The Madras High Court has held that when the land which is meant for public use is grabbed with utmost contempt for the law of land, by creating false records, it cannot be perpetuated or saved by the application of any equitable doctrine or technical arguments.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice T. Raja and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy observed that when the Judgment obtained by playing fraud on the Court is non-est in the eye of law, the petitioners cannot take umbrage under the technical arguments that separate proceedings ought to have been initiated against the suit proceedings by filing an appeal or for exercising the power under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

The decree of Civil Court is a result of fraud and thereafter using the same before this Court in the writ petition amounts to further perpetration of fraud”, added the Bench.

Advocate T. Thiageswaran appeared for the Appellants and Advocate R. Shunmugasundaram appeared for the Respondents.

Going by the background of the case, the appellants had approached this Court contending that they were the absolute owners of a property purchased by them by a registered Sale Deed. Earlier, when ''Uzhavar Sandhai'' was sought to be established by the State Authorities over the said land, they had filed a suit seeking for a declaration that they were the owners of said property and consequently sought a permanent injunction. Finally, a decree was granted and a permanent injunction was issued restraining the State Authorities from interfering with the said land.

In the teeth of the said decree, it was claimed that respondents were taking steps to establish ''Micro Compositing Centre'' in the same lands. Considering that Competent Civil Court had decreed the suit, the Single Judge of Court directed the respondent to remove the structures already put up by them. When the District Collector, Chennai, challenged the said direction, the Single Judge after considering the pictures of both the original and fabricated register, held that the document which was the basis of the grant of a decree was a forged and false document. Further, Ryotwari Patta issued in the name of Rathinavelu, by the Assistant Settlement Officer, was again found to be a completely bogus document. Therefore, finding that said Ryotwari Patta, which is claimed to be the basis of the title was also bogus, the Single Judge held that the decree of the Civil Court is only a result of the fraud played on the Court and hence non-est in the eye of law.

After considering the submissions, the Division Bench was in complete agreement with the Single Judge, that the register produced by the appellants in the suit is a manipulated and forged document, and hence, it is not necessary for any cross-examination or extensive trial in that regard.

While the name of Rathinavelu, the predecessor in title is found in Column No.11, Column No.12, stands unaltered as ''Anadheenam''. ''Anadheenam'' means a land which is not standing in the name of any person. Therefore, if in the previous Column if the name of Rathinavelu is officially entered, as a natural corollary Column No.12 would have also been altered as the relevant use, namely, Punja or Nanja or House site, belonging to the said Rathinavelu. Therefore, the contention of the Counsel for the appellants is that no opportunity was given to them in determining the issue is totally without any merits and on the face of it Ex.A-3 'A' register, is forged and manipulated document. Further, no equivalent records for the entry of the name of Rathinavelu, is also found or produced before this Court. The Collector, in his earliest order, has categorically mentioned that there are no equivalent proceedings or files to enter the name of the said Rathinavelu. While this being the position in respect of Ex.A-3, Ex.A-4, is again a bogus document on the face of it as clearly noted down by the Single Judge”, added the Bench.

Noticing that the orders referred to in the document, absolutely relate to some other persons and property, and thus a fictitious document, the High Court find it strange that when the title is claimed to the vendor of the appellants through Ryotwari Patta granted under the Tamil Nadu Estates (Abolition and Conversion into Ryotwari) Act, 1948, at the same stretch, how can it was claimed that a regular Patta is also issued in the name of the father of the said Rathinavelu.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the appeal, observing that fraud vitiates every solemn proceeding and no right can be claimed by the fraudsters on the ground of technicality.

Cause Title: R. Vetri and Anr. v. District Collector and Anr.

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