Hyderabad: With the Prohibitory Order Book not being updated, the registration of assigned land continues unabated in Telangana. The Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act, 1977 bars transaction of assigned land. The POB contains the list of assigned lands.
Assigned land worth `8,700 crore is believed to have changed hands as the revenue and registration departments do not have updated POB records. The High Court in January this year took the state government to task for not maintaining an updated POB and directed it to update the list of prohibited land parcels and upload them on the website. It also stated that the registration of these land parcels would stand invalid.
A survey by the revenue department revealed that 1,74,834 acres of assigned land distributed to the poor by the government had changed hands, with officials allowing property transactions and registration of lands in the name of others.
As per 1977 law, property transaction of assigned lands is banned. The details of these lands should be notified under Section 22A of the Stamps & Registration Act which debars land classified as barren, assigned, poramboke and government land from being sold through the registration department.
Despite this, these lands have changed hands multiple times thanks to the nexus between revenue and registration officials and land grabbers.The departments also failed to notify these lands under POB and update the records regularly due to which there is no clarity over which land is assigned or not giving scope for buying and selling of these lands. The government has the power to take back the assigned land if it is sold to others. It has the power to allot this land to the poor.
But with these lands changing hands multiple times, an estimated 73,000 acres is stuck in legal disputes. Chief Commissioner for Land Administration Raymond Peter said that following recent High Court orders the process to update the POB has been speeded up and the list of prohibited lands will be sent to all stamp and registration offices soon.
“Henceforth, not a single property transaction of assigned lands notified under Section 22A of Registration Act will be allowed. The sub-registrar concerned will be held responsible for any such transaction and will be immediately suspended. The government has initiated steps to implement the HC order in letter and spirit,” Mr Raymond Peter said.