Transfer of Property Law

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Standing Timber
1.Marshall v Green - (1875-76) L.R. 1 C.P.D. 35
In the case, the defendant purchased some growing trees, by word of mouth, on the terms that he would remove them as soon as possible. Later, when the defendant cut down some trees, the plaintiff countermanded the sale and prohibited the defendant from cutting the remaining. However, the defendant still cut them and carried them away. It was not denied by either party that there was a verbal contract. However, the question here was whether the contract was required to be in writing under the Statute of Frauds. The issue was whether there has been a transfer of interest in land (in which registration is compulsory) or whether it was a mere sale of timber. The Court held that it was a contract of sale and there had been acceptance of the agreement. It was not required to be in writing. Transfer of interest in land- when sale is of something which is to derive benefit from the land and to become altered by virtue of what it draws from the land. “The principle of these decisions appears to be this, that wherever at the time of the contract it is contemplated that the purchaser should derive a benefit from the further growth of the thing sold from further vegetation and from the nutriment to be afforded by the land, the contract is to be considered as for an interest in land; but where the process of vegetation is over, or the parties agree that the thing sold shall be immediately withdrawn from the land, the land is to be considered as a mere warehouse of the thing sold, and the contract is for goods.”

2.Shantabai v. State of Bombay – AIR 1958 SC 532
This case was a landmark case that laid down the test to determine when timber trees are standing timber and when they are immovable property. In this case, the petitioner filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India claiming that her fundamental right to cut and collect timber in the forest in question has been infringed. The...
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