Laws prevailing over the transaction of Agricultural Properties in Maharashtra
Laws prevailing over the transaction of Agricultural Properties in Maharashtra


Conservation of agriculture and land upon which this occupation is practiced remains crucial for the Indian economy, and Maharashtra as even in today's age 18-19% of the GDP is produced by cultivation which employs around 50% of the nation's work pool. With a growing craving for urbanization and infrastructure development, it's common to see developers salivating for revenue opportunities. Considering the set of circumstances hovering around the transactions related to agricultural property in Maharashtra, the state felt necessary to regulate such matters mainly for the following reasons:

1.    Agricultural importance

2. Land fragmentation and ownership patterns 

3. Land ceiling laws

4. Protection of farmers’ interests

5. Environmental concerns

6. Sustainable urbanization



Navigating the legal constitution surrounding these transactions can be complex. This effort concentrates on understanding what, why, and how are the considerable laws governing agricultural property transactions in Maharashtra.

Important regulating laws in Maharashtra:

  •  The Maharashtra Agricultural Land (Ceiling on Holdings) Act, 1961 (MAL Act): The Act mainly sets limits on holding agricultural land in the state. The legislation was enacted to prevent land monopoly, have equitable distribution of land, and support small and marginal farmers. Some of which the Act sets out are individual and family limits on holding agricultural land irrigated or unirrigated in the state. The Act also compels an agricultural land's conversion into nonagricultural for transaction purposes depending on the parties, location of the land, and governing authority's rights and reservations. The act also gives guidelines on the transfer of such agricultural lands. It restricts both transfers and acquisitions of the land. To have a more detailed understanding of the rules and regulations, one would have to go thoroughly through the sections of the Act.  
  • The Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966 (MLRC): This code is enacted to govern the governmental revenue to be generated from the transactions of land. The code outlines procedures for registration, mutation, and partition among land owners. Sections 148 and 149 of the code aver conditions and procedures the transactions have to abide by while transacting any agricultural property in Maharashtra. The Code mentions the state's title to lands, its classifications, the appointment/ powers of revenue officers, and the assessment and collection of land revenue.
  • The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (TOPA): TOPA is a central act that provides a structure on how a property should be transacted, including agricultural land. It lists down the rights and limitations of the parties involved in a property transaction. For reference, it is the TOPA that states that a transacting document should be duly signed by the parties. The document must state the value of the property being transacted and many other similar transactional requirements which are essential but considered obvious.   
  • The Indian Registration Act, 1908 (IRA): The Indian Registration Act maps out the procedure, rates, and necessity of registering documents in India which covers the registration of transfer documents concerning agriculture too. The Act publishes rates that parties have to incur for transacting a property and such rates are specific to the location/ transaction and other differential factors. The Act's objective is to regulate and streamline the transactions happening on the land and create a revenue channel from such organization of documentation.
  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986: Whereas the Environmental Protection Act passed in May 1986 does not directly impact the agricultural property transactions in Maharashtra, it still makes considerable points for the transaction to be executed. The Act still mandates the land transactions to consider environmental checks on handling of hazardous substances and other requirements.  
  • The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA): This Act was enacted to protect the interest of tribal people in India, Maharashtra. Agricultural land which is covered under this Act is governed by local gram panchayats. The panchayats presiding in such areas have a vital role in permitting the transfer of properties in such areas.
  • The Maharashtra Tenancy Act, 1948: The Maharashtra Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948 (MTAL Act) popularly known as “कुळ कायदा”, is another legislation that is considered while agricultural property transactions. Any agricultural property occupied by tenants to be transacted needs to be approved by the persisting collector for the jurisdiction. This requires securing collector permissions as stated in section 43 of the Act. The enactment was to secure the rights of tenants practicing farming, especially rice farming in Mumbai and nearby areas. Under this Act, the tenants too received the right to transfer the land they possess upon conversion of their status into 'Class - 1’ occupants. 

Other Considerations: 

Knowing the persisting laws is essential in these transactions, also there are some other key considerations too which the parties should consider:

  • Ceiling Limit: Ensuring total landholding, including the potential purchase of land, doesn't exceed the ceiling limit prescribed by the Acts is also a considerable point. One should consult with the local revenue authorities or LANDEED for better understanding.
  • Eligibility to Purchase: Restrictions on the purchase of agricultural land are attracted by these other factors too, such as the nationality of the parties, caste, and purpose.
  • Clear Title: Clear title is another vital for transfer. The seller of the property needs to have a clear and marketable title to the property. The property should be free from any encumbrances (mortgages, leases) that may affect ownership transfer, or if does then No Objection Certificates from rightful authorities be obtained first.
  • Procedure: Follow the due process outlined in the MLRC and TPA. Prepare a sale deed as per the TPA format, get it registered under the IRA, and update land records with revenue authorities.


As we can see, the transaction of agricultural property in Maharashtra requires checking of various laid preconditions, some by the central and some by the state legislators. What we can boil down from this is that it's not unadorned to transact in Maharashtra and would require assistance and consultation which LANDEED expertly provides. Our team is highly recommended to ensure a smooth, legal, and hassle-free transaction. This post provides a foundational understanding; for specific transactions, seeking professional legal advice from LANDEED is crucial.


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