Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal to introduce the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019 during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. This Bill will help in allowing the registration of properties and provide certain relief to the residents in Unauthorised Colonies (DCs) of Delhi from Registration Charges and Stamp Duty.

Nearly 40 lakh people reside in Unauthorised Colonies located on private or public land in Delhi. Properties, whether in the form of a plot of land or built-up space are generally held through General Power of Attorney (GPA), Will, Agreement to Sale, Payment and Possession documents. The properties in these colonies are not being registered by registration Authorities and thereby the residents do not have any title documents in respect of such properties and the Banks and financial institutions do not extend any credit facilities in respect of said properties.

The Supreme Court in the SLP (C) 13917 of 2009 Suraj Lamp & Industries (P) Ltd. v. State of Haryana & others vide its judgment dated 11 October 2011 had held that Sale Agreement/General Power of Attorney or Will transactions are not ‘transfers’ or ‘sales’ and that such transactions cannot be treated as completed transfers or conveyances and they can continue to be treated as the existing agreement of sale.

Keeping in view the socio-economic conditions of the residents of these unauthorised colonies and ground realities, it is necessitated to recognise and confer rights of ownership or transfer or mortgage to the residents of such colonies on the basis of Power of Attorney, -Agreement to Sale, Will, Possession Letter and other documents including documents evidencing payment of consideration and to facilitate development or re­development to improve existing infrastructure, civic and social amenities which will lead to better quality of life.

The  proposed  National Capital Territory  of Delhi (Recognition  of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019, envisages;

  1. to recognize GPA, Will, Agreement to Sell, Purchase and Possession documents, in the light of Suraj Lamp Case Judgment, as a special one-time relaxation for this purpose for the residents of UCs in Delhi;
  2. to provide for registration charge and stamp duty to be levied on the value mentioned in Conveyance Deed or Authorisation Slip and for its applicability on the last transaction only,

The above relief provisions will benefit more than 40 lakh people living in 1,731 Unauthorised Colonies of Delhi as mentioned in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Regulations, 2019 notified on 29.10.2019.

Background

A proposal was submitted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to the Union Cabinet on the basis of report of the Committee headed by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to confer or recognise the rights of ownership or transfer or mortgage of property in UCs of Delhi. The Cabinet approved the proposal in its meeting held on 23.10.2019 and accordingly, the Regulations to confer or recognise the rights of ownership or transfer or mortgage of property in UCs of Delhi have been notified on 29,10.2019.

The ownership of the properties in unauthorised colonies have been transferred several times through registered or unregistered or notarised Power of Attorney, Agreement to Sale, Will, Possession and Payment letters. Further, the stamp duty on these multiple transactions, have neither been assessed nor paid.

The stamp duty on the Conveyance Deed or Authorisation Slip, as the case may be, is leviable as per minimum rates (Circle Rates) specified in the notification of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi published vide number F.1 (953) Regn.Br./Div.Com/HQ/2014, dated the 22nd September, 2014 or the sale consideration mentioned in the Conveyance Deed or Authorisation Slip, as the case may be, whichever is higher.


Cabinet

[Press Release dt. 20-11-2019]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Pratibha M. Singh, J. allowed an application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC filed by the defendant in the subject partition suit. The said application sought rejection of plaint (partition suit) on two grounds — that the suit lacked cause of action and the suit was time-barred.

The plaintiff was the son of defendant’s deceased brother. The property in question originally belonged to Kundan Lal Kapur, the father of the defendant. The plaintiff had brought a suit for partition of the property. The defendant filed the present application for rejection of the suit. It was proved that the suit property was in occupation and possession of the defendant. It was mutated in his name after the execution of three General Power of Attorneys and relinquishment deeds in his favour by remaining heirs of Kundan Lal Kapur, including plaintiff’s father. Also, the said documents were executed in 1979, i.e., more than 36 years before filing of the partition suit.

The High Court noted that the GPAs and the relinquishment deeds were duly registered under Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 with the relevant authorities, and therefore they were not required to be proved by an attesting witness as is evident from Section 68 of the Evidence Act, 1872. It was observed: “under the provisions of the Registration Act read with the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, registered documents ought to be read in evidence. The same carries a sanctity in law and are presumed to have been executed.” Further, “The fact that these documents were executed way back in 1979, i.e. almost 40 years ago and 36 years by the time the suit was filed, itself shows that they have enormous sanctity especially in view of Section 90 of the Evidence Act, 1872.”

Since the GPAs and the relinquishment deeds were all registered documents, the same were presumed to be valid and legal. In these circumstances, the Court held that the plaintiff did not have any cause of action, and his partition suit was therefore rejected. The application of the defendant under Order 7 Rule 11 was allowed.[Rajinder Kumar Kapur v. Madan Mohan Lal Kapur, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 9472, decided on 29-07-2019]