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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Law of Property in India is rather convoluted.

There are a lot of statutes governing the same, and what is more, many of them consist of provisions that certainly belong to a bygone era. Our English masters made pretty sure that none but professionals from the field of law should be able to understand the statutes - the sentences are long, go on without a pause or break and are thoroughly confusing and mystifying. It is plain to even a student of law that they are unnecessarily twisted and what they say could be said so much more in brief and in an easily understood manner.

The very definition of property is like a labyrinth, with the distinctions and classification being so insensible that no consensus can be reached as to what they mean! When a comparison is drawn with English law, things are so utterly simple that one cannot but say that the British, when drafting the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 for India must have chuckled as they thought of how the natives would scratch their heads about the words of the Act.

How the Courts interpret these terms is even more puzzling - there are a number of conflicting judgements one can come across with just a quick perusal of books on the subject.

The provisions remain outdated, and many of them are redundant and superfluous. If only they were to be updated, the statute would make so much more sense and would serve its purpose better (of course, we would save valuable trees at the same time as the statute would require less paper for printing!).

The statutes also happen to make way for innumerable customary laws that further complicate the scene and make certainty impossible.

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