ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Land Revenue Department of all provinces to submit progress report on computerisation of land record fortnightly, besides deciding to hear the case twice a month.

A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a suo moto notice taken on complaints of corruption in revenue departments.

Punjab and Sindh governments were directed to provide technical assistance to the Banochistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa governments for computerisation of land revenue record of their provinces.

The court observed that if the provincial government computerised the land record then the litigations regarding dispute on lands be only five percent.

During the hearing, officials of revenue departments of Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan appeared before the two-member bench.  The Sindh government said that they need one year, Punjab said two more years, KPK said they need three year, while the Balochistan government informed the court that it needed five years for computerisation of the record. Upon this, the court expressed its annoyance, saying it was like ridiculing the judiciary. The CJP remarked that British succeeded to rule as their officers conducted survey of the lands and compiled it, but now officials seeking more time for computerisation of the record.

Irfan Elahi Director Land Record Punjab told the bench that they have computerised record of three district namely Lahore, Ldhran and Kasur and work on Jehlum and Mandi Bahaduddin districts was under process. He ensured that all the land record of Punjab would be computerised till December 2013. Regarding the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the court was told that land revenue department of province had contacted Punjab government for getting its technical assistance and they would be able to computerize the land record within two years.

The CJP observed that work about computerizing the land record should be started from those areas, where there was hold of feudal and landlords, whom treatment with the peasants are humiliating. He said huge bribe is given for the transfer of patwaris and gurdawars. The chief justice directed the officials to expedite work on computerisation of land record. The court while rejecting the plea of provinces to give three months for submitting interim report, directed to submit report after every 15 days as the court would hear the matter fortnightly.