BUYING AGRICULTURAL LAND IN MAHARASHTRA
INVESTMENT in the agricultural land, as a real estate, can rate prime amongst many available, property-options. This trend is emerging and increasing steadily. The businessmen, industrialists, builders and financiers are plunging into this activity, with lot of 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 an enthralling status symbol in Maharashtra?
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 legislations are briefly summarized 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 woodcutting. However, the use of the land for the grazing of one’s own agricultural cattle above stated 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 includes, 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 (Village Form VII-XII): This the basic document of title and recording a record of rights herein the A-land survey no. with Hissa No, 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 Talati of the village.
- 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 extract. Sat-bara (Village Form VII-XII)
- 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 title.
- Land Revenue Tax Receipts: The Tehsildar upon payment of Land-Revenue Tax issues them to the agriculturists and other cases if any.
- 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 neighbors, revenue officers and the right of way for a particular piece of A-Land. Also confirm the approach road to the property is listed in Register 26 with the respective panchayat office.
- 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. Government Agencies as well as private laboratories do this.
- Reservations or Acquisitions, if any: - Road and other public purposes by P.W.D., Zillah 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 authority. 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- Land.
- 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, etc. to be ascertained and should be settled before the deal is finalized 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 sale.
- 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 sides.
- 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 known first and in advance to settle every concerned person’s individual and joint rights 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. Otherwise the sale may be declared null and void.
- 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, usually. Therefore, A-land with Kul-holding u/s 32G should not be bought.
- A-land belonging to Adivasi: - These should never be bought by a non-Adivasi can only sell to another Adivasi.
- Inami land: - Old conditions and new conditions are attached to such A-land and hence normally it is not advisable to buy such Inami land.
- N.M. Permissions, if necessary: - For a bungalow or a farmhouse, 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 evaluater 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 from the Vendors to the Buyers for necessary follow up at various revenue offices and other persons.
- 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 effect.
- New 7/12 extract shall, then, reflect the name of the new-owner, i.e. the buyer.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF AGRICULTURAL LANDS
Bagayeet (Wet Crop) Lands: These types of lands remains under cultivation for all types of crops, horticultural products, vegetable, nurseries etc. throughout the year by using reserve water sources i.e. wells, rivers, canals etc.
Jirayeet (Dry Crop) Lands: These lands are mostly dependent on monsoon for cultivation where other water resources are not available. Such lands are mainly cultivated for Jawar, Bajari, Wheat, Dals and such crops once in a year.
Padik (Barren) Lands: These lands mostly consist of rocky soil where cultivation is not possible easily. In other words these are non-cultivable lands.
Private Ownership: Private ownership lands are divided in two categories: –
Kabjedar: The agricultural lands owned and cultivated by the holder are private ownership lands. The ownership of such land is permanent in perpetuity and the holder is entitled to sale such lands. The owners under this category are termed as Kabjedar or Bhooswami in revenue records of 7/12 extract.
32-GLands: Lands under this category are also private ownership lands, which are allotted to kool for cultivation, against payment of yearly rent payable by the said kool to the landlord.
Under the provisions of (protected) Tenancy Act (Kool – Kayada) the lands under cultivation by such tenant as on 1-4-1957, such kool being statutory purchaser automatically becomes the holder of such land, had it been the said tenant has paid appropriate value (Nazarana), to the Govt. and have obtained a Sanad / Certificate under section 32/M of the Act and thereafter such land can be sold and not otherwise.
In some of the cases even today it is seen that the encumbrance i.e. 32-G is mentioned by way of mutation entry in the other right’s column of 7/12 extract. Which means that the said tenant (even in possession of land) has not paid appropriate value (Nazarana) to the Govt. and obtained necessary Sanad/Certificate under section 32-M of the Act and to that extent the land is encumbered. In such circumstances the holder cannot sale such land unless the appropriate value (Nazarana) is paid to Govt. and necessary Sanad/Certificate /Permission is obtained.
Note: It is advisable that the purchaser of such lands (32 – G) should verify the compliance of above obligations by the holder before execution of transaction.
Government Ownership: The lands NOT owned legally by any person as well as lands declared as forests, and lands covered under sea bed, creeks below high water mark, rivers, nallas, lakes, tanks etc. are normally Govt. lands unless private ownership is mentioned in 7/12 extract.
The State Govt. can award their lands to private individuals on certain terms and conditions for cultivation; which are known as under: -
Inami / Vatan Lands: - The lands awarded by the State Govt. to religious trusts, temples or to a person for his distinguished services, for their use and occupation; are Inami / Vatan Lands, which cannot be transferred by such person or body holding inami / vatan rights, without permission of the Govt. However this category is no more operative as the inami / vatan rights are abolished by law.
Khalsa Lands: - The lands of which inami / vatan rights are abolished are known as Khalsa lands, even though are in private possession. Such holder cannot sale khalsa lands without prior permission of Govt. The State Govt. can permit sale only after recovering appropriate value (Nazarana) from the seller as determined by the collector, and not otherwise.
Note: It is essential for purchaser that where the charge of Govt. is mentioned as Khalsa in 7/12 extract, he should verify & confirm that the permission for sale & transfer is obtained from the Collector and appropriate value (Nazarana) is paid to Govt., prior to transaction.
Tribal (Adivasi) Lands: - The lands allotted by the Govt. to adivasis for cultivation known as Tribal Lands. Sale & transfer of such lands in any manner whatsoever in favour of non-tribal, is strictly prohibited unless specifically permitted by the Govt. Any transaction of adivasi/tribal lands, without permission of Govt. is illegal and will not be entertained by court of law. Even no pleader or advocate can appear or represent before collector/commissioner on behalf of non-tribal purchaser.
ONLY an Agriculturist of any state of India can purchase agricultural land/s in state of Maharashtra. (Non-Agriculturist is prohibited from purchase of agricultural land by law).
The purchaser agriculturist has to produce proof of he being an agriculturist by submitting 7/12 extract in his favour, to the land revenue officer – Talathi of the respective village, without which ownership of such purchased agricultural land/s cannot be transferred.
Note: If wife or husband prior to her or his marriage, either of is an agriculturist the other automatically becomes agriculturist and there after their children by succession.
- Do not purchase agricultural land if you are NOT an agriculturist.
- Visit & inspect the land before purchase.
- Verify the title of land through legal expert.
- Confirm whether the land sale is prohibited by the State Govt. for any reasons mentioned above; and purchase only after prior permissions are obtained from concern revenue authority of the State Govt.
- Confirm & verify that the ownership of land so purchased is transferred in 7/12 extract & mutation entries are recorded in 6/12 extract in your favour.
- Do not construct farmhouse without permission.Use the land for the purposes mentioned herein above.
- Collect / Obtain KHATE BOOK-LET from Talathi & get it updated every year.
- Obtain fresh 7/12 extract every six-months/year & check encumbrances if any.
- Pay agricultural land revenue to the Talathi concern every year and obtain receipt of payment thereof.
- Visit/stay on the site at least once a month and monitor the progress, and improvement of cultivation.
- Do not produce perishable items without marketing arrangements.
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 26thSeptember1961. Person or family cannot 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 cannot 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