Govt Drafts a New Law to Guarantee Land Titles

Published: May 27, 2010
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To bring uniformity across the country and replace the existing deeds system fraught with litigation due to inaccuracies in property records, the Rural Development Ministry has drafted a model law to usher in a system of conclusive property titles with title guarantees through registration of immovable properties.

The Department of Land Resources under the Ministry has drafted The Land Titling Bill, 2010 that provides for establishment and management of a system of conclusive property titles with title guarantees and indemnification against losses due to inaccuracies in property titles, through registration of immovable properties.

“We have prepared the draft Land Titling Bill, 2010 and have invited public comments. We will soon be consulting state governments for their comments on the draft Bill. We will also be organising a workshop with state authorities to create awareness about the Land Titling system,” Rita Sinha, Secretary, Department of Land Resources, told The Indian Express.

The system envisaged under the Bill is currently operational in countries like England, Australia and New Zealand. It hopes to replace the existing deeds system under which the government does not give any title to any individual or organisation.

In fact, in the deeds system, all titles of immovable property are “presumed titles”, where title to property is claimed by people through diverse legally recognisable instruments. Usually it is the sale deed which is used as the prime instrument to claim title to property. But it gives rise to litigation with different persons furnishing different instruments to contest title claims.

In contrast, under the Land Titling system, the government guarantees conclusive title, as against presumed title, for every immovable property which is tagged with an unique property identification number.

Titles under the new system would be indefeasible — title of any immovable property entered in the Register of Titles cannot be altered or made void.

After sale, the Register of Titles will erase the earlier assignee in the register and replace it with the new holder. In The Register will, on behalf of the government, grant a certificate of conclusive title to the new holder.

The proposed draft model Bill envisages a Land Titling Authority which will have four different divisions — Title Registry, Survey Settlement and Land Information System, Property Valuation, and Legal Services and Title Guarantee — to ensure uniformity and usher in the new system. It also envisages instituting a Land Titling Tribunal to adjudicate issues arising at the time of ushering in the system.

Sinha said the National Land Records Modernisation Programme (NLRMP), approved by the Cabinet in 2008, has undertaken a massive programme that can be used as a platform to usher in the new system that seeks to address property rights concerns.

The NLRMP has undertaken computerisation of land records which includes data entry, digitization of cadastral maps and integration of textual and spatial data, strengthening of revenue and survey training institutions, village index maps and core GIS, legal changes and programme management.

“I am given to understand that the West Bengal government has almost completed digitization of its land records and is now ready to usher in the new system. I hope the model Act will help the state government modernise the property rights system in the state,” said Sinha, expressing the hope that the model law will provide the basis for uniformity across the country.

To download a copy of the Land Titling Bill, visit:

http://www.dolr.nic.in/landtitlingbill_notice.htm

Source: http://www.expressindia.com/


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