State wide launch of the rajasthan revenue courts grid
– An Address by V.Srinivas IAS –
Shri Amra ram ji, Hon’ble Minister for Revenue, Government of Rajasthan
Shri KhemrajChaudhuryji, Additional Chief Secretary Revenue
Distinguished Members of Board of Revenue, Divisional Commissioners, District Collectors,Revenue Appellate Authorities,
President of the Rajasthan Revenue Bar Association, Senior Advocates of the Rajasthan Revenue Bar Association,
Additional District Collectors of Rajasthan
Sub-Divisional Officers of Rajasthan
It is indeed a momentous occasion for me to address you today at the State Wide Launch of the Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid – a functional digital network of Revenue Courts on the Rajasthan Courts Management System (RCMS) software, which will provide the highest levels of transparency and marks a watershed in land reforms programs of Rajasthan.
Earlier this week, India’s ranking in the “Doing Business 2018” report of the World Bank jumped by 30 places, the report measures aspects of regulation affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Amongst these 11 areas are several e-Governance Initiatives which include the launch of the National Judicial Grid and Land Reforms represented by clear land titles and security of tenures. Rigorous implementation of the provisions of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act relating to partition of holdings, declaratory rights, protection of rights on lands of girl-child/ lands of deity/ lands of Tribals contribute to better governance practices. Clearly, Rajasthan’s efforts for establishing the Revenue Courts Grid represents an important step in India’s policy making efforts for consistency in regulatory practices and judicial processes.
The Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid is a system of online judgments of Revenue Courts that the State would provide the litigants with web access. Modeled on the lines of the e-Courts mission of the Government implemented by Ministry of Justice in the Supreme Court of India, and all High Courts where judgments of the Supreme Court and High Courts have been placed online, the Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid will accord the centrality of focus to the Litigants who appear in Rajasthan’s Revenue Courts. This is a significant step towards establishing Rajasthan’s Revenue Courts as fully digital institutions.Today, all Revenue Courts upto Sub-Divisional Officers Courts would commence placing judgments online.
The next steps would include stage wise monitoring of Court cases which alone can reduce the huge case-loads that Rajasthan’s Revenue Courts facetoday. It currently takes the litigant an average of 5 years of litigation in Sub-Divisional Officer Courts, 2 years litigation in Revenue Appellate Authorities Courts and 15 years litigation in the Board of Revenue. The cumulative period is 22 years. Day after day, for the past several months, I have heard 2nd appeals of cases registered in the Board of Revenue in the years 2000-2001. Very rarely do I get to hear arguments in more recent cases, except those at admission stage. We need to ensure that the Presiding Officers in Revenue Courts are in control of the litigation and digitization is the only way forward.
Today, Revenue Administration is at the zenith of its manpower deployment and expansionary phase. With 350 Sub-Divisional Courts, Fast Track Courts and ACM Courts the quantum of revenue litigation should come down significantly and timely justice should be provided. Contrarian trends indicate linear increases in revenue litigation in several courts of Assistant Collectors. The plausible reason for the exponential increase in Revenue Litigation, is the quality of land records where significant improvements are possible, particularly in partition of holdings and declaration of tenancies.
The sine-qua-non for improving the quality of our land records are impact oriented inspections - Patwarisinspections by Tehsildars, inspection of Tehsildar offices by SDO’s and inspections of SDO offices by District Collectors. The key is to have thoroughly scrutinized Records of Rights. 70 percent of the mutations emerge from the Sub Registrar offices as mortgage deeds and sale deeds. The Digitization of Land Records Management Program (DILRMP) seeks to establish this linkage between Sub Registrar offices and Tehsildar offices. This is an imperative need for effective coordination between the Department of Revenue and the Department of Registration and Stamps.
I often hear from members of the Revenue Bar that the Revenue Courts are not sitting regularly and there is considerable unpredictability about court timings and periodicity. I would urge colleagues to conduct Courts regularly. Today we have more officers and staff manning revenue courts than we ever had in the 70 year history of Rajasthan. These huge numbers must present disciplined and cohesive performances to yield optimal results. SDO’s must conduct Court work from 1030 am to 1.30 pm for 3 days in a week and Assistant Collectors must conduct Court work all 5 days in a week. Judgments must be delivered in time. Speaking orders interpreting each of the issues must be issued.
Once again, let me thank the Revenue Minister, the Additional Chief Secretary Revenue and each of the Senior Officials attending this event, for sparing their valuable time and contributing to this seminal event. It has taken a significant collective effort from all of us to reach this milestone today. I must acknowledge the contribution of each and every official associated with the Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid. Please accept my good wishes in all your challenging endeavors.
Address by V.Srinivas IAS, Chairman Board of Revenue at the State wide launch function of the Rajasthan Revenue Courts Grid, Video Conferencing from New Meeting Hall, Board of Revenue for Rajasthan, Ajmer Dated November 2, 2017
V.Srinivas is an IAS officer of 1989 batch, presently posted as Chairman Board of Revenue for Rajasthan
He had previously served in the Ministry of Finance and as Advisor to Executive Director (India) IMF, Washington DC. Also worked as Planning and Finance Secretary of Rajasthan.
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