Hyderabad: Land dispute cases are clogging the courts right up to the High Court, even after the computerization of land records has been completed. The government declared that it has completed the process of corrections in Records of Rights.
Approximately, one lakh land dispute cases are pending before the district and other lower courts and some 60,000 of these have been pending for more than a year.
In the High Court, on an average around 100 land related cases, including writ petitions, writ appeals, second appeals etc are filed, most of them seeking to direct concerned revenue authorities to issue patta (ownership) pass books or challenging the decision of revenue authorities in including their lands in the prohibition list and not registering them, stating that the lands are government or other type of land such as forest land.
According to some estimates, land-related disputes account for two-thirds of all pending court cases. Land disputes are mostly related to the validity of land titles and records, and rightful ownership.
A NITI Aayog paper suggests that land disputes on average take 20 years to be resolved.
Other than cases that are in dispute between private parties, which are negligible and can be solved with appropriate decisions of the courts, the cases filed against government relate to the decisions of the revenue authorities such as unilaterally holding the land to be government land even after the land has been registered several times to private parties who have been issued pattadar pass books.
Advocate Neeli Arjun Kumar says that since approximately two decades the surreptitious decisions of the revenue authorities and registration authorities on land issues have been causing more worries to land owners. These authorities insist the land parcels belong to the government and prohibit registration by listing it under Section22-A of the Registration Act even when the land has been treated as patta land for several years and has been transferred several times and registered under the Registration Act.
Even after pattadar passbooks have been issued to the owners, the revenue authorities change the classification of the land and title in favour of the government, without giving notice or giving the landowner a hearing, Mr Kumar says.