Learning land law comprehensively | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 20, 2018

Book Review

Learning land law comprehensively

LAND Law: Texts, Cases & Materials by Dr. Mohammad Towhidul Islam, Professor of Law at University of Dhaka, is the reflection of the writer's decade long experience in teaching land law and property law. The purpose of writing this book is, as the author describes, 'to make the learning of this extensive field more accessible by focusing on actual learning needs, and by critically analysing the existing provisions of land law'. While doing so, the author performed his obligation in a comparative way by discussing major sub-continental and British precedents to investigate the necessity of a particular law.

 Land law is an essential branch of law in Bangladesh. Almost 80% disputes creating backlog in the sub-ordinate judiciary is related to land. All the prominent law schools of Bangladesh teach land law to its student. The syllabus of Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission Examination includes land law. In Bangladesh, it is a stereotypical belief that land law is limited to only the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act and the Non-Agricultural Tenancy Act. Professor Towhid has completely discarded this misnomer in his book. This book addresses all the laws that deal with land. The book discussed about the newly enacted Acquisition and Requisition Act of 2017, the Real Estate (Development and Management) Act, 2010 and also the laws of balumohal (Sand Estate).

There are a number of books on land law in Bangladesh, but none of them is updated and thus not academically suitable for students.  This book alternatively provides an in-depth analysis of land laws and every issue pertaining to land use, precisely yet comprehensively.

As Justice Mirza Hussain Haider puts it in his foreword to the book, the book provides a reasonable account of laws and topics related to land law through broad examination of its sources. It also includes “should have been” topics such as enemy property law, abandoned property law, acquisition and requisition law, real estate law and even law of sand estate.

The book is divided into 28 chapters. The first four chapters gives the readers an introduction to land law, an insight into the development of land law, hierarchy of land administration in Bangladesh and the concept of ownership of land. In the next chapter, the author discusses about the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act. In the following chapters, he discusses about rights and liabilities of raiyats and preparation and revision of record-of-rights, i.e. land survey. Next he discusses about the concept of transfer of land and the modes of it. The next chapters deal with amalgamation, consolidation and sub-division of holding and registration. The following chapters deal with mutation, pre-Emption, sub-letting and barga. Then the author discusses about alluvion and diluvion of land and adverse possession. The following two chapters deal with the laws of enemy property and abandoned property respectively. Then the author discusses about land taxes, certificate, khas land, non-agricultural lands, rent control laws, land use policy, real estate law, balumohal and soil management law and land reforms. In the last chapter, the author evaluates the future of land laws and puts emphasis on the need for more reforms.

The author's clarity of expression enables the reader to gain a crystal clear understanding of the fundamental principles of the subject and at the same time makes the reader curious about the tensions and debates in land law. The book is intended to provide the students with a comprehensive source of relevant materials, and undergraduates will find everything they need in this one convenient and easy-to-use book.

The reviewer is a Student of Law, University of Dhaka.  

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