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Land Laws

As many as two-thirds of civil cases in district courts relate to land and property matters itself. Real Estate laws govern who may own a piece of land and who may use it.

The recent amendments being brought by the government intend to make it easier for the government to acquire private land for public purposes and companies. India has had an archaic land acquisition law.

The single concept includes a wide range of different disciplines. There are several potential legal pitfalls in real estate transactions like misrepresentation or non-disclosure of property conditions, breach of fiduciary duty and unlawful discrimination. Misrepresentations can be innocent, negligent or fraudulent. Quite often, sales people, property agents or brokers are involved. False and misleading advertisements can also lead to legal disputes.  Legal suits may be based on statutory or common law.

Cut-throat competition and a slack period in real estate business give rise to a number of challenges in handling the legal aspects. The recent amendments in 2015 have  still not addressed the issues relating to properties when it comes to land being acquired for these sectors:

  • National security and defense,
  • Rural infrastructure including electrification,
  • Industrial corridors,
  • Affordable housing
  • Infrastructure and social infrastructure projects,
  • PPP projects where ownership of land continues to be vested with the government.

CHALLENGES

  • Different States having different set of land laws
  • Misrepresentation, or failure to disclose important features of property
  • Environmental problems
  • Restricted zones
  • Disparity in state and local laws
  • Settlement procedures
  • Cost estimates
  • Clear titles
  • Liabilities on property

It can be argued that the land laws have been unable to achieve parity as far as balancing infrastructural and social issues are concerned. The government is also positive about addressing the mass scale disparity in determining actual status of occupancies in the transitional or hybrid areas which are admixture of rural, semi-urban or urban areas.

Considering a wholesome view it is evident that, land reforms have succeeded only in pockets of the country, as general mass has often found loopholes in the laws that set limits on the maximum area of land that is allowed to be held by any one person. As far as industries and related land reforms are concerned the 2013 amendments focusing on industries laid down strict rules for environmental and social impact assessments, but several states diluted these provisions, arguing they delay vital projects that create jobs and boost growth. With promulgation of The Real Estate [Development & Regulation] Act, 2016, consumers are likely to be benefited immensely as the act seeks to protect the interest of the buyers of residential and commercial real estate units by promoting transparency, accountability and efficiency in the construction and execution of real estate projects by developers/promoters.

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