Due Diligence Exercise : Opinion After Examination of Land Registry Documents

Inheritance Matter and Property Due Diligence of Pakistani citizens living in Italy. References given  for the research at the land registry of Bahawalnagar / client obtained the address of the property in Pakistan.Client wanted to know if it was possible  to proceed to the research at the land registry having the address of the property? It would be important to do a crossed control to the land registry using the address of the property and the name of the dead father of my client. Stress upon if it was necessary to identify the real owner or the owners of the property.

Land Registry Documents Analysis

We have explained some of these points earlier in our communications through emails. However this document is our final opinion on the matter we have been instructed for.

Please note: The documents for land registry have been marked with Annexure A and B. Annex A depicts the titles in the names of X  son of BK and X, Daughter of B K holding the land titles.

In Annex B you can peruse through the details of the land title, which is in name of the Revenue Department Government of Punjab, Pakistan. Currently the caretaker of the land is XYZ son and the contract for cultivation is given to Government of Punjab and the Government governs all the finances. This is until the Revenue Department and the case pending before Honorable Lahore High Court clears the title of the land.

As per your instructions, we have conducted a thorough research on the land registry at (deleted) and its related case at Lahore High Court. Please be advised our research reveals that this land was allotted to people who came from India in 1947 Partition and claimed the lands in Pakistan on titles they had to forgo in India. The lands were allotted to people and BK’s family was also allotted the land. A dispute came forward in the 1960s where the revenue department took back lands from some people and they went into litigation of the same.

In this case the situation is that there have been actions by the Pakistan Revenue Department for taking back the lands and the dispute originally was placed before Revenue Commissioner, who then referred the dispute to collector revenue department and eventually the collector confiscated all the lands involved in different parts of the Province of Punjab and this land in question was also taken back (although it did not fall under the dispute). The revenue department is now giving the excuse that once the Lahore High Court gives its decision in this case then we will give the land back.

Please note there is no mention of your clients’ land in this case and they have not even been made party to the case. In our opinion if they request the court that they be allowed to become party to the case then they have a good chance of getting the land back earlier. The problem that we can see here is that there has been no step taken from your client’s side to claim the land back.

When we spoke to (deleted) he informed us that he has asked some lawyers from Lahore and also some officials of local Revenue Department, they have told him that their land is safe and is not dependent on outcome of the pending case, whatever the decision of the case may be your land will be returned once the case is decided. But in our view if the land is safe then why has it been confiscated by the Revenue Department? Our query is that why is there no mention of this land in the main case.

Please note that here in Pakistan the land disputes and cases are not decided easily and they are time consuming. What we would suggest again if you can ask your clients to become party to the suit and request the court to treat their matter separately from other disputed lands, hence to direct the revenue department to hand over the land to its original owners. It is totally up to the clients if they wish to pursue the matter further or wait for the final judgment. However we cannot comment on how long will it take.

Presently the land is total 15 Acres of which the revenue department has taken ten acres and 4.75 acres land is in name of your client(s) and their brother.

Please be advised that if your clients wish to get the land back we can help you by making them a party to the main case and request the court to consider our land separate from the main dispute and direct the revenue authorities to hand over the land.

Secondly we can also help your clients dispose off the land presently in their names by finding suitable buyers and looking after all legal formalities of the transfer.

We look forward to hearing from you and are here to answer any further queries at your end regarding the matter.

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