NITI Aayog frames a model Act on conclusive land titles


The NITI Aayog has framed a model Act on conclusive land titles that it hopes will be adopted and implemented by states. The aim is to facilitate easy access of credit to farmers and reduce a large number of land-related litigations, besides enabling transparent real estate transactions and land acquisition for infrastructure developments.

Since land is a state subject, all states will have to adopt the model legislation to roll it out for enhanced transparency in all future land transactions. Although several efforts were made in the past to move towards conclusive land titling, the proposals could never be pushed through.

Under the model Act, the land dispute resolution officer and the land title appellate tribunal are one-shot institutions which will fade away as the work reduces. Besides, it proposes a draft list of titles on which objections and claims are called for. “After disposal of these claims and objections, the registers of these titles are notified and thereafter the new registration process sets in,” it said.

As per the model Act, after three years of its notification the registers of titles attain conclusivity without any external action.

Conclusive land titles are guaranteed by the state for their correctness and entail provision for compensation by the state in case of any disputes. In India, currently transactions happen based on the presumptive land titles. Guaranteed title systems have been developed and adopted in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Land ownership in India is often determined through various records such as sale deeds, which are a record of the property transaction between the buyer and seller, besides property tax receipts and survey documents.

However, these documents are not a government guaranteed title but only a record of the transfer of property and hence can be challenged. The government is of the view that massive progress in computerisation of land records will help in moving towards conclusive land titles.

Under the Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme of the Department of Land Resources under the rural development ministry, the government has achieved more than 90% digitisation of land records. Out of the identified 655,959 villages, land records have been computerised in 90.1% or 591,221 villages across the country.

Some states like Maharashtra have already taken the lead and the Centre hopes other states will follow suit.

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