NEW DELHI: Delhi government on Friday took steps to not only put an end to the confusion among property buyers and sellers but also to contain the builder mafia. In a circular, sub-registrars across all 11 districts have been directed that the `agreement to sell' between a buyer and the builder or developer must be duly acknowledged and registered.
The aim is to stop misinformation that such properties cannot be registered and to bring 1.5-2 lakh properties--residential and commercial--in the loop of compulsory registration on payment of stamp duty . Also, this is an attempt to monitor sub-regis trar offices which hold up the process and prevent the possibility of a nexus with builders.
From now, buyers and developers found executing illegal documents to evade stamp duty will be liable for penalty up to 10 times of the applicable stamp duty on registration and also imprisonment. There are plans to issue advisories and a drive to build awareness among buyers.
A public notice has also been put out to prevent exploitation of buyers misled by builders on the legal position on registration of leasehold properties. Most of these properties are commercial and in Nehru Place, Karampura, Azadpur and Janakpuri.
Citing the judgment of the Su preme Court on the issue of registration of agreement to sell, the guidelines state that the apex court has not questioned the power, jurisdiction and duties of the sub-registrar for registration of the document, whether in the past or future. "In case of leasehold properties, the court clearly held that such properties can be transferred through assignment of lease, which is a compulsory document that must be registered under Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act," the circular states. In this manner, the duty chargeable under the Stamps Act is also applicable.
Senior revenue officials point ed out that there are an estimated 200 towers on prime land in Delhi where developers were given land on lease by agencies like DDA, L&DO and MCD. While these residential and commercial properties are on lease, developers have sold and re-sold them by mutual agreement with buyers. Due to an absence of agreement to sell, it has only resulted in loss of revenue to the state exchequer but also given rise of possibility of disputes.
The order also clarifies that the law makes provision for compulsory registration of builderbuyer agreement or collaboration agreement to develop or construct a property afresh. The stamp duty is applicable to such an agreement.
The circular also says that, in keeping with directions of Delhi HC, properties booked by municipal corporations under unauthorized construction are prohibited from further registration.