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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Government presents New Bill amending the Registration Act, 1908 - introducing transparency and accessibility in the system of Land registration

. . . a move towards a system of conclusive land titles

Flipping through the pages of today's economic times, i have come across this very important legal amendments proposed to be introduced by the Government vide bill.

The bill relates amendments to be made in the Registration Act, 1908. Economic Times has reported out that, the bill has been introduced with a view to curb corruption in the land and real estate deals. Changes in the registration Act includes mandatory registration of power of attorney transfers, registration of property in the state where it is located, allowing inspection of registered documents. 

It also states that, the main objective of introducing such changes in the act would bring more clarity in determining the market value of land, thereby helping the collector to arrive at a more equitable value of the land during the process of acquisition. The formula that is to be used for calculating compensation is the current market or registered value of land. It has also been reported that, if the registration is been made mandatory and frequent, the same could easily be vetted and reviewed by people for over a longer period of time. Hence, there would be accuracy in the reporting of land rates, especially in the rural areas. 

The proposed amendments as reported are as follows:

1. Compulsory registration of power of attorney and certificate of sale.

This has been proposed in order to curb the practice of transfer of property without registration and payment of requisite stamp duty as determined by the state and registration duties.

2. Documents related to the transfer can only be registered in the states where the property is situated. 

This proposed change has been introduced by keeping in view the prevailing anomalous situation. Presently, people owing property in more than one state can register property in any of the states in which they own property, irrespective of the location. This is where people pay the lowest stamp duty, thereby resulting into huge revenue loss. 

3. Registered documents will now be made available for public inspection. This will allow verification of ownership/ title.

4. Registration officers has now have the right to refuse registration in case where the documents pertains to transfer of property belonging to the government/ charities or under litigation or where the transfer has been banned by the state government.

Considering all the above proposed amendments, we know that the main intent of the registration act, 1908 is to ensure availability of all deals relating to the land and property, so as to ensure accuracy in the land records. Hence, the bill stating the proposed amendments is about bringing in the transparency in the sale and purchase of land by way of introducing accessibility in the system of land registration. 

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