Land reform constitutes the most important package of measures to
improve the economic condition of agricultural tenants. It aims at the
redistribution of agricultural land ownership in favour of the cultivating
class, regulation and rationalization of rent, improving the size of farms and
providing security to tenure holders in order to raise traditional agricultural
Areas of land reform are very vast and there has been a lot of improvement in
its implication ever since. Some of them are land acquisition, requisition,
ceiling, abolition of zamindari and intermediaries, tenure and tenancy etc.
Consolidation is also a major facet of land reform scope. Land consolidation is
a planned readjustment and rearrangement of fragmented land parcels and their
ownership. It is usually applied to form larger and more rational land holdings.
It can be used to improve rural infrastructure and to implement developmental
and environmental policies.
In the state of UP and Uttarakhand, the UP Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953
is the statutory law on this area of land reform.
Uttar Pradesh is the rainbow land where the multi-hued Indian culture has
blossomed from times immemorial. Right from the beginning of the efforts at
planned economic development, land reforms were assigned a high priority with a
view to remove obstacles in the transformation of agriculture imposed by the
exploitative and defective land tenure system in country. However, land reforms
in the country have remained content with the objective of the creation of
individual proprietary rights and granting security of tenure to the actual
tiller of land and did not attempt any basic transformation of the agrarian
relations on socialist lines.
UP which had seen the political mobilization of the peasantry during the
independence struggle on a large scale was among the more progressive states of
the country during first phase of land reforms inititated after independence. In
the second phase, attention was focused on the consolidation of the fragmented
The Uttar Pradesh Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953 (UP Act No. 5 of 1954)
received the assent of the President on 4th March 1954 and was published in UP
Gazette Extraordinary, dated 8th March 1954.
The Preamble- Whereas it is expedient to provide for the consolidation of
agricultural holdings in Uttar Pradesh for the development of agriculture; it is
It has V Chapters and 54 Sections.
Meaning of Consolidation
Land consolidation is the reallocation of parcels with the aim the landowners
to obtain larger parcels at one or more places in exchange of their former
smaller and fragmented land plots. The word land consolidation
comes from the
Latin commassatio (grouping). Land consolidation has always been something
more than only the simple rearrangement of parcels to remove effects of
fragmentation seeking higher agricultural productivity and lower costs.[i]
Views of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Land consolidation is sometimes incorrectly interpreted to be only the simple
reallocation of parcels to remove effects of fragmentation. In reality, land
consolidation has been associated with broader social and economic reforms from
the time of its earliest applications in Western Europe. The first consolidation
initiatives of Denmark in the 1750s were part of a profound social reform to
free people from obligations to noble landlords by establishing privately-owned
family farms. The consolidation of fragmented holdings did result in improved
agricultural productivity but this was not the only objective of these
Scope of Land Consolidation Schemes
- An overall objective of early projects was to increase the net income of
production and decreasing its cost. With this focus, these projects served
to consolidate parcels and included other provisions like irrigation, land
- The emphasis has shifted from a focus on reconstructing and structuring
agriculture to having one of achieving more efficient multiple areas of
rural space by balancing interest of agriculture, landscape, nature
conservation, recreation etc.
- Environment conditions are given increasing priority.
- Land consolidation now encompasses activities of village renewal.
Projects include providing adequate land for new houses and workplace.
- In line with other changes in the concept of rural development, land
consolidation now places increased importance on gender inclusion and use of
approaches of alternative dispute resolution.
- It also serves to modernize tenure arrangements by eliminating outdated
rights of use like grazing, hay making timber felling, fishing etc.
Consolidation under the UP Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953- Consolidation
Section 3(2) defines consolidation as:
means re-arrangement of holdings in a unit amongst several
tenure-holders in such a way as to make their respective holdings more compact;
For the purpose of this clause, holding shall not include the
- Land which was grove in agricultural year immediately preceding the year
in which the notification under Section 4 was issued;
- land subject to fluvial action and intensive soil erosion;
- land mentioned in Section 132 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land
Reforms Act, 1950;
- such compact areas as are normally subject to prolonged water-logging;
- usar, kallar and rihala plots forming a compact area including cultivated
land within such area;
- land in use for growing pan, rose, bela, jasmine and kewra; and
- such other areas as the Director of Consolidation may declare to be
unsuitable for the purpose of Consolidation.
Section 3 (2A) states that 'Consolidation area' means the area, in respect of
which notification under Section 4 has been issued, except such portions thereof
to which the provisions of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act,
1950, or any other Law by which Zamindari System has been abolished do not
Section 3 (4C) defines holding. 'Holding' means a parcel or parcels of land held
under one tenure by a tenure-holder singly or jointly with other
According to Section 3 (5) 'Land' means land held or occupied for purposes
connected with agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry (including
pisciculture and poultry farming) and includes:
- the site, being part of a holding, of a house or other similar
- trees, wells and other improvements existing on the plots forming the
Under Section 3(11), 'Tenure-holder' means a bhumidhar with transferable rights
or bhumidhar with non-transferable right and includes:
- an asami,
- a Government lessee or Government grantee, or
- a co-operative farming society satisfying such conditions as may be
How does Consolidation of Land take place?
- Declaration and Notification regarding Consolidation.
- Revision of Maps and Records.
- Preparation of Statements and Principles.
- Inviting objections and Appeal.
- Assessment of Land Revenue on Holdings.
- Preparation of Consolidation Scheme.
- Enforcement of the Scheme.
- Consequences which will ensue.
Declaration and Notification regarding Consolidation
First of all a declaration is made under Section 4 of the Act. The State
Government may, where it is of opinion that a district or part thereof may be
brought under consolidation operations, make a declaration to that effect in the
Gazette, whereupon it shall become lawful for any officer or authority who may
be empowered in this behalf by the District Deputy Director of Consolidation:
- to enter upon and survey, in connection with rectangulation or otherwise,
and to take levels of any land in such area;
- to fix pillars in connection with rectangulation, and;
- to do all acts necessary to ascertain the suitability of the area for
The District Deputy Director of Consolidation shall cause public notice of the
declaration issued under clause (a) to be given at convenient places in the said
district or part thereof.
When the State Government decides to start consolidation operations, either in
an area covered by a declaration issued in sub-section (1) or anhy other area it
may issue a notification to this effect to be published in the Gazette and in a
daily newspaper having circulation in that area.
In Mahabeer vs State Of U.P.
Through Consolidation Commissioner decided on 8
February, 2017, it was observed that notification under Section 4 of the Act is
issued in a case where an appeal against the preliminary decree, was not pending
the latter, viz, he preliminary decree, will remain unaffected and will not
abate but if the preliminary decree had been assailed in appeal, and the appeal
is pending on the date of Notification, the latter namely, the Notification,
will have the effect of abating the entire suit/proceedings including the
preliminary decree passed therein. On the contrary, if an appeal is filed
against the final decree without there being any appeal against the preliminary
decree and the preliminary decree becomes "unassailable" on account of Sec. 97,
C.P.C. the Notification under Section 4 would abate the proceedings relating to
the final decree without in any way touching, impairing or affecting the
Under Section 5, Upon the publication of the notification under sub-section (2)
of Section 4 in the Official Gazette, the consequences, as hereinafter set
forth, shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, from the date specified
thereunder till the publication of notification under Section 52 or sub-section
(1) of Section 6, as the case may be, ensue in the area to which the
notification under Section 4(2) relates, namely:
(a) the district or part thereof, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be
under consolidation operations and the duty of maintaining the record-of-rights
and preparing the village map, the field-book and the annual register of each
village shall be performed by the District Deputy Director of Consolidation, who
shall maintain or prepare them, as the case may be, in manner prescribed;
(c) notwithstanding anything contained in the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land
Reforms Act, 1950, no tenure-holder, except with the permission in writing of
the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, previously obtained shall-
(i) use his holding or any part thereof for purposes not connected with
agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry including pisciculture and poultry
Provided that a tenure-holder may continue to use his holding, or any part
thereof, for any purpose for which it was in use prior to the date specified in
the notification issued under sub-section (2) of Section 4.
(2) Upon the said publication of the notification under sub-section (2) of
Section 4, the following further consequences shall ensue in the area to which
the notification relates, namely:
- every proceeding for the correction of records and every suit and
proceeding in respect of declaration of rights or interest in any land lying
in the area, or for declaration or adjudication of any other right in regard
to which proceedings can or ought to be taken under this Act, pending before
any Court or authority whether of the first instance or of appeal, reference
or revision, shall, on an order being passed in that behalf by the Court or
authority before whom such suit or proceeding is pending, stand abated:
Provided that no such order shall be passed without giving to the parties notice
by post or in any other manner and after giving them an opportunity of being
Provided further that on the issue of a notification under sub-section (1) of
Section 6 in respect of the said area or part thereof, every such order in
relation to the land lying in such area or part as the case may be, shall stand
- such abatement shall be without prejudice to the rights of the persons
affected to agitate the right or interest in dispute in the said suits or
proceedings before the appropriate consolidation authorities under and in
accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder.
For the purposes of sub-section (2), a proceeding under the Uttar
Pradesh Imposition of Ceiling on Land Holdings Act, 1960 or an uncontested
proceeding under Sections 134 to 137 of the U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land
Reforms Act, 1950, shall not be deemed to be a proceeding in respect of
declaration of rights or interest, in any land.
Special provision with respect of undisputed succession or transfer is given
under Section 6A.
Revision of Maps and Records:
With a view to facilitate the revision of records of each village or part
thereof in the unit and subject to the provisions of the Act, the District
Deputy Director of Consolidation shall, before the provisional consolidation
Scheme for a unit is prepared, cause to be revised the village maps of such
unit.(Section 7). Similarly under Section 8, revision of the field book and the
current annual register; determination of valuations and shares in joint
Preparation of Statement of Principles
Section 8A states as, (1) The Assistant Consolidation Officer shall, in
consultation with the Consolidation Committee, prepare, in respect of each unit
under consolidation operations, a statement in the prescribed form (hereinafter
called the Statement of Principles) setting forth the principles to be followed
in carrying out the consolidation operations in the unit.
(2) The Statement of Principles shall also contain:
- details of areas, as far as they can be determined at this stage, to be
earmarked for extension of abadi including areas for abadi site for Harijans and
landless persons in the unit, and for such other public purposes as may be
- the basis on which the tenure-holders will contribute land for extension
of abadi and
for other public purposes; and
- details of land to be earmarked for public purposes out of land vested
in a Gaon
Sabha or a Local Authority under Section 117 or Section 117-A of the Uttar
Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950.
- the standard plots for each unit.
(3) The standard plots referred to in clause (d) of sub-section (2) shall be
determined by the Assistant Consolidation Officer after ascertaining from the
members of the Consolidation Committee and the tenure-holders of the units, the
best plot or plots of the unit, regard being had to productivity, location and
the existing soil class of the plot or plots.
Inviting objections and appeals
Issue of extracts from records and statements and publication of records
mentioned in Sections 8 and 8-A and the issue of notices for inviting
objections. - (1) Upon the preparation of the records and the statements
mentioned in Sections 8 and 8-A, the Assistant Consolidation Officer shall:
- correct the clerical mistakes, if any, and send, or cause to be sent, to
the tenure-holders concerned and other persons interested, notices
containing relevant extracts from the current annual register and such other
records as may be prescribed showing:
- their rights in and liabilities in relation to the land;
- mistakes, undisputed cases of succession and disputes discovered under
Section 8 in respect thereof;
- specific shares of individual tenure-holders in joint holdings for the
purpose of effecting partitions, where necessary, to ensure proper
- valuation of the plots; and
- valuation of trees, wells and other improvements for calculating
compensation therefor and its apportionment amongst owners, if there be more
owners than one;
- publish in the unit the current khasra and the current annual register, the
khasra chakbandi, the Statement of Principles prepared under Section 8-A, and
any other records that may be prescribed to show, inter alia, the particulars
referred to in clause (a).
(2) Any person to whom a notice under sub-section (1) has been sent, or any
other person interested may, within 21 days of the receipt of notice, or of the
publication under sub-section (1), as the case may be, file, before the
Assistant Consolidation Officer, objections in respect thereof disputing the
correctness or nature of the entries in the records or in the extracts furnished
therefrom, or in the Statement of Principles, or the need for partition.
While reckoning with the matter relating to consolidation, the Apex Court in
Mohd. Shakoor Mian v. Raj Mangal Mishra
[iv] held in para 6 that the
Consolidation authorities cannot be equated with regular courts.
Under Section 11, Any party to the proceedings under Section 9-A, aggrieved by
an order of the Assistant Consolidation Officer or the Consolidation Officer
under that section, may, within 21 days of the date of the order, file an appeal
before the Settlement Officer, Consolidation, who shall after affording
opportunity of being heard to the parties concerned, give his decision thereon
which, except as otherwise provided by or under this Act, shall be final and not
be questioned in any Court of law
Assessment of Land Revenue on Holdings
Under Section 12A of the Act, Notwithstanding anything contained in the U.P.
Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950, the Settlement Officer,
Consolidation, may, subject to the rules made in this behalf:
- determine the amount of land revenue payable by a tenure-holder on land
on which he acquires rights as a result of orders passed under this Act, and
- where necessary, also determine the amount of land revenue payable in
respect of a portion of the tenure-holder's holding.
Preparation of Consolidation SchemeUnder Section 19 (1) A Consolidation Scheme shall fulfil the following
- the rights and liabilities of a tenure-holder, as recorded in the annual
register prepared under Section 10, are, subject to the deductions, if any,
made on account of contributions to public purposes under this Act, secured
in the lands allotted to him;
- the valuation of plots allotted to a tenure-holder, subject to
deductions, if any, made on account of contributions to public purposes
under this Act is equal to the valuation of plots originally held by him
Provided that, except with the permission of the Director of Consolidation, the
area of the holding or holdings allotted to a tenure-holder shall not differ
from the area of his original holding or holdings by more than twenty five per
cent of the latter;
- the compensation determined under the provisions of this Act, or the
rules framed thereunder, is awarded
- to the tenure-holder
- for trees, wells and other improvements, originally held by him and
allotted to another tenure-holder, and
- for land contributed by him for public purposes;
- to the Gaon Sabha, or any other local authority, as the case may be, for
development, if any, effected by it in or over land belonging to it and allotted
to a tenure-holder;
(d) the principles laid down in the Statement of Principles are followed;
(e) every tenure-holder is, as far as possible, allotted a compact area at the
place where he holds the largest part of his holding :
Provided that no tenure-holder may be allotted more chaks than three, except
with the approval in writing of the Deputy Director of Consolidation:
Provided further that no consolidation made shall be invalid for the reason
merely that the number of chaks allotted to a tenure-holder exceeds three;
(f) every tenure-holder is, as far as possible, allotted the plot on which
exists his private source of irrigation or any other improvement, together with
an area in the vicinity equal to the valuation of the plots originally held by
him there; and
(g) every tenure-holder is, as far as possible, allotted chaks in conformity
with the process of rectangulation in rectangulation units.
(2) A Consolidation Scheme before it is made final under Section 23, shall be
provisionally drawn up in accordance with the provisions of Section 19-A.
Enforcement of Scheme
Section 24 deals with possession and accrual of compensation for trees etc. (1)
The Settlement Officer, Consolidation, shall fix the date, to be notified in the
unit, from which the final Consolidation Scheme shall come into force. On and
after the said date a tenure-holder shall be entitled to enter into possession
of the plots allotted to him.
(2) On and from the date of obtaining possession every tenure-holder getting
trees, wells and other improvements existing on the plots allotted to him in
pursuance of the enforcement of the final Consolidation Scheme shall be liable
for the payment of and pay to the former tenure-holder thereof, compensation for
the trees, wells and other improvements, allotted to him, to be determined in
the manner hereinbefore provided.
New revenue records are to be prepared under Section 27. Under Section 28, the
Assistant Consolidation Officer, on the application of the tenure-holder or the
Land Management Committee, to whom chak or lands have been allotted under the
final Consolidation Scheme, may, and where any land has been allotted to the
State Government shall, without any application of the State Government, within
six months of the date on which the said Scheme has come into force, put the
tenure-holder or the Land Management Committee or the State Government, as the
case may be, in actual physical possession of the allotted chak or lands,; and
for so doing shall have all the powers, including powers as regards contempt,
resistance and the like as are exercisable by a Civil Court in execution of a
decree for delivery of possession of immovable property.
Where possession over standing crops also is delivered under Section 28, the
Assistant Consolidation Officer shall determine in the manner prescribed the
compensation payable in respect of such crops by the tenure-holder put in
possession. Any person aggrieved by an order may, within fifteen days of the
date of the order, prefer an appeal before the Consolidation Officer, whose
decision thereon shall be final.
Under Section 29B compensation for land contributed by tenure holders for public
purposes is also given:
- in the case of land of a bhumidhar with transferable rights, four times,
- in the case of land of a bhumidhar with non-transferable rights, two
times of the land revenue reduced under Section 29-AA.
In the case of trees, wells and other improvements, falling within the land so
contributed, the amount of compensation shall be determined in accordance with
the provisions of Section 19.
Compensation which will ensue on exchange of possession
With effect from the date on which a tenure-holder enters, or is deemed to have
entered into possession of the chak allotted to him, in accordance with the
provisions of this Act, the following consequences shall ensue:
- the rights, title, interest and liabilities:
- of the tenure-holder entering, or deemed to have entered into
- of the former tenure-holder of the plots comprising the chak, in their
respective original holdings shall cease; and
- the tenure-holder entering into possession, or deemed to have
entered into possession, shall have in his chak the same rights, title,
interest and liabilities as he had in the original holdings together with
such other benefits of irrigation from a private source, till such source
exists, as the former tenure-holder of the plots comprising the chak had in
regard to them;
- lands vested in the Gaon Sabha, or any local authority and allotted to the
tenure-holder shall be deemed to have been resumed by the State Government under
the provisions of Section 117 or Section 117-A, as the case may be, of the Uttar
Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950, and settled with the
- the rights of the public as well as all individuals in or over land
included in a chak following a declaration made under the proviso to sub-section (2) of
Section 19-A shall cease and be created in the land specified for the purpose in
the final Consolidation Scheme; and
- the encumbrances, if any, upon the original holding of the tenure-holder
entering, or deemed to have been entered, into possession, whether by way of
lease, mortgage or otherwise, shall, in respect of that holding, cease, and
be created on the holdings, or on such part thereof, as may be specified in
the final Consolidation Scheme.
There is no escape from the conclusion that equitable distribution will require
creating good jobs in the industries and services to which some landless rural
workers and marginal farmers can migrate.[v] Given effective implementation,
land use and consolidation can improve the productivity of household crop
production through several mechanism, a reduction in transaction costs,
including the costs of transporting inputs and outputs across plots, and other
operational difficulties should increase labour productivity and enable more
efficient use of land.
Improvements in land quality through improved access to agricultural inputs,
fertilizers and more improved access to agricultural inputs, fertilizing
techniques; specially the inputs and initiative for distributing agricultural
facilities must be made and proper farm design available.
- Observed by Hon'ble Rajan Roy, J
- JT 1999 (9) SC 293
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Written By: Vanshika Sharma