top of page

Matriz document is neither an instrument of title nor a source of possession: SC

State of Goa versus Narayan v. Gaonkar & ors, CIVIL APPEAL NO.1866 OF 2020.

“The matriz document which is claimed to be the basis of rights by the plaintiffs-respondents is not the document of title. We, thus, are of the considered opinion that the name of the Forest Department recorded in survey No.11,deletion of which has been refused and the name of plaintiffs-respondents in the record in the manner and circumstances in which it came on the records of rights does not establish any claim of the plaintiffs-respondents and defendant has clearly made out the case for allowing counter-claim.”

This appeal is by the state against the judgment and order dated 23rd april 2001 passed by the learned civil judge senior division, by which the learned civil judge has dismissed the suit and the court claim. The plaintiff- Respondent filed the suit claiming to be the owners in possession of property known as CONDA MOLL or BINDIGAL or BINDAN MOLL or CARIA MOLL, situated in a village, Quepem, Goa, inscribed in the land revenue office Quepem.

According to the Plaintiff- respondents, they were in possession of the property from several years, directly or through their ancestors. They claim that the name of the forest department only appears in the occupant’s column of the property record through the state as no right. They, therefore pray for deletion of the name of the Defendant from the survey record.

According to the defendants, who are appellants, the entire suit property in measuring 23, 04, 500 sq. meters. In their possession and belong to the forest department. They, therefore, pray for deletion of the name of Plaintiff from the survey record.

Learned counsel for the appellants in support of the appeal submits that the trial court having rejected the claim of the plaintiffs of ownership and the plaintiffs having not filed any appeal, the findings that they are not the owner of Survey has become final and no right or title can be claimed with regard to Survey by the plaintiffs.

Learned counsel appearing for the defendants refuting the submission of the appellants contend that the names of plaintiffs’ ancestors were recorded in Matriz document No.4, which clearly proves that it was the plaintiffs’ forefathers, who were owners of the suit property.

The respondents themselves claim that the documents which have been filed are public records and in public domain, only objection raised by the respondents is that it was not difficult for the State to have had knowledge and access to these documents. The veracity of the documents has not been disputed

The learned trial judge on the basis of the of Matriz document, which show that the property is recorded in the name of Essu Gauncar and others, held that the plaintiff (respondent) established that they are in possession of the property and that the name of the plaintiffs ancestor or also recorded in the survey record. The court specifically rejected the contention of the defendants (appellants) that the Matriz document doesn’t pertains the suit property since the said document specifically mentions the name of suit property as CONDA MOLL or BINDIGAL or BINDAN MOLL. The learned trial court relied on the evidence to come to the conclusion that the survey records correctly show that the possession of property is with the plaintiff.

In the Chapter of General Provisions, Clause 15 requires “Lease status of forest land will remain unchanged”. The suit filed by the plaintiffs was to delete the name of Forest Department from survey which suit having been dismissed the name of the Forest Department continues with regard to survey  Even though Gazette dated 11.01.1951 does not mention survey but Forest was declared in Village Sulcorna and Survey is forest land is proved by other evidence. We are satisfied that the counter- claim filed by the State deserved to be allowed and the name of the plaintiffs-respondents from survey deserved to be struck off.

Learned counsel for the respondents relying on the judgment of the Bombay High Court at Smt. Maria Teresa Philomena D’Rocha Pegado vs. State of Goa and others, has submitted that Portuguese Colonial Mining Law was in force prior to Goa becoming Union Territory and the State was owner of proprietorship of all deposits of minor minerals etc. which was so noted in the above case by the Bombay High Court.

“The Supreme Court in the view stated that the foregoing discussion, the appeal of the appellant is allowed, the counter-claim filed by the defendants in Suit is allowed. The name of plaintiffs-respondents is deleted from the occupant’s column in survey, Sulcorna Village of Quepem Taluka, District Goa. Parties shall bear their own costs.”

– S.Vishal Varma



bottom of page