BHUBANESWAR: A recent government order making ‘record of rights (patta)’ mandatory for selling land has almost paralyzed transaction of real estate properties in various parts of the state, particularly in Bhubaneswar, for the past two weeks or so as most real estate developers don’t have pattas.
While the developers have reacted strongly to the government move, at least three bar associations have moved Orissa high court seeking withdrawal of the order.
The revenue and disaster management department on April 25 issued the order, which states that “the registering officer shall not register any document presented to him unless the transferor produces the record of rights to the satisfaction of the registering officer that such transferor has right, title and interest over the property so transferred.” The order is part of a direction issued by Taradatt, additional chief secretary, revenue, to implement the Registration (Odisha) Amendment Act 2013, which restricts sale of property belonging to the government and various religious institutions, including Jagannath Temple in Puri.
According to real estate insiders, very few developers have pattas of land on which they have constructed apartments. As a result, they are unable to sell flats. Conceding to the problem, Pradipta Kumar Biswasroy, president, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Odisha (Reda), said, “It takes a long time, sometimes years, for a buyer of land to get patta after mutation of land. But stalling sales of land on the pretext of patta when other documents such as previous sale deeds are available will adversely affect the market.”
Anup Mohapatra, another developer, said the government order would make re-sale of flats impossible as home buyers will never get pattas of their flats.
The bar association members described the order absurd. “In Bhubaneswar, over 80 per cent people in Gadakana, Chandrasekharpur and Nayapalli, among other areas, don’t have pattas. People who bought land before 1980 don’t have pattas. But denying them their right to sell their property when they need money for their needs, is a violation of their right to property,” said Chittaranjan Barisal, member, Bhubaneswar Bar Association, which filed a writ in the HC on Friday. Bar associations in Puri and Nuapada too filed similar petitions in the HC last week.
Barisal said the bars have taken a proactive role to counter the “illogical” order, as it will adversely affect all people in the state. Sources, however, said documentation during property transactions is a good source of earning for the advocates. But since the registration process has come to a halt, their source of earning too has depleted.