Land litigation is a serious concern in India. It is estimated that – more than two-thirds of litigations are related to land or property. This has a bearing on a rapidly developing economy like India since land is a factor of production.

In a new working paper, Devendra Damle and Karan Gulati present results of their study on land-related litigation in the Delhi High Court. The study tests the prevalent hypotheses regarding land-litigation in India: that it forms a large proportion of the caseload of Indian courts. Second, that the quality of property records is to blame for the large volume and length of the litigation. Finally, that this high volume of cases is because of the complexity created by the multitude of laws that govern land and property. In order to do so, the authors present a novel data-set of case-level data from the Delhi High Court.

On September 24, Carnegie India hosted a webinar on ‘Land and Property Litigation in India: Learnings from a study on land litigation in Delhi.’ Devendra Damle and Karan Gulati presented and discussed their study and its findings, followed by brief remarks by Kshitij Batra and Namita Wahi. The seminar concluded with an open discussion and was moderated by Anirudh Burman.


1. Devendra Damle and Karan Gulati, Characterising land and property related litigation at the Delhi High Court, August 26, 2021, NIPFP Working Paper Series

2. Anirudh Burman, India has to attack causes of land litigation. Modi’s Ease of Doing Business depends on it, July 1, 2019, ThePrint

3. Namita Wahi, Indian courts clogged with land disputes because laws keep conflicting each other, June 26, 2019, ThePrint