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Stating that Inams were abolished nearly seven decades ago and cannot be brought alive now, a full bench of the Telangana high court on Monday ruled that purchasers of such Inam land cannot be called as successor in interest as only the legal heirs of inamdars retain that right.

A bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, Justice P Naveen Rao and Justice P Sree Sudha rejected the argument that the right of the inamdar is alienable and would pass on to purchasers of Inam land.

Writing the 45-page judgment for the bench, Justice Rao held that even the inamdar cannot sell the land without the occupancy rights certificate (ORC). Inamdar along with other categories such as tenant, protected tenant,cultivator etc., on such land alone are eligible for applying and obtaining ORCs, the judgment said.

As a result of this verdict, thousands of acres of Inam land all over the state would stand vested with the state now.

The bench held that all pending pleas on this issue can now be placed before an appropriate bench for adjudication in light of the legal clarity provided in the judgment. The matter was referred to the full bench as there were conflicting opinions on who should be called as successor in interest and whether a purchaser of Inam land would fall under this category.

Agreeing with the argument of advocate general BS Prasad that the Inam Abolition Act, which came into force in July 1955, enabled only inamdars, their protected tenants or legal heirs to apply for ORCs, the bench said that third parties cannot apply for such rights in the name of purchasers. Such purchasers cannot be called as successors in interest, the bench said.

“We make it clear that an inamdar, kabiz-e-kadam, permanent tenant, protected tenant and non-protected tenant can acquire saleable interest only after they obtain ORC and even they cannot create any third-party interests before obtaining ORC,” the bench said while making it clear that they examined the issues that arose on account of the enactment of the Act in 1955 and its effective implementation from 1973.

The bench also made it clear that issues raised under Section 43 of Transfer of Property Act etc., are irrelevant in the current context.

“Even those who are eligible under this judgment will get their rights only upon proving their occupation and cultivation,” the bench said.


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