Benami Property: All you need to Know


What does Benami mean?

Benami is a South Asian word that means “without name” or “no name”. So, the term benami property means property without a name. It includes the transactions, in which the person who pays for the property is the beneficiary who purchase the property in the name of another person. The person does not buy it under his/her own name. The person on whose name the property has been purchased is called the benamdar and the property so purchased is called the benami property.

Meaning of Benami as per ‘’Merriam Webster” dictionary: made, held, done, or transacted in the name of (another person) – used in Hindu law to designate a transaction, contract, or property that is made or held under a name that is fictitious or is that of a third party who holds as ostensible owner for the principal or beneficial owner.

The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988: Evolution and developments

  • The 57th report of Law Commission on ‘Benami Transactions’ was forwarded by the chairman, Mr. P. B. Gajendragadkar on August, 1973.
  • Accordingly, the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 was enacted by the Parliamentwhich came into force on 19 May 1988.
  • The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2011 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in July 2011. The report was submitted by the Standing Committee in June, 2012. The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2011 however lapsed in view of dissolution of the Fifteenth Lok Sabha.
  • The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on May 13, 2015 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. It was then referred to by a Standing Committee on Finance. The Committee submitted its report on April 28, 2016. The government has proposed amendments to the Bill on July 22, 2016. Then, it was passed in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on July 27 and August 2 respectively. On 10th August, 2016, the Act received the assent of the President. On 25th October,2016, the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) notified that the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 which would come in effect from November 1, 2016.


What falls under benami transaction?

As per Section 2(8) “benami property” means any property which is the subject matter of a benami transaction and also includes the proceeds from such property.

The following transaction are benami transaction under Section 2(9)-

  • A property which is purchased using a fictitious/fictional name means the owner does not exist.
  • Person holding the property has no knowledge about the transaction mode or ownership of the property.
  • A person who has provided the required money for the transaction is no longer traceable.
  • Person holding the property or the person on whose name the property has been transferred has not paid the money or the price of the property in question is paid by someone else.

Any transaction where possession of any immovable property is taken as a part performance of a contract is not a Benami transaction if the contract is registered and consideration as well as stamp duty have been paid.

Property would include asset of any kind, whether movable or immovable, tangible or intangible, and includes rights or interest as well as proceeds from the property.

For example, Suppose a property of Rs. 10 Lakhs was purchased in the name of Mr.B, and the consideration was paid by Mr. A, who is not traceable, is a Benami transaction.

What isn’t a benami transaction?           

Benami Transaction has the following exceptions:                                                                    

  • In case of Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), Karta or any other member of HUF owns or held any property for his benefit or for the benefit of the family members and the consideration for the same is paid out of the known source income of HUF.
  • A person acting within fiduciary capacity for the benefit of another person i.e. transaction involving trustee, executor, partner, director of a company, a depository or a participant as an agent of a depository under the Depositories Act, 1996 and any other person as may be notified by the Central Government for this purpose.
  • Any individual transacting in the name of his/her spouse or any of his/her children (excluding married daughter) and consideration of such property is paid out of the known source of income of the individual.
  • any person in the name of his brother or sister or lineal ascendant or descendant, where the names of brother or sister or lineal ascendant or descendant and the individual appear as joint-owners in any document, and the consideration for such property has been provided or paid out of the known sources of the individual.

Facts for determination

  • The source from which the purchase-money was derived;
  • The possession of the property
  • The position of the parties and their relation to one another;
  • The circumstances or otherwise, of the alleged transferor;
  • His motive in taking the alleged transfer;

Authorities involved:

  • Initiating Officer
  • Approving authority
  • Administrator
  • Adjudicating Authority

“Initiating Officer” means an Assistant Commissioner or a Deputy Commissioner as defined in clauses (9A) and (19A) respectively of section 2 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Approving Authority” means an Additional Commissioner or a Joint Commissioner as defined in clauses (1C) and (28C) respectively of section 2 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

“Administrator” means an Income-tax Officer as defined in clause (25) of section 2 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Adjudicating Authority:

(a) has been a member of the Indian Revenue Service and has held the post of Commissioner of Income-tax or equivalent post in that Service; or

(b) has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held the post of Joint Secretary or equivalent post in that Service.

 Detailed Procedure

An Initiating Officer, if believes that person is benamidar then he may issue the notice to that benamidar with the previous approval of the Approving Authority. Initiating officer may hold the property for a period of 90 days from the date of issue of notice.

Then after 90 days, the case is referred to Adjudicating Authority. On receipt of a reference, the Adjudicating Authority shall issue notice, to furnish such documents, particulars or evidence as is considered necessary on a date to be specified therein. The notice shall provide a period of not less than thirty days to the person to whom the notice is issued to furnish the information sought.

The Adjudicating Authority after considering the reply, such inquiries, reports or evidence, taking into account all relevant materials, give an opportunity of being heard to the benamidar, the Initiating Officer, and any other person who claims to be the owner of the property. Then pass an order on whether or not to hold the property as benami.

But no order shall be passed after the expiry of one year from the end of the month in which the reference was received.

According to the order of the Adjudicating Authority, the Administrator will confiscate the property.

The Administrator shall,—

(a) by notice in writing, order within seven days of the date of the service of notice to any person, who may be in possession of the benami property, to surrender or deliver possession thereof to the Administrator or any other person duly authorised in writing by him in this behalf;

(b) in the event of non-compliance of the order referred to in clause (a), or if in his opinion, taking over of immediate possession is warranted, for the purpose of forcibly taking over possession, requisition the service of any police officer to assist him and it shall be the duty of the officer to comply with the requisition.


Appellate Tribunal

In case the individual is not satisfied with the order of adjudicating authority, may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal.

A person preferring an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal under this Act may either appear in person or take the assistance of an authorised representative of his choice to present his case before the Appellate Tribunal.

Appeal to High Court

Any party aggrieved by any decision or order of the Appellate Tribunal may file an appeal to the High Court within a period of sixty days from the date of communication of the decision or order of the Appellate Tribunal to him on any question of law arising out of such order.

The High Court may entertain any appeal after the said period of sixty days, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal within the period specified.


Special Court

Chapter VI provides for constitution of special Courts. The Central Government, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court, may appoint one or more Courts of Session as Special Court or Special Courts for such area or areas or for such case or class or group of cases, by notification, for trial of an offence punishable under this Act.

The Special Court shall not take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act except upon a complaint in writing made by—

(i) the authority; or

(ii) any officer of the Central Government or State Government authorized in writing by that Government by a general or special order made in this behalf.



Anyone found guild of entering into a Benami transaction would be liable for rigorous imprisonment for minimum of 1 Year to maximum of 7 year and Financial Penalty of up to 25% of the fair market value of the property.

If anyone gives incorrect information or explanation in response to any inquiry to any authority, he shall be punishable with Rigorous imprisonment of minimum 6 months to maximum of 5 years and Financial penalty up to 10% of the fair market value of the property.




About Author of more than 200 books

Com. (Hons.), FCA, FCS, FCMA, LL.B.,

M.B.A, DIPR, Dip IFRS (UK), Dip LL&LW,
Dip in criminology, Ph.D.

Mobile: 98200 61049

Email id: [email protected]

Precautions before giving token to book your home

By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD

Home buyers who were having only allotment letters and payment receipts are at a loss as they count not convince the law execution process as to their bonafied contentions to purchase homes. Often buyer of real estate give a token, Ernest money, advance, booking amount, subvention token of ratio (20:80) etc by whatever name called.
Hundreds of Order under RERA in the country have seen these allotment letters and advance receipt in suspicious transaction and never gave the due justice as they should have got.
In my opinion, an advance given by whatever named called is first step to enter into contractual obligations. By accepting it builder is at the other end must adhere to what was promised at the time of taking the money/ advance. Under section 12 of RERA, it is provided that if at the time of taking token, whatever builder has promised must he should deliver.
In the matter of PCIT v Vembu Vaidyanathan, Hon’ble Bombay High Court observed that : Section 45 Capital Gain , The allottee gets title to property on issue of allotment letter. The payment of installements is only a follow-up action. Taking delivery of possession is only a formality. Accordingly, the date of allotment is the date on which the purchaser of a residential unit can be stated to have acquired the property ( CBDT Circular applied).
Will allotment letter treated as contract/ agreement? In my opinion, any advance given and accepted will lead to concluded contracts and must looked at Agreement. In many cases, MAHA RERA have treated a 28 pages long so called allotment as “Agreement for Sale” hence qualified for Section 18 remedies.
What you should see before giving advance? Builder usually put a cancellation clause in the allotment letter. The cancellation charges / forfeiture charges are 10% of the purchase consideration or value of the apartment and not token amount. One must insist that no such charges be imposed. Besides this, if home buyer paying more than 10% of the purchase consideration then you must enter into agreement for sale.

How to buy Agriculture land in India

By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD

INVESTMENT in the agricultural land, as a real estate, can rated prime amongst many available, property-options . Realty, citizen are getting into cultivates like horticulture, dairyming ,forestry and farming, the fascination and expectations. This trend is emerging and increasing steadily

. The businessmen, industrialists, builders and financiers are plunging into this various activity , with unknown enthusiasm . Even upper middle class is ushering into this traded investment land. Some have already jumped into it and some others are ready to jump to it. “ Farm-owner” seems to the newest status-symbol. How to acquire this enchanting a enthralling status symbol? There is an attempt to provide sidelines to an incumbent deciding to be the owner of an agriculture land.

Agriculture and human life have direct nexus since times immemorial and every civilization has robbed and prospered amidstesh forestry and agriculture . The propriety of foodcrops, fruits, flowers, seeds beans , leave, herbs, wood, fodder, timber etc. products grown on the earth is innumerable and catering too! Mother Earth has in there for us , various mineral and rental deposits beneath and, various crops and plants on the surface to supplement human life. Man was an agriculturist first and progressed to today’s level therefrom. Agricultural has several branches which can be enumerated as follows :-

  • Horticulture 2) Floriculture 3) Sericulture 4) vegiculture 5) Poultry- farming 6) Dairy Farming 7) Bee-keeping ,

Agriculture land and operations in Maharashtra are regulated by three pieces of legislation viz. 1)The Bombay Tenancy and Agriculture Lands Act, 1948 .2) The Maharashtra Land Revenue Code ,1966 & 3) The Maharashtra Agricultural lands (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961. The legal terminology used in these legislation are briefly summarised here below for clearer understanding of the working and dealing later on.

The term “ Agriculture” carries the usual and popular meaning and

includes horticulture too. Agriculture , thus , encompasses the raising of crops and grass and fruits and flowers, but it does not include allied pursuits like diary ,poultry , grazing , livestock-breeding and wood-cutting . However, the use of the land for the grazing of one’s own agricultural cattle abovestated definition should be applied to determine whether an activity or pursuit is Agricultural or otherwise.

The term “ land Revenue” means all sums or payments in money , received or legally climbable by or on behalf of the state Government from any person on account of any land or interest therein . The land revenue includescess , rate, premium, rent , lease-money ,quit rent , Judi or other fees and charges declared under any rule ,act, contract or scheme. Correspondingly, Non Agricultural Assessment Tax means the assessment tax fixed on any land put to use for a non-agricultural purpose.

Points to be considered, permissions to be obtained and documents to be prepared .

  • 7/12 Extract: This the basic document of title and recording a record of rights herein the A-land survey no. with Hissa , Ghat No., measurement of A. Land area, name of the owner/ hold/tenant along with the types of the crop taken. It is available from the Talathin of the village. A. model 7/12 extract is given alongside.
  • 6 & 6/12 extracts: 6/12 extract denote s various mutation entries pertaining to different types of rights attached to or created or transferred to the legal heirs or other person in respect of particular land. It records how the A-Land has changed hands and what other rights are created on it. It is read in conjunction with the 7/12
  • 8/A extract : This is in the form of a booklet containing therein the details of Payments of Land Revenue tax, types of crop taken , owner’s name , etc. Together with 7/12 & 6/12 extract, 8/A extract gives a full view of the
  • Land Revenue Tax Receipts : They are issued to the agriculturists by the Talathin/ Tehsildar upon payment of Land-Revenue Tax and other cases if
  • Part – Village-Map & Block Plan:- This is to be obtained to locate , identify and tally the location of the A-Land vis- a-vis the Physical location of the A-Land.
  • Size, shape & dimensions of the plot:- There are to be noted with a particular view to determine and verify the access to the A-Land, existing or proposed . It should be tallied by an actual survey of the A-Land.
  • Access road & Internal roads :-There are to be confirmed by inquires with the neighbours, revenue officers and the right of way for a particular piece of A-Land.

Underground water search:- This can be carried out be a scientist or a water -diner and fix the point where to dig a well or a bore well for water supply.

  • Rainfall & Temperatures:- These should be noted under .These should be noted and understood with reference to the proposed crops to be taken. Areas of hazardous climatic conditions should be avoided .
  • Soil testing- This is very important in order to plan out the crop- pattern to be undertaken suitable to the qualities of the A- lands. This is done by government Agencies as well as private
  • Reservations or Acquisitions , if any:- Road and other public purposes by W.D. , zilla panchayata ,dam, water ,projects , canals, forest, industrial zone. Etc. to be inquired with different concerned authorities viz. BMRDA, corporation , panchayata, states government .
  • Agricultural land ceiling :- categories of lands and respective limits to be ascertained and related. NOC to be obtained from the competent The sale is always subject to and should confirm to the agricultural land ceiling act of the state Government .
  • Original title deeds:- These should be thoroughly checked by the competent legal advisor to determine the clear and marketable title of the A-
  • Legal search report & public notice:- These are to be taken out to further investigate the title of the A-land under sale by an Advocate. 
    • Encumbrances , if any:- Bank or private party mortgagee, charge, lien, to be ascertained and should be settled before the deal is finalised or the document is registered.
    • Litigation at revenue courts, collector, mamlatdar, civil court or High court :-All the related paper should be studied to know the effect of these litigations on the title of the A-land under
    • Demarcation and survey and boundary :- DILR and circle inspector are the authorities to conduct an official survey of the A-land by proper demarcation.
    • Disputes of boundary , if any:- These are essential to be sorted out and fix the Demarcation lines to know the exact boundaries form all
    • Claims of outsiders, if any :- Any karja/boja on A-land by the Agriculturist should be settled first before the conveyance of the A-land.
    • Family disputes, if any:- There are to be know first and in advance to settle every concerned person’s individual and jointrights and interests before the payment is parted with .
    • Sale -permissions , if required :- This should be obtained prior to the completion of the sale of A-land. Other wise the sale may be declared null and
    • A-land belonging to cultivators:-This is also not saleable A-land . The collector or Revenue Tribunal doesn’t grant sale permissions to the cultivator to sell his land to anyone, Therefore, A-land with Kul- holding u/s 32G should not be bought.
    • A-land belonging to Adiviasi:- These should never be bought by a non-Adiviasi can only sell to another
    • Inami land :- Old conditions and new conditions are attached to such A-land and hence normally it is not advisable to buy such Inami
    • M. Permissions, if necessary:- For a bungalow or a farm house, Farmhouse rules are made out and accordingly , the permission should be obtained .
    • An Agricultural only can buy an Agricultural land:- This is of paramount importance and hence only a farmer can acquire the A-land . A non farmer is not eligible to buy A-land without prior permission of the collector.
    • Valuation report of A-land:- This should be obtained from the registered valuer and the agreement should be made keeping in view this report or there about .
    • Agreement to sell:- This should be drafted, executed and registered by a competent Advocate putting there in all relevant terms and conditions



    • Power of Attorney :- This should be obtained form the Vendors to the Buyers for necessary follow up at various revenue offices and other persons.
    • Indemnity Bond:- This is required in case , a certain condition is to be specifically fulfilled by the vendor in favour of the A declaration

    -cum-Indemnity Bond should also be taken from the vendors , where necessary .

    • Deed of conveyance:- This is to be , finally , executed duly stamp

    -duty paid.


    • Registration of deed:- This conveyance must be duly registered with the registrar of assurances for the legal
    • New 7/12 extract shall , then , reflect the name of the new-owner,

    i.e. the buyer.

Leave and License Agreement : Why Eleven Months only?

By SRELJ Bureau

There is a practice prevalent in Maharashtra that a Leave & License Agreement in respect of a residential premises is, usually, entered into and executed for a period of 11 months. The question arises whether it can not be for more than 11 months, if both the parties are interested in a much longer period.

A license has been defined in Section 62 of the Indian Easement Act, as a right to do or continue to do something in or upon an immovable property. It does not transfer the interest or create any interest in the immovable property, like a ‘LEASE’, as defined in Section 105 of the Transfer of Property Act, as a right to enjoy property for a certain period in consideration of the price paid. Provisions of Section 62 of the Indian Easements Act do not prescribe, any minimum or maximum period for which a license may be granted.

A lease of an immovable property in Maharashtra used to be governed by the provisions of the Bombay Rents, Hotel & Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 (Popularly known as Bombay Rent Act,) which did not provide, prior to 1.2.1973, for giving a residential premises on Leave & License basis. Nevertheless, a practice was in vogue to give the residential premises on Leave & License basis. An instrument creating a lease of immovable property for a term of one year and above is required compulsorily to be registered by virtue of provisions of Section 17 (d) of the Indian Registration Act.

Therefore, Leave & License Agreements were being executed for a period of 11 months with the intention with the intention to avoid the stamping and registration of such agreements and treating such. Agreements as a Lease of the immovable property. So that the occupiers of such premises could not invoke the provisions of the said Bombay Rent Act against their eviction. Secondly in respect of Flats in a registered Co-Operative Housing Society, period of sub-letting was restricted to eleven months with the provision of extension for similar period of part thereof, as per Bye-law 45 © of the old Model By-laws.

In the year 1973 an amendment was carried out in the said Bombay rent Act by the State of Maharashtra, whereby section 15A was introduced therein providing that any person in occupation of any premises as a License on 1.2.1973 shall be deemed to have become a tenant in respect of the premises in his occupation as licensee as on 1.2.1973, and by a stroke of pen they all became the statutory tenants of the premises with the benefit of protection against vacation of the premises, expect in accordance with the provisions of the said Bombay Rent Act. Thus an illegal practice of creating Leave & License in respect of residential premises, which was contrary to the provisions of the said Bombay Rent Act. Thus an illegal practice of creating Leave & License in respect of residential premises, which was contrary to the provisions of the said Rent Act, converted such occupation into tenancy. Therefore, the Landlords, who did not require the premises for their own use, were not willing to give the premises to others, which created scarcity inasmuch as on the one hand sufficient real estate stock was available and on the other, people were not getting the accommodation, albeit for temporary period. These were being held back by the owners because of the apprehension of not getting the premises back, when they needed in view of the protection provided to the tenants by said Bombay Rent Act.

In the circumstances and as a practical solution to this problem, a specific provision was made by way of Section 13A2 in said Act for giving the residential premises on license basis, which also provided that in case of the failure of the licensee to deliver the possession of the licensed premises on the expiry of the period of license, the licensee could be summarily evicted from the premises by the Component Authority as per the provisions of Section 31D of the said Bombay Rent Act. This Section 13A2 did not provide for any specific period of a license and further clarified that an Agreement of License in writing shall be conclusive evidence of the fact of the License.

Be that as it may. With a view to unify, consolidate the laws prevailing in the different parts of the State, the Bombay Rent Control Act of 1947, has been repealed and replaced by the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, 1999, (Act No: 18 of 2000) w.e.f. 31st March, 2000, wherein a Licensee means a person in occupation of the premises under a subsisting agreement for license given for a license fee or charge and notwithstanding the protective provisions of the said Act, a licensee has to deliver possession of the licensed premises to the landlord on the expiry of the period of license and failing which Section 24 thereof, empowers a landlord to recover possession of the premises through summary proceedings before the Competent Authority and till the date of dispossession, a licensee is liable to pay damages at double the rate of the license fee or charge of the premises fixed under the Agreements of License.

As per the provisions of the said Act in Section 43 and 44, a licensee in such proceedings has to first satisfy the Competent Authority about the grounds on which he seeks to contest the eviction proceedings and obtain the permission to contest the same. The order of recovery of possession of the premises made by the Competent Authority is non-appealable, though a revision application may be filed within ninety days with the State Government.

As there is a thin difference between a Tenancy Agreement and License Agreement, it is provided in Section 55 of the Act, that such an Agreement has to be in writing and registered under the Registration Act and it shall be the responsibility of the landlord to register it, failing which the contention of the tenant or the licensee about the terms and conditions on which a premises has been give to him, shall prevail, unless proved otherwise. The failure of a landlord to register the Agreement may also attracts punishment of imprisonment up to three months or fine not exceeding rupees five thousand or both. The State Government has issued an Notification on the 8th June, 2000, prescribing the registration charges as Rs. 1000/- in respect of the premises in the limits of the Municipal Corporation and Rs. 500/- in other areas irrespective of the amount of the license fee or the term of the Agreement. In either the old Rent Act of 1947 or the present Act of 1999, there is no restriction on the term for which a premises may be given on license basis and Bye-law 43 © of the new Model Bye-laws of the Co-Operative Housing Societies, circulated by the State Government for adoption by the Societies, now also provides the period as eleven months or for more period, which may be extended for similar period or part thereof. Thus none of the legal provisions put any restriction of eleven months on the period of license agreement and it can legally be for a longer period or term and the non-occupancy charges in respect of the premises in a registered Society has been restricted to 10% of the service charges (excluding property tax) by Government Notification dated 1st August 2001, whose validity has been finally upheld by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court on 2nd March 2007, in the case of Palm Beach Riviera CHS and other Societies.

In addition to the Registration of an Agreements of License, it has be stamped as per the provisions of Article 36-A of the Bombay Stamp Act at the rate depending on the yearly amount, period of license and the location of the premises. In the said provision team of an agreement has been described as twelve months, but not exceeding sixty months with or without the renewal clause. Where the team of a Leave and License Agreement exceeds sixty months, it has to be stamped at the rate applicable to a ‘Lease Agreement’ under Article 36 of the said Act.

In the ultimate analysis, the period of eleven months has now no relevance and the way the law has evolved during the past three decades on the subject, it is entirely safe to give premises on leave and license basis for a longer period say up to sixty months, with renewal clause and option of termination by notice, provided bot the parties agree and a proper Leave and License Agreement is drawn, stamped and registered and nearest Police Station is apprised of about the antecedents of the licensee, as per the Order issued by the Police Commissioner. Needless to add that a little temptation in saving expenses on stamping and registration and giving the premises by way of distorted agreements known as Care Taker Agreement and so on may land the landlord in trouble, particularly, keeping in view the experience of the year 1973, as aforesaid

Knowledge Series 2020: Law applicable to Land in Maharashtra

By SRELJ Bureau

Land Related Law in Maharashtra
























Knowledge Series 2020: Investigation Land / Property Titles and Due Diligence; Title Insurance

By SRELJ Bureau

Investigation of Title

Title is a legal term; it means the ownership right to property. When search is conducted unto the property of the person who owns it, it is called the Investigation of Title.

The investigation is carried out broadly to ensure that the property is indeed in the name of the person selling, is free from liens, mortgages and encumbrances, that the property tax has been fully paid up to date and that the property is not engaged in any legal conflicts. The owner of the property/land has to prove this satisfactorily or else there is no chance at all that any buyer/creditor would take the risk & invest his funds.

Generally buyer relies upon advocate’s report on title. Advocate report on title is based on scrutiny of records available in various Government departments. Buyer is required to pay some fee in advance to advocate and some times it becomes essential to pay token money to the seller and also to middle man. So many times after spending money for these initial expenses it comes to the notice to the buyer that purchasing the particular land is not feasible and that all money spent by him is gone for a waste. It is therefore essential to have fair idea of the basic knowledge of the land before selecting it.


In the legal term, land has a vast meaning, however, for the time being we are considering limited meaning of land. The land means surface of the ground and everything on or over or under it. Land can be classified as per its use or as per its geographical nature

Most of the people staying in urban area are treating village land as a weekend property or purchasing it for investment purpose. Agricultural land is not meant for these purposes and therefore laws related to agricultural land do not give any support to this act. Transfer of agricultural land to non agriculturist is barred under Section 63 of Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948. Also section 65 states that the land can be assumed by the Government for management if the same remained uncultivable for any two consecutive years.

“Agriculture” includes horticulture, poultry farming, the rising of crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers, grass or trees of any kind, breeding of livestock including cattle, horses, donkeys, mules, pigs, breeding of fish and keeping of bees, the use of land for grazing, cattle and for any purpose which is ancillary to its cultivation or other agricultural purpose.

“Agriculturist” means a person who cultivates the land personally. However land is heritable immovable property, so any person belongs to any family holding land any where in India for the above purposes is agriculturist.

Some people are buying farm land with keeping main object in mind to construct bungalow. It is to be noted that farm house means dwelling place on a farm and it is not rich mans weekend bungalow property. In case of farm house plot scheme collector’s permission is required to obtain. Organized development similar to non-agricultural plot scheme is possible subject to conditions impose in Regional Plan. Minimum size of farm house plot shall not be less than 1 acre. Intention to give permission for constructing farm building is given in the MLR Code 1966.

While purchasing the land abutting to road most of the buyers are considering physical width of the road and not the actual width of the road and when question of road widening comes into the picture, they are required to hand over big portion of land to the Government at nominal price. Actual width of the road depends on name of the road. Before purchasing any land buyer should know rules and regulations for the development of the lands abutting to roads. The Bombay Highways Act empowers The State Government to declare any road, way or land to be a highway and classify it as a State Highway, Major District Road, Other District Road; or a Village Road. When development takes place linearly along a highway with direct access to the highway it is called “Ribbon Development”

A prospect of price appreciation of land is depending upon prospective development of the area. Development of the area is regulated under the MR&TP Act, 1966. The Regional Land Use Plan and the Development Control (DC) Regulation are the two basic instruments that regulate development. In the Regional Land Use Plan, broadly lands are divided in the zones as mentioned below:-

(1) Urbanizable Zone (2) Industrial Zone (3) Recreational Zone (4) Forest Zone (5) Green Zone

Buyer should study The Regional Land Use Plan and the Development Control (DC) Regulation of the area before selecting any land.

All lands are basically agricultural land so for agricultural activity Collector’s permission is not required except for construction of farm building. However, when question comes of conversion of use of land from agricultural purpose to non agricultural purpose, holder of the land is required to obtain permission from the District Collector. Appreciation of land price is mainly coming through conversion of agricultural land to non agricultural purpose.

If the nature of land selected is Warkas/grass/fallow then in 99% of cases boundary of the land shown by farmer is incorrect. It is therefore advisable to examine Gat book plans of the relevant Survey Numbers/Hissa Numbers/ Gat Numbers/Khasra numbers along with the village map. Under any circumstances no final payment should be made before carrying out official Government survey. While inspecting site easement right not entered in the record but actually existing should also be ascertained.

An easement allows another person the right to use your land for a specific purpose. It gives the holder only a right of use and not a right of “possession” of the property Easements are attached to the land, not to person. This means that property that enjoys an easement over another will continue to enjoy the easement even if the property gets transferred to a different owner. Blocking access to someone who has an easement is a trespass upon the right of easement and creates a cause of action for civil suit. For example, putting up a fence across a long-used public path through private property may be a trespass and a court may order the obstacle removed. Turning off the water supply to a downhill neighbor may similarly trespass on the neighbor’s water easement. Some examples of easements are storm drains easements, sanitary sewer easements, electrical power line easements, and telephone line easements.

In almost all cases buyer is purchasing land through local agent. These local agents do not possess necessary legal knowledge. When disputes over the land arises they try to solve problem though their muscle power or through local political contact and if they still cannot not solve problem then they simply run away from the situation. No disputes over land comes forward in the presence of agent so it is appropriate that buyer should frequently visit over the land and should try to communicate with the local people in local language. One of the common problems coming in land transaction is claim of possession. Almost all claims do not stand on legal ground however they are creating lot of tensions. It is therefore necessary for the buyer to have some knowledge of this area.


Person can have control over land only if he is directly in contact with the land. In other words person can control over the land if the land is under his possession. It directly means word “possession” and word “ownership” goes together. Possession is most important component of the ownership. If owner is not in touch with land and somebody else is having control over the land, under the circumstances owner loses his ownership. There are legal provisions for granting ownership to the person having control on land for long period.


Authorized Possession:-

When person is possessing land by way of ownership, grant, licence, lease etc. such possession is called authorised possession.

Unauthorised Possession:-

When possession is acquired by encroachment or trespass, such possession is called unauthorised possession.

Wrongful possession:-

Conversion of use of land from one purpose to other purpose requires proper permission under section 42 of MLR Code 1966. If the possessor of land has change the use of land without permission or violated any terms or conditions of N.A. order, then his possession is called wrongful possession.

If the land is under possession of the person after expiry of period of lease or tenancy or after termination of lease or tenancy or breach of any conditions annexed to the tenure then his possession is called wrongful possession.

If person is unauthorizedly occupying or wrongfully in possession of any land or foreshore vesting in the State Government it shall be lawful for the Collector to evict such person. The buyer should note that the land reserved for grazing is Government land.

Adverse possession:-

This is one of the methods for acquiring title to the land by the person having possession of the land for a long period. Once adverse possession is proved by the person, owner loses his right over land/property even though that person possesses the land through inappropriate means.

Only physical possession on land is not enough for acquiring title to the land/property. Possessor has to get it registered in his name in the village form VII-B every year during the period of crop inspection. Adverse possession is protected by law of limitation. If possessor possesses the land/property more than twelve year, real owner loses his right to take action for claiming relief against adverse possession.

During the course of time for better job employment, land owners started migrating from under developed areas to developed area, leaving their right over land unprotected. Such lands are gone into possession of local residents of the village for cultivation. Landowner’s absentee gave them peaceful, open and continuous possession. Their entry in the “village form” created proof of possession. With the result landowners have lost their right over land.

Legal possession is always protected by law whereas illegal possession is invariably discouraged by law. Provisions made in the MLR Code, 1966 under section 59 is as mentioned below:-

Any person unauthorizedly occupying, or wrongfully in possession of any land–

(a) to the use or occupation of which by reason of any of the provisions of this Code he is not entitled or has ceased to be entitled, or

(b) which is not transferable without the previous permission under sub-section (2) of section 36 or by virtue of any condition lawfully annexed to the tenure under the provisions of section 31, 37 or 44, may be summarily evicted by the Collector.


Verification of title is different from Investigation of Title in respect of an immovable property. After selecting land buyer should obtain land records from revenue department. Section 327 of MLR code states that Subject to such rules and the payment of such fees as the State Government may from time to time prescribe in this behalf, all maps and land records shall, subject to such restrictions as may be imposed, be imposed, be open to the inspection of the public at reasonable hours and certified extracts from the same or certified copies thereof shall be given to all persons applying for the same.

“Land Records ” means records maintained under the provisions of, or for the purposes of, The MLR Code 1966 and includes a copy of maps and plans or a final town planning scheme, improvement scheme or a scheme of consolidation of holdings which has come into force in any area under any law in force in the State and forwarded to any revenue or survey officer under such law or otherwise;

Under MLR Code on village level land records are maintained in 16 village forms. We are considering below the only those village forms which are important for investigation of title.

Village Form VI

This form is also called register of mutation. In the registered of mutation we are getting details of all the change in rights and restrictions taken place over the land. Change in rights may be due to inheritance, will, partition or transfer of land by way of sale, mortgage, lease, exchange or gift. Mutation entries are the basis of further investigation of the title.

Village Form VII-XII

This form is also called Record of Rights and Registered of Crops.

Buyer should obtain copies of record of rights (Village Form VII-XII), mutation entries (Village Form VI). There is no rule as to the period for and up to which the title is required to be investigated or examined. Generally as per one opinion verification of land record of 30 years is sufficient. This is on the ground that the minor requires 18 years to attain majority and thereafter, he can claim his share within 12 years. However as per my opinion considering some enactment currently in force this period is not sufficient. I would like to explain the reasons behind it.

The Section 32 Bombay Tenancy And Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 of the act provides compulsory transfer of ownership rights of tenanted lands to the tenants from 1st April 1957 which is known as the “Tillers’ Day”. There is complete sale and purchase on the tiller’s day. The title of landlord passes immediately to the tenant on the tiller’s day.

There are some cases where tenant has shown unwillingness to purchase the land. Under the circumstances landlord has to follow procedure of taking possession as per section 29 of the act. In those days instead of going through this procedure, landlord had managed to remove tenant’s name from the Record of Right. Now new generation of tenants are taking advantage of this error. There are cases where Record of Right shows no entry of tenant for 45 years and afterward tenants are purchasing land from the landlord almost at no price. Also in some cases where real occupant of the land is illiterate or settled somewhere else other than his native place; his land is grabbed by antisocial elements under the name of “tenant” by preparing false evidence. For the reason mentioned above buyer should verify all records available at Talathi office and Tahasildar office and should preserve copies of them for life time.

It should be kept in the mind that,

“Entries made in record of rights are presumed to be true until the contrary is proved. Where presumption is rebutted by evidence, the entry in the Record of Right does not have its evidentiary value.

The person who raises dispute about incorrectness of the entry in the record of right has to prove his allegations. The entries in record of right, registered of mutation etc. are evidence of the fact recorded therein under section 35 of the Indian Evidence Act, though is not conclusive evidence. The entry in this record has high degree of evidentiary value but the entries create no title.”

After reading the above statement any reader will immediately come to know that record of right available with the Government may not be perfect. Why this record of right is not perfect? This question is to be answered now.

Record of Right is registered where all sorts of right and liabilities in respect of every piece of land is recorded. It is duty of Talathi to update record of rights and register of mutations. Any person acquiring by succession, survivorship, inheritance, partition purchase, mortgage, gift, lease or otherwise, any right as holder, occupant, owner, mortgagee, landlord, Government lessee or tenant of the land situated in any part of the State or assignee of the rent or revenue thereof, has to report orally or in writing his acquisition of such right to the Talathi within three months from the date of such acquisition, and the said Talathi has to give a written acknowledgement of the receipt of such report to the person making it.

In the rural area maximum changes in rights over land take place due to the inheritance. Heirs receive land as the joint holder. They partitioned the land verbally but they don’t partition the land as per section 328 of the MLR Code. During the time of an internal dispute between the joint holders, if one of the joint holders decides to sell his land then any co-sharers may express opposition for executing the deed

If any joint holder dies leaving behind his minor heirs, it happens usually that minor heirs get deceived by co-sharers and minor heirs loses their right over the land. As per law, minor can claim his right within twelve years after attainment of majority.

The acquisition of property by inheritance is regulated by personal law of deceased person. As per Hindu succession act, 1956, daughter of the deceased person has same right that of son. In some cases after the death of person, his sons try and avoid giving share to their sisters. With the help of Talathi they prepare false heirship case register. Buyer innocently trusts on Record of Register prepared on the basis of false heirship case register. Aggrieved sisters can file suit against their brothers and buyer of the land.

In so many cases after the death of person, his legal heirs avoid giving intimation to the Talathi, unless they bribe him he won’t work for them. As long as land remains in their possession they do not find any urgency for giving intimation. With the result, change of right over land is not coming on record.

Now Joint Hindu families are almost not in existence in actual life but they are in existence in land revenue record. It is practice of land revenue officer to register land in the name of the elder person being the head of the Joint Hindu Family. Due to the adoption of the wrong procedure by the revenue officers in the approval and certification of heirship entries in Village Form VI and also its further implementation in VII-XII elder son may get chance to sell the land without obtaining consent of other family members. Buyer may get deceived by this head of the family. Result is very clear; to settle the dispute buyer has to pay more money from his pocket.

Many person purchasing property are under impression that once document registered under the Indian Registration Act, 1908, their right over the land is secured. Under section 154 of MLR Code it is binding on the officer registering the document to intimate to the Talathi of the village in which the land is situated and to the Tahsildar of the taluka. As soon as an intimation regarding registration of documents referred to in Section 154 is received by a Talathi, he has to make separate entries in the register of mutations in respect of the mutation effected by each of the said documents. In practical life Talathi is not taking steps as per act. He is expecting buyer to come to him. If buyer fails to see Talathi, no change in right over land is coming on Record of Right.


Section 7 of Transfer of Property Act.1882 state that, every person competent to contract and entitled to transferable property, or authorised to dispose of transferable property not his own, is competent to transfer such property either wholly or in part, and either absolutely or conditionally, in the circumstances, to the extent and in the manner, allowed and prescribed by any law for the time being in force.

When we go through Village Form VII we always come across one column which reads as the “Occupant Class” (Marathi Bhogavata Varga). In terms of law, “occupant” is a person having lawful and actual possession of the land. Possession of the land is also termed as the “occupancy”. Occupant is responsible to pay land revenue to the Government. Occupancy is liable to forfeiture in case occupant fails to pay land revenue to the Government. On forfeiture occupant and his hairs loses all their right on the land.

Under section 29 of MLR Code1966 persons are classified into Occupant Class I and Occupant Class II


Person classified into this class is free to transfer the land without permission of collector in favour of any other person.


Lands purchased by tenant under the provision of The Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1948., lands granted by Government to the Schedule Cast/ Tribes persons, freedom fighter, member of army forces, ex-service man are allowed to transfer only after collector’s permission. Persons holding land under this category are classified as an Occupant Class II.

In the Village Form VII there is one more column under the heading “Other Rights”. As name suggest entries coming under this column is restricting “Occupant’s” rights over the land. There are some enactments in force, the provisions of which have restricted the occupant’s right over the land of both the Occupant Class I and Occupant Class II. Some of them are Land Reformation Acts. I have given sufficient information in that chapter.

Entire process of transfer of land completes in stages. The main stages are;

settlement of the terms of the deal between the parties particularly relating to the consideration and the land to be transferred,

preparation and execution of the agreement for sale,

investigation of title of the land,

preparation, execution and registration of sale deed, and

change of the name of person in the record of right/property card.


Once buyer is convinced that information collected by him is satisfying him for buying land he should appoint advocate for

1. preparation and execution of the agreement for sale,

2. investigation of title of the land,

3. preparation, execution and registration of sale deed.

While selecting the advocates for examination and reporting on title special emphasis should be laid on the competence of advocates having requisite expertise and reputation in the matter of investigation of title and scrutiny of title deeds.

In many cases seller of rural area is not appointing advocate in land transactions. Normally seller’s agent is providing basic land records such as copy of mutation entries (Village form VI) and Record of Rights and register of crop (Village form VII-XII) [of the entire period of search] to the purchaser or to his advocate. If purchase’s advocate on the first appearance finds no defect in above mentioned land record he is taking steps for preparation and execution of agreement for sale. Simultaneously he publishes public notice of the proposed sale in local news paper. The notice would be in the nature given below;

“My client has agreed to purchase property from Mr. ………. Claims are invited in the nature of mortgage, charge, lease, lien, easement, gift, trust or any other claim against the property which is required to be notified to me within a period of 15 days. If no such claim is received it would be deemed that no such claim exists or shall be deemed to have been waived.”

The publication of a notice of sale is not statutory requirement. The clauses mentioned in the notice are not binding on those who may be real claimants. The reason is the advertisements may not come to the notice of the person who has any such claim. A person can enforce his claim at any time within the prescribed period of limitation. The only object of giving such a notice is to make it known to the public that the purchaser is buying the property and to show that he is a bonafide purchaser. Sometimes such notice helps the disclosure of claims or interests which are not known even to the vendor or which are not disclosed by the vendor.

After execution of the agreement for sale, it is the function of the purchaser’s advocate to examine the title of the vendor. He has to ascertain, whether the;

chain of title is complete and that there are no missing links,
property is free from encumbrances, attachments, charges and claims
property is heritable and transferable,
seller has the right to transfer,
there are any claims likely to come in future from minors,
there are adverse interests exist on the property,
the holding / acquisition is in accordance with the provisions of the Land Reforms Act,
the documents perused are original / photocopies / true copies/ registration copies etc.,
Any change in Record of Right takes place only after registering these rights in register of mutation. If mutation entry of particular land is link then all links of particular land connected chronologically is chain. Register of mutation is nothing but book of history of land and every mutation is page of history book. As already mentioned for investigation of title Registered of Mutation, Record of Rights and Registered of Crops are the most important form of village level. I have given detail information about these registers and some other subsidiary registers in “Land Record” section.

In short we can get below mentioned details through these registers.

Name of the village
Name of the taluka
Survey No/Gat No. and its sub division Number.
Name of the occupant
Local name of the field.
Cultivable area
Uncultivable land (Marathi-Pot kharaba) class (a) and Class
Nature of the right (Will, Sale, Mortgage, Lease, Exchange, Gift, Development [right] or Inheritance)
The names of the parties to the transaction,
The consideration i.e. amount involved,
The area if the transaction relates to a part of a survey number or a sub-division of survey number.
The serial number of registration, if the transaction is a registered one, and
The Collector’s/Tahasildar’s order number with date.
The total survey number or sub-division of survey numbers affected,
Land in question is free transfer or not.
If not free to transfer, nature of the restrictions.
Nature of land (Agricultural/Non agricultural)
Uncultivable portion of the land reserved for public purpose.
Details of charges of attachment and decrees under the order of civil court or revenue authorities.
Details of loan taken by the occupant.
Weather the land is classified as a “fragment”
Easement, such as right of way.
If right is acquired by heir-ship, names of heirs with whom land is not in actual possession.
Area under building, roads and other non agricultural used.
Details of the taxes payable.
Name of the deceased occupant or the name of the deceased “other right holder.”(“other right holder” means person whose name is entered in “other right” column of village form VII)
Date of death deceased occupant.
Names of the legal heirs.
Names of the heirs with whom land is in actual possession.(“Occupant”)
If the actual possession and cultivation of the land is with the person other than the occupant, in that case name of the person cultivating land.
With the help of above information, it is possible to ascertain immediately, if the present occupant’s name is entered illegally that is in contravention of the provisions of any of the relevant statute. It can also be traced whether there exists any legal claimants whose rights have either been ignored or they have not surrendered their rights in the property willingly and also validly. This also helps to decide direction of the further investigation. Records may not provide complete picture of the title. Your advocate has to carry on search in some other Government offices to find out whether the title obtained by the present occupant is absolutely legal and sound in all respects.

Search in Sub Registrar Office:

As already explained in some case change in right over land is not coming on Record of Right. The intention of the search in Sub Registrar Office is to discover, if there is any deed registered of sale or mortgage or any other mode of transfer.

Under section 51 of the Registration Act every registering office requires to maintain five Books. Out of which Book No. 1 is the register of non­-testamentary documents relating to immoveable property.

Under section 55 of the Registration Act every registering office requires to maintain four Indexes. Out of which Index I contain names of the parties to every document registered and it is called ‘nominal index.’ Index II contains the particulars of the property which is the subject-matter of the document and other particulars of registration.

So, in case of immoveable property search is required to be taken of;

Book No. I,
Index no. I and
Index no. II.
In Maharashtra, Registration department is maintaining Index No. I-A. In this index copies of orders or certificates of sale issued by Courts and other officers are recorded under section 89 of the Act. It is necessary to take search of Index 1­A also where it exists.

Search is allowed to carry subject to the previous payment of the fees payable in that behalf and after obtaining permission of the Sub-Registrar or the Registrar as the case may be the Superintendent in that office will allow inspection of the desired Books and Registers etc.

Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act provides that during the pendency of any litigation affecting the immovable property it cannot be transferred or otherwise dealt with by any party to the suit so as to affect the rights of the other party under any decree or order which may be made therein. It is therefore necessary to carry out search in the civil courts within whose jurisdiction the property is situate by the advocate in order to ensure that there are no adverse interests exist on the property and that the property is not subject matter of any litigation before the courts.

The Tahsildar is statutorily empowered to decide and settle the land issues under various enactments such as-
The Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966; (ii) The Mamlatdar Courts Act, 1906;
The Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948;
The Maharashtra Land Revenue Code and Tenancy Laws (Amendment) Act., 1974,
The Maharashtra Restoration of Land to Scheduled Tribes Act, 1974.
It will have to be ascertained as to whether the land in question is involved in any of the suits or suomotu enquiries initiated by the Tahsildar under any of the above enactments.

Certificate of title : After the title is investigated and examined by the purchaser’s advocate, on demand of purchaser advocate can issue a certificate title certifying whether the title is marketable or not.

Knowledge Series 2020: Transfer of Rights on Land

By SRELJ Bureau

Change in Right Over Land

Rights over land may change due to,
1. Inheritance,
2. Will,
3. Partition
or due to,
Transfer of land.
Land is transferable immovable property. “Transfer of Property” means an act by which a living person conveys property, in present or in future, to one or more other living persons, or to himself and one or more other living persons. “Living person” includes a company or association or body of individuals.
Sale of property;
Lease or renting of property;
Mortgage of property;
Gifting property and
Exchange of property.
Restrictions over Transfer of Land

Although the land is part of man’s natural heritage, access to the land is controlled by Government for various social, political and economical reasons. The Government has enacted number of enactments to restrict person’s right over the transfer of the land. The laws which are restricting person’s rights of transfer of the land are as follows:

Maharashtra Land Revenue Code 1966:

One of the objectives of land revenue administration is to recover the revenue. So it is obvious that failure to pay arrears of land revenue makes the holding liable to forfeiture. On forfeiture the occupancy ceases to be property of the occupant under section 72 of MLR Code 1966. The forfeited land shall not change hands by way of inheritance or by will. Under section 36 A, the land of a Tribal cannot be transferred in favour of any non-Tribal without permission of State Government and/or Collector as the case may be.

Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948:

To gain maximum revenue from the land in India the British rulers introduced three major forms of land settlements namely Zamindari, Raiyatwari and Mahalwari. Under the influence of these systems actual cultivators turned into tenants. These land system created intermediary between the State and the actual tillers of the soil. These intermediaries had no interest in improvement of the land. Against this background intermediary interests were abolished by the Government by framing policy “Land to the tillers” In the Maharashtra under section 32 of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 provides compulsory transfer of ownership rights of tenanted lands to the tenants from 1st April 1957 which is known as the “Tillers’ Day”. There is complete sale and purchase on the tiller’s day. The title of landlord passes immediately to the tenant on the tiller’s day. The tiller who purchased the land under this act is classified as an Occupant Class II. The land of Occupant Class II is heritable but transfer of land is valid subject to fulfilling conditions imposed by the Government.

No land purchased by tenant under section 32, 32F, [32I, 32 O, 33 C, or 43 ID or sold to any person under section 32 P or 64 shall be transferred by sale, gift, exchange, mortgaged, leased or assignment, without the previous sanctioned of the collector. Sanctioned is not required when land is to be mortgaged in favour of Government.

The collector may grant permission for transfer of land in any of the following circumstances, namely:-

That the land is require for agricultural purpose by industrial or commercial undertaking in connection with any industrial or commercial operations carried on by such undertaking;
That the transfer is for the benefit of any educational or charitable institution;
That the land is required by a co- operative farming society;
That the land is being sold in execution of a decree of a Civil Court or for the recovery of arrears of land revenue under the provision of the code;
That the land is being sold bona fide for any non agricultural purpose;
That the land is being sold by a land owner on the ground that –
i. He is permanently giving up the by profession of an agriculturist, or

ii. He is permanently rendered incapable of cultivating the land personally;

That the land is being gifted in favour of-
i. The bodies or institution mentioned d in section 88A and clauses a & b of section 88B or

ii. A member of land-owners family;

That the land is being exchanged-
i. With the land of equal or nearly equal value owned and cultivated personally by the member of the same family; or

ii. With the land of equal or nearly equal value situate in the same village owned and cultivated personally by another land owner with a view to forming compact block of his holding or with view to having better management of the land:

Provided that ,the total land held and cultivated personally by any of the parties to the exchange whether as a owner or tenant or partly as does not exceed the area as a result of exchange;

That the land is being leased by a land owner who is a minor; or a widow or person subject to any physical or mental disability or the member of the armed forces or among the land owners holding the land jointly;
That the land is being portioned among the heirs or survivors of the deceased land owner;
That the land is being mortgaged in favour of society registered or deem to be registered under the Maharashtra Co-op Societies Act 1960 for raising a loan for paying the purchase price of such land.
That the land is being transferred to the person who by reason of acquisition of his land for any development project has been displaced and requires to be resettled.
Where sanctioned for sale of land given in the circumstances specified in the clauses a, b, c, e, or f it shall be subject to the condition of the land owner paying to the State Government a nazrana equal to 40 times assessment of the land.

In the case of portioned sanctioned under clause “j” it shall be subjected to the condition that the are allotted to each sharer shall not be less than the unit specified by the State Government under clause c of sub section I of sub-section 27

Transfer to non agriculturist barred under Section 63

No sale, gifts, exchange or lease of any land shall be valid in favour of person who is not an agriculturist. However collector may grant permission for transfer under the below mentioned conditions:

a) Such a person bona fide requires the land for a non agricultural purposes; or

b) The land is required for the benefit of an industrial or commercial undertaking or an educational or charitable institution; or

c) Such land being mortgaged, mortgage has obtained from collector a certificate that he intends to take the profession of an agriculturist and agrees to cultivate the land personally; or

d) The land is required by co-op society; or

e) The land is required for cultivating it by a personally by a person, who, not being an agriculturist, intends to take to the profession of agriculture and to whom collector has given certificate that such person is intend to take to the profession of agriculture and is capable of cultivating land personally; or

f) Such land is being sold in execution of decree of a civil court, or recovering arrear of land revenue.

Transfer to non agriculturist for bona-fide industrial use:

No permission is required to sell the land to the person who may or may not be an agriculturist for the purpose of bona-fide industrial use if the land situates within the industrial zone of a draft plan or final regional plan or draft of final town planning scheme prepared under the MRTP Act 1966 and the area where no such plans or scheme exists.

The Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947:

Under this act government is empowered to declare the area as a “local area” for determine minimum size of any class of land that can be cultivated profitably as a separate plot. The size of the land so determined is called standard area. Fragments means plot of agricultural land of less extent than the appropriate standard area determined for the local area.

Under section 7:

“Fragment” is not allowed to transfer except to the owner of a contiguous survey number or recognized sub-division of survey numbers. Also no land shall be transferred so as to create “fragment”.

Under section 8:

No land in local area shall be transferred or partitioned so as to create fragment.

Under section 27:

There is ban on transfer of land, execution of awards and decrees during the continuance of the consolidation of holdings.

Under section 31:

There are restrictions on alienation and sub division of consolidated holdings.

Maharashtra Agricultural land s Ceiling on Holding Act, 1961

The basic objective of fixation of ceiling on landholdings is to acquire land above a certain level from the present landholders for its distribution among the landless. It is primarily a redistributive measure based on the principle of socio-economic justice.

This act is restricting the size of holdings which a person or family can own. Acquisition of land in excess of the ceiling is prohibited. Land rendered surplus to the ceiling is taken over by the state and distributed among the weaker sections of the community.

Any person or family cannot hold land in excess of ceiling area fixed on 26th September1961. Person or family can not transfer surplus land until the land in excess of the ceiling area is determined under the act.(Section 8 ) A person possessing land in excess of ceiling area can not acquire land by transfer. (Section 9)

The land held by individual or the family of the Maharashtra State or the part of India is to be taken into consideration while calculating the ceiling area.

For fixing ceiling areas lands have been classified in five classes as detailed below

Class Of Land

Ceiling Area



Land with assured supply of water for irrigation and capable of yielding at least two crops in a year



Land which has assured supply of water for only one crop.



Land which has un-assured supply of water for only one crop.



Dry Land situated in Mumbai Sub Urban District and Districts of Thana, Raigad, Ratanagiri, Sindhdurg, Bhandara, Gadchiroli, Sironcha talukas of Chandrapur District which is under paddy cultivation for continuous period of three years.



Dry Crop Lands other than all above lands.



The Maharashtra Co-op Act, 1960

While taking loan from co-operative society member is furnishing undertaking to the society that he is mortgaging his own agricultural land against the said loan amount. Under section 48, a charge on land continues until the whole debt, due to the society is satisfied.

Transfer of Property Act, 1882

Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act provides that during the pendency of any litigation affecting the immovable property it can not be transferred or otherwise dealt with by any party to the suit so as to affect the rights of the other party under any decree or order which may be made therein.

Registration Act, 1908

Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 lays down different categories of documents for which registration is compulsory. The documents relating to the following transactions of immovable properties are required to be compulsorily registered; Instruments of gift of *immovable property
Lease of immovable property from year to year or for any term exceeding one year or reserving a yearly rent.
Instruments which create or extinguish any right or title to or in an immovable property of a value of more than one hundred rupees.
“Immovable property includes: “Land, buildings, hereditary allowances, rights to ways, lights, fisheries or any other benefit to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to any thing which is attached to the earth, but not standing timber, growing crops nor grass.”

Under section 49 of the above act, if the registration of the above transactions are not made the transactions are to be treated as a null and void.

Wakf Land

Wakf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for religious, pious or charitable purposes as recognized by Muslim Law. No transfer of immovable of a wakf , by way of sale or mortgage, exchange or lease for period of exceeding three years is validly allowed without previous sanctioned of the Wakf Board.

Trust Lands

These lands attract the provisions of the charitable Trust Acts. The trusties are competent to dispose of the trust property exercising the powers vested in them by the Trust Deed.

Knowledge Series 2020: What is an Agriculture Land? ; Land classifications


Agricultural Land

Agricultural:- “agriculture” includes horticulture, poultry farming, the rising of crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers, grass or trees of any kind, breeding of livestock including cattle, horses, donkeys, mules, pigs, breeding of fish and keeping of bees, the use of land for grazing, cattle and for any purpose which is ancillary to its cultivation or other agricultural purpose.
Classification of agricultural lands as per its use for cultivation:-

1 Warkas land
2 Jirayat land (Dry crop)
3 Bagayat or irrigated land
4 Rice land

1 The ‘warkas’ land is the land of the poor productivity. This land is used by the farmer during the monsoon to grow ‘low-grade’ millets such as nachani and warai. Its cultivation involved burning of the vegetation on the land, (rab manure) preparing the soil with a pick and sowing by hand.
2 Jirayat land is the land where cultivation is depends upon annual rainfall. The jirayat land is used for seasonal crops, kharif and rabi. The agricultural sessions of kharif crops starts from June and agricultural sessions of rabi crops are starts from September-October.
3 Bagayat or irrigated land:-.Cultivation of these lands is mainly dependent upon sources of water other than rain. Sources of water can be well, bandharas and supply from Government’s irrigation department.
4 Rice land:-In coastal and heavy rainfall area where main crop is rice, lands are classified into to two categories namely; rice land and warkas land.

Improvements for the Better Cultivation of the Land:-

“Improvement” in relation to land means any work which adds materially to the value of the land. The works which makes improvement in the land are

a) the construction of tanks, wells, water channels, embankments and other works for storage, supply or distribution of water for agricultural purposes;
b) the construction of works for the drainage of land or for the protection of land from floods, or from erosion or other damage from water;
c) the planting of trees and the reclaiming, clearing, enclosing, leveling or terracing of land;
d) the erection of buildings on or in the vicinity of the holding, elsewhere than in the gaothan required for the convenient or profitable use or occupation of the holdings ; and
e) the renewal or reconstruction of any of the foregoing works, or alternations therein or additions there to;

However the below mentioned works are not “improvements.”
i. Temporary wells and such water-channels, embankments, leveling, enclosures or other works, or petty alterations in or repairs to such works, as are commonly made by cultivators of the locality in the ordinary course of agriculture; or
ii. any work which substantially diminishes the value of any land wherever situated, in the occupation of any other person, whether as occupant or tenant;

Farm building:- It means a structure erected on the agricultural land for the purposes as mentioned below;
1. for residence of members of the family, servants or tenants of the holder,
2. for the storage of agricultural implements, manures or fodder,
3. for the storage of agricultural produce,
4. for sheltering cattle.
5. for any other purpose which is an integral part of his cultivating ;(ex crushing, sifting etc.

Maximum Plinth Area Allowed To Construct Is As Per Table Given Below.

Serial Number
*Area Of The Land
For the Residence In Metres
Other than Residence In Metres
Total In Metres

Less than 0.4 Hectare
Exceeds 0.4 Hectare But Does Not Exceed 0.6 Hectare
Up to 150
Up to 150
More than 0.6 Hectare
Up to 150
Up to 400

* The land held by the person as per Village Form 8
Where permission for farm building is required?

Permission is required to obtain before erection of any farm building or carrying out any work or renewal of, re-construction of, alterations in, or additions to, any such farm building, on any land which is situated within the area falls under

(1) *Planning Authorities jurisdiction or within the area covered by the
(2) **Regional Plan,
(3) ***Town Planning scheme, or proposals for the development of land (within the †notified area)or (an area designated as ) the site of the new town, whether each of these being in draft or final, prepared, sanctioned or approved under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966; and

a. the area within eight kilometres from the periphery of the limits of Municipal Corporations of Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur,
b. the area within five kilometres form the periphery of the limits of any other municipal corporation;
c. the area within three kilometres form the periphery of the limits of A class municipal council.

*Planning Authorities: – Municipal Corporation and Municipal Councils.
**Regional Plan: – Land use plan prepared for the region. For more details please see “Regional Plan”

***Town Planning scheme: – Schemes prepared by planning authority the for the purpose of implementing the proposals in the final Development Plan.

(Development Plan: – It means a plan for the development or redevelopment of the area within the jurisdiction of a Planning Authority.)

†The notified area: – It means an area within the jurisdiction of one or more local authorities (not being an area within the jurisdiction of a cantonment board constituted under the Cantonment Act, 1924) which is in the opinion of the State Government in a neglected condition, or which is being developed or is in imminent likelihood of being developed in an uncontrolled or haphazard manner, and requires, in the public interest, to be developed in a proper and orderly manner:;

Procedure for Obtaining Permission for Farm Building
Persons eligible to apply for permission:-
1) holder of the land.
2) his servants
3) his *tenants
4) his agents (representative)
5) any other legal representative.
*” tenant” means a lessee, whether holding under in instrument, or under an oral agreement, and includes a mortgagee of a tenant’s rights with possession; but does not include a lessee holding directly under the State government)

Mode of application
Applicant has to make application in the prescribed form “A
Restrictions on the Use of the Land:

In developing area it is essential to use the land for the best purposes for which it is most suitable for e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, etc. To achieve this object, the land use plans (Regional Plan) are prepared by the Government. In the Regional Plan, land allocation for different purposes is made by dividing land in the Zones. Broadly lands are divided in the zones as mentioned below:
Urbanisable Zone
Industrial Zone
Recreational Zone
Forest Zone
Green Zone

If the land is situated within the limit of Regional Plan, the use of land should be in confirmative to land use plan. Buyer or developer of the land must know the restrictions imposed on the use of the land.

Knowledge Series 2020: How to search Ancestral Land/ Property

For Illustration Purpose

By SRELJ Bureau

Ancestral Properties:

By traditional definition the ancestral properties are those which are obtained from father or paternal grandfather or paternal great-grandfather or share obtained on partition or self-acquired properties or separate properties of an individual (like those inherited from a maternal grandfather) thrown into the joint family properties. In 1986 the Supreme Court held in an appeal that property obtained by a son under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, would constitute his own separate property and not ancestral property. The Supreme Court thus removed a large category of properties that formerly were regarded as ancestral properties from contention.

Search of Ancestral Properties:

Most of the people who reside in urban areas have been updated from their father or grand father about the existence of their ancestral land. A very common story is:

“My father was an Inamdar – Vatandar- Revenue Officer ( elite of his time)
We once owned a land in a village. Our land was very fertile but unfortunately it was acquired by the Government for construction of dam and factory and our other land went into the hands of tenants ((Marathi-Kul) after the introduction of tenancy act. Only thing that was left with us was a barren land.

After this incident I left the village and settled in this city. On my father’s death, what so ever land was left, it was grabbed by local people and the rest of it was sold (illegally) by our relatives.

I was always willing to go to our village but I could not do so.”

Most often you are enthused to see your village but you do not do so.
One fine day you decide to purchase an agricultural land for developing out station property and before investing any money you try to accumulate maximum information possible about land transaction from the various sources available to you. And one such source is land revenue department.

Often the revenue officer tells you that ,“No sale, gifts, exchange or lease of any land shall be valid in favour of person who is not an agriculturist under Section 63 of Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948”

And after seeing your frowned face, he sympathetically adds “Just check if there is any ancestral land at your native place”

He shows you a way of transferring the land in your name and this gesture gives birth to a lot of questions in your mind but then you decide to never disclose them before this unknown officer.

In any case, if you do ask him about it, he is most likely to respond you by saying
“Next time bring sat-bara (Village Form VII-XII) of your native place, I will help you out.”

You are quite aware that if there is any land in your native place, it is in the nature of either a barren or a fertile land and quite obviously there is no one out there cultivating it.

Does that mean it is an agricultural land? And if answer is “yes”, but if no family member is cultivating it so how can I be farmer?

All lands are basically agricultural land unless the Government classifies it as a non agricultural land. So your grass land or rocky barren land is an agricultural land. Agriculturist means a person who cultivates the land personally and agriculture includes the raising of grass. Accordingly the person who holds the land is agriculturist. Land is transferable heritable immovable property and so family member of an agriculturist is also an agriculturist. You are also farmer even if you are not showing physical presence on your grandfather’s land.

One of the objectives of land revenue administration is to recover the revenue, thus it is obvious that failure to pay arrears of land revenue makes the holding liable to forfeiture. On forfeiture the occupancy ceases to be property of the occupant under section 72 of MLR Code 1966. The forfeited land shall not change hands by way of inheritance. You know that none of your family member has paid any taxes for 40-50 years to the Government. So question before you is whether the land is forfeited by Government? It is duty of Talathi to recover land revenue from you. In case if Talathi could not recover revenue from you he has to follow a lengthy procedure to forfeit the land. Instead of going for lengthy procedure he is paying land revenue on your behalf from his own pocket or collecting it from the person who holds interest in your land.

Now question before you is, How to search land?

Ancestral land might have spread in number of villages. You have to try to collect names of the all villages. If the land records of your village are available since 1920, you have to search land record from that date. So you should find names of your ancestral during that time. You should find out names of your grand father and your forefathers and if possible names of their brothers and sisters. Things will be easy for you, if you could procure old land records from your old generation. After gathering the above information you have to follow the steps as mentioned below.

Step 1

This is very easy step. Just log on to click “Query” – Select – District -Taluka – Village. Now find names of your ancestral. If you could find them, you are very lucky. If their names are not on this website do not get upset because this website need not necessarily provide you the history of your land.

Step 2

Visit the Tahasildar office. Apply for computer record of Village form 8-A. If they provide you your ancestral village form 8-A, you should be in a position to find out total holding of your ancestral. If you do not get details from the Tahasildar office follow step 3.

Step 3

Talathi is delivers all old Village Form VII-XII, VI and VIII-A for preservation in the Tahasildar’s office. Under the provision of section 327 of MLR Code you can inspect the above mentioned village forms. As you do not know the survey numbers of the land, you have to apply for inspection of all old records available in Tahasildar’s office. You are definitely going to get details of your ancestral property.

Step 4

Now you will have to find out the history of lands. With the help of Village form VI you will get details of all orders passed by revenue officers. It is binding on revenue department to supply you all the documents. After reading history of your land over and over again with the help of this website you will be able to find out exact status of your land. You may require consulting with the advocate. I am sure your efforts will not go in vain.

Step 5

You acquire right over ancestral land by inheritance. After tracing out your ancestral land to make necessary changes in Record of Rights (Village Form VII-XII) you have to intimate Talathi under section 149 of the act. Talathi has to prepare Heir-Ship Cases Register under village form VI C as per Maharashtra Land Revenue Record of Rights and Register(Preparation and Maintaince) Rules 1971.
During my career I have traced out and restored hundreds of acres of land of my family and of my clients. Restoration of your rights over land in case of land grabbing is also possible. You are also in a position to sell the land which is under dispute. You can seek help from me any time in this regard.

Trusts have not right to sell properties communities: High Court

By Maharashtra Bureau


The Bombay High Court ruled out the judgment that trusts cannot make their own rule and sell valuable property to members of any specific communities. Justice R D Dahanuka dismissed a petition filed by the Shree Gujarati Mochi Gnyati Navnat Trust to sell the prime property in Walkeshwar for re-development to members of its own community. The judge said that the competitive bids open to all would ensure that the trust cannot be allowed to be sold only to members of a particular community. He said, that the trusts have to receive the best available price according to the market value of the property.

In my view, use of the properties of the trust for the benefit of the members of a particular community has nothing to do with the sale of the property to an outsider at the best price.

The court said that if it were to approve a change in the trust rules to allow the sale of the property to members of the community, it would give blanket authority to the trustees to sell the properties of the trust to a member of their own community.

The Gujarati Trust which was set up in the 1930s has ample properties available over 606 sq metres on Walkeshwar Road, Malabar Hill with a member of 1 lakh. Trust generally sells their properties within the community or any other community if there is no buyer only then it sells to the outsider.

Though the members appeal to the court for changes, the court said, they did not have the permission from the charity commissioner for applying for changes in rules.

1 2