Under Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar’s stewardship, a three-member bench of the apex court was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to the functioning of patwaris, kanungos and tehsildars.
The bench ruled that patwaris — a term used in Pakistan and India for a land record officer at sub-division or Tehsil level — will have no role in property deals in areas where the Punjab Land Revenue Act (LRA) is followed.
Furthermore, the court said that from here on verbal agreements in urban areas will not be recognised by law any more.
Earlier, the chief justice inquired under what law the patwaris were drafting land transfer deeds after the establishment of the LRA.
“Property transfer through verbal deals in urban areas will not be recognised [by law],” the court said. “Properties will only be transferred through the Land Revenue Act.”
The chief justice, at one point during the hearing, wondered why patwaris were still “functioning in urban areas, where [property deals] are maintained under Land Revenue Act?”
“Patwarkhanas are on a rampage,” he remarked.
“The man has reached the moon, why can’t these (property deals) records be computerised?”
Subsequently, the court limited the role of ‘Patwarkhanas’.