Saturday, December 3, 2022
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Court cases and modification in revenue laws

By Mohammad Amin Mir

Land ownership is the fundamental constituent of any system and is considered as an essential aspect of human society. An efficient land administration system is necessary for land dispute resolution since land rights are valuable and legal claims for them are enforced by the state. But in many states like the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir suffer from delay, cost, and uncertainty in final outcome of litigation. There are in place complex procedures that increase the total period by the process and appeals and revisions arising out of it.

Property dispute in land directly creates the doubts in the minds of stakeholders regarding the title of land, this results therein poor cultivation resulting low productivity and land degrades. Dispute over a patch of land, raising of crops become difficult as there is no proper ownership. At few places the non-agricultural land is of high value sale deeds,mortgage or lease is denied due to absence of clear land titles. If there are land disputes it reduces the interest among farmers to cultivate the land resulting it becomes a waste of valuable resources. Litigations and appeals become a burden by loss of money, fee of advocates, travel expenditure and expenditure towards documents. It is a social loss. It creates quarrels and at times result in murders.

Land disputes are time consuming, expensive and sometimes non-transparent. These are inaccessible to the rural population. These are formed in such forms and languages which are not known to the common people.

To overcome this village panchayats are encouraged by government but the litigants do not prefer these alternatives. In the country maximum land disputes are on land ownership issues. There is no clarity of title and there is sometimes administrative loophole also a major reason for the land disputes.

Many litigants believe that major cause of delay in settlement of property disputes is time spent on proceedings and the delivery of the judgement. Many times there is non-availability of advocates and frequent adjournments when asked by either of the parties.

Policy makers made land reforms like Land Ceiling Act 1961 by which only a limited area of land was allowed to be held by a family. Surplus land was taken away and given to landless people.

Tenancy Act 1948- A tenant is protected from evacuation and later is deemed as a purchaser. This act helped to raise the productivity. Author once asked his colleague Mr. Sanjay Kumar about explaining these twin sections of Agrarian Reforms Act(sec 4 and sec 8). He replied that land transferred under these sections to a tiller is meant for rice. Obviously, he was right in saying these words. Third is Land Acquisition Act 1894. By this law government has right to acquire any land for public purpose and the owner is given monetary compensation as is visible in our union territory by acquiring land for Railway line and NH-44.

Town Planning Act 1966- The government has right to reserve lands for special purposes, especially for residential and industrial purpose.

Forest and Wildlife Sanctuaries Act- Government is having rights to restrict the property to forest dwellers for conserving wildlife. These all laws are in force but still lack of due process and attention in resolving land disputes has made the process more time consuming and obviously cost also.

I have spent one year in record room where I met people from all walks of life. They come here for mutation copies, revenue extracts or copies of revenue court cases. I sometimes discussed with them and came to the conclusion that 90 percent land cases are related with the agricultural lands. Since non-agricultural lands are at prime location and is costly, the owners are very alert about their rights. Due to population growth and convergence of land many new disputes over land have arisen in last two decades. The nature of dispute is primarily based on the property rights like ownership, possession rights, right of use, right of way, right to use the land for water channel etc.

One example of Khanabal village of district Anantnag
Survey number 281 Khana cast Column is makboziAataszadgan. The government has allotted this piece of land to the families whose houses were burnt in devastating fire way back in the year 1984
One person residing in that patch of land is a businessman and has to made registration with the Municipality Committee Anantnag. There the officials asked him for revenue extracts and as my colleagues are busy round the clock with digitization, he approached my office for getting revenue extract. As he was thinking the land on which the house and shop was constructed will be in the name of his mother. But getting to know that the said land is “ makbooziathiszadgan” he left the office sadly knowing that rent deed will not be prepared. This is another kind of dispute.

In the event of globalization and autonomous economy principle . It is need of the day to accept the principles of “ free hold property rights”. We know land is the source of livelihood of weaker sections of the society. Government must take effective steps for modification in respective land laws thus safeguarding the interest of these poor sections. Outdated land laws may act as impediments in foreign investment and economy. The government needs to pay attention towards improvements in many laws related with lands.

(The writer is in charge district Record Room Anantnag)

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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