Land Records Modernisation: Legal Insights

2015 

Abstract

There are an estimated 24 million cases pertaining to land disputes pending before courts in India. This may well be a conservative estimate. This policy briefs looks at the Constituional position of land records in India, Presumtive and conclusive titling systems, Deeds-based registration system, and the need for legal changes incorporating technology modernisation. It argues that one of the critical outcomes for any land records modernisation effort should be reduction in litigation rates. Having an accurate comprehensive up-to-date land record system, along various parameters such as ownership, possession, classification, extent and encumbrances, which is real-time, mapped and shared across various departments and easily accessible to the common citizen, would be of value in obviating disputes around land. The legal issues as such cannot be separated from the larger political economy questions within which land is located in India. The policy brief also covers larger tenure and property rights issues and discusses the inadequacy of Model Titling Bill 2011.