Land Reforms

What is Kurki, and why is it a big issue in Punjab?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kurki

Mains level : Not Much

A farmer in Punjab has committed suicide outside the office of the Muktsar DC against kurki orders for his land based on a court case filed against him by the local moneylender for defaulting on loan payment.

What is Kurki?

  • Kurki means attachment of a farmer’s land, already pledged to the money lending institution or individual, in case of a loan default.
  • Apart from banks, private moneylenders, commission agents also get these decrees against farmers from time to time.

How is kurki executed?

  • Kurki orders are executed under Section 60 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
  • The land which is pledged by the farmer to the bank or money lender gets registered in their name. In some cases, the land is auctioned as well.
  • The process begins after the money lender moves court to get kurki orders in case the farmer is unable to pay back his loan.
  • In kurki, attachment of farmer’s land as well as his tractor can be done as per the Section 60.

Was kurki not banned in Punjab?

  • Both Akali Dal and Congress governments of the past have claimed to have banned kurki.
  • Congress fought the 2017 Assembly polls on the slogan ‘karza kurki khatam, fasal di poori rakam’.
  • Soon after winning polls in 2017, the then government abolished Section 67-A of Punjab Cooperative Societies Act that enabled cooperatives to recover unpaid loans through auctioning of land mortgaged by farmers.
  • However, Section 63-B, 63-C of the Act were not dropped to prevent attachment of land.
  • Former Punjab CM has also claimed that kurki was abolished by his government. Activists accuses governments of issuing vague orders on the matter.

Why has a total ban on the century-old kurki law not been achieved?

  • A plea filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2018 sought complete ban on kurki.
  • However, the Punjab government in its affidavit stated that there was no need to ban kurki as relief was being given to farmers in terms of loan waiver, compensation etc.
  • Moreover, it stated that Section 60 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 – under which kurki takes place — was over 110 years old and needed complete revision.

What is the ground reality?

  • Farmers point out that they are made to give post-dated cheques for loan, which are then used to get arrest orders issued in cheque bounce cases.
  • They have also accused money lenders of using pronotes signed by them to get kurki orders.
  • “Pro-notes” (promissory notes) are written documents taken from farmers, and signed by them at the time of giving the loan.
  • In April 2022, over 2,000 arrest warrants were issued against farmers for non-payment of loans to cooperative societies and Punjab agriculture development banks.


UPSC 2023 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥FREE for 24 Hours Prelims Notes
This is default text for notification bar