Himachal to videograph land sales to curb benami deals

National

Shimla/June 1
Himachal government is planning to conduct videography of lands deals in the state to curb benami deals and has even decided to make the provision of videography compulsory in every land purchase in the hill state to put the record straight.
As per reports, the state government has issued instructions to all the revenue officials in this regard and a notification is likely to be issued soon. “The provision of videography will be made mandatory in all land purchases and the main objective of this step is to check benami land deals by making the process transparent,” sources said, adding that it is being necessitated in the wake of controversy on benami deals in state in previous BJP regime that had allegedly allowed many a outsiders (under section 118 of the Land Tenancy and Revenue Act) buy big chunks of land in the hill state.
As per the new norms, a person who wants to buy land in Himachal will be provided documents like Tatima, Jamabandi and average selling price certificate of land by the Patwari only after the videography and photography of plot or land. Further, Tehsildar and Naib Tehsildar of the concerned area will conduct the registry of land after the completion of all these formalities.
As per new provisions, the buyer and seller will first approach the patwari of the concerned area after which the Patwari will visit the plot that is to be sold. He will also review and videograph the area that is to be sold by land owner and will also study the sources of income of the buyer after which he will take decision on the deal.
This decision will have significant impact in the hill state as Himachal prohibits non-bonafide and non agriculturists to buy land in the state.
Under land laws of the state, any person who owns no agriculture land in state is required to get permission under section 118 of HP Land Tenancy and Revenue Act. To avoid this hassle the non Himachalis have allegedly been resorting to benami land deals and are buying land in another person’s name. This is also causing a loss to state exchequer as stamp duty is being evaded.
“To stop mal-practices in land sale and purchase, we have issued instructions to videograph the land that is to be sold by land owner and only after this, the patwari will issue revenue documents of the land for registry of the plot. It will also help in reducing the number of cheating cases in selling and purchase of land and number of litigations,” Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur said.
Earlier, BJP government during its tenure had appointed one man commission headed by Justice DP Sood to probe all such cases and the report had rather indicted Congress government in the past of allowing fishy land deals involving industrialists. The Congress government, however, had not accepted the report and had said it would go in for its own inquiry into the illegal land deals allowed by the previous BJP government over five years of rule.

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