The city government took the first step towards creating a foolproof system to record property titles — a move that will go a long way in preventing fraudulent registry and takeovers.
The Delhi cabinet on Monday approved a draft bill to introduce a new property titling system. The new legislation proposes to set up a nodal body — Delhi Urban Property Registration & Titling Recording Authority — to maintain complete records of all properties. The details provided will be scrutinized to identify the real and final owners of all urban properties.
Now, the draft bill will go to the home ministry, law ministry and ministry of land resources for approval. Following that, it will be tabled before the Delhi Assembly. This entire process would take at least a year.
Under the new system, it is proposed that each property will be issued a digitised unique identification number. A tribunal will also be set up to resolve disputes relating to immovable properties. This aims at dealing with fraudulent claims about ownership of a property, as records will be available to prove the real owner in court. At present, no property ownership records are available with the authorities.
The proposal talks of a transition period of three years in case of undisputed cases. The titling authority will carry out a survey in phases to establish the title of properties. Provisional titles will be awarded for three years during the transition period after which final titles will be awarded.
The draft also talks of an indemnity fund to compensate an appellant whose claim to a property — that may have been fraudulently registered by someone else — is found to be genuine. Currently, the registration of the properties under the Registration Act, 1908 is not mandatory. Moreover, it only provides proof of presumed ownership and is not a conclusive proof of title. Also property titling system for urban areas is essential for better efficiency and this is one of the key mandatory reforms under the JNNURM.
Since there is no foolproof scrutiny mechanism and records of properties are maintained by the sub-registrar office or the land-owning agency at the time of registry or mutation, the officials bank on affidavits filed by owners. It has been seen that due to lack of data, the same property gets registered more than once by different owners.
Law In The Making
Draft includes setting up Urban Property Registration and Title Recording Authority for which government will appoint a chairman and a maximum of five members.
Besides setting up service areas for public facilitation, it will maintain a register of titles, issue certificates of recording of titles and impose penalties for violation of provisions.
It will survey immovable properties in urban areas, record entries, assign unique identification no. to properties & maintain electronic records. Registration will be mandatory.
New system will reduce litigation and prevent encroachment. Property transactions will be simpler & illegal multiple registrations will not be possible.
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