Thatta lands’ record not computerized yet, SC told
KARACHI, (June 16, 2021): The Board of Revenue Sindh admitted that records of millions of acres of land in Thatta district has not been computerization. This revelation came to light before Supreme Court Karachi Registry.
In a case regarding computerization of land records, a member of the Board of Revenue said that the land records were burnt in 2007, which has not yet been computerized.
The Board of Revenue sought two months’ time from the court to computerized the record.
Justice Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan remarked that you [Revenue Board officials] are asking for two months’ time since 2008, but no record is being prepared.
Chief Justice remarked that Sindh Revenue Board is the most corrupt institution.
The records of the lands were not computerized and action would be taken against the officials involved, including the Revenue Board, the court said.
BoR cancels entire record of 56 dehs of Thatta
In June 2015, the Sindh Board of Revenue (BoR) cancelled almost the entire record of rights (land ownership) of 56 dehs of Thatta taluka reconstructed under the July 17, 2013 Supreme Court order.
The apex court had issued the order by taking suo motu notice of the destruction of various departments’ records during the disturbances that erupted in the country in reaction to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Dec 27, 2007.
In compliance of the SC order, the Sindh BoR constituted a supervisory committee to reconstruct the destroyed records of rights in 695 dehs of Thatta district and the process continued till date. However, a notification recently issued by the BoR said that the reconstructed record of 56 dehs was reassessed and found to be defective.
The anomalies of serious nature concerning ownership of individuals’ lands were detected and, therefore, the BoR ordered to reconstruct the record afresh on the recommendation of the committee.
In another case in September 2015, the Sindh government told the Supreme Court that Sindh government had cancelled the lease agreement of entire 5,222-acres land in Thatta.
Lease to Arab individuals
The apex court took suo motu notice on September 2 and had sought reply from the Sindh government on the lease of thousands acres land to Arab individuals.
The Sindh additional advocate general submitted a report before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, saying the government cancelled the lease granted in 1981.
According to this report in 1980, around 10,000 acres land in District Thatta was leased out to Emirates Sheep and Agriculture Farming for establishing livestock and agriculture farms. The lease agreement was executed on September 13, 1981 at the rate of Rs 7 per acre per annum.
The Sindh government’s report further said that on July 5, 1982, the lessee returned 4778 acres land but retained 5,222 acres for livestock and agriculture purposes.
“In 2009, on the request of the lessee the then CM extended lease for a period of 30 years at the rate of Rs30.
The report, however, revealed that on August 10, 2015 Deputy Commissioner Thatta visited leased-out land, measuring 5,222 acres, in Deh Khohistan Thatta, he found that the most of the land was uncultivated and only 150 sheep were there. It also came to the DC knowledge that the said land was leased out for a period 99 year to Naseer Abdullah Lootah for establishing sheep and agriculture farm.
It was found the lessee infringed the terms and condition of lease and failed to establish farms for livestock and to cultivate the land in accordance with the terms and conditions.
The DC submitted his report to the Sindh government and the competent authority accorded approval for the cancellation of land after review the 10 (5) b of the Colonization of Government Land Act 1912.
The Sindh government on September 10 cancelled the entire 5222 acres land agreement with specific direction to the DC to cancel the entries in revenue record and recover the possession of the land.