Keywords : Land, Assignment, Registered Land Holder
Amendment appended: 8 of 2012

An Act to provide for the assignment of Government lands
Preamble.- WHEREAS it is expedient to regulate the assignment of Government
lands and to remove doubts as the validity of the limitations and restrictions imposed in
assignments of land by the Government or under their authority;
BE it enacted in the Eleventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
1• Short title, extent and commencement.- (1) This Act may be called the Kerala
Government Land Assignment Act, 1960.
(2) It extends to the whole of the State of Kerala
(3) It shall come into force at once.
2• Definitions.- (1) The following, that it to say-
• all public roads, streets, lanes and paths, the bridges, ditches dykes and fences on or
beside the same;
• the bed of the sea and of harbours and creeks below high watermark, the beds and
banks of rivers, streams, irrigation and drainage channels;
• all canals, tanks, lakes, back-waters and water courses;
• all land wherever situated,
save in so far as the same are the property of-
(a) jenmis or holders of Inams; or
(b) holders of land in any way subject to the payment of land revenue to the
Government; or
(c) any other registered holder of land in proprietary right; or
(d) any person holding land under grant from the Government otherwise than by way
of lease or licence; or
(e) any person claiming through or holding under any of the persons referred to in
clause (a), (b), (c), or (d), are, and are hereby declared to be, Government lands except as
may be otherwise provided by any law for the time being inforce, subject to all rights of
way and other public rights and to the natural and easement rights of other land owners
and to all customary rights legally subsisting.
Explanation I.–Lands registered in the name of a person but subsequently
abandoned or relinquished and all lands held by right of escheat, purchase, resumption,
reversion or acquisition under the Land Acquisition Act for the time being in force are
Government land within the meaning of this sub-section.
Explanation II.–In this sub-section, the expression “high watermark” means the
highest point reached by the ordinary spring-tide at any season of the year.
(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-
(a) “assignment” includes a transfer of land by way of lease and a grant of licence
for the use of land;
(b) “assignee” includes his heirs;
(c) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act.

  1. Assignment of Government land.- (1) [1] Government land may be assigned by
    the Government or by any prescribed authority either absolutely or subject to such
    restrictions, limitations and conditions as may be prescribed.
    ((2) No Government land assignable for public purpose may be assigned under sub
    section (1) without consulting the local authority as defined in the Kerala Panchayat Raj
    Act, 1994 (13 of 1994) or the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 (20 of 1994) as the case
    may be, and if such authority requires such land, for carrying out any of the functions
    assigned to it, Government may set apart such land for that purpose.) [2]
    Explanation .-Any restriction as to alienation, whether voluntary of otherwise, of the
    rights of the assignee, shall be a restriction within the meaning of this section.
  2. Procedure to be followed before Government lands are assigned.- (1) When any
    Government land is proposed to be assigned by the prescribed authority, otherwise than
    by way of lease or licence, the Tahsildar of the taluk in which the land is situate or any
    officer empowered by that Government in this behalf shall notify in the prescribed
    manner that such land will, by public auction or otherwise, be assigned ‘and call upon
    those who have got any claim to such land to prefer to him their objections, if any, in
    writing, within a time which shall be specified in such notification.
    (2) If any objection is preferred within the time specified in the notification, the
    Tahsildar or such other officer shall enquire in to the same and pass an order in writing
    either accepting or rejecting the claim in full or in part and intimate in writing the fact of
    such disposal to the claimant.
    (3) For the purposes of the enquiry under sub-section (2) the officer making the
    enquiry shall have all the powers conferred upon the Collectors and Tahsildars by the law
    for the time being in force regarding summoning of persons for disposal of matters
    connected with the revenue administration.
  3. Order of assignment.- (a) when the time fixed in the notification under subsection (1) of section 4 has elapsed and no objection has been preferred; or
    (b) when any objection preferred is rejected and-
    • the time for preferring an appeal from the order has elapsed and appeal has been
    preferred; or
    • When an appeal has been preferred and the appeal is rejected by the appellate
    authority, the land may, subject to such rule as may be made by the Government in this
    behalf, be assigned by the prescribed authority.
  4. Bar of suits.- No suit against the Government shall be entertained in any civil court
    in respect of any order passed under this Act except upon the ground that-
    (a) the order is in breach of any completed agreement to assign, or
    (b) the land in respect of which such order has been passed is not Government land:
    Provided that any such suit by a person who was a party or privy to and had due
    notice of the proceeding under this Act shall be instituted within two years from the date
    of service of the notice of such order.
    • Power to make rules.- (1) The government may make rules-
    (a) prescribing the manner in which assignment of land may be made, whether by
    public auction or otherwise;
    (b) prescribing the qualifications of persons to whom assignment of lands may be
    (c) prescribing the order of priority for the assignment of land, whether by public
    auction or otherwise;
    (d) prescribing the authority by which such assignment may be made;
    (e) prescribing the procedure to be followed in assigning the land;
    (f) providing for the publication of notifications and service to notices;
    (g) prescribing the procedure to be followed in the enquiry regarding claims
    (h) prescribing the rates at which land may be assigned and tree growths may be
    valued; and the mode of recovery of the amounts due;
    (i) providing for the protection of royalties on the land assigned;
    (j) prescribing the restrictions, limitations and conditions subject to which an
    assignment can be made in any case or class of cases;
    (k) providing for appeal from the orders of any authority competent to assign any
    • prescribing the time within which appeals may be preferred;
    (m) regulating the powers of the appellate authority and the procedure to be
    followed by such authority;
    (n) providing for revision by the Board of Revenue of any order passed by the
    prescribed authority, and prescribing the time within which such revisional power may be
    (o) regulating the issue of Pattah or other title-deed evidencing the assignment;
    (p) prescribing forms where forms are necessary; and
    (q) generally for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
    (2) All rules made under this Act shall be published in the Gazette and thereupon
    they shall have the force of law.
    (3) All rules made under this Act shall be laid for not less than fourteen days before
    the Legislative Assembly, as soon as possible after they are made, and shall be subject to
    such modifications as the Legislative Assembly may make during the session in which
    they are so laid or the session immediately following.
  5. Assignment to take effect with restrictions, conditions, etc., according to their
    tenor .-All the provisions, restrictions, conditions and limitations contained in any Pattah
    or other document evidencing the assignment of Government land or of any interest
    therein shall be valid and take effect according to their tenor, notwithstanding any law for
    the time being in force or any custom or contract to the contrary
    Explanation .-In this section, the expression “Government land” shall include land
    under the control or management of the Government at the time of the assignment.
    ( * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ) [3]
    9 . Repeals .-(1) The Travancore-Cochin Government Land Assignment Act, 1950
    (XXXIII of 1950), is hereby repealed.
    (2) The Government Grants Act, 1895 (Central Act 15 of 1895), in so far as it relates
    to any grant or other transfer of land or of any interest therein by or on behalf of the
    Government of Kerala, shall cease to apply to the Malabar District referred to in subsection (2) of section 5 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 (Central Act 37 of 1956).
    (3) All rules and orders made or deemed to have been made under the TravancoreCochin Government Land Assignment Act, 1950 hereby repealed, and all rules and
    orders in force immediately before the commencement of this Act relating to the
    assignment of Government lands in the Malabar District referred to in sub-section (2) of
    section 5 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 (Central Act 37 of 1956), so far as they
    are no inconsistent with this Act shall be deemed to have been made under the
    corresponding provisions of this Act, and shall continue to be in force accordingly unless
    and until superseded by anything done or any action taken under this Act.