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    Parliament Debates Bill to Restore Rights of Land Owners in North and East

    August 12, 2014

    The Prescription (Special Provisions) Bill, which seeks to restore the rights of land owners who were forced to flee their homes or abandon their properties during the conflict in the North and East, was taken up for its Second Reading in Parliament on Aug. 7, 2014.

    According to prevailing laws under the Prescription Ordinance, a person holding uninterrupted, "adverse" possession of property for 10 years is entitled to ownership of that property. However, over the 30 year period of conflict, a significant number of land owners lost the rights to their lands when they were displaced due to effects of the conflict, and their lands have since been occupied by other persons.The Bill seeks to replace provisions in the existing Prescription Ordinance to facilitate original land owners to reclaim their properties. The proposed law will be a dedicated enactment, which will deal with the period of the armed conflict only.

     

    The Bill, which was presented to Parliament by Minister of Justice Mr. Rauff Hakeem on July 22, 2014 relates to LLRC Recommendation 9.148, i.e., “Amend the law pertaining to prescription in its application to land transfers/occupation effected during the period of conflict in order to prevent legitimizing of forced eviction and secondary occupation of private lands in North and East.”(KH/LLRC)

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