Delhi has taken the first steps towards creating a foolproof system to record property titles in a move that will go a long way in preventing fraudulent registry and takeovers in the real estate industry.A draft bill to introduce a new property titling system has been approved and paves the way for setting up the Delhi Urban Property Registration & Titling Recording Authority to maintain complete records of all properties.
The details provided will be scrutinised to identify the real and final owners of all urban properties and marks a much needed move to make the real estate industry more transparent and professional.
The draft bill will now go to the home ministry, law ministry and ministry of land resources for approval. Following that, it will be tabled before the Delhi Assembly, all of which is expected to take at least a year.
Experts said they believe that the new system will reduce litigation and prevent encroachment. Property transactions will be simpler and illegal multiple registrations will not be possible.
Under the new system, it is proposed that each property will be issued a digitised unique identification number. A tribunal will also be set up to resolve disputes relating to immovable properties. This aims at dealing with fraudulent claims about ownership of a property, as records will be available to prove the real owner in court. At present, no property ownership records are available with the authorities.
The proposal talks of a transition period of three years for undisputed cases. The titling authority will carry out a survey in phases to establish the title of properties. Provisional titles will be awarded for three years during the transition period after which final titles will be awarded.
The draft also looks to set up an indemnity fund to compensate an appellant whose claim to a property, that may have been fraudulently registered by someone else is found to be genuine.
Currently, the registration of the properties under the Registration Act, 1908 is not mandatory. Also it only provides proof of presumed ownership and is not a conclusive proof of title.
Since there is no foolproof scrutiny mechanism and records of properties are maintained by the sub-registrar office or the land owning agency at the time of registry or mutation, the officials bank on affidavits filed by owners. Due to lack of data, the same property gets registered more than once by different owners.