WSIL vs. State of Tamil Nadu Legal Dispute

In the legal case of WSIL vs. State of Tamil Nadu, a contentious dispute arose regarding land acquisition issues. WSIL, the petitioner, challenged the State of Tamil Nadu, the respondent, over the ownership and rectification of land records. The case involves complex issues such as patta ownership, government acquisition, and jurisdictional limits of the District Revenue Officer. Follow the legal saga as WSIL and the State of Tamil Nadu navigate through this intricate legal battle.


  • WSIL claimed an area of approximately 13.65 acres under survey numbers 70/1, 73/2, and 77 based on a registered sale deed dated 9 October 1929.
  • The State of Tamil Nadu issued a notice to show cause to WSIL for violation of a deed of assignment dated 26 February 1964.
  • WSIL instituted writ proceedings before the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution aggrieved by the DRO’s order.
  • The lands vested in the State Government upon acquisition and were assigned to WSIL under a registered deed of assignment dated 26 February 1964.
  • WSIL transferred parts of the acquired land to subsidiary companies for various purposes with approvals from the State Government.
  • A recommendation was made to cancel WSIL’s patta based on lack of documentation for the disputed land and the first respondent’s claim.
  • Various awards and notifications were issued regarding the acquisition of lands, leading to disputes over possession and rights.
  • The State Government affirmed the payment by WSIL towards the cost of acquisition and the absolute vesting of lands in the government.
  • The ongoing legal proceedings involve rectification of revenue records, lease agreements, and claims of possession by the first respondent.
  • The DRO had the authority to rectify defects in land registry records as per a government order issued in 2004.
  • Division Bench of the High Court set aside the judgment and order of the learned Single Judge dated 30 August 2016.
  • The District Revenue Officer’s order dated 28 December 2015 was challenged by the appellants.
  • The DRO rectified defects in the land registry based on a Government Order dated 17 August 2004.
  • The DRO’s reliance on a report by the Revenue Divisional Officer without furnishing a copy was noted by the Single Judge.
  • The Single Judge held that the DRO exceeded jurisdiction by enquiring into the title of the lands.
  • The Division Bench held that the DRO acted within jurisdiction in rectifying the mistake in land records and could verify documents provided by parties.
  • The Division Bench overturned the Single Judge’s finding of the DRO acting in excess of jurisdiction and set aside the order.
  • Edelweiss Asset Construction Co Ltd and WSIL filed separate Special Leave Petitions under Article 136 of the Constitution against the Division Bench’s decision.
  • The Division Bench’s decision favored the DRO’s actions, leading to the setting aside of the DRO’s previous order.

Also Read: Court’s Jurisdiction in Re-appraising Arbitrator’s Findings


  • The first respondent attempted to deal with the lands in violation of the interim order despite the status quo granted by the Court.
  • The first respondent claimed ownership of the land based on a sale deed dated 9 October 1929, but the terms of the deed and oral lease were not proven.
  • Upon acquisition by the State of Tamil Nadu, the land vested in the government free of encumbrances, making it impermissible for the first respondent to seek rectification of land records.
  • The first respondent relied on an oral lease executed in 1962 for fifty years, after which the land was to revert back to the owner.
  • Encumbrance Certificates used by the first respondent as evidence were challenged as being possibly interpolated by the State of Tamil Nadu.
  • State Government issued a resumption notice to WSIL and will take necessary action in accordance with the law independently.
  • Argued that Respondent had no locus to move an application for rectification of land records before the DRO.
  • Lands had been acquired by the State of Tamil Nadu, and any claimed interest would stand extinguished.
  • Respondent’s claim could have been for seeking compensation in accordance with the law.
  • Case based on a sale deed which was not presented before the DRO or the High Court.
  • Failure to produce ownership documents to prove title even before this Court.

Also Read: Contrary Directions in Issuance of Letter of Intent


  • Section 14 only bars suits against the government and its officials regarding entries in the patta pass book.
  • The DRO exceeded jurisdiction by adjudicating on title, a matter beyond its purview.
  • Claims based on sale deed and oral lease were not substantiated with evidence.
  • Multiple changes in legal representation during the proceedings were noted.
  • Rule 4(4) directs disputes regarding patta ownership to be resolved in a civil court.
  • Entries in the patta pass book are considered prima facie evidence of ownership.
  • Government Order empowered the DRO to rectify defects in land registry.
  • Government Order revoked powers previously given to Tahsildar for registry updates.
  • The Court did not make any observation on the merits of the show cause notice issued by the State of Tamil Nadu to WSIL for resumption of lands.
  • The Division Bench of the High Court’s view was deemed unsustainable and set aside.
  • Once WSIL accepted the state government’s acquisition of the lands, they no longer had any interest in it.
  • WSIL did not have the legal standing to pursue corrections of land records before the DRO.

Also Read: Application for Stay in Civil Suit Rejected: Court’s Legal Analysis


  • The appeals have been allowed in the above terms.
  • The order of the DRO dated 28 December 2015 has been set aside.
  • The judgment of the learned Single Judge is restored.
  • The Contempt Petition has been disposed of.
  • Nothing remains to be dealt with in this Contempt Petition due to the order in Civil Appeal No 1318 and 1319 of 2017.
  • All pending applications have been disposed of.
  • All rights and contentions of the parties in that regard are kept open.


Case Number: C.A. No.-001318-001318 / 2017

Click here to read/download original judgement

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