Kerala Land Reforms Act – Provisions on Plantation-Tenancy and Land-Tenancy

Saji Koduvath.

Relevant provisions of KLR Act, in a Nutshell


Section Provisions in a Nutshell
Chap. II 3Exemptions – (i) Nothing in this Chapter shall apply to – (viii) Tenancies of plantations exceeding 30 acres.
“Provided that the provisions of this chapter, other than sections 53 to 72S, shall apply to tenancies in respect of agricultural lands which are treated as plantations under sub clause (c) of clause (44) of Section 2”.
7 EPersons acquired lands (before 2005 amendment in KLR Act) for consideration below 1 Hec. 61 Are 87 Sq.m. (4 acre) will be deemed to be tenants .
13Fixity: “Every tenant, shall have fixity of tenure in respect of his holding.”
59Deposit of purchase price and issue of certificate – to cultivating tenant.
72Sec. 72 provides for automatic vesting of lease-properties held by cultivating tenants in Govt.  ILR 2010(2) Ker. 845. 
Rule 5 of the Vesting & Assignment Rules provides – LT may suomoto – notwithstanding no application – assign to cultivating tenant. (See  S.72C also). 
72BProvides for ‘cultivating tenants’ rights to get assignment  – purchase certificate (through LT) within ceiling area (2 years from 1-1-1970). Effect of non-filing (See Balanur Plantations case. 2018(3) KLT 283.)
72CProvides for suo moto action by LT. (No time limit,)
72KLT shall issue purchase certificate.  It shall be conclusive proof of assignment.
74Prohibition of future tenancies.
Chp. III 81Exemption from ceiling and excess for Govt. lands, private forests, plantations, industrial or commercial undertaking etc.
82Ceiling area – 5/10 standard acres.
83No person can hold or possess excess of ceiling area. (Holding is by tenant.)  It is a total bar
Apply to tenant also. 1980 KLT 259 (Gopalan Nair Vs. State), 1976 KLT 306  (Thomas Mariamma Vs. TLB), RaghunathLaxmanWani v. The State of Maharashtra (AIR 1971 SC 2137) – The policy of the Act – no person –“be permitted to hold any land in excess of the ceiling area.” q. in 2008(1) KLJ 571 (State Vs. Puliyangattu) fold. in State vs Civil Judge, Nainital , AIR 1987 SC 16;Bhikoba S. Vs. ML PunchandTathed, AIR1982 (SC) 865
84Certain transfers – void.
85(1)Surrender excess.
85(2)Owners and Tenants of plantation (who owns and hold properties) should furnish ceiling return to Land Board before March31, 1971, before the Land Board (including lands exempted under S. 81).
85(3)Excess shall be surrendered.
85(5)Land Board shall determine – extend to be surrendered
85(7)Whereon a person fails to file statement under 85(2), LB shall intimate TLB  –  TLB shall determine land to be surrendered.
Effect of non-filing: See – Balanur Plantations case – 2018(3) KLT 283.State of Kerala Vs. Varkey Mathew, AIR 1996 SC 1009.
[TLB not to do, suomotu, without direction from LB. 1980 KLT 120, referred to in 2019(1) KLT 985.]
85AFile ceiling return within March  2, 1973 before Land Board..
86(1)On determination of the extent to be surrendered under S. 85- Excess vests in Govt. andTaluk Land Board shall issue an order accordingly.
86(3)Where any person fails to surrender as demanded, the TLB may order an officer to take possession
86(4)Where any land, vests in the Govt, under s. 86(1) (including that of cultivating tenant) the ownership of such land shall vest in the Govt.
86(6)Nothing appliesto property of Govt. under KLC Act.
Exp. II
If a person converts any portion of his exempted land to any other class, that converted extent will be added to his account in determining his ceiling limit. That is, the exemption will be lost for that portion. (Mathew K Jacob v. District Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, 2018-4 KLT 913)

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