Land Record-of-rights (Khatiyan) Methods in Bangladesh: A Study on the Application of Laws and Associated Challenges.

Project ID: WUB/2022/P1/021

Project Duration: 2022 - 2023

Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Md. Abdul Jalil (Department of Law)

Project Members: Mahmudul Hasan Rajib,

Record-of-rights (khatian) is an indispensable part of land and also an integral part of land administration which can recognize the chain of title. It is prepared through surveying and mapping of land plots and updating ownership. It is the form which shows all the details of interest and contains the entire information of land owner. It has been prepared on the basis of present possession of ‘rayat’ or ‘malik’ which is also proof of title unless disproved through proper process. Inappropriate record-of-rights increases difficulties in every aspect of land tenure. Various processes and stages in land recording in C.S. khatian (1888-1940); R.S. Khatian of C.S. Records (1923-1952); S.A. or P.S. Khatian (1954-1965), R.S. Khatian of S.A. Records (1965 – 1997); B.S. Khatian (1970 - till now); Dhaka City Jorip (1985 - till now) etc. poses so many problems and tensions among the landowners. These challenges would be focused in the research, the correction process of different types of mistakes in the records would be discussed, assessed, evaluated and finally workable solutions would be offered. Qualitative research methods would be applied in this research to collect and analyze the data from different sources.

Khatiyan’ is a Bengali as well as Persian word. It means ‘record-of-rights’. This khatian is also called ‘Sotto lipi’ or ‘Porcha’.  Basically, it is a kind of Form that shows all the details of rights of ‘raiyats’ or ‘malik’ (owner). It is prepared under the direct control and guidance of the Department of Land Records and Surveys (DLRS) and it maintains its own ‘Settlement press’. It collects and records all khatians in the Register No. 1 which is locally called ‘Jamabandi’ Register.

Firstly, the Bengal Tenancy Act, 1885 had recognized rights over land held by various interests, such as, landholders, tenure holders and raiyats. Thereafter, it is gradually prepared by operation of the Sylhet Tenancy Act, 1936 and the State Acquisition Tenancy Act, 1950, which contained the name of the ‘Zamindars’ at the upper part and the particulars of the ‘Raiyats’ at the bottom part consecutively. Every entry of khatiyan is shown its unique khatiyan no. (taken from Register No. 1), plot no. (a part made out of dividing a mouza), bata plot/dag no., area, touzi (P-73), J.L. (Jurisdiction list) no., mouza [1] no. (which is usually begins from north west point and ends up to the southeast point), revenue circle no. (only usable in C.S. khatiyan), jote no. (in mutation jote or holding no. is given), names and shares of the possessors and description to their rights and superior interest etc.

 It is prepared during several surveys such as C.S., S.A., R.S., and B.S./City Jorip etc. It also shows the plot (chak) holder's name and his/her father's name, nature of right, nature of the tenancy, area of the plot and amount of rent. A survey map is prepared for every Mouza that contains all the plots marked with individual numbers. All the survey khatiyans of a Mouza are kept according to serial number in a bound volume that is preserved in the ‘Collectorate record room’ and ‘Judge record room’ and also in the ‘Tahsil/rent collectorate office’ for reference. In this research all the processes and stages of land records, correction processes and relevant challenges would be discussed, evaluated and analyzed. Effective solutions would also be offered to surmount the challenges.