Initiation of Proceedings by Mandal Revenue Officer against a person in possession of land assigned to another person and directing eviction under Section 6 of the Act without first terminating assignment for breach of terms of lease granted - Not legal. Unless lease is terminated, person in possession of assigned land cannot be considered to be a person unauthorisedly occupying such land for the purpose of Section 3 of the Act for taking action under Sections 6 and 15-A of the Act. Prakash Kathode Abdul Gaffar vs. Sab-Collector, Asifabad, 1995 (1) ALT 535 = AIR 1995 A.P. 157. ' Sections 6 and 7 - Certain lands were said to have been acquired for purpose of Osmania University. The University filed a suit for possession of a certain land claiming to have right over the land, as they have been acquired long ago. The person in possession claims to be the owner of the property and also claims that the land was not included in the acquisition proceedings. The person also claims the property by adverse possession. These are complicated questions of title, which arises for decision and a bonafide dispute regarding the title of the Government is made. It is not the duration, short or long, of encroachment that is conclusion of the question, whether the summary remedy prescribed by the Act can be put into operation for evicting a person. Of course, long possession raises a genuine dispute. In such a case the Government cannot summarily evict the person in occupation of the land. Government of A. P. vs. Krishna Rao, 1982(2) APLJ 7 (SC)= AIR 1983 SC 1081,

If there is a bonafide dispute regarding the title of the Government to any property, the Government cannot take unilateral decision in its own favour that the property belongs to it.

Relevant points for consideration is (i) the nature of the property on which the encroachment is alleged to have been committed and (ii) whether the claim of the occupant is bonafide.

Though the duration, short or long, of encroachment is not conclusive, theoccupation of the property only for an appreciable length of time can be taken as primafacie bonafide claim to the property. In this regard, the principle laid by the High Court that the Act applies to encroachments of very recent origin is not correct. It is also true that complicated questions of title or decisions cannot summarily decided under the Act. Government of A. P. vs. Tirumala Krishna Rao, 1983 (2) An.WR 1 (SC).

If there is a bonafide dispute regarding the nature of the occupation, then such dispute takes the matter of the provisions of the act mere long occupation without ripened adverse possession cannot be a ground to refuse enforcement. Shivalingappavs. StateofA.P., 1988 (1) ALT 716.

Notice of eviction by merely affixing it on the gate of a vacant site belonging to a owner and not by service on owner residing elsewhere and whose address was known to the authorities - Not legal. G. Padmauathi vs. Government ofA.P., W.P. No. 3954/87, dt 27-9-1988(Unreported).

Constitutional validity - Notviolative of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India. M. Begum vs. Government of A.P., 1971 (1) ALT292 = ILR 1972 A.P. 44 =A/R 1971 A.P. 382 = 1971 APHN52.

Summary eviction - Procedure - Explained. R. Abbayya vs. State of A. P., AIR 1960 A. P. 134.

District Collector can only pass orders under Section 6 after enquiry. Land does not belong to Government but a donation given to a school. District Collector is not competent to pass orders in respect of the dispute basing on custom and usage. Courts alone can decide such dispute. K.jR. ZillaParishad High School Committee vs. State, 1976 (1) An. W.R. 86.


Issue of notices under the Act for eviction of a person from Government Land - Not illegal. Eerappa vs. M.R.O., RoRaMandal, W.P.No. 766/88, dt 1 7-8-1992.

Sections 6 and 7 and Board Standing Order 15 (36) and G.O.Ms.No. 1725 dt. 26-8-1959 Part 5 - Order of eviction of the landless poor from the lands without notice. Assignment of lands without notice to the encroacher - IIIegal. B. BayapuReddi vs. Tahsildar, W.P. No. 668/1974, dt. 22-7-1974 (Unreported).

7. Prior notice to person in occupation:—

Before taking proceedings under Section 5 or Section 6 the Collector or Tahsildar, or Deputy Tahsildar, as the case may be, shall cause to be served on the person reputed to be in unauthorised occupation of land being the property of Government, a notice specifying the land so occupied and calling on him to show cause before a certain date why he should not be proceeded against under Section 5 or Section 6.

Such nouVce shall be served in the manner prescribed in Section 25 the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Recovery Act, 1864, (Act II of 1864) or in such other manner as the State Government by rules or order under Section 8 may direct.

I    ,                    CASE LAW

Sections 7 and 6 - Prior notice to person in unauthorized occupation of land of Government - Specifying of time in the notice under Section 7 for filing objections before initiating actiomunder Section 5 or 6. Mandatory - In the notice in question issued to appellant/petiti drier-Society, no specific time was mentioned even though original records produced before Court showing that specific time was mentioned in the original notice. Petitioner sent reply to notice filing objections two days after issuing order under Section 6 of the Act. In the circumstances of the case, notice issued under Sec. 7 of the Act held proper. However, the order passed under Section 6 of the Act without considering the objections of petitioner - Set aside. Authorities permitted to pass appropriate orders in the light of objections filed and directed not to take coercive steps for eviction of Society from the lands leased out pending decision. Jyothi Education Society vs. Government oJA.P., 2002 (4) ALT 417.

Sections 7 and 6 and A.P. Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation, 1959, Section 3 - Eviction of encroacher - Assignment of house-site in scheduled area to a non-tribal (husband of petitioner). Prohibited under the Regulation - Assignment is transfer within the meaning of Section 2(g) of the Regulation. Assignment of land and patta issued cancelled on that ground. Cancellation of patta became final - On such cancellation, assignee is an encroacher and liable to be evicted under the Land Encroachment Act even if he is a landless poor. Construction of house thereon by assignee does not give any right to continue in illegal possession. Provisions of the Encroachment Act extend to entire State of A.P. including scheduled areas unless operation of the Act is excluded in respect of scheduled areas by Governor by issue of notification under Schedule V of Constitution of India - No such notification issued. Land in scheduled area cannot be acquired under Land Acquisition Act for providing house-sites even to Scheduled Castes de hors the Regulation. Transfer of land in scheduled areas in favour of any persons other than non-tribals. Totally prohibited under the Regulation - Petitioner, wife of assignee has no right to continue in possession of house-site and house thereon contrary to Regulation. Eviction of petitioner under Land Encroachment Act - Sustainable - Petition dismissed. Koppula Saramma vs. Government of A. P., Social Welfare Dept. 2001 (3) ALT 501.

Section 7 and Constitution of India, Arts. 226 and 215 - Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, Section 13 - IIIegal dispossession - Power of Court in writ petition and contempt

proceedings to direct redelivery. Order of injunction passed restraining respondents from interfering with possession and enjoyment of house in question by petitioner. Plea of petitioner being that he was dispossessed forcibly after issuing injunction and that respondents committed contempt of Court. Plea of respondents being that plaintiff encroached Government land. Petitioner claiming adverse possession - Facts of the case and documents filed showing that petitioner was in possession of house on the date of filing writ petition and that he was forcibly evicted by police after passing order of injunction and thereby committed disobedience of orders of Court. However, circumstances of the case not showing that the matter calls for any proceedings for alleged contempt having regardto Section 13 of Contempt of Courts Act. Writ Court can order redelivery of possession in such cases of illegal dispossession even in these proceedings without relegating party to any other proceedings to get back possession. Such an order can be passed even exercising contemptjurisdiction. Directions therefore given to allow petitioner to occupy the tin-roofed shed which he was occupying before dispossession, allowing him proper ingress and egress and not to interfere with his possession thereafter till appropriate action is taken under law for the alleged encroachment of Government land by petitioner - Petition allowed - Contempt case closed. Ponna Narasimha Reddy vs. Deputy Executive Engineer, Panchayat Raj 2001 (3) ALT47 = 2001 ALT (Rev.) 223.

See A.P. Land Encroachment Act, 1905, Section 15-A. Jyothi Education Society vs. Government of A. P., 2002 (4) ALT 41 7.

When the Government issued notice under Sec. 7 of the Act, the Government claiming to be the owner of the land, the tenant, of the land can plead eviction by title paramount where the true owner be the Government or a private person, the principle is applicable. The eviction need not be by actual dispossession of the tenant. If the true owner is armed with legal process for eviction; cannot be lawfully resisted even though the tenant is not put out of possession, the threat to put him out of possession amounts in law to eviction. Alagan Pillai vs. Ramaswamy Thevar, AIR 1926 Mad. 187.

When the Writ petitioners were in possession of the property for more than 20 years, there is a bonafide dispute of title between the Government and the Writ Petitioners and it must be adjudicated upon by the ordinary Courts of law and not by summary procedure. Special Deputy Collector vs. Konda Lakshman Bapuji, 1984 (1) An. WR 404 (DB).

The Writ Petitioner sought mandamus to restrain the Government not to take recourse to the Land Encroachment Act, in view of their bonafide claim and long possession. The Government filed a Counter stating that the land did not belong to the Nizam and produced 'Blue Book' wherein the properties of the Nizam were noted and the land in question was not to be found there. The Petitioner filed only one receipt of the year 1982, though they claimed title from the Nizam through the Predecessors in title and also claimed possession. The petitioner did not file any other document. The summary machinery provided for the eviction of the encroachers of the Government land can not be put into operation against persons in occupation bonafide. The High Court can not legally speaking restrain the Government from applying the Act on the ground that the Encroacher has been there for a long period. Time is not, in those circumstances, capable of creating bonafide dispute or title. The Petitioner was directed to seek remedies under the Act and finally by way of a suit. Shivalingappa vs. State ofA.P., 1988 (1) ALT 716.

Section 7 and Constitution of India, Arts. 19 (1) (e) and Art 21 - Three hundred hut-dwellers, claiming to be poor and occupying Government land for over fifteen years, filed the Writ Petition. Without considering their applications for assignment of the land over which they constructed huts, the Government was trying to demolish their huts. The land was said to be allotted for construction of building for private Colleges for Girls. It wascontended that the Government can not be compelled to assign the Government land to dwellers.

Relying on OlgaTellis vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation (Pavement Dwellers' case) AIR 1986 SC 180. It was held that right to life includes the right to livelihood and demolishing the huts would amount to deprivation of livelihood. So it is deprivation of right to life and is accordingly unconstitutional offending Art. 19 (1) (e) and Art. 21.

When applications for assignment are pending, it is the duty of the Authorities to consider them and accord assignment. Of the two competing public purposes, namely assignment of land to private College and assignment to existing hut dwellers, the latter is more important. G. Kanthayya vs. District Collector, Warangal, 1989 (3) ALT 129.

Section 7 and Evidence Act, Section 116 - Notice issued to tenant under Section 7 by Dy. Tahsildar not taking effect. No proof that the tenant appealed to Government that he paid cist or obtained patta from Government. Principle of estoppel does not arise when the tenant pleads an eviction by a person having a title paramount and entitled to immediate possession or under threat of eviction by such person. B, Gowresu vs. K. Subadramrna, 1956An.WR 1090= AIR 1957AP. 961.

See Sec.6. GovernmentofA.P. vs. KrishnaRao, 1982 (2)APLJ7(SC) =AIR 1983 SC1081.

See Sec. 6. JR. Abbayya vs. State ofA.P., AIR 1960 A.P. 134.

See Sec. 6. K.JR. Zilla Parishad High School Committee vs. State, 1976 (l)An.W.R. 86.

See Sec. 6. Eerappa vs. M.R.O., RollaMandal, W.P.No. 766/88, dt. 1 7-8-1992.

H7-A. Encroachment by group of persons on Government lands and their eviction:—

(1)            Where the District Collector knows or has reason to believe that a group
or groups of persons without any entitlement and with the common object
of occupying any land, which is the property of the Government, are
occupying or have occupied any such land, and if such group or groups
of persons have not vacated the land on demand by the District Collector
or any officer authorised by him in this behalf, the District Collector shall,
notwithstanding anything in this Act, order without any notice, the
immediate eviction of the encroacher from the land and the taking of
possession of the land; and there upon it shall be lawful for any officer
authorised by the District Collector in this behalf to evict the encroachers
from the land by force, taking such police assistance as maybe necessary,
and take possession of the land:

(2)            Where, in any proceedings taken und r this section, or in consequence of
anything done under this section, a question arises as to whether any land
is the property of the Government, such land shall be presumed to be the
property of the Government until the contrary is proved.

(3)         Notwithstanding anything in this Act, but subject to the provisions of
Section 12-A, any order of eviction passed by the District Collector under
sub-section (1) shall be final and shall not be questioned in any Court].

CASE LAW

Section 7-A does not violate Article 14 or 21 of the Indian Constitution : The Section empowers the District Collector to evict group of encroachers of Government

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1.   Section 7-A inserted by A.P. Act 23 of 1978 (w.e.f. 13-5-1980).

 

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Lands without notice. It cannot be said that Sec.7-A suffer from procedural unreasonableness nor can it be said to provide an arbitrary procedure which is inherently discriminatory and violative of Article 14or21 of Constitution of India. Bha.ratiyaDalU.ha Jathnla Sangam us. State ofAndhra Pradesh, 1982 (2) ALT 47 (NRC).

The object of the new provision introduced by Act 23 of 1980 is when there are organised attempts on the part of lawless persons operating in groups to forcily trespass into Government lands the same should be prevented as situations are leading to confrontation between the police and such occupants thereby resulting in frequent breach of peace. It is clear that the authority invoked under Section 7-A of the Act must be able to show that there is reason to believe that a group or groups of persons without any entitlement and with the common object of occupying any land, which is the property of the Government, occupied it. So it is intended only against group of persons enmasse who attempted to take the law in their hands forcily trespass into the Government lav'. It is not intended against an individual to set up a claim where the usual procedures under Section 7 and 8 are invoked. Manohar us. Tahsildar Wankidi, 1986 (2) ALT 3 (NRC).

The procedure adopted under Sec.7-Ashould show fundamental fairness in procedure and the right of hearing must be read into Sec.'7-A (1) of the Act. The person in occupation must be given an opportunity. In case of an urgency and possible delay and the gravity of the situation, the District Collector must pass an order under the Second limb sub­section (1) of Section 7-A. In such a case, the District Collector must give post-decisio. ;1 opportunity of hearing and consider the matter on the basis of the material available before him. Under Section 7-A (1), the District Collector alone shall pass the order and the non-compliance thereof vitiates actions. The Citizens Welfare Society vs. Government ofA.P., W.P.No. 1254 and 1367 of 1987 = 1987 (1) APLJ 66 (S.N).

8.     Power to make rules:—  

The State Government may make rules or orders either generally or in any particular instance—

(a)            regulating the rates of assessment, rent or fee leviable under Section 3:

(b)           regulating the imposition of penalties under Section 5:

(c)  declaring that any particular land or class of lands which are the property
of Government shall not be open to occupation:

(d)           regulating the service of notices under this Act.

Such general rules or orders shall be made only after previous publication.

9.    Recovery of assessment or penalty levied as arrears of land revenue:—
The amount of assessment, rent, fee and penalty imposed under this Act on

any person unauthorizedly occupying any land shall be deemed to be land revenue and may be recovered from him as arrears of land revenue under the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Recovery Act, 1864.

CASE LAW

Though the amount of penalty and penal assessment is not land revenue in realilty, it must be taken to be land revenue for the parties of the Act under Section 9. The circumstances leading to the encroachment of Act. 3/1905 and the full Bench decision in I.L.R. 27 Mad . 386 was discussed. Secretary of State vs. Jodoraj DhupaJee. AIR 1942 Mad. 244.


10.       Appeal:—

(1)  An appeal shall lie (a) to the Collector from any decision or order passed
by a Tahsildar or Deputy Tahsildar under this Act and (b) to the District
Collector from any decision or order of a Collector passed otherwise than

5 on appeal, and (c) to the Board of Revenue from any decision or order of a District Collector passed otherwise than on appeal. There shall be no appeal against a decision or order passed by the Collector or the District Collector on appeal, but the District Collector may revise any decision or order passed by a Deputy Tahsildar or Collector under this Act and the Board of Revenue may revise any decision or order passed by any officer under this Act.

(2)  Pending the disposal of any appeal or petition for revision under this Act,
the District Collector or the Board of Revenue as the case may be, may
suspend the execution of the order appealed against or sought to be
revised.

CASE LAW

Appeal - Order of appellate authority (Sub-Collector) arising out of incompetent proceedings initiated by Mandal Revenue Officer directing eviction from assigned land under Section 6 of the Act. Liable to be set aside. Prakash Kathode Abdul Cqffar us. Sub-Collector, Asifabad, 1995 (1) ALT535= 1995 (1) APLJ389 = AIR 1995 A.P. 157.

Sections 10 and 14 A.P. Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants ) Act, 1961 - Later Act is not more rigorous and less advantageous than Land Encroachment Act and cannot be struck down under Art. 14 of the Constitution. BudanKhan vs. Estate Officer. 1965 (2) An.WR 268 = AIR 1966 A.P. 336.

11.     Limitation of appeal I—­
No appeal shall be brought after the expiration of sixty days from the date of

decision or order complained of provided that in computing the period of sixty days, the time required to obtain a copy of the decision or order appealed against shall be excluded, but the appeal may be admitted after the period hereby prescribed when the appellant satisfies the authority to whom he appeals that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the prescribed period.

12.                                                                          Document accompanying petition of appeal:—                                                                 *

Every petition of appeal under this Act shall be accompanied by the decision or order appealed against or by an authenticated copy of the same.

12-A. Power of Government to call for records and pass orders:—

(1) The State Government may, in their discretion, at any time, either suo motu or an application made to them, call for and examine, the records relating to any decision or order passed or proceeding taken by any authority or officer subordinate to them under this Act for the purpose of satisfying themselves as to the legality or propriety of such decision or order, as to the regularity of such proceeding and pass such proceeding and pass such order in reference thereto as they think fit.


(2) The State Government may stay the execution of any such decision, order or proceeding pending the exercise of their powers under sub-section (1) in respect thereof [Inserted by Section 10 of the A. P. Land Encroachment (Extn. and Admt.) Act, 1958 {A.P. Act XXV of 1958).

CASE LAW

Revision - Government can exercise power of revision only against a decision or ordef passed by concerned authority in the matter of encroachment and not against a show-cause notice issued to encroacher. Entertainment of revision by Government against show-cause notice and stopping all further proceedings pursuant thereto. IIIegal and void. Observations made that Government is entertaining revisions and passing orders in a routine manner even in cases where,revisions are not permissible under the statute. G. Rajender Reddy vs. Gout. ofA.P. 2002 (5) ALT 289.

13. Saving of operation of other laws in force:—

Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed as exempting any person unauthorisedly occupying land from libility to be proceeded against under any law for the time being in force :

Provided that if any penalty has been levied from any person under Section 5 of this Act, no similar penalty shall be levied from him under any other law in respect of such occupation.

l[14. Bar of jurisdiction of Civil Courts:—

No decision made or order passed or proceeding taken by any officer or authority or the State Government under this Act, not being a decision, order or proceeding affecting the title to the land of a person, shall be called in question before a civil court in any suit, application or other proceeding and no injunction shall be granted by any court in respect of any proceeding taken or about to be taken by such officer or authority or State Government in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.]

15. Validation of levy of penal assessment before the passing of Act— Saving of pending suits:—

Every proceeding taken by a Collector for the recovery of any sum of money by way of penal or prohibitory assessment or charge from any person who has unauthorizedly occupied any land hereby declared to be the property of Government shall, if such sum has been recovered prior to the passing of this Act, be deemed to have been lawfully taken, provided that this section shall not apply to any suits pending when this Act comes into force in a Court of First Instance or in a Court of Appeal or affect the validity and operation of any decree or order already passed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

15-A. Certain persons deemed to be in unauthorized occupation of land:—

Where a lease of land which is the property of Government expires or is terminated by the Government or any other authority competent in that behalf, the lessee or any other person remaining in possession of the land after such expiry of termination, or where land granted to any person is liable to be resumed

- - -

 

1.   Subs. byA.P. Act 23 of 1976 (w.e.f. 28-8-1975).

 

- - -


by the Government for the breach or non-observance of any of the conditions subject to which the grant is made and the Government or any other authority competent in that behalf have passed orders resuming the land for such breach or non-observance, the grantee or any other person remaining in possession of the land after the passing of those orders, shall for the purposes of Sections 3 to 15, be deemed to be a person unauthorizedly occupying such land—(Inserted as per A.P. Amendment Act XXIX of 1950).

CASE LAW

Sections 15-A, 7 and 6 and Transfer of Property Act, 1882, Sec. 116 - Tenant holding over - Ingredients necessary to reap the benefits of Section 116 - Period oflease expired. To continue in possession of lands leased out without any written agreement, lessee must show that rents for the entire period after expiry oflease were paid and received by the lessor-Government. Appellant/petitioner-Society neither paid rents for about 2 years nor obtained permission to stay in the lands. Petitioner cannot therefore claim to be tenant in holding. Petitioner-lessee must be deemed to be in unauthorized occupation of Government land. Initiation of proceedings under Land Encroachment Act by author! ties for eviction - Justified. When there is an express provision under special statute (Land Encroachment Act) to check unauthorized occupation, provisions under general statute (T.P. Act) need not be taken recourse to. Jyothi Education Society us. Government of A.P., 2002 (4) ALT 417.

16. Savin* of lands claimed by right of escheat or reversion:—

Nothing in this Act save as provided in Section 15-A shall apply to any lands claimed by right of escheat or reversion until such lands have been reduced into possession by the State Government.

SCHEDULE

Form of Warrant to be issued by the Collector under Section 6 Seal

To

The Officer in-charge of the CMUail at......................................................

Whereas A.P. of.......................................... has resisted (or obstructed) C.D.

in removing E.F. (or himself, that is, the said A. B.) from certain lands in the village

of........................................... in the.................................................... Taluk,

and whereas it is necessary in order to prevent the continuance 01 such obstruction (or resistance) to commit the said A.B, to close custody, you are hereby required under the provisions of Section 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Land Encroachment Act, 1905, to receive the said A.B. into the jail under your charge

arid there to keep him in safe custody for................................. days. Dated

this................................. day of..........................................

(Signature of Collector)