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Ahmad Rafay Alam

Advocate of the High Courts

Manager Land & Property Rights UN Habitat
Department of Law & Policy LUMS
Department of Architecture Punjab University

The Constitution of Pakistan
Provincial Tenancy Acts
The Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887
The Sindh Tenancy Act, 1950
The NWFP Tenancy Act, 1950
The Baluchistan Tenancy Ordinance, 1979

Transfer of Property Act, 1882

Registration Act, 1908

The Constitution of
Article 23:
Provision as to property.-Every citizen shall have

the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property in

any part of Pakistan, subject to the Constitution and
any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the
public interest.

Difference in right to acquire under Pakistani

Islamic law and other jurisdictions:

Other jurisdictions have concept of adverse

possession (a.k.a. squatters rights)

Pakistani law does no longer accepts adverse

Urban/Rural Differences
The Tenancy Acts all operate on land occupied

or let for agricultural purposes

Urban/non-agricultural land do not operate
under Tenancy Acts; they are controlled by
TPA and RA under the regulation of Tehsil and
Town Municipal Administrations (in other
words, you are either the owner or tenant
regulated by urban tenancy legislation; there
are no more categories).

Tenancy Acts
Definitions of landlord and tenant
Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887
Occupancy Tenants
Tenants for a Fixed Term under contract
Tenants at Will
Sindh Tenancy Act, 1950
Permanent Tenants
Tenants at Will
NWFP Tenancy Act, 1950
Occupancy Tenants deemed owners
Fixed Term Tenants
Tenants at Will
Baluchistan Tenancy Ordinance, 1979
Occupancy Tenants
Lathband Tenants
Tenants at Will

Working categories of land


Small holders (owners)

Landless tenants and labourers with secured
Landless tenants and labourers without
secured possession
In katcha areas
Outside katcha areas

Roughly follows the distinctions provided for in

the Tenancy Acts (though there are exceptions)

Rights of Tenants
Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887
OTs can only be ejected if they (i) render the land
unfit; (ii) havent paid rent or if there is (iii) a decree
for ejection against them.
OTs can alienate/sub-let right to occupy, but LL has
right of first refusal.
Islamic law of succession operates on Muslim OTs and
procedure for devolution of non-Muslim OTs given.
FTT can be ejected on the same grounds as OTs.
Tenants at Will (year to year tenants) may be ejected
at the end of the year.
Succession of non-OTs also given (to preferred heir or
eldest male child)
Note that there is a procedure for ejectment

Rights of Tenants II
Sindh Tenancy Act, 1950
PT cannot be terminated unless acquired by
Govt. or unless conditions in Section 13 met
(even then, ejection cannot take place without
order of Tribunal).
Tenants at Will to acquire permanent rights if,
after 1950, they annually cultivate at least 4
acres for a continuous period of 3 years.
Tenants at Will shall not be liable to eviction
before the end of the cropping season.
Dispute resolution procedure (before a Tribunal)
provided for.

Rights of Tenants III

NWFP Tenancy Act
OTs granted proprietary rights.
FTT can only be ejected if grounds in Section 23
Tenants at Will may be ejected on the 3 rd year
from the commencement of their tenancy if
grounds in Section 24 met.
Ejectments restricted to cases where (i) decree
passed against tenant remains unsatisfied and
(ii) where tenant does not hold under contract,
Order or decree.

Rights of Tenants IV
Baluchistan Tenancy Ordinance, 1979
OT can be ejected if grounds mentioned in s. 31 met.
Lathband tenants can be ejected if grounds mentioned
in s. 32 met.
Tenants at Will can be ejected if grounds mentioned in
s. 44 met.
Ejectment actions against OT & Lathband tenants
must be preceded by applications to Revenue Court.
OTs may alienate their right of occupancy, but LL has
right of first refusal. OTs may also sub-let, but with
approval of LL.
Succession for Muslim and non-Muslim OTs & Lathband
tenants provided for.

Transfer of Property Act &

Registration Act
Sale of property is transfer of ownership; can only

be affected by registered instrument.

Lease is transfer of the right to enjoy property for
a fixed period on payment of rent or kind. Leases of
more than one year can only be affected by
registered instrument.
In the absence of a contract, lease of agricultural land

will be deemed to be from year to year.

RA lists documents/transactions that are

compulsorily registerable. These include sale and

lease (for a year or more) deeds. Presumption of
validity attached to registration. Non-registration
results in nullification of instrument.

Thank You Be Green!!