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Land Issues of the Tribals IKP’s strategy 29.10.2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Land Issues of the Tribals IKP’s strategy 29.10.2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Land Issues of the Tribals IKP’s strategy 29.10.2006

2 Outline of the Presentation Land Rights of Tribals- Present Scenario Land Committee Recommendations on Tribal Land Issues Work done under IKP Scaling up Strategy Action Plan for TPMUs

3 Land Rights of Tribals – Present Scenario Tribals are losing control over land. 48% of lands in the control of non- tribals Alienation continues but very less % comes before the agency courts Even out of these, about 50% are going in favor of non-tribals

4 Total cases booked under LTR70,183 Extent (Acres)3,15,137 No. of cases decided in favor of Tribals33,078 42.53% Extent (Acres)1,33,636 42.40% No. of cases decided in favor of non tribals 33,319 47.47% Extent (Acres)1,62,989 51.77%

5 Land Committee Recommendations Land Committee Recommendations

6 Studies Commissioned Study by Sri Girglani, IAS (Retd.) in Telangana Area Study by Sri DVLN Murthy, IAS (Retd.) in Andhra Area

7 Major Issues in Tribal Land Administration Ineffective field machinery- no adequate staff, unfilled vacancies, unwillingness of officials to join etc. Adjudicating and implementing authorities are not trained thoroughly before their postings Lack of detection and non-disposal of LTR cases Lack of investigation into the occupation of non- tribals of lands assuming that these are all on valid settlement pattas.

8 White paper sale deeds are admitted without checking the land records of the relevant period Non Tribals circumvent LTR & take shelter under technical loopholes like resjudicata and limitation LTR doesn’t have retrospective effect. Anti dated documents are created Whatever little land has been brought under LTR is frozen under stay orders for years together Non-restoration of land taken over under LTR decades ago

9 Illegal assignment of Government land to non-tribals and Lack of action to evict them No settlement in the forest areas by forest settlement officers Growing urbanization in the scheduled V areas pushing out the tribals More advanced tribals from outside coming into the areas occupied even by PTGs

10 From the Tribals side... Lack of legal awareness Lack of access to land records Lack of information about the cases Tribals are not a party to most of the cases & Tribals’ voice not heard Absence of legal support

11 If the present rate of land alienation is not checked, sooner than later this process will be irreversible If the present rate of land alienation is not checked, sooner than later this process will be irreversible

12 Recommendations of the Land Committee Retrospective effect Penal clause to be extended to officers Oral evidence to have overriding effect Limitation period to be amended for filing appeals Grama Sabha to be redefined under PESA

13 Review of all the settlement orders issued in favour of non-tribals and follow up action Physical verification and actual restoration of lands to tribals Eviction of non-tribals from Govt. lands Appeals to be preferred against the orders passed by SDCs/Agents in favour of non-tribals Special concerted action for disposal of High Court cases and arrangement for opposing the stay orders at the admission of WP itself

14 Computerization of all court cases Updating of land records on physical verification of lands and incorporate the names of actual cultivators in revenue records Make access to all land records and all public documents including court orders under LTR, Settlement regulations etc. to tribals or any interested parties at ITDA

15 Work done by IKP Work done by IKP Utnoor, Eturunagaram, Bhadrachalam and K.R.Puram

16 Physical verification of all lands and initiating legal action Scrutiny of LTR cases disposed by the SDCs by Law Students Filing appeals Support to LTR authorities Establishment of land information centers Strategy Followed

17 Physical inventory of lands in 5 mandals of Utnoor and Eturunagaram completed and was discussed in Mandal Samakhyas Paralegal positioning and follow up action under process Scrutiny of 3,500 LTR cases completed and appeals filed in about 300 cases Land alienations detected and Fresh LTR cases filed in 50 cases Scrutiny of about 300 cases pending in High Court completed

18 Tribal woman gets back land after 37 years of struggle for justice Todsam Gangu is a tribal residing in Jaongon, Adilabad Their only source of livelihood was 18 acres of land In 1969, he took small loan from a non-tribal and gave his land on lease for 3 years and put thumb impression on white paper After 3 years, non-tribal refused to give the land back and filed criminal case against Gangu 1974- Gangu approached SDC. Non-tribal argued that he purchased the land from Gangu by a sale prior to commencement of Regulation 1/59 in Telangana Area SDC gave order in favor of Gangu which was confirmed by the Agent to Govt. also

19 Non-tribal approached High Court which dismissed his petition and directed to file Revision Petition Govt. dismissed Revision Petition confirming orders of SDC and Agent to the Govt. In 1978, Non-tribal again approached High Court which directed the aggrieved party to challenge the transfer in an appropriate forum Gangu passed away and his heirs lost hope of getting the land back Non-tribal gave the land on lease to another non-tribal

20 Kumra Mankubai, D/o Gangu became president of Mandal Samakhya in 2003 She understood that she can still get back the land She represented to PO, ITDA who issued a notice to the non-tribal Non-tribal got a stay order The case was taken up by IKP Legal Assistance Programme for Land

21 IKP planned  Filing of stay vacation petition  Requesting the Revenue machinery to record the lease to attract LTR  Filing a case under AP (TA) Tenancy and Agriculture Land Act, 1950. Prior permission of the Collector or the post validation required for transfer of agriculture land in Telangana While verifying the records in MRO’s office  The land was recorded as old assignment in TGMS  Further enquiry revealed that the land is assigned to Todsam Gangu prior to 1960

22 Mankubai requested PO, ITDA and the RDO to record the lease in the land records Prepared affidavit on behalf of Mankubai to file in the High Court Prepared complaint to file before the PO, ITDA under Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Tenancy and Agriculture Land Act, 1950 Filed a petition with the MRO under AP Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfer) Act, 1977 MRO passed orders in favor of Mankubai on 30 th March, 2006 Mankubai got back 18 acres of very good land which is worth about Rs.30 lakh

23 Study of IKP’s work in tribal areas By Dr. VNVK Sastry Sample  4 villages in agency areas of Utnoor and K.R. Puram.  60 cases scrutinized in which appeals can be preferred / already preferredMethodology  FGDs with officials, Paralegals, Mandal Samakhya and Village Organizations and tribals & Data from ITDAs

24 Utnoor Agency 1371.28 acres of Govt. land in Vankamaddi and 20 acres in Marlawai are under tribal cultivation and pattas to be issued. In Shivnoor, Gonds are cultivating a land belonging to a Muslim who is a Farari Pattadar for decades. In Gowri, Muslims have occupied Kolam lands forcefully. Mankubai inspired many. The Mandal Samakhya proudly quotes this achievement. Mandal Samakhya is aware that non-tribals can not own land in scheduled areas and if they own, they should prove it legally. They are sure that the tribals who lost lands should get them back and wanted that the tribals cultivating government lands be given Pattas on priority.

25 K.R. Puram agency Palakunta (V), Buttayagudem (M) Only 29 persons have PPBs. Some tribals assigned lands in 1988 were not given Pass Books till today. Many families assigned lands in 1998 but lands were not shown to them till now. One non-tribal ex-Village Officer owns 100 acres which are not reflected in Adangal. It was discreetly informed that such deliberate omissions by Village Officers are very common. Ammapalem (V), Buttayagudem (M) Large areas under occupation of non-tribals are not shown in the Adangal and not covered by LTR cases. Pattas were distributed in special land assignment programme in 2005 but land was not physically handed over to tribals so far.

26 Findings Paralegals system is effective as  They are from the local community and enjoy confidence of the people.  They are able to compare the data available on record with the actual field situation. Thorough discussions are also held with the community who supported during the physical inventory. Physical inventory is a great revelation bringing into light many issues Follow up action to be planned carefully

27 Scaling up strategy 65 mandals in 8 agency areas Objective Providing a sensitive support mechanism to help the Tribals in accessing information, knowledge, records and justice.

28 Institutional Arrangements Land Rights and Legal Assistance Center in ITDA In each mandal 3 tribal youth/women will be identified, trained and positioned as Paralegals A law graduate will be positioned as Legal Coordinator to provide functional support to Paralegals 3-4 Lawyers will be empanelled for fighting out the cases

29 MoUs with law colleges to utilize the services of law students Tribal Rights center in NALSAR University of Law o to run Paralegal Certification course o Orientation to agency officials on pro-tribal judgments and enactments

30 Working Model Land as an agenda for the CBOs Physical verification of all lands in 65 mandals Scrutiny of the files of LTR cases disposed by the Agency Courts Preferring appeals in cases that have gone against tribals Handling High Court Cases Facilitating restoration of lands to the tribals Legal empowerment of the tribals

31 Action by TPMUs Physical Inventory of all lands in 65 mandals  Selection of CRPs @ one per village by MSs  Thorough orientation to them on how to conduct the physical verification by SERP team  Adangal/Fair Adangal as the base record  Time taken: approximately one month  Discussion of Verification findings in the meetings of the VOs and MSs Positioning of Paralegals @ 3 per Mandal from those who did the physical inventory Orientation to Revenue Officers Initiation of Follow up Action on the Inventory

32 LTR cases  MoUs with Law Colleges  Orientation to Law students  Access to Land Records and Case Files by the SDCs and POs  Scrutiny of cases gone in favor of non-tribals  Filing Appeals  POs to dispose off the appeals  Assistance in Pending Cases  Identification of Pro-Tribal committed Lawyers Provision of space to Land Rights & Legal Assistance Centers Funds transferred to TPMUs recently as per G.O.Ms.No.313

33 Challenges Actual Physical Restoration of lands to the tribals wherever orders are given in their favor Tackling the issue of encroachment of Govt. lands by Non-tribals Bringing in the pro-tribal perspective in the Revenue machinery

34 Thank You

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