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All about the draft model act on land titles

[] The NITI Aayog has released a draft model act on land titles. We examine 11 key facts about the draft model law

To ease the land acquisition process for infrastructure projects and curb disputes, the NITI Aayog, on October 31, 2020, released a draft model land titling act and rules for states, on conclusive land titling. Listed below are 11 key facts about the model law that offers states the power to order for the establishment, administration and management of a system of title registration of immovable properties.

You are reading: All about the draft model act on land titles

Appointment of land authority, title registration office

States have been given the right to establish a system of title registration for all or any type of immovable property, by appointing land authority and title registration officers. States can then establish a land authority, which ‘shall exercise and discharge such powers as may be conferred on it and discharge such functions as may be entrusted to it by or under this Act, or under any other law that the state government may notify’. The title registration officer will exercise the powers and perform the duties within local limits. Its seal will be admissible as evidence, without any further or other proof, in the court of law.

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In the areas notified under it, the land authority will keep and maintain a record of immovable properties. Among the details that the record of the land authority will carry, include the survey record of accurate or approximate boundary or boundaries and the title record. The title registration officer will prepare a draft list of titles over each property located in the notified area and invite all persons having any interest in any property to file claims or objections, for the purpose of disposal of claims and objections.

model land titling act

Register of Titles

A Register of Titles will be prepared, where the title registration officer would make an entry only about an undisputed immovable property. “Such entries shall be conclusive proof, as defined under Indian Evidence Act, 1872, of such titles in respect of such immovable properties,” says the draft law.

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To be maintained by the title registration officer, a Register of Titles will contain with respect to each property, the following particulars:

  • Unique identification number of property.
  • Area or extent of the property, with particulars of the built-up area.
  • Names of all title holders with their respective extent of ownership.
  • Details of transfers of property including transfers due to succession.
  • Any information on covenants or charges standing against the property.
  • Information on pending disputes over the property.

After three years of its notification, the Register of Title attains conclusivity without any external action.

Register of Disputes

The title registration officer will also maintain a Register of Disputes, containing details of:

  • All cases referred to the land dispute resolution officer under Section 10 or taken up suo moto.
  • Objections or appeals filed under Sections 13, 15 and 16.
  • All suits and appeals intimated under Section 18.
  • The parties involved in the dispute.
  • The forum where such a dispute is pending.
  • Attachments of property under court decrees, injunctions and orders of any court or tribunal or statutory authority.

Register of Charges and Covenants

The title registration officer will also maintain a Register of Charges and Covenants, with respect to all immovable properties located in the notified areas, which shall contain the following particulars:

  • Covenants and charges against any immovable property ordered under Section 10 of the Act.
  • Intimation given to the authority under Sections 18 and 20.
  • Particulars of all statutory charges including charges under the Companies Act, 2013, as intimated to the authority under Sections 18 and 20.
  • Special rights, covenants or easements created by any parties at the time of transfer, succession, partition or lease, etc.
  • Release of mortgage rights or charges.
  • Date of creation of the charge.
  • The immovable property to which the charge pertains.
  • The amount secured by the charge.
  • Short particulars of the charge.
  • The person/s in whose favour the charge has been created.
  • Details of release of charge.

Electronic registers

The draft law states that all registers to be maintained by the authority will be maintained in electronic form or any other form as prescribed.

Proof of title

“Any title recorded in the Record of Titles, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, shall be considered as proof of the title of the titleholder, subject to the entries in the Register of Charges and Covenants and in the Register of Disputes,” the draft says.

Dispute redressal

An aggrieved party may file an objection before the title registration officer, by an entry in the record of titles notified under Section 11, within three years from the date of such notification. The case will then be heard and resolved by the land dispute resolution officer. A party aggrieved with an order of the land dispute resolution officer, may file an appeal before the Land Titling Appellate Tribunal.  A special bench of the High Court (HC) shall be designated to deal with appeals against the orders passed under Section 15 by the Land Titling Appellate Tribunal, says the draft. An appeal in the HC should be filed within 30 days after the order of the tribunal.

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The draft also adds that the land dispute resolution officer and Land Titling Appellate Tribunal are one-shot institutions, which will fade away once work reduces.

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Once the law comes into force

No transaction affecting any property can take place, except in accordance with the provisions contained in Chapter VIII of this Act. It will be incumbent upon plaintiffs, public authorities, government officials, financial institutions or any other interested party, to intimate, along with necessary documents, to the title registration officer about the pre-existing encumbrances and actions affecting notified properties, within 90 days from the date of notification and also to obtain its certificate of recording.

Title succession

In case of death of an individual whose name is entered as the title holder in the Register of Titles, the legal heirs of such deceased can file an application to the title registration officer concerned, for grant of succession and for replacing the name of the deceased with their names.

Application for sale, purchase

Once the law comes into force, buyers will have to appeal to the authority established under the law for transactions. This will apply to all sorts of property-related transactions.

“Notwithstanding anything contained in the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the Registration Act, 1908 and any other law for the time being in force, all owners or title holders or claimants of immovable property located in a notified area, shall file the application for transactions in respect of all agreements, acts or transactions relating to such property under this,” says the Act.

Transactions that the land titling authority will cover

The transactions for which an application will have to be made to the authority include:

  • Any act which purports or operates to create, assign, declare, limit or extinguish, in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, in any property.
  • The declaration, creation, assignment, limitation or extinction of any right, title or interest that is effected through the receipt or payment of any consideration.
  • Sale.
  • Gift.
  • Creation of charge by way of any kind of mortgage, excluding equitable mortgage and the release of such charge.
  • Lease of property or reserving a yearly rent or periodic premiums and its cancellation/surrender.
  • Transfer or assignment of any decree or order of a court or any award when such decree, order or award purports or operates to create, assign, declare, limit or extinguish, in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, to or in a property.
  • Any decree, order or award passed by a civil court, including any decree, order or award passed, on consent of the defendants or on circumstantial evidence.
  • Any rectification of title.
  • Easementary right, appurtenant rights, or terrace rights.
  • Sale, construction, or development agreements.
  • Powers of attorney relating to immovable property, authorising the agent to sell or construct or develop property.
  • Agreements-cum-general power of attorney relating to property.
  • All mergers, amalgamations and demergers of companies involving property.
  • Contracts, by whatever name called, to transfer for consideration, any property for the purpose of Section 53-A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, including an agreement to sell.
  • Partition.
  • Family settlement.
  • All transfers of property after dissolution of partnership firms, including limited liability partnership.
  • Any Will affecting the rights in a property, if the testator is deceased, provided that a testator may file an application detailing the contents of the Will if he wants to do so.


Is it compulsory for states to adopt the draft model act on land titles?

Since the law is model in nature, states have the option to adopt it or formulate a law similar to the draft model.

What will be the mode of data saving, in case of the draft model act on land titles?

All data will be saved electronically under the draft model act on land titles.

What is the Register of Titles?

The Register of Titles will contain entries about undisputed immovable properties.

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Category: Must Knows

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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