What is Nazool Land?

Feb. 12, 2024

Violence erupted in Uttarakhand recently after a mosque and a madrasa standing on Nazool land were demolished.

About Nazool Land:

  • Nazool land is owned by the government but is most often not directly administered as state property. 
  • The state generally allots such land to any entity on lease for a fixed period, generally between 15 and 99 years.
  • In case the lease term is expiring, one can approach the authority to renew the lease by submitting a written application to the Revenue Department of the local development authority. 
  • The government is free to either renew the lease or cancel it, taking back Nazool land.
  • In almost all major cities in India, Nazool land has been allotted to different entities for a variety of different purposes.
  • How did Nazool Land emerge?
    • During British rule, kings and kingdoms which opposed the British frequently revolted against them, leading to several battles between them and the British Army.
    • Upon defeating these kings in battle, the British would often take their land away from them.
    • After India gained Independence, the British vacated these lands.
    • But with kings and royals often lacking proper documentation to prove prior ownership, these lands were marked as Nazool land—to be owned by the respective state governments.
  • How does the government use Nazool land?
    • The government generally uses Nazool land for public purposes like building schools, hospitals, Gram Panchayat buildings, etc. 
    • Several cities in India have also seen large tracts of land denoted as Nazool land used for housing societies, generally on lease.
  • How is Nazool land governed?
    • While several states have brought in government orders for the purpose of framing rules for Nazool land, The Nazool Lands (Transfer) Rules, 1956, is the law mostly used for Nazool land adjudication.