Land is a very important natural element in people’s daily lives. No one can be separated by the existence of land. Land in this case can be used as a source of life where the source of life can be utilized and is profitable for him/her.1 Everyone is competing to get land rights to fulfill their needs. This then sometimes triggers problems among the community related to defense. One evidence that can be used by the community in resolving land cases is to prove by having a land certificate.2 Land disputes are disputes that are generally included in the scope of civil law. These civil disputes can be resolved in court and/or out of court. The same is the case with the problems occurred between the parties to the dispute in Decision Number 126/Pdt/2012/Pn.Sgr.


Certificates as evidence in terms of land ownership are the most important element and cannot be forgotten and released in the evidentiary process in court.3 Land certificates as part of land registration is to guarantee legal certainty for those holders of land rights as described in Article 32 PP No. 24 of 1997 on Land Registration (GR on Land Registration). The decision that will be analyzed is a decision that was rejected by the panel of judges because the Plaintiff could not prove the ownership of the proof of land certificate on the land that was used as the object of the dispute. In fact, land certificate is a mandatory evidence that must be shown at trial.


Article 32 of GR on Land Registration, stipulates as follows:

“(1) A certificate is a certificate of proof of right that is valid as a strong proof regarding the physical data and juridical data contained therein, as long as the physical data and juridical data are in accordance with the data contained in the letter of measurement and the book of the land rights concerned.

(2) In the event that a certificate of land has been issued legally in the name of the person or legal entity that has obtained the land in good faith and actually possesses it, then the other party who feels that he has rights to the land can no longer demand the exercise of that right if within 5 (five) years from the issuance of the certificate, he or she does not file a written objection to the certificate holder and the Head of the Land Office concerned or does not file a lawsuit to the Court regarding land possession or the issuance of that certificate.”4

The article also explains the existence of a certificate as a certificate of proof of rights which is considered as a valid and legally recognized instrument of proof to explain physical data and juridical data on land. The certificate is considered as evidence that is owned by a person as a good faith in obtaining the land under his possession.5


The lawsuit filed under the Decision Number 126Pdt/2013/PN.SGR is a lawsuit filed by Siti Jumaria as the Plaintiff against Putu Toya, I Nyoman Mertha, and Edy Wahyuono as Defendants I, II, and III. The case began with the existence of an inheritance land owned by the Plaintiff with an area of approximately 11,200 m2 which was pledged (gadai) by the Plaintiff’s parents in 1985 to Putu Toya as Defendant I which was replaced with a Honda 70 motorcycle, rice, and money which was given gradually and without a receipt. The Plaintiff in this case intends to take over the land as the heirs, but in this case Defendant I has sold the disputed land to Defendant II, namely I Nyoman, in which I Nyoman sold the land again to Edy Wahyuono as Defendant III. This is the reason for the Plaintiff to file a lawsuit to the Court. However, the panel of judges in their decision rejected the Plaintiff’s claim in its entirety. The judges in this case are of the opinion that Defendant III has explicitly acknowledged that the disputed land originated from the property of the Plaintiff and was not the result of a civil act of pledging. Therefore, by referring to the provisions of Article 311 Rbg, based on this acknowledgment, it is obtained a legal fact that the disputed land originated from the property of the Plaintiff which is currently in the possession of Defendant III through the purchase from Defendant II and has been certificated under the name of Defendant III. Then, the evidence submitted by the Plaintiff is not in the form of a certificate as stipulated under Article 32 of GR of Land Registration, but in form of tax payments and not proof of ownership, which means that the Plaintiff cannot prove that the disputed land is land belonging to the Plaintiff (the Plaintiff cannot prove the possession of a certificate as valid and strong evidence in the eyes of the law).

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Below are several considerations by the judges in relation to the Article 32 paragraph (2) of GR on Land Registration.

The judges refer to the testimony given by one legal expert explaining on the principle of land registration in Indonesia:

…the principle adopted under the land registration system in Indonesia is negative principle with a positive tendendy namely a certificate may be cancelled if other party can prove his ownership over that land.”

Further, the judges also consider the writings of opinion of Adrian Sutedi, SH., MH., in his book titled Sertifikat Hak Atas Tanah, published by Sinar Grafika, Jakarta, 2011, page 185:

…whereas under Article 32 of Government Regulation No. 24 Tahun 1997 explicitly stipulate that the land certificate owner as holder of land ownership over land, cannot be disturbed by anyone after that certificate is 5 years old. Only if the age of certificate is under 5 years the other party is given opportunity to claim for ownership or land possession against the holder of that certificate, if he has the evidence that has the same legal power and degree.

The judges also refer to the writing of Maria S. W. Sumardjono, titled Legal Certainty and Legal Protection on Land Registration, page 10:

…that provision is to prevent the emergence of many claims, Government Regulation No. 24 of 1997 has given protection where a person named in the certificate can no longer be claimed by other party that has land right after the lapse of 5 years and his status as land owner will be keep on protected as long as that land was acquired in good faith and actually possessed by that right holder and the certainty about that matter can avoid the anxiety of that land certificate holder that is always vulnerable to the other party’s disturbance, since this provision may cause the loss of right to claim by the land right holder against the certificate holder.

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Again, the judges refer to the writing of Eliyana and Irawan Soerojo, titled Legal Certainty of Land Right in Indonesia, Arkola, Surabaya, 2003, page 187:

“…this is in line to what has been submitted by Eliyana that the limitation of 5 years to claim for certificated land must be gladly cheered since it will provide legal certainty and peace to the person that has acquired that land certificate in good faith.”

In addition, the judges also consider the principle of good faith buyer under the jurisprudence, namely Supreme Court Decision Number 1230 K/Sip/1980 dated 29 March 1982:

…the defendant III has bought the disputed land through a procedure as set out under Government Regulation No. 24 of 1997 namely it was made before the PPAT for the disputed land that has been certificated and also that disputed land is directly possessed by that defendant III appropriately declared as a good faith buyer and must obtain legal protection.

Through these several considerations, the judges decline the claim in its entirety. Subsequently,  the Plaintif filed an appeal, thus giving birth to Decision Number 150/Pdt/2013/PT.DPS. Unfortunately, the appeal judges decides that the appeal application is inadmissible since it violates the formal period to file an appeal under the law.


Based on the description above, one can see that the judges combine the provision under Article 32 paragraph (2) of GR on Land Registration and principle on good faith buyer. The judges consider the time limitation for the claiming of land right that has been certificated and possessed by the right holder. The “obtainment” of land right as set out in the provision does not necessarily means that it was obtained through a sale and purchase, since it might be obtained through other means, e.g., grant or application of right. Since the case involves sale and purchase, and that sale and purchase of land right has been performed before a PPAT, then the judges can be sure that the acquiror of land, namely defendant III, is also considered as a good faith buyer under the jurisprudence. There have been quite many similar jurisprudences as per the Supreme Court circular letter on how to assess a good faith buyer over land. This decision is one of important examples that may be used and referred by the land certificate holders on a defense of a land ownership dispute claim. 

Fortunela Diva Saskia


  1. Arifin Bur and Desi Apriani, Certificate as a Strong Evidence in Relation to the Publication System of Land Registration, UIR Law Review Journal, Volume 01, Number 02, 2017, page. 127.
  2. Salim HS, Techniques for Making The Deed of Land Deed Officer , (Jakarta: Raja Grafindo Persada, 2016), page 1.
  3. Urip Santoso, Agrarian Law Comprehensive Study, (Jakarta)
  4. Article 32 paragraph (1) and paragprah (2) Government Regulation No. 24 of 1997 on Land Registration
  5. Muchsin dkk, Indonesian Agrarian Law in Historical Perspective, (Bandung: Refika Aditama, 2007), page 54