Kerala Revenue Recovery Act 1968
Arrears due to the Government and Statutory bodies, Corporation and other notified agencies are collected by setting the wheels of Kerala Revenue Recovery Act, 1968 in to motion. Before the formation of the present State of Kerala,. The Travancore -Cochin RR Act 1951, The Madras Revenue Recovery Act 1864 and the Madras Rent and Revenue sales Act 1839 was in force in the Travancore-Cochin area and the Malabar area respectively. It was for enacting a uniform law for recovery of arrears of public revenue in the state of Kerala that the Bill was introduced. It received the assent of the Governor. on 22.5.1968 and came into force on 15.12.1968.
Even though the District Collector or the Collector of the District is commonly referred to as " the Collector” Revenue Recovery Act envisages two types of Collectors. They are "District Collector or the Collector of the District” and " the Collector". Distinction is that the former can do any statutory act under the Act while Collector is authorised Officer. So the following Officers of Revenue Department are ' Collectors' under the K.R.R. Act. Vide SRO 286/70.
Dy.Collector in the District including Dy. (RR), RDO including Sub Collector, Assistant Collector in charge of Revenue Divisions.
Recovery of arrears of public
Revenue due on land
Now the position is that the District Collector alone can exercise the powers and functions u/s 43 (attachment and assumption of management of business, u/s 65 and 66 Arrest in case of willful and fraudulent non-payment of arrears and procedure in case of arrest, s.69 issue of Revenue Recovery Certificate.
The Practical application of Revenue Recovery starts with the issue of RRC. On receipt of requisition from Requisitioning agency, the District Collector after examining the same prepares a Revenue Recovery Certificate, signs it and forwards to the concerned Tahsildar under whose jurisdiction the defaulter is known to have movable or immovable articles and properties.
Whenever public revenue due on land is in arrear, such arrear, together with interest if any, and cost of process may be recovered by one or more of the following modes:
a) By attachment and sale of the defaulter's movable property (u/s 7)
b) By attachment and sale of the defaulters immovable property (u/s 36 and 49)
c) By appointing an agent for the management of the defaulters immovable property (u/s 37 to 43)
d) By arrest of the defaulter and his detention in prison.
Attachment and Sale of movables:
It is the preliminary notice intending to inform the defaulter that the amount shown in the notice in form 10 u/s 7 is payable by the addressee/defaulter with other charges in respect of the details that may be shown therein to the specified RR authority. Before the amendment Act of 1985, which received the assent of the Governor on 17.4.85, it was sufficient to show the notice u/s 7 to the defaulter. The amendment made it compulsory on the part of the RR Officers to serve the notice before attachment of movables.
The following are not attachable:
1. Ordinary wearing apparel
2. Tali, wedding ring or other ornament which according to custom or religious usage cannot be parted with.
3 Minimum articles required for Pooja or religious worship.
4. Implements of husbandry and ¼ of the number of ploughing cattle
5. Tools of artisans and
6. Such other articles that may be notified by the Government from time to time in the Gazette.
Attachment by seizure should be after sunrise and before sunset normally it shall not be lawful to a recovery officer to break open or enter any apartment appropriated for residence of women. Before entering such places if at all necessary, the entering officer should give sufficient notice in the presence of two persons of the locality other than Government officials.
The following also can be attached under this chapter. They are:
1. Debts, shares
3. Share in a movable property
4. Negotiable instruments
5. Property in the custody of court or public officer.
6. Partnership property
8. Negotiable instruments and share in Corporations
9. Order of payment of Coin or Currency notes.
Perishable articles like eggs, fruits, fish etc may be sold by Recovery authority at any time after a notice showing the list or inventory of the property to be sold together with a notice under the signature of the Collector of authorized officer specifying the place and day and hour at which and also the person by whom the property will be sold, is served on the defaulter
Attachment and sale of Immovable:
It is a demand notice served on the defaulter prior to the attachment of the immovable property of the defaulter. This is the written demand referred to in section 44. It shall specify the name of the defaulter/s, the amount of arrear, the date on which such arrear fell due, the interest on the arrear and other charges and other particulars as may be prescribed and the time allowed for payment (not less that 7 days from the date of service of the demand). But the statute does not envisage any such time where notice u/s 7 is served on the defaulter for attachment of movables.
The defaulter has got a right to file objection to the claim of arrears wholly or in part within the time so specified. If such an objection petition is filed it is mandatory on the part of the Collector/Authorized Officer to enquire that and record a decision before proceeding to attach the immovable property.
If such amount is not paid within the period so specified, the Recovery Officer can proceed for attaching the property as stated in section 36 according to which the attachment can be effected by affixing a notice thereof to some conspicuous part of the immovable Property and by serving a copy on the defaulter as per section 74. The attachment will take effect from the moment the notice u/s 36(1) is affixed on the property. ‘The Collector’ may at any time during attachment assume the management of the said property and if necessary appoint an agent to manage the property. Most probably the Manager may be the Village Officer or the Tahsildar. He has to maintain a register of management. Excess collected shall go to the defaulter.