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The Use Of Blockchain Technology To Resolve India’s Land Disputes


Ownership of a property in India is mainly created by a recorded sale deed underneath the current legal system. A sale deed is a legal document that documents the buyer and seller’s agreement to sell property. Aside from the selling deed, additional documents that are commonly used to show ownership over a property include the register of rights (a document that contains information about the property), property tax receipts, and governmental survey documents. These documents, on the other hand, serve merely as records of property transfers and do not establish rights to the land on their own. As a result, in such deals, it is the buyer’s responsibility to investigate the property’s past ownership records. As a result, land in India is presumed and can be challenged in civil court. Land conflicts account for over two-thirds of all civil court cases today, with the majority of them centred on establishing ownership and title to the property. It is claimed that 1.3 percent of India’s GDP is lost. The cost of treatment associated with conflicting claims only helps to exacerbate the problem. The goal of this paper is to examine this problem and find a viable solution using the cutting-edge blockchain technology.


The property records in India contain crucial information about the land, such as the size of the land, its position, and who owns it. They do not, however, provide information on who owns the land. As a result, the land’s ownership is determined based on current possession, which is defined through a series of previous transactions. Land can currently be transferred from one party to another through the sale, consider purchasing, gift, inherited wealth, mortgage, and tenancy. According to the Transfer of Property Act, any instrument transferring right, title, or desire to engage in any immovable property must be registered. As a result, the Registration Act requires all sales agreements relating to the transfer of land to be registered. Registration, on the other hand, relates to the recording of a transaction rather than the title to the land.

Block Chain Technology
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As a result, even genuine transfers may not ensure ownership, because a prior transfer of the titles is always subject to contest. The goal of registering is to establish the transactions as public information so the buyer can check the prior sequence of transactions on the property. A transfer for which registration is required underneath the Registration Act also isn’t accepted as evidence of property in court if it is not registered. Furthermore, property registration is not required in all transactions. For example, government property acquisitions, judicial decrees, land orders, partitioning, and short-term leased property. Because divisions are not needed to be recorded, the lack of a record has resulted in a slew of legal lawsuits. The buyer and seller’s identities must be verified during registration, according to the Registration Act of 1908. While the parties’ identities can be easily verified, the registering officer may not always be able to verify the location and qualities of the land in dispute. Furthermore, the seller’s legitimate title to the property is not guaranteed by identity verification. It is the buyer’s responsibility, not the government’s, to verify that the seller is the legal owner of the land and has a transferable title. This type of verification requires looking into previous transactions and ownerships. It is difficult to perform these activities if ground transactions are not adequately recorded and there are gap among government records and also the true state of land ownership. Older land records are more likely to have gaps, making it easier to question ownership.


Centralization is a fundamental feature of a typical recording system that is currently in use, since it aids in keeping up to date records and eliminates a double record with the same transaction. As a result, the consolidation of all records with a single authority, which is typically a government body, is an unavoidable consequence. As previously stated, this creates difficulties for a person attempting to get records because they are not well-maintained. The person is frequently summoned to the office, and in some circumstances, bribes is demanded. Over generations, property and land undergo different mutations and transfers, and not all of these transactions are recorded in public records. Furthermore, certain government departments that are under the powers of the government handle data pertaining to land records. As a result, data collection forms differ from state to state, and accessing them is costly, as government officials’ involvement frequently results in many visits into offices and large bribes in India. There’s any need to link the records of property titling, land registry, and land rights, as well as historical ownership facts, to easily manage such records & avoid the disputes that develop as a result of them, due to so many barriers and deficiencies in the existing land record management system. Due diligence in a property transaction is hard for such buyers due to an inefficient traditional record management system, and a reform is required to modernise the system and maintain it up to date with current technological improvements.


As previously mentioned, poor land record maintenance and confusing title deeds can have far-reaching consequences across industries. As a result, it’s critical that these records represent the land title’s clarity. In India, the legal structure does not ensure ownership, and the practice of collecting and maintaining land registrations exasperates the inadequacies in these databases. Block-chain technology can be utilised to solve these problems. Use of such block-chain technology has a number of important advantages, including an unalterable history of transactions, perpetual linking of record keeping to the system, and tamper-proofing. They are also readily available by the parties due to the system’s transparency. By sharing the ledger holding all of the data and transactions amongst each client (node) on the network, blockchain provides a potential solution to the challenges outlined above. Every transaction is thus authenticated (proof – of – work) by each and every specific user, and there is no need for a central authority to do so. Because it is a database containing, there is virtually no way to breach the system and tamper with the records. A distributed ledger, commonly known as a blockchain, is a public ledger that records all transactions chronologically. These transactions are verified and cannot be tampered with after they have been entered, ensuring their authenticity and preventing double recording. Cryptography protects the data by converting that into an unintelligible form (encryption) known as ciphertext. Every encryption is protected by a one-of-a-kind key that would be used to decode the communication into clear text (decryption). Hacking and data tampering are virtually difficult with today’s cryptographic technology. As a result, data saved on a blockchain is secure.


The following are some of the benefits of Block-Chain Technology over traditional land record maintenance methods:

  • SAFE AND SECURE LAND RECORDS The blockchain’s secure nature would result in a land recording system that is difficult to tamper with, is permanent and it can be amended, and is immutable. As a result, the odds of forgery and tampering would be reduced, and the data would be safe and secure. The data safeguarded by blockchain can be checked without the need for human participation, eliminating the possibility of data modification or external hackers gaining access to critical information.
  • SMART CONTRACTS The usage of Blockchain Technologies would make a unique source for finding out about a property’s ownership status and history. This would aid in obtaining near-real-time traceability and transparency into the property’s status. This, in return, would assist in assuring the buyer of the genuineness of the seller’s title to the property in question, minimising the likelihood of a dispute. It will also cut down on the prices and time it takes to complete a transaction.
  • COMMON DIGITAL PLATFORM FOR REGISTRATION By consolidating the land registration process and putting it on a shared platform, it would bring uniformity to the data and eliminate bureaucratic silos, which is an unavoidable result of the current system. This would increase system efficiency while reducing red tape & forgeries.
  • TRANSPARENCY The blockchain can help to automate the system by using the blockchain network, which is a difficult time dealing with humans vulnerable individuals falling victim to corrupt practises.
  • RELIABILITY IN LAND RECORDS In India, the average citizen is frequently concerned about being scammed by forged land documents. This is where block-chain technology would be useful, as it would validate users’ credentials, grant them access to records, and issue them a certificate for doing so. When customers register with their credentials, they will also have accessibility to the essential information as well. As a result, the system would be more dependable and transparent.

Andhra Pradesh is experimenting with it. Enterprises and governments have always been drawn to new technologies. Andhra Pradesh has recently become India’s first public organisation to adopt a block-chain equipped system to protect land records in Amaravati, the state capital. This one is mainly due to one‘s committed to making the current method of coping with land registration in order to make the results more accurate by being the first nation to have property without title deed conflict, resulting in happier stakeholders and customers as well as a competitive advantage over competitors, resulting in a better brand image. In India, the government of Andhra Pradesh was the first to implement blockchain technology, utilising it as a trial project in the highway transport and registrations department before expanding it to land records. It is on its way to become one of the world’s few governments to learn to embrace blockchain technology.

Zebi Data India Pvt. Ltd. (ZEBI), a flagship product of Zebi Chain, is assisting the Andhra Pradesh government with technical assistance by delivering creative blockchain-based security solutions that protect the state’s land assets. Zebi claims to have developed a blockchain-based, innovative, and comprehensive system that makes sensitive data accessible for authorised usage while simultaneously safeguarding it against tampering or hacking.


  • Its satellite component, Zebi Chain, ensures the immutability of sensitive records. Amravati BlockChain Asset Management System, which would be generated by Zebi Chain, was introduced in December last year as a tamper-proof and unchanging data protection solution.
  • Zebi Data Gateway is its central hub, Information as a Services (DaaS) APIs allow for the secure and immediate transmission of information. According to sources, this technique would solve the problem of falsified transactions and documents, as well as the resulting litigation. Consumers would be able to invest in property with confidence and keep track of previous transactions. Sudheer Kuppam, owner & managing partner at Epsilon Venture Partners as well as a Zebi board member, remarked, “Information is a nation’s treasure.” “Globally, regulations are becoming more stringent as consumers, businesses, and governments become increasingly concerned about the security of all types of sensitive data.

As a result of increased knowledge of security vulnerabilities and the spread of innovations like blockchain, a thriving data protection sector has emerged. India has failed to develop Data Sovereignty legislation despite having over one billion people with digital IDs (National identification) and much more than 400 million daily users likely to double in the next 3-4 years.


More than a decade ago, the Digital India Records Digitization Programme was launched to digitise information on land titles and properties in the east and offer access to central data sources with real updates. However, this plan is exceedingly ambitious, and any practical execution seems to be a pipe dream given the current state of land records. The issue of property records is undoubtedly daunting, and it has resulted in several civil court fights; nonetheless, the primary reason is the current legal system of presumptive ownership. As a consequence, even digitising papers would not be sufficient to solve the problem, which would be based in property law. Furthermore, land titles are under the jurisdiction of a state, so records are kept in a variety of formats for the state’s convenience. Bringing these disparate record formats together and integrating them into a single digital application may not be as straightforward as it appears. To better understand this argument, consider the recent innovative legislative action of integrating all taxation under an umbrella of Goods and Service Tax. As a result, the digitization of records would face the same infrastructural and implementation challenges that beset GST. Another important point to keep in mind is that before transforming the existing records to electronic medium, make sure that every aspect of the actual record is undeniably correct. While blockchain can enable future indisputability for title deeds, it will not be able to address current disagreements and disputes. There are several concerns in India, such as erroneous land measuring, a lack of records, and a disputed title, to name a few. As a result, building a solid building on top of a shaky foundation is difficult.


As may be gathered from the foregoing reading, one of the primary issues in maintaining land register under the traditional system is an absence of credibility in the public domain. In this situation, block-chain technologies can be put to better use to establish trust, authenticity, and transparency in land records, that will aid India in developing a strong land record keeping system. Property records would be tamper-proof and unchangeable if they were stored on a blockchain, building a firm basis of trust and faith in the tracking system. The system that would develop as a result of implementing this technique is a distributed public ledger that would record every transaction linked to a property independently and efficiently. All land titles and their accompanying papers will be unalterable and indisputable as a result of the implementation of Block-chain technology, saving a large sum of money in land-related challenges. Furthermore, it would decrease the amount of documentation and expenses involved with verifying asset facts and physically keeping documents, resulting in time savings and objectives including increasing the domain record management system. The most obvious characteristic of this proposal is that everyone engaged in property transactions may not need block-chain accounts or wallets, and their interaction with the land record would not alter. The block-chain technology would simply run quietly but effectively in the background. This would also increase people’s support for the government and improve the customer’s overall experience. Most importantly, it will improve data security and keep land records accurate. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, must be certified, managed, and used in compliance with government regulations. As a result, to fully utilise the potential of block-chain technology, a well-thought-out and comprehensive strategy is required. Current documents, on either hand, should be sorted before they can be considered for digitization. To guarantee that records entered into databases are not called into question in the future, current court cases must be handled rapidly, and current records must be validated, resulting in a digitised India.

Author : Divyanshu Singh Jadon, in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email to [email protected] or at IIPRD.


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