The difference between Movable and Immovable Property with reference to Case Law
The Term “Immovable Property” occurs in various Central Acts. However none of those Acts conclusively define this term. The most important act which deals with immovable property is the Transfer of Property Act (T. P. Act).
B. Definition of Property:
i. According to Section 3 of that Act, “Immovable Property” does not include standing timber, growing crops or grass. Thus, the term is defined in the Act by excluding certain things. “Buildings” constitute immovable property and machinery, if embedded in the building for the beneficial use thereof, must be deemed to be a part of the building and the land on which the building is situated;
ii. As per Section 3(26) of the General Clauses Act 1897, “immovable property” “shall include land, benefits to arise out of land and things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth”. This definition of immovable property is also not exhaustive;
iii. Section 2(6) of The Registration Act,1908 defines “Immovable Property” as under: “Immovable Property includes land, building, hereditary allowances, rights to ways, lights, ferries, fisheries or any other benefit to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth but not standing timber, growing crops nor grass”. The above definition, implies that building is included in the definition of immovable property.
iv. The following have been held as immovable property: A right to collect rent, life interest in the income of the immovable property, right of way, a ferry, fishery, a lease of land.
(a) Immovable Property:
i. Things Rooted in Earth and Standing Timber, Growing Crops and grass.
iii. Timber trees and standing timber
v. Benefits arising out of land
vi. Things attached to Earth
vii. Attached to what is Embedded
(b) Movable Property
D. Section 5 of Transfer of Property Act, 1986.
E. Relevant Cases:
i. Shantabai v. State of Bombay, AIR 1958 SC 532.
ii. Chhotabhai Jethabhai Patel & Co. v. State of Madhay Pradesh, AIR 1952 Sc 108.
iii. State of Orrissa v. Titaghur Paper Mills Co. Ltd., AIR 1938 ALL 115.
iv. Anand Behera v. State of Orrissa, (1955) 2 SCR 919.