Haryana revenue dept widens ambit of probe into property registration malpractices
The fresh inquiry would start from the day (April 3, 2017) an amendment in Section 7-A was notified by Khattar government in 2017 to water down the HDRUA Act provisionUpdated: Aug 18, 2020 07:04 IST
Widening the ambit of inquiry into the malpractices in registration of sale deeds of properties in Haryana, the revenue department has ordered that the registrations carried out from April 3, 2017 to December 31, 2019 be probed for
violation of Section 7-A of Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas (HDRUA) Act.
The broadening of the extent of probe was done at the insistence of deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, who holds the charge of revenue portfolio.
The fresh inquiry would start from the day (April 3, 2017) an amendment in Section 7-A was notified by the ML Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in 2017 to water down the HDRUA Act provision.
The detection of malpractices in execution of sale deeds has cast a shadow on the functioning of the revenue department under Dushyant’s command.
By widening the ambit of inquiry, the Jannayak Janta Party leader is trying to bring the functioning of the previous BJP government under scanner.
In separate communications, additional chief secretary, revenue, Vijai Vardhan has asked the divisional commissioners of Ambala, Karnal, Rohtak, Hisar, Gurugram and Faridabad to conduct a fresh inquiry within next six weeks for property registrations done in all districts since April 3, 2017.
“While doing so you are expected to fix the responsibility by name upon the erring revenue officers (sub-registrars, joint sub-registrars) if any, so that appropriate disciplinary action can be initiated against them as per disciplinary rules,” reads the communication.
The initial inquiry which led to registration of criminal cases against six tehsil officials of Gurugram district was for the period between January and July 2020.
The stipulations in Section 7-A of HDRUA pertained to grant of a no-objection certificate (NoC) by the town and country planning department (TCPD) before registration of land in notified urban areas.
The 2017 amendment
The 2017 amendment of Section 7-A of HDRUA Act which watered down the law was steered by the BJP government in the assembly. It led to two modifications in the provision. First, it decreased the size of notified urban area land holding for which NoC is required from less than one hectare (2.5 acres) to less than two kanals. Secondly, the definition of land for which the NoC was required was changed from vacant land to agricultural land. The agricultural land was defined as Nehri (canal irrigated), Chahi (irrigated from well), Barani (dependent on rainfall) or any other term in revenue records.
“The 2017 amendment passed by the assembly ensured that the real estate developers were able to circumvent the requirement of NoC by converting agricultural land into uncultivable (gair mumkin) in revenue records. Also, the reduction of size of land from less than hectare to two kanals worked to the advantage of realtors,” said a revenue official.
Officials said the registration of properties without a NoC in notified urban area land under Section 7-A led to mushrooming of unauthorised settlements.
It came to the notice of Gurugram divisional commissioner that a number of naib tehsildars were executing sale deeds indiscriminately without the NoC,” said an official.
2017 amendment being undone
The cabinet meanwhile has also approved an ordinance to undo the 2017 amendment in the HDRUA Act to water down Section 7-A of the Act. With the assembly session starting next week, a Bill in this regard will be brought in the House.
The definition of notified urban area land and size of the holding for which the NoC was required is being modified. The land holding for which NoC is required is proposed to be less than one acre instead of less than two kanals and the notified urban area land definition will be changed from agricultural to vacant again. The requirement of a NoC stating that land transfer does not contravene any provisions of the Act was to prevent ill planned and haphazard construction in urban areas.