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Lease in perpetuity

(Querist) 15 August 2016 This query is : Resolved 
Is lease of 999 YEARS is equivalent to freehold title
R.K Nanda (Expert) 15 August 2016
Academic query.
Guest (Expert) 15 August 2016
Academic query.

Better discuss in detail what is the type of property and in which circumstances you could get lease for 999 years?
adv.bharat @ PUNE (Expert) 15 August 2016
No it is a lease can not be converted to free hold.

Please state full fact of case.
Adv.Shine Thomas (Expert) 15 August 2016
It is a leasehold title. In a leasehold title, the lease duration may be for a definite period.(ie,for 99,125 or 999 years)The use of land may be restricted by lease conditions.
Dr J C Vashista Online (Expert) 16 August 2016
Generally L & L is for a maximum period of 99 but not 999 years, if it is for 999 years it is invalid.
However, it is pure hypothetical and academic query.
K.Vishwanathan (Querist) 16 August 2016
Thanks. It id not an academic query. Land was acquired by the govt for A cooperative society and was leased to the society for 999 years. The acquisition cost was paid by the society. Thereafter the society has no interaction with the govt. If the society now wants to part with a part of the land for development can it do so as a fre title holder of the land?
P. Venu (Expert) 16 August 2016
A lease for 99 (or 999) years is not a lease in terms of Transfer of Property Act, but a cowl (or kowl/kaul) and hence governed by the provisions of Grant Act. Such leases, are in fact, conditional assignments

Assignment of lands on such leases has been custom of our country from immemorial esp. when large tracts of lands were granted for a specific purpose and the Government, or the ruler of the day, intended to assist the assignee through the system 'mafi' (exemption from land revenue), 'ishtawa' (graded assessment), and/or 'tuccavi' (money advanced for reclamation).

Generally, conditions are binding for a period of 30 years; the area that has been appropriated becomes the freehold property under ordinary assessment and that not appropriated, reverts back to the Government.

Baden Powel’s observations (Land Systems in British India, page 238) are significant:

‘The policy now is rather to lease the land for a term for years, and then only to allow the conversion of title to that of ownership (and that subject to paying land revenue) when the lessee has shown that he is in earnest and has really made proper use of the grant.

The following is the extract of the Bombay Land Revenue Rules, 1881 which could be helpful:

"21.The reclamation of salt land or land occasionally overflowed by salt water should be encouraged whenever there is a reasonable prospect of success and the occupancy of such land may be granted by the Collector, subject to the confirmation of the Commissioner, on the following maximum terms, and with such modification in particular cases as may be deemed fit:

(1) No revenue is to charged for the first ten years;
(2) Revenue at the rate of four annas per acre to be levied for the next twenty years on the whole area granted, whether reclaimed or not;
(3) At the end of thirty years the land to be assessed to the land revenue and to be continued under the rules then in force for land to which a survey settlement has been extended;
(4) Any portion of the land appropriated for public roads to be exempt from revenue;
(5) If half the area is not reclaimed at the end of five years, or if the reclamation is not carried on with due diligence within one year, the grant to be cancelled, but may be re-granted at the discretion of the Collector;

31. Whenever the occupancy of land is granted on special terms, whether as to the amount of assessment or as to the conditions of the tenure, a written lease shall be executed by the Collector clearly setting forth the terms of the grant.

Every such lease shall be in a form sanctioned by the Government, and, if no suitable form has been already so sanctioned, reference will be made to the Government and a sanctioned form obtained before the lease is executed."
K.Vishwanathan (Querist) 16 August 2016
Thank you sir. Your clarifications are illuminating and I think it settles the issue that I had raised. Thank you
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 16 August 2016
No reply to academic query.

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