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Protect Interests Of Himachalis Under HP Tenancy And Land Reforms Act

Vimal K. Raghuvanshi

(The writer is a member of Koli Kalyan Board, Himachal Pradesh and is based at Kathloh, Baddi)

Vimal K. RaghuvanshiHimachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972 was enacted with an intent to safeguard land and interests of bonafide people of Himachal Pradesh. The main concern was that non-agricultural or non-Himachalis do not become owners of land in this hilly state. Later Section 118 under the act was amended to provide relaxation to non-Himachalis for construction of house, factory, hotel or shop etc on Himachal’s land.

There are thousands of pending cases under Section 118 of the Land Tenancy Act in District Magistrate courts of Himachal Pradesh. However in some cases historical verdicts are given in district magistrate courts while in few other cases relaxation is provided. The corrupt blatantly violates the law while others mislead by giving wrong information in such cases. If all the past cases under Section 118 are investigated, then about 70% of the cases will be found fake. Until February 26, 1976 to 1988, there was a relaxation to purchase 500 square metre land for house and 300 square metre land for commercial purpose under Section 118 in the municipal corporation and council jurisdiction.

Thorough investigation of all registrations according to Section 118 of Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972 will shatter all records of misdoings. Similar is the case of violation of relaxation given by the government to non agricultural people under Section 118. Non Himachali people take permission from the government for relaxation under Section 118 to establish industry in Himachal. But instead of establishing an industry, they run a hotel. And even if they are caught after few years, they again take permission from the government.

Under Section 118, there is a provision of attaching the disputed property with the state government. All political parties promise to conduct a fair enquiry of all the cases under Section 118, but after coming to power follow the same route. Therefore it has become necessary to elect people who can save the interest of common public and provide benefits of welfare policies to the targeted sections.

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