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Bhumiputra Bill in Goa:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Context:

Goa CM has clarified that the Bhumiputra Bill won’t be sent to Governor.

 

What’s the issue?

The Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill, 2021 that was passed in the Goa Assembly on July 30 had since been at the centre of a political storm.

The Bill was aimed at giving the status of ‘Bhumiputra’ to a person residing in Goa for at least 30 years and to enable him or her to stake claim to ownership of their house of up to 250 sq m built before April 1, 2019.

  • However, activists said that it had hurt the sentiments of the state’s tribal population.

 

Highlights of the Bill:

  1. It recognises anyone living in the state for 30 years or more as a ‘Bhumiputra (son of the soil)’ and gives such a person the right to own his or her ‘small dwelling unit’ if ownership was undetermined so far.
  2. Once recognised as a Bhumiputra, an individual can stake claim to ownership of their house of not more than 250 sq m, built before April 1, 2019.

 

Implementation:

  1. The Bill provides for the constitution of the Bhumiputra Adhikarini — a committee consisting of the Deputy Collector as its Chairperson, and officials from the departments of Town and Country Planning, Forest and Environment , and Mamlatdars of respective talukas as its members.
  2. The Bhumiputra may apply to the committee if his house has been built before the cut-off date.
  3. The committee will invite objections within 30 days, including from the land owner which could also be a local body, and then take a decision of granting ownership to the Bhumiputra.
  4. An appeal against the Bhumiputra Adhikarini’s decision can be filed before the Administrative Tribunal within 30 days.

 

Can the courts intervene?

No court shall have jurisdiction “to entertain, decide or deal with any question which is to be decided by the Bhumiputra Adhikarini and Administrative Tribunal under this Act”.

 

Need for these measures:

In the last so many years there have been cases of homes built by a person or his parents but the land is not in his name. There is always a sword dangling over their head that someone will file a case against them (over ownership).

  • Therefore, the objective of the Bill is to give ownership right to the self-occupied dweller of a small housing unit to enable him to live with dignity and self-respect and exercise his right to life.

 

Concerns:

The biggest concern is that the bill may give rise to regularisation of illegal structures. This might also open the floodgates for the migrant population that has been staying in densely populated areas in Goa and has no legality.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of the Bill.
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Implementation.
  4. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the Bill.

Sources: Indian Express.