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One of the most important things that we worry about when purchasing a property is the legal status

of the property we purchase. However, we also need to pay due attention to the ownership of the
property at times. In line with this thought, I have been receiving some questions in the recent past
about the legality and intricacies of purchasing a land allotted to or owned by SC/S. his article
elucidates whether you can purchase a property from SC/S, what are the conditions that allow or
disallow such a transaction, and some documentation to chec! to verify the status of the property.
In some ma"or court rulings, the Supreme court of India has declared that a land belonging to
scheduled castes or tribes #SC/S$ cannot be purchased by anyone who does not belong to the same
category, including companies. Such acts have been deemed unconstitutional and the transactions
can be deemed void.
%ased on some cases in &arnata!a, a property that belongs to SC/S can be granted to anyone
belonging to SC/S category by the government. However, such grants restrict alienation and
transfer of land for a certain period after grant. he period of such restriction starts from the date of
issue of Saguvali Chit. ransfer of land even after the restricted period has a ris! of being declared
void. In case of all such transactions, permissions must be sought from government authorities.
'ost such lands granted under restriction of alienation are protected by (C) #(revention of
ransfer of Certain )ands$ *ct +,-.. /nder (C) act, e0change or gift of such a land in favor of a
relative is also deemed illegal and is prohibited. In case the buyer is also SC/S, even then such
transfers can be deemed void based on some previous cases. his is done in order to prevent land
owners of SC/S category from being e0ploited by relative or other people. However, note that
those lands that have been transferred before +1+1+,2, and have completed 34 years prior to the
+,-, act are e0empted from the (C) act.
5eputy commissioner #5C$ is authori6ed under &arnata!a )and 7rant 8ules to permit grantee to
sell such a granted land for two reasons9
+$ :or acquiring another land
;$ :or improving remaining land.
However, during such transactions <4= of the mar!et value as deemed by the 5C shall have to be
paid to the government when granting sanctions. he applications will be approved only after <
years of grant.
In case, only occupancy rights have been granted to a person with respect to a land, then such a land
is not considered to be a >grant land>.
In case the occupant of the land proves that the he/she has been continuously cultivating the land till
+131+,-2, then he shall be granted occupancy right.
However, note that various states have separate laws dictating the legality or illegality of such
transactions. :or e0ample, according to Orissa )and (revention *ct and 8egulation II +,<?, one has
to obtain prior permission from the revenue authority before purchasing a land that belong to SC/S
and lies in non1scheduled areas. Similar restrictions e0ist for scheduled areas where non tribals are
not allowed to purchase a land without e0empt permission. Similar laws e0ist in *ndhra pradesh. In
8a"asthan,, the high court has declared it illegal for non tribals and even companies to transact or
purchase land belonging to schedule castes or tribes.
here have been cases where people belonging to SC or S category have obtained land allotted by
government and sold them multiple times to different customers/buyers belonging to different
castes. his land is then reclaimed by the seller by deeming such transactions illegal. Such form of
sales by a grantee have been deemed illegal and punishable by high courts #specifically by he
High Court of &arnata!a$. Criminal cases can be boo!ed against those sellers who encourage or are
involved in such transactions.
One can chec! whether such a restriction of transfer e0ists on a land by chec!ing the mother deed,
title deed, encumbrance certificate, 8C, etc. hese documents will mention that a granted land had
been owned by SC/S. In case of &arnata!a, one can obtain the 8C online using the %hoomi