Delhi may get a new property legislation that curbs the number of legal battles going on in city courts.
Delhi currently does not have any system for recording or confirming the ownership of a property.
The Delhi Survey Registration and Recordal of Title of Immovable Properties in Urban Areas Bill 2009 proposes to legally register titles to properties that record ownership. A digitised database of all properties in the city was also proposed.
A survey of properties will take place. Each properties and will be issued numbers called Unique Property Identification Code (UPIC).
The Bill, if cleared, will be implemented in a single district as a pilot.
Each property will be issued a UPIC number by a tribunal. If the property's ownership is not challenged for 10 years, a person will be issued an ownership title to the property that will be legally valid.
"At the moment, when a transaction in property takes place — whether sale, transfer, a will or gift — you get it registered. Legally, you are only registering the transaction or transfer. But it does not record whether the person who is transferring the property has the right to transfer it. Registrations take place corruptly — either fraudulently or through collusion," said a senior government official, who refused to be identified.
Officials admit implementing the Act may take years in a city like Delhi with a large number of unauthorised that did not exist on records. "There are vast tracts of land marked as agricultural land or vacant plots that have actually been built over," said the official.
The Act has been in the making for years now, with Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta taking up the issue as then MCD commissioner in 2003-04. Mehta said to start with, digitising the property records would help in getting a handle on the situation.
"The proposed system will ensure creation of a single, secure, electronic and efficient system. It will be made mandatory to get titles for all the properties," he said.