The Supreme Court has upheld the government’s decision not to allow disintegration of arable land, saying the Ministry of Land Reform and Management’s decision was in conformity with the spirit of the law and the constitution.

The SC said this quashing a writ petition filed by Advocate Jagadish Acharya against the government. The SC said in the recently prepared full text of the verdict that citizens’ property right should be seen in the contexts of various legal provisions. It said if the government allowed disintegration of arable land, citizens’ right to food security guaranteed by the constitution could not be ensured.

The apex court, however, said that the government must revise its decision that said that an individual, wishing to sell his/her land plot cannot split the land plot twice in a year. The court said that an individual may need to sell his land to meet his monetary need and if the individual, wishing to sell his land  is prevented from  splitting his land plot in one year, then that could curtail his/her right to property. The court said that realtors should ensure that while developing their land as housing or industrial areas, their work should not adversely affect environment and there should be infrastructure suitable for the stated purpose. The SC said that if realtors violated any building code which has resulted in the loss of other’s property the affected person should be duly compensated.

The SC has ordered the government to make laws to classify the types of land — arable, industrial and forest — in order to mange land for different purposes such as agriculture, planned housing and urban development.

The apex court said that the government had restricted realtors who have already received permission from disintegrating arable land but since that was not justifiable, the government must revise this provision.

A single bench of justices Kedar Prasad Chalise and Tej Bahadur KC had passed the verdict on February 14, 2018.

A version of this article appears in print on May 18, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.