Buyers of rice paddies cannot reclaim them for building houses

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A full bench of the Kerala High Court has ruled that a person who bought a paddy field after the Kerala Paddy Fields and Wetlands Conservation Act 2008 came into force does not have the right to the claim for the construction of a residential building.

The bench headed by Chief Justice S. Manikumar rendered the decision while deciding whether a person who had made such a purchase was entitled to file a claim under section 5(3) ( i) and article 9 of the law to recover it. for the construction of a residential building.

The legal issue was raised before the full bench as the two divisional benches had taken a divergent view on the legal issue.

The court observed that after a thorough analysis of section 3 of the law, it appeared that after the introduction of the law on August 12, 2008 and from that date, no owner, occupier or person in custody of A paddy field could not undertake any conversion or rehabilitation of these paddy fields except in accordance with the provisions of the law.

From reading Subsection (3) of Section 5, it was clear that the benefit of the conversion of the paddy field for the construction of a residential building was given to the sole owner of the paddy field.

The tribunal observed that if the buyers had the right to apply for the restoration of the land and if this were allowed, successively, the prohibition contained in section 3 of the 2008 law could be easily flouted.

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