Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Author: ISHAN ROY CHOWDHURY,
Amity Law School, Delhi
On 26th November, 2019 Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri from Ministry of State of Housing and Urban Affairs introduced The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha passed it on 28th November 2019 and The Rajya Sabha passed it on 4th December 2019. The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Act, 2019 provides special provisions for Delhi for recognising the property rights of people dealing with properties in such colonies which are considered unauthorised colonies.
Unauthorised colony is given under section 2(b) of The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Act, 2019 which states:
Section 3(4) of The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Act, 2019 gives validity to residents having registered or unregistered agreements to sale, will, possession letters and other documents which strengthen the fact the resident is the owner of the property. Though Section 3(6) of this act states that tenants and licensees’ rights will not be given recognition under this Act.
The positive and negative effects of the Act:
There are many ways at looking at this new law and see its positive and negative effects. This new law gives validity to many people and their unregistered properties (which are not anymore) as this law recognises the property rights of residents of about 40 lakh people of 1,731 unauthorised colonies.
While this law provides happiness of validity of rights for the owners it increases the work pressure of the housing department as now they have to deal with properties of 1,731 unauthorised colonies and about 40 lakh people which they didn’t have to look at up till just recently. Now as all the invalid registrations now valid the registry office also needs to change its records. People who still hadn’t registered their property knowing its on unauthorised land now will be rushing to the registry office to get a valid proof of their newfound right. This in turn will further increase the workload of the property registration office, at least temporarily.
Another thing this law has done which is disliked by people is create a payment of charges. The residents are required to pay certain charges to obtain ownership of the property which is supposedly theirs to begin with. These charges will be notified by the Central Government. This pay for recognition of their own property rights has some people enraged as they are being asked to pay for the validation of a document of the property which already states that the property is theirs. This is unacceptable by quite a lot of people as they find this to be a new money extortion scheme by the government. An amount no matter how small given by 40 lakh people will accumulate into quite a big amount. Though it must be stated that no stamp duty or any registration charges will be payable on any previous sale transactions concerning the property.
Setting aside the increase in workload of perhaps the entirety of registration of property departmental work and payment of charges for validation by property owners of their own property this law certainly has quite a few positive points about it. This new law gives employment to many, lawyers especially need to be consulted now about the registry and validity of the properties in unauthorised colonies. While on the topic of recognition of property rights it must be stressed that property rights of only those will be recognised who either get their property registered or have some document including power of attorney, agreement to sale, will through which they got the property, document of gift through which they got the property or any other document reaffirming their possession rights. If one doesn’t have any of these documents and only has possession of the property their right will not be recognised. In simple words some form of document proving that the property is theirs is an absolute must if they wish to get their property registered.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Act, 2019 has even defined “resident” and “unauthorised colony” in its section 2 for convenience of people. This is done so there is not even a shred of doubt about these two terms and hence it helps an individual understand their position under the Act.
At the moment the property registry offices and everyone involved with it is having a huge work increase but at the same time unemployed people are getting jobs related to the property registry due to this new law. Lawyers and the government may have a new source of income from this as everyone is rushing to get their property registered from those unauthorised colonies. In this tandem the question to ask is, who is the real winner in all of this?
Some would say it’s the people of the unrecognised colonies who are now rejoicing at the fact that their property is no more in name but a registered and validated by the government property which can be further transferred. Another great thing this Act has done that now the property will be valid it can change hands or in other words it can be transferred. This makes people interested in these unrecognised colonies as up till now they were only a collection of unregistered houses which if the government wanted could break as they are all property on government land without their permission. This increases the property value of these unrecognised colonies from zero (as in the eyes of law, an unregistered property doesn’t even exist) to crores. If nothing else, then at least everyone’s income or at least their property value has increases if they live in these unrecognized colonies.
Then there are people who say that in all this the government are the real winners considering all they had to do was create a law and now everyone is paying the registration fees and getting their properties registered which alone will raise a lot of money but that’s not the end of it all. Now, as the property is validated it can change hands, or in other words be bought and sold. This opens up the unrecognised colonies’ houses to the eyes of potential buyers who now get to buy a registered and valid house in these previously unregistrable and illegal houses, this in turn increases the prices in these colonies depending on potential buyers. This latest development will allow the buying and selling of houses by willing sellers to willing buyers and that will create sale tax. The government will benefit from this Act as they now get to collect tax on every house registered which previously was not.
Though that all being said it does seem that at the end of it all this benefits the people and at the end of the day that’s what matters to people, hence it may be stated that this is a law made for the welfare of the citizens of Delhi as both the people and the government will be happy in the long run.
“unauthorised colony means a colony or development comprising of a
contiguous area, where no permission has been obtained for approval of layout plan
or building plans and has been identified for regularisation of such colony in pursuance
to the notification number S.O. 683(E), dated the 24th March, 2008 of the Delhi
Development Authority, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3,
Sub-section (ii), dated the 24th March 2008.”