END TO CITY'S PROPERTY DISPUTES ? NEW LAW TO MAKE TITLE CLEAR.
28 Dec 2008, 0422 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The film ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ was an iconic depiction of Delhi’s ugly property disputes. But a new title law that is on the cards may make
disputes like these history.
The first draft of the ‘Delhi Urban Property Registration & Titling Bill’ is ready. Once it becomes law, registration certificates will be replaced by title deeds and the latter will only be issued once a central authority - that will have a database of all properties in the city (with some exceptions) - is convinced about the ownership.
"The draft talks of awarding provisional registration in more complicated cases such as unauthorised colonies and old pre-independence constructions like those in the Walled City in the first seven years from the time the Act comes into force as it will take that much time to put a central database in place. Then, permanant registrations will be awarded," Delhi’s chief secretary Rakesh Mehta explained.
After the seven-year window period, registering with the titling authority will become mandatory. The authority will conduct its own survey to ascertain ownership and also issue notices asking property owners to submit relevant documents to prove their ownership. For very old properties like those in the Walled City where documents may not always be available, registration will continue to be done by the sub-registrar.
In India, only Andhra Pradesh has a titling law, which was enacted recently. The Centre has been encouraging states to put such a law in place.
The system of registration of properties will in some time be replaced by a titling system to reduce frauds. Earlier this year, the Delhi Government had hired a legal firm to draft the Bill. Consultation on it will soon be taken up along with various stakeholders like the real estate companies. The move, officials feel, is the need of the hour to prevent rampant fraud in the real estate sector. "In the city one property sometimes gets registered under different names even 17-18 times. The Titling Law will put an end to that,’’ explained an official.
As of now there is no central system of maintaining records of property ownership because of multiplicity of authorities. The proposed Central Authority under the draft Bill will maintain complete records of all properties and scrutinize the details provided to identify the real owner. These will also be digitised. This will prevent fraudulent claims on ownership of a property as the records will be available for courts to take decisions. Registration of agricultural land, however, will be out of its purview.
The Authority will also function as a Tribunal to look at disputes and an appelate Tribunal too. All data collected by the Titling Auhtority staff will be digitised and Title status of properties registered with it will be put up on a central website for all to see.
Commenting about how long the law will take to happen, Mehta said: "The draft is ready. It will be send to the minister for approval and taken up for discussion with stakeholders like real estate firms. It will then go to the cabinet - which may take about six months’ time - and then to the Centre for clearance. Only after all this will the Bill come back to the state and move towards being cleared in the Delhi Assembly to be enacted as the law."
"The USA, UK, European nations, Hong Kong, Singapore and many other countries have Titling laws, so why not us?," Mehta asserted.