Thursday, July 25, 2024

Andhra Pradesh Government Informs High Court: Land Titling Act Yet to be Enforced, Seeks Caution in Land Dispute Cases

In a recent development, the Andhra Pradesh government revealed to the high court on Wednesday that the implementation of the AP Land Titling Act is still pending as the state has not appointed land titling officers and appellate authorities. Advocate General S Sriram sought the high court’s guidance to prevent lower courts from dismissing petitions related to land disputes, emphasizing that the new legislation has not been enforced.

Acknowledging these concerns, the high court issued directions to civil courts, instructing them not to reject petitions arising from land disputes until the Land Titling Act comes into effect. The court has witnessed multiple petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Act, with bar associations across the state actively opposing the legislation introduced by the state government.

Senior counsels Ganta Ramarao, N Subbarao, and Y Balaji, representing the petitioners, argued that the Act infringes upon the judiciary’s authority, allowing the executive to determine ownership rights. They expressed concerns about potential issues for litigants, anticipating corruption and political influence. The advocates highlighted instances where lower courts had already rejected petitions.

Advocate General Sriram clarified that the legislation has not been activated, emphasizing that notifications under section 4 of the Act, appointing designated authorities, are yet to be issued. Considering this, the high court bench, headed by Chief Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice R Raghunandan Rao, postponed further hearings to the first week of February. The court directed the state government to submit counter affidavits in response to the concerns raised.

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