In a move that may act as a deterrent to land sharks getting property of the gullible poor registered in or transferred to their name fraudulently, the state government has made it binding on the department of stamps and registration to probe such complaints and lodge FIR against the guilty.
In other words, a person whose property someone has fraudulently got transferred to his name can now approach the department of the stamps and registration itself instead of filing a civil suit (the only choice available at present) and go on fighting an unending legal battle from one court to another.
A GO issued by the government recently puts in place a new relief mechanism under which it will be the duty of the registering authority to entertain complaints about registries obtained deceitfully, probe all such complaints within two months, lodge an FIR against the guilty and annul the deed if the complaint is found to be true.
“What happens today is that even though the victim may not have the resources to fight the legal battle, he is always advised by the department to seek relief from the court against someone who got his property transferred to his name fraudulently,” principal secretary, stamps and registration, BM Meena said claiming, “the new system put in place would especially help the poor people to get quick justice.”
While issuing the GO the department of stamps and registration has relied on an Andhra Pradesh high court order given in the Yanala Malleswari Vs Ananthalu Sayamma (A/R, 2007) case and quoted the same order in the GO.
“The person, who has ex facie right, whether such right is registered or not, can always approach the registering authority, with a request to cancel a sale deed, which was registered earlier by such registering authority by showing that subsequent registration was obtained by fraud by a person who is not entitled to transfer the property or that such transfer was registered by playing fraud on the owner or on the stranger,” said the order.
The court concluded, “In the present statutory dispensation, namely the Transfer of Property Act, the Contract Act, the Specific Relief Act and Registration Act, the court does not see any prohibition operating on the exercise of inherent power by the registering authority to cancel the sale deed earlier registered, which is likely to cause prejudice to the true owner as well as to the public at large.”
Meena said it would be incumbent upon the investigating authority to resort to a summary procedure and pass a speaking order on the complaint.
“The department will also start disciplinary proceedings against officials guilty of registering a complaint and lodging FIR against the one found guilty of obtaining a sale deed in a fraudulent manner,” Meena said adding, commissioners and the DMs had been asked to make monthly review of progress of disposal of such cases.