Case no.

(2023) SCC Online SC 261
DLR Act 1954
DMC Act 1957
DDA Act 1957


That one Shri Maman Singh was recorded Bhumidhar of the land measuring 4 Bighas 18 Biswas in village Samepur, Delhi, he sold the land to Bhai Ram vide sale deed dated 09.03.1970. The respondents herein Shri Narain Singh and Som Dutt also claimed to purchase share of said land from Maman Singh vide sale deed dated 04.05.1989. Later on, 31.05.1989 the said land was mutated in the name of the respondent.


The appellant herein assailed the said sale deed and mutation further also claimed to be in the possession of the above said property before such execution. The learned Financial Commissioner (FC) vide order dated 10.02.1995 set aside the said mutation holding that said transfer was contrary to section 33 of The Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954 (DLR) and said disputed land is vested in Gaon Sabha.

section 33 of DLR precludes the Bhumidhar to transfer land…

section 40 set forth that when a land is vested in Gaon Sabha” no exchange or transfer of such land is permissible without prior permission…. (it is not exactly the transfer of the right, title, or interest over that land to Gaon Sabha) …

…section 42 envisages that in case of transfer contrary to section 33 the person who gets possession will be liable to be ejected….

…. Section 45 any such transfer shall be void….

The said finding of the ld. FC was never challenged by the appellant herein however, the respondent herein assailed the said order in Wp(c) 670 of 1995 reason being “the land is vested in Gaon Sabha”. The Learned single judge was pleased to dismiss the petition and respondent herein resorted to file LPA No. 591 of 2008.

The division bench of Hon’ble Delhi High Court opined that once the notification has been passed under section 507(a) of the Delhi Municipal Corporation act, 1957, the land becomes urbanized and it is no more a ruler area therefore, all the proceedings under DLR act 1954 becomes non-est, and parties are free to avail the remedy at appropriate forum.

Based on the above observation respondent was constrained to file a civil suit mandatory injunction accompanied with an application under order 39 rule 1 & 2 of Civil procedure code 1908, thereby seeking temporary injunction. Same suit was travelled to apex court at the instance of the respondent who filed a special leave petition (SLP). The apex court was pleased to dismissed the said SLP with direction to the revenue authority to decide case in hand issue efficaciously court further directed to hand over the possession to appellant herein.


The counsel on behalf of appellant contended that the Act of 1954 (DLR) is special code pertaining to rights of Bhumidhar. It was further claimed that so far as the Act of 1957 was concerned it is no where provided that 1954, Act is not applicable after urbanization under section 507 of Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC), Act of 1957 therefore the impugned judgment of the Division bench had to be intervened and looked into by apex court. For the above said contention ld. Counsel had relied on Om Prakash Agarwal vs. Batara Behera and Umed Singh vs GNCTD.

The counsel for the respondent submitted that respondent have right, title and interest over the concerned land and the appellant herein never challenged the sale deed executed in favour of respondent. Further it was contended that there is no error in the judgment of Division Bench, resultantly once the land has been urbanized mutation proceeding pending under 1954 act stand ceased.

Ld. counsel for the respondent had relied on Indu Khurana vs. Garam Sabha wherein division bench examined the same question and held that proceeding under 1954 Act becomes non-est after passing of notification under 1957 Act. Respondent further stated that in furtherance of sale deed and mutation the court should consider to restore the possession in the interest of justice.  


  • Om Prakash Agarwal vs. Batara Behera (1999) 3 SCC 231
  • Umed Singh vs GNCTD (1997) SCC Online Del 842
  • Indu Khurana vs. Garam Sabha 2010 SCC Online Del 1334


Once the ruler area has been urbanized under the 1957 act what will be the impact of the same on the provision of DLR 1954 act?


(For comprehensive understanding of case in hand follow up the following provisions of both the Acts.)

1954 Act- Section 1, 3(5) Delhi town, 3(13) “land”, 150

1957 Act- section- 2(61), 502, 507

  • Objective of 1954 Act:

para no.- 22– wherein court ascertained that object is to create unform body of peasant proprietors without intermediaries, and unification of tenancy laws.

  • Objective of 1957 Act:

Para no.- 29- wherein court viewed that 1957 law is to consolidate various municipal bodies which were looking after the municipal affairs.

  • Land”:

Apex court had emphasized on the term “land” in both the laws of 1954 and 1957 under section 3(13) and 2(25), respectively. Besides this court also considered the term “land” under Delhi Development Authority Act 1957 (DDA). So far as the DDA is concerned it is only for the purpose of development of Delhi in accordance with the sanctioned master plan.

  • Indu Khorana (supra)

Para no.- 36 & 37- Court recognized and confirmed the finding of Division Bench in Indu Khrona (supra) therebyopined that 1954 Act ceases to apply after notification under section 507 of 1957 Act.

  • Om Prakash Agarwal (supra)

Para no.- 38- Court vied that in so far as this judgment is concerned there was no issue concerning notification under section 507 therefore said precedent is not of any assistance to the appellant.

  • Umed Singh (supra):

Para no. 39- court held that said judgment was concerning the consolidation notification.

  • Article 142

Para no. 44- Though the court concluded that 1954 Act is not applicable after notification of 1957 Act, the court invoked power under Article 142 and upheld that the respondents are entitled to possession of the concerned disputed property in furtherance of registered sale deed 04.05.1989 as the same was never subject matter of challenge and the appellant claimed the right over the concerned property based on the adverse possession.

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