In the middle of land dispute, a land acquisition lawyer can be your saviour

In the middle of land dispute, a land acquisition lawyer can be your saviour

Many of us may have plans to buy land parcel(s) – residential, commercial, or agriculture. I mean having an independent house or a commercial store or a farmhouse is one big dream for most of us. However, we must be aware of the fact that the piece of land that we acquire by way of purchase or lease, or inheritance has clear demarcations and is free from any disputes. Ultimately, no one wants to bear an unnecessary headache while putting in life savings.

There is this other scenario where you already are an owner of a piece of land with a clear definition of its title and demarcation. However, the Government announced a development plan that mentions that the piece of land, which is in your name, will get acquired in due course. The biggest question that arises in your mind in this situation is, what are my options now?

So, it becomes important to understand certain basics of land acquisition, disputes arising out of it, parties affected, the need for a land acquisition lawyer, and so on.


What is Land Acquisition?

In simple words, it is defined as:

  • The power of the government to acquire land for the purpose of development and urbanization.
  • Until 2013, it was governed by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. A bill was proposed for amendments that were passed by Lok Sabha but the same is still pending in the Rajya Sabha.
  • The government does not require the consent of the landowner for executing this process.
  • The government issues a notification to the landowner about the land being acquired.
  • The government compensates the landowner reasonably in the process.


What is Land Dispute?

It is simply defined as a disagreement between two parties over the legal right of a particular piece of land. The legal rights include the title, possession, and control of land parcels under consideration.


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Who Can Get Affected By Land Disputes?

Anybody who is a rightful owner of a piece of land can get affected by land acquisition and the related disputes arising in the process. Generally, the affected parties include:

  • Individual owner(s)
  • Organizations such as NGOs
  • Indigenous Groups like tribal and mobile communities 
  • Corporates
  • State Government
  • Central Government


Reasons for Land Disputes

India as a country has so much diversity and multiple interests. However, many-a-times, it becomes an unavoidable reason for land acquisition disputes. Disputes can arise while the government announces the acquisition of land parcels. But there are several other reasons due to which a dispute may arise and the help of a land acquisition lawyer is needed.

Some common ones are:

  • Announcements made by the government for development and industrialization
  • Conflicts related to the improper demarcation of boundaries
  • Ownership conflict between multiple owners
  • Conflicts arising out of the inheritance
  • Land grabbed violently
  • Discrimination based on gender or religion
  • Sale of a single land parcel to multiple buyers
  • Issues related to payment while using or buying land


Who is a Land Dispute Lawyer?

He or she is a qualified person in land acquisition law and can represent you to defend your dispute settlement claims in a court of law.


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Why Do We Need A Land Dispute Lawyer?

The land-related laws generally tend to be complicated. Especially, in a country like India, where land is a state subject and is governed by multiple legal frameworks. Interpreting the laws correctly is the most essential when you are in the middle of a dispute or your land property is getting acquired. Ultimately, getting the right advice is the only thing that matters the most apart from getting a timely redressal to the dispute.

Getting proper legal advice is not a choice but a necessity and hence there is a strong need of consulting a qualified expert who will help in charting your further course of action.

A land dispute lawyer can assist you in the following:

  • Doing research related to land records
  • Advising you how a particular dispute affects your land property
  • Suggesting the possible and correct legal remedies
  • Representing your case in courts
  • Getting your land-related titles cleared in government records
  • Helping clear liens (if any) on your land parcel
  • Helping you to avoid mistakes that can lead to financial liabilities in the future


Summing Up

While no one wants to be in the middle of such an ugly situation, several times many of us become a victim of an unwanted unpleasant legal tussle. The biggest problem of such a dispute is that no one knows the time it will take to get a proper resolution. So many different legislations built around land acquisition and disputes further complicate the already twisted situation and make matters worse. The only immediate redressal that comes to one’s mind is a qualified and experienced land dispute lawyer.

Encumbrance Certificate: What you should know?

Encumbrance Certificate: What you should know?

When you want to buy or lease an immovable property, you want to get the maximum possible value out of it. In some cases, third-parties may have certain rights over the land. These are known as encumbrances. Encumbrances thus, expose the occupier of that land to the risk and reduce the value of that land. Hence, you should obtain an encumbrance certificate before you buy immovable property. 

Encumbrance Certificate (EC)

An Encumbrance Certificate (EC) is a document that records the encumbrances on a particular land. Thus, an EC is always issued for a particular land. 

The EC is an important document to review before acquiring land. It will inform you of the encumbrances on that land. As explained before, encumbrances, by their very nature, carry a financial risk. Hence, you may consider reducing the valuation of the land in question based on the number, and extent, of the encumbrances on the land in question. An EC will help you make an informed decision in this regard. 

Every state government maintains the land records of that state. Almost all transactions in the land are required to be registered with the local Sub-Registrar of Assurances. Thus, whenever an encumbrance was imposed on land, you can expect it to have been recorded in the land records pertaining to that land maintained by that Sub-Registrar. Hence, the EC for a land is issued by the local Sub-Registrar of Assurances. To know the encumbrances on a land, you must conduct an encumbrance certificate search. 

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Procedure for Obtaining Encumbrance Certificate in BBMP Areas

Karnataka has an easy process for obtaining the Encumbrance Certificate (EC) of lands situated in the state. This includes BBMP areas. You can use the Kaveri Online Services Portal to apply for and get an EC for a particular land. 

The process is as follows: 

  1. Register for Kaveri Online Services as a new user. 

  2. Log in with your username and password. 

  3. Under the “Services” pane, click on the entry “Online EC.”

  4. You then need to identify the land for which you want an EC. You can search for the property in either of 2 ways: either by the number of the property or the name of the parties to a transaction of that property. Use whichever mode is convenient for you. You can attempt up to 20 searches a day until you locate the land in question. 

  5. Once you have identified the land in question, proceed further. Enter the OTP, which will be sent to your registered mobile number. You will then be able to view a draft EC. 

  6. Pay the required fees online, and apply for a digitally signed copy of the EC. 

Get Encumbrance Certificate (EC) Online

Again use the  Kaveri Online Services Portal to download your Encumbrance Certificate (EC) online. The procedure is as follows: 

  1. Login to Kaveri Online Services using your username and password. 

  2. Use the “Pending/Saved Applications” pane to check for the status of your application. Search for Online EC Applications using the interface. The status of your application will be displayed against it. 

  3. Once the application is approved, click on the “View Application” button, and download the digitally signed EC. 

The EC will specify the encumbrances on the land in question. If there are no encumbrances, you will get a nil Encumbrance Certificate, which will state that there are no encumbrances on that land. 

The EC will be digitally signed by the local Sub-Registrar of Assurances who issued the EC. A digital signature is as good as a physical signature. Hence, the digital signature on the EC will lead to encumbrance certificate verification. 

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Documents Required for Encumbrance Certificate (EC)

  1. Any document containing the full address of the land: including the district, sub-district, and village, in which it is located. This will typically be found in an electricity bill, water bill, gas connection bill, a rent agreement, etc. 

  2. A copy of any previous deed by which some transaction in respect of that property was carried out. The name of the parties and the transaction date will be helpful in identifying the property. 

  3. Any document, such as an extract of the land record or a previous deed, which records the boundaries, type, and size of the property. This too will be necessary to identify the property.