The case in brief
The case revolved around petitioner A whose husband B, the owner of a forest,
has executed an unregistered document in the form of a lease in favor of A. Due
to this, A got the right to cut and make use of bamboo, teak, and fuelwood for
consideration of Rs. 26,000 for 12.5 years.
In 1950, the Madhya Pradesh Abolition of Proprietary Rights Act was passed
making A lose her right to cut any more trees. A filed a petition under Article
32 that her contractual right is denied and A further claimed compensation. The
issue was whether the nature of the right was a right regarding movable property
or immovable property.
The 5-judge bench pronounced a judgment in which 1 judge gave a separate
judgment. The 4 judges in their judgment explained that the document cannot be
taken as a lease but it does allow A to enter the land to cut the trees
aforementioned. It was told to be profit-a-prendre, i.e., the right to take soil
or minerals or any produce from a land. It was included in the judgment that
such trees are considered as standing timber as on the date of the document but
since the size is minimal and can fall earlier, are regarded as movable
The deed was an unregistered document that confirms that there was no violation
of any fundamental right in the first place and A cannot enforce it as A has not
acquired any right in the eyes of the law. Therefore, the petition was
One judge, Justice Bose pronounced a separate judgment that in case of a lease,
one can enjoy the property but that does not give them the right to remove it or
take it away from its original location. He added that trees are immovable and
in case of a lease, registration is a necessary requirement and for the lease of
immovable property form more than a period of one year, registration is a must.
The remaining trees covered by the grant would be immovable property, and the
deed required registration because the total value was Rs. 26,000.
The major conclusions arrived from this case were that trees are regarded as
immovable property. In the case of a lease, the person who enjoys the property
has no right to take it away. In a profit-a-prendre, one has permission to enter
the land, not to enjoy it, but to remove something. In the event that
registration is required, a deed is used to transfer the right. There is a
distinction between lease and profit-a-prendre. The lease enjoys movable
property, whereas a person has only the right to take the goods (such as soil,
or minerals from land) in profit-a-prendre.