SC order on registration of properties puts Govt in a fix

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Dec 2017 10:04:41


Special Correspondent,

Last year, PAC had directed State Government to stop registry of properties sans Occupancy Certificate and Completion Certificate

Maharashtra Government or any of its department and any local body can not stop transactions of any property in the State in view of crystal clear directions issued by the Supreme Court. The Revenue Department of the State has opined that the government had no power to stop the registration of any properties by issuing executive orders.

Last year, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Maharashtra Legislature, in its report, had directed State Government to stop registry of the properties without Occupancy Certificate (OC) and Completion Certificate (CC). PAC had recommended that OC and CC should be issued to all constructions. Without these certificates, no deals should be registered, it has recommended. This step, PAC feels, will help curb the instances of illegal/unauthorised constructions. It has observed that the Department of Registration does not check these documents. This laxity results in legal complications at the time of demolition of unauthorised constructions. In many cases, innocent people who have purchased flats in such constructions are put to great loss.

However, the government has no authority to stop such transactions. The Central and State governments will have to amend the Stamps and Registration Act to stop illegalities in registration of properties.

But the situation about new constructions has drastically changed. After the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) came into force, all new constructions without RERA registration and without completion and occupancy certificate can not be registered.
The Supreme Court in its directions delivered in Rajasthan Government Vs Vasant Nahata stated that Section 22 (A) is against the provisions of law. The Maharashtra Government had also issued several directions under this Section 22 (A) of the Stamps and Registration Act and as per the directions of the Supreme Court, all the directions of the State Government have now become null and void. Therefore, it is not binding on the Stamps and Registration Department to implement the directions of the State Government to stop registration of property transactions.

The local body like NMC or competent authority under ULC often issue directions for the Registrar office to obtain NoC of their department before registering any sale or purchase document pertaining to property situated within their territorial jurisdictions.

The Stamps and Registration Department has also issued a direction that it is not binding on them to follow the directions of the Competent authority to obtain NOC from them, if order is not issued under any constitutionally binding provisions.

It may be mentioned that recently, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) had passed a resolution to make full payment of the property tax before registration of any property. The Standing Committee of the NMC has decided to request State Government to issue such directions.
However, in view of the above directions of the Revenue Department and Stamps and Registration Department, the task is not easy.

Earlier, District Collector had stopped the registration of properties situated in undeveloped layouts in the city.
The decision was taken to stop transaction of properties without permission of the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) but then Stamps and Registration Department lifted the ban, following orders of High Court which found such restriction completely illogical and illegal.