ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reversal of Land Reforms

New Revenue Code of Uttar Pradesh

The recently notified Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code 2006 dilutes the pro-poor provisions of the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950. It is a serious blow to attempts towards equidistribution of land resources especially in the light of the fact that the Ceiling Law has failed to make any dent in the land structure of the state.

The author is thankful to K B Saxena, A K Singh and P C Tiwari for their valuable time to discuss these issues.

The Government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) notified the Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code 2006 (hereafter referred to as the Code) which received presidential assent in November 2012. It simultaneously achieves several goals – it consolidates and amends the law relating to land tenures (the UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950) (ZA and LR Act) and land revenue (the UP Land Revenue Act, 1901) while also ostensibly simplifying the accompanying legal procedures. However, the most critical aspect of this legislative activity that has escaped scrutiny is that it reneges on a number of time-tested, pro-poor provisions of the previous law.

The process of amending the law was set in motion by the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) government and the bill was passed by the UP assembly in September 2006. But at the time, it could not get presidential assent and remained pending with the central government. In 2007, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) assumed power and the bill was consigned to the back-burner. But while it halted the amendments, the BSP missed the opportunity to resuscitate the pro-poor, pro-dalit provisions of the old law. When the SP was voted back to power in 2012, the amended bill was once again pursued and this time, it received presidential assent. The new Act was notified in November 2012 and the new rules were released early this year.

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