TODAY -

PIL filed against 'misuse' of land records
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 16 2016: A PIL has been filed at the High Court of Manipur against alleged use of the land records handed over by the State Settlement and Land Records Department to the DCs concerned in the mutation, transfer, correction of records and maps and demarcation of land boundaries by the subordinate staff of some DCs.

The petition has been filed by one Ahongshangbam Achou Singh of Uripok Achom Leikai.

The petition mentioned that the Settlement and Land Records Department handed over the land records to the DCs for computerization of land records.

The subordinate staff of the DCs have no authority to use these records for other purposes, the PIL said.

Under Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue Act 1960, the State Government issued gazette notifications to conduct resurvey at 24 revenue villages of Imphal West-I sub-division and 13 villages of Imphal East.

The gazette notification with respect to Imphal West district was issued on October 23, 1990 and the gazette notification for Imphal East was issued on December 24, 2003 .

Later, gazette notifications with respect to re-survey of eight revenue villages of Thoubal district and three villages of Bishnupur district were also issued.

According to these gazette notifications, the corresponding powers of the respective DCs regarding survey of land were given to the Director of Settlement and Land Records Department to re-survey these villages.

The land records of the villages which require re-survey of land were also handed over to the Director of the Department.

Even as the Department was conducting re-survey at these villages, Commissioner (Revenue) of the Secretariat Revenue Department issued office memoranda instructing the Director of Settlement and Land Records to return the land records to the DCs concerned on April 24 and June 15, 2013 .

The office memoranda mentioned that these records would be used in the computerization of the land records and also mentioned that the computerization would be completed by March 31, 2014 .

As such, the State Settlement and Land Records handed over the land records to the DCs concerned on July 16, 2013 .

However, these records, which must be used in the computerization of land records alone, were used in other purposes as well by the revenue officers/public authorities and other subbordinate staff of the DCs.

The PIL said that number of land disputes have increased due to the 'misuse' of these land records by the authority.

Shortage of trained field staff and law and order problem has been cited as the reasons in the PIL for non-completion of re-survey works by the Settlement and Land Records Department.

A copy of the written request submitted to the Secretary (Revenue) on June 3, 2015 urging him to take up necessary steps to return the land records to the Director of Settlement and Land Records Department to complete the re-survey was also attached with the PIL.

The first hearing of the PIL case was conducted before a Bench of Justice N Kotishwar and Justice Songkhupchung Serto on March 14.The Court directed the Advocate General of the Government to submit relevant documents regarding the case.

Advocate Th Babita is the petitioner's counsel.


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