Telangana High Court on Wednesday instructed the State government to stop processing 6,74,201 applications received from people after this October 29 for regularisation of sale and purchase of lands under the Telangana Rights in Land and Pattadar Passbooks Act-1971.
The government can, however, process the 2,76,693 applications received before this October 12. Passing these orders in a PIL petition, a bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy said the officials concerned should inquire into the applications. The orders passed by the officials in these 2,76,693 applications would be subject to the outcome of the final verdict to be passed by the bench in the PIL plea.
Telangana government issued an order (GO 112) on this October 12 facilitating registration of sale and purchase of lands under a new Revenue Act. A sexagenarian farmer from Nirmal district, Shinde Devidas, filed the PIL petition seeking to declare the GO illegal and cancel the proceedings issued by the Tahsildars (revenue officials) in compliance with that GO.
People in rural areas of the State used to sell and purchase lands without registering the same. These transactions are called ‘sada bainamas’ (which are agreements of sale and purchases made on papers) in general parlance. These ‘sada bainamas’ transactions were earlier regularised under Record of Rights (RoR) Act. The government replaced the RoR Act and brought in the new Revenue Act from October 29.
The petitioner’s counsel Chinnola Naresh Reddy contended that the new Revenue Act passed by Telangana government did not have any provision for regularisation of ‘sadaa bainama’ transactions. Advocate General B.S. Prasad told the bench that the government received 2,26,693 applications for regularisation of land transactions from this October 10 to 29.
After this October 29, another 6,74,201 applications were received. The AG sought a time of two weeks to file a detailed counter affidavit. However, the bench sought to know from the government as to how it can process applications under a law (RoR Act) which no longer existed.
“Processing the applications received after October 29 will open up a Pandora’s box. You cannot be permitted to process 6,74,201 applications,” the bench said. It remarked that the policy of the government had to be in compliance with the law.