Nalsar University of Law in collaboration with Landesa/ RDI organized a one day workshop on “Land Laws in Telangana – Tribal Perspective” at NALSAR University of Law to examine various Land laws of Telangana State which are in force from tribal perspective. The workshop deliberated on various sub-topics concerning tribal issues including the following five broad areas i.e. 1) Land Transfer Regulations – The Regulation 1/70 provides for ban on transferring land to non-tribals but still tribals continue to loose land 2) Settlement Laws – The law providing for granting patta to tribals is being used by non-tribals for getting patta 3) Other Land Laws –  Including RoR Act, POT Act and other laws dealing with records and rights 4) Access to Revenue Offices, Land Problems/ Land Litigations – The issues in access to these forums by the tribal and the lack of legal support.

Hon’ble Shri Justice B.Prakash Rao, Retired Judge of High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of TS and AP, while inaugurating the workshop, expressed his pleasure to be part of the process of Review of Land Laws in Telangana State. He elaborated on constitutional safeguards for protecting the tribals and the need to strictly implement various laws enacted for the betterment of tribals. He shared his concerns of tribals loosing their rights due to ineffective implementation of laws and lack of legal assistance to the indigenous people. In this regard, he stressed the need of strict enforcement of the existing legislations and also to provide adequate legal support to tribals in fighting for their rights.

Prof. (Dr.) V. Balakista Reddy, Registrar, Nalsar, while addressing the participants at the  inaugural session, highlighted the importance of specific hurdles faced by tribals in becoming empowered, politically, legally and economically, as well as to identify how tribals equal participation in society can be encouraged. He emphasized that tribals are prevented from participating in decision making due to lack of awareness of their rights, lower level of literacy, education and access to justice. He also stressed the role of tribal and their perspectives on land laws in Telangana and assured that inputs from various groups and organizations participating in the workshop will be considered in the amending process of Review of land laws in Telangana.

Mr. Sunil Kumar, State Director, Landesa/ RDI speaking at the inaugural session highlighted the importance of strengthening the laws in tribal area in order to protect their land rights and preserve their culture. It is important to consider valuable recommendations given by Late Mr. Girglani, IAS on the land issues of the tribal areas of Telangana. He further said that it is useful to look at tribal regulations during Nizam time and borrow best practices.

Around 100 participants attended the workshop includes, members of Centre for Good Governance, Revenue Officials, Retired Bureaucrats, Landesa/RDI teams, social groups, Activists on Tribal Rights, NGO’s, academicians, research scholars, advocates and journalists.

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