As India celebrates its 75th Independence year, we try to look at agro-farm land laws. Post-independence, many independent states joined India and new states were created based on socio-linguistic needs. In the initial years (post-independence), as farming was one of the prime sources of employment and revenue, states were given a great deal of power to decide matters related to the buying and selling of farmlands.
It was the right step since one law might not fit all states because of the range of sociological and economic diversity we see across states. Hence, in India, rules regarding the buying and selling of land and duties applicable to its transaction are the prerogative of each state. Many states put restrictions on non-agriculturist buying agro-land in the state. Maharashtra is one of them. The restrictions on the sale or the use of land stem from the fact that all land belongs to the state.
The sale and purchase of agricultural land in the state of Maharashtra are governed by the Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1948 (MTAL Act). Based on the rapid need for urbanisation, various laws have been amended in terms of land-use change and corporate ownership of land (after seeking due permission from the government). However, the core spirit for farming land protection still prevails.
While designing the ownership of a collective by the members, it becomes paramount for us to keep abreast with all the laws of the state and the provisions pertaining to activities being taken up by the collective. At Beforest, we engage with the best lawyers in the geography we operate in so as to get the right and most apt legal guidance on all land and related matters.