Land law Bangladesh and History of land law
Land Law in Bangladesh divided by some Bangladesh law classification, we just share the main point of Bangladesh Land Law and history of Land law.
Properties are mainly divided into two classes: movable and immovable. Lands are immovable properties. If we want to purchase a piece of land, we are to comply with some different procedures. There shall be prepared a sale deed and lawfully the deed shall have to get registered under the provision of the Registration Act, 1908.
Registration of the sale deed is the initial stage of the procedures heading towards the transfer of ownership. Next to that are a mutation of names, payment of rent, taking possession, and maintenance of all the relevant legal documents of the property concerned properly.
Unlike movable properties, we cannot take away that piece of land and place it physically anywhere we desire. But what we need instead, is the possession of registered instrument i.e. registered sale deed, opening a separate holding by a mutation in our name, receiving a ‘Duplicate Carbon Receipt’ (DCR) confirming our mutation, receiving updating rent-receipt (dakhila) in our own name in place of the previous owner and above all having peaceful possession over the land. That is why land requires separate laws for its proper administration and management.
“Land rights” redirects here. It is not to be confused with Indigenous land rights.
Land law of Bangladesh in the form of law that deals with the rights to use, alienate, or exclude others from the land. In many jurisdictions, these kinds of property are referred to as real estate or real property, as distinct from personal property. Land use agreements, including renting, are an important intersection of property and contract law. Encumbrance on the land rights of one, such as an easement, may constitute the land rights of another. Mineral rights and water rights are closely linked, and often interrelated concepts.
Definition of Land:-
According to section 2(16) of the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950-
“Land” means land which is cultivated, uncultivated or covered with water at any time of the year, and includes benefits to arise out of land, houses or buildings and also things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth.
Classification of Lands
Lands are divided into two classes:
1) Agricultural land; and
2) Non-agricultural land.
What is Land Law?
Land law is one of the most important branches of legal discipline. It is the form of such law that deals with the provision of ownership, rights to use, alienate, or exclude others from the land. Land rights are such a basic form of law that they develop even where there is no state to enforce them.
Importance of Land Law:-
The land is a fundamental factor for agricultural production and is thus directly linked to food security. So, the security of land interest is an important foundation for social and economic development. Besides, securing land rights is particularly relevant to the security of the vulnerable group, e.g., the poor, the women, and the indigenous people.
Land law is an essential branch of law in Bangladesh. It has a very significant position in the legal system of Bangladesh. Almost 80% of disputes creating a backlog in the sub-ordinate judiciary are related to land.
Most of the cases pending in the Courts of Bangladesh implicate either directly or indirectly land matter. However, the land system in Bangladesh is largely based on the old laws made during the British and Pakistan period. So, in order to ensure the land right of the common people and minimize land disputes, the present administration for land management should be reformed without unnecessary delay.
History of Land Law:-
History of land law is from the very beginning of independence in 1947, Pakistan was divided into two wings, namely West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The two wings were quite different in all respects such as language, custom, usages, etc. having the only similarity in religion, and surprisingly they had the territorial difference of thousands of miles. Obviously, Bangladesh came into existence in 1971 following the historic Liberation War.
After the liberation of Bangladesh, several Orders, Ordinances, and Acts were passed for facilitating the implementation of land reforms and for the proper distribution of land to the landless tillers of the soil in order to establish a socio-engineering system of law in this country.
All existing laws prevalent in erstwhile Pakistan have been adapted in Bangladesh with its emergence. So laws continuance enforcement Orders were passed on 10 April 1971 so that previous laws in force will continue from 26 March 1971 till now is framed.
Interest in or Right to land:-
The land is a natural universal property in the world. No person can deny the importance of land in human life. In fact, we are originated from earth, we depend and move on it and we physically vanish into it. So, our interest in land is universal and it is one of human rights. In fact, the protection of the right to land implies the protection of the basic necessities, e.g., right to food, shelter and social security (Article 15 of The Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh), the emancipation of the peasants and workers (Article 14), the rural development and agricultural revolution (Article 16).
Every person depends upon the land for shelter or livelihood either directly or indirectly. So, the interest in Bangladesh landlaws is a human right and every person has natural ownership of land.
However, where there is an interest, there is a dispute. Consequently, land dispute results from land interest. As land interest is universal, the land dispute is also universal. But proper land laws, well-structured land administration, dynamic land management in an environment of good governance, and above all amicable mechanism of dispute settlement may reduce land dispute into a tolerable level. Thus, a significant socio-economic development may bring about in the life of the common people.
Statutory Land Laws of Bangladesh:-
There is no exclusive or exhaustive Act, Ordinance, Rule, Circular, Order, etc. whatsoever in Bangladesh covering all the laws of all kinds and categories of land relating to the land tenure, land tenancy, land management, land administration and other relevant regulating provisions of the land. But there are a number of Acts, Ordinances, Rules, Circulars, Orders, etc. with regard to these provisions prevalent partly or sporadically.
Commonly to all the people, the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950 is known as the only Act of land law. But this is not so, because this Act deals only with agricultural land, not with non-agricultural land; there is another separate Act dealing with non-agricultural land and this is the Non-Agricultural Tenancy Act, 1949. Apart from these two, there are a number of Acts, Ordinances, etc. relating to land administration and land management.
The following Acts and Ordinances are applicable in Bangladesh in this regard:
1) The Land Survey Act, 1875;
2) The Bengal Tenancy Act, 1885;
3) The Transfer of Property Act, 1882;
4) The Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913;
5) The Survey and Settlement Manual, 1935;
6) The Non-Agricultural Tenancy Act, 1949;
7) The State Acquisition and Tenancy Act, 1950;
8) The Land law Development Tax Ordinance, 1976;
9) The Land Reforms Ordinance, 1984;
10) The Immovable Property (Acquisition and Requisition) Ordinance, 1982;
11) The Land Reform Board Ordinance, 1989;
12) The Land Appeal Board Ordinance, 1989;
13) The Land Management Manual, 1990.
Land reform measures in Bangladesh:-
Soon after the emergence of Bangladesh, the following land law reform measures were undertaken:
a) Waiving of all land revenue including arrears and interest due on agricultural land up to 14 April 1972. Nearly six million certificate and land law notes proceedings were pending on the eve of such arrear dues. As a result of this remission, the government incurred a loss of approximately Tk. 360 million.
b) Agricultural families with landholding under 25 bighas were exempted from payment of land revenue with effect from April 1872.
c) The Presidential Order 96 of 1972 further provided that families with more than 25 bighas of land were to submit a statement with the Circle Officer (Revenue) within 90 days from 15 August 1972 failing which they were threatened with a fine of Tk. 1000 and forfeiture of lands.
d) Those families with more than 25 bighas of land on 16 December 1971 would not be entitled to claim an exemption for payment of land revenue as a result of the decrease in the total area to 25 bighas or less due to transfer made during the period from 16 December to date of submission of the statement. As a result, the government lost Tk. 68 million annually.
e) The proclamation of Land Reforms Ordinance, 1984 made some important provisions in the form of prohibition of Benami transaction, reducing ceiling of land to 60 standard bighas and providing occupancy tenancy rights of the barga lands to the bargadars.
Writer: Law for Nations. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.lawfornations.com, Mobile: 01842459590.