Land provides basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter to human being. Land has always been an important locus for the economic activity necessary for human life. Any developmental activity is nearly impossible to conceive without taking land into consideration. The ability of land to provide space for production is limited by its physical and locational properties. Unlike goods, which can be moved around to where they are needed, land is immovable and cannot be physically passed by hand
In India's rural population still makes their living primarily from agriculture, depending directly on the land for their income, status, and security. There is strong relationship between land, power and people. Human being can not produce land and therefore the value of land is ever increasing.
Before the independence land in India was owned by a few people. It was observed that social justice and development of the country could not be achieved unless land is distributed among the peasants. On the basis of this land reforms were initiated after independence. A land reform policy is fundamentally a politico-economic issue. To fulfill objectives of land reform Government enacted number of land reforms legislations.
In the Maharashtra Land Revenue Administration is governed by Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966 and development control is regulated under Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, 1966. Besides above laws provisions of some other laws are also applicable in land transactions. Considering above we can conclude that land is complicated, tedious and vast subject. We therefore are going step by step to understand the subject.
Meaning of Land:-
In the legal term land has vast meaning however considering scope of this website we are considering limited meaning of land. The land means all things permanently attached to the earth such as surface of the ground, trees, well, rivers etc.
Classes of Land:-
As land is one natural resource that is at the centre of all economic activities, it is classified according to various economic uses. This is an important database for governments, planners and policy makers.
Land can be classified as per its use as mentioned below:-
- Agricultural land
- Non agricultural land
- Forest land
Land can be classified as per its geographical nature as mentioned below:-
- Water bodies (Rivers, Streams, Creeks, Reservoirs, Tanks, Lakes, Canals and Drains are classified as the land.)
- Wastelands (Salt affected land; Gullied/Eroded land, Water logged areas, Undulating upland, with/without scrubs, Sandy area, Rocky outcrops.)
- Coastal wetland (Tidal/Mudflats, Saltpans, Vegetated, Non-Vegetated.)
Lands can be sub-classified as per soil composition for example;
- Best black soil and the black mixed soil,
- Medium height and soft red and combined soil,
- Lowest dark or daski soil having sand or springs, and
- Inferior hard and dry soil.
Ownership of Land
God is the sole owner because He is the Creator. Until it is sold, the creator of an item [or the one who paid him to create] is the owner. Obviously, no one hired God to create the universe so He is the ultimate Owner by right of creation. This is general principle accepted by human being. Government is the administrator of the land. It can grant land and can take back land for the public purpose. All lands which are not property of persons are Government lands for example; public roads, lanes and paths, the bridges, the bed of the sea and of Harbour and creeks below the high water mark, and of rivers, streams, nallas, takes and tanks and all canals and watercourses, and all standing and flowing water, and all lands wherever situated, which are not the property of persons legally capable of holding property.
Person who holds the land is not the owner of the land and he is called the "Occupant" of the land. In terms of law, "occupant" is a person having lawful and actual possession of the land. Possession of the land is also termed as the “occupancy”. Occupant is responsible to pay land revenue to the Government. Occupancy is liable to forfeiture in case occupant fails to pay land revenue to the Government. On forfeiture occupant and his hairs loses all their right on the land.