Onus on states to make land records public

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) Saturday said it is the responsibility of the state governments to ensure that land records are put in public domain to avoid any possible litigation and unnecessary appeals under the Right to Information Act (RTI).
Speaking at a conference of State Information Commissioners and Land Revenue Departments in the national capital, Central Information Commissioner Radha Krishna Mathur said, “Almost half of the queries filed under the RTI in the state commissions pertain to land records. Land being a state subject, it is the onus of the states to put such information in public domain.”
“A majority of the crimes in the society is also related to land disputes. Digitisation of land records can potentially help in bringing clarity on land holdings, reduce criminal cases, cut pendency of court cases and also result in huge savings for the public exchequer.”
However, government officials believe that interlinking of Aadhaar with the land records could also help in weeding out a number of issues on this front.
Dinesh Singh, Secretary, Department of Land Resources said, “An integrated Land Information Management System is under implementation which will serve as a single window database for the various stakeholders such as the land owners and civic agencies and linking this database with the Aadhaar number will eventually eliminate benami transactions.”
As per records available with the CIC, around 66 per cent of court cases (both civil and criminal) of the country are related to property and land disputes costing a whopping Rs 58,000 crore to the exchequer.
The conference was attended by Chandra Sekhar Kumar, Principal Secretary of Revenue department of the Orissa government. Officials and secretaries from other states and those from the CIC and Central Land Records department were also present.

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