Sambalpur, June 6: The land registration work in this town is yet to start following confrontation between lawyers and the district sub-registrar over the hike in benchmark valuation.
“We will not co-operate with the present district sub-registrar in registration work,” said secretary of the Sambalpur Bar Association Bijitendriya Pradhan.
Pradhan said two persons from the public were nominated for the benchmark valuation committee. Earlier, when the benchmark valuation was enhanced, the two representatives resigned from their posts in protest.
“Rule 37 of the Stamp Duty Act has also been violated in nominating the two new members from the public. The rule provides that the nominated persons should be expert in land valuation matters. But, both of new members do not have the expertise. I had also filed objection to the decision,” said Pradhan.
However, additional district magistrate Madhab Chandra Bariha said: “Orissa High Court’s direction has been complied with. The new valuation has been sent to the government for approval.” He, however, admitted that registration was not being carried out.
“The district sub-registrar is on leave now. A new officer has been deputed in his place from today. The office is open. If the people present their documents, registration will be done,” said district collector Mrinalini Darswal.
The land valuation was enhanced in February last. However, local residents and the city lawyers opposed to it. The lawyers had shut down the district sub-registrar’s office and filed a writ petition in Orissa High Court, challenging the hike. On April 20, the court directed the district sub-registrar to review the matter and fix the valuation within two months.
On April 23, district sub-registrar Srikant Behuria refused to allow registration in old rates. The agitated lawyers then allegedly manhandled him. This led to confrontation between the district collector and the lawyers. The lawyers resorted to agitation against the collector. Moreover, they had demanded the district sub-registrar’s transfer. Since their demand is yet to be fulfilled, the lawyers are not ready to co-operate in the registration work.