Property transfer: HC notice to Punjab on fixing collectorate rates
The petitioner had argued that Section 3A lays down several factors, which have to be kept into consideration by the district collector.punjab Updated: Feb 13, 2018 10:24 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday put the Punjab government on notice on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking fixing of collector rates for transfer of properties equal to market price to curb black money being pumped into the real estate business.
A division bench of the high court comprising justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and AS Grewal sought response from the government and financial commissioner (revenue) by March 16 on a petition by the Valuers’ Association, Ludhiana.
Under Rule 3-A of the Punjab Stamps (Dealing of Undervalued Instruments) Rules, 1983, district collectors are empowered to determine the “minimum market value of land/properties, located in the district, locality-wise and category-wise and to convey the same to the registering officer for the purpose of levying of stamp duty.
The petitioner had argued that Section 3A lays down several factors, which have to be kept into consideration by the district collector. For instance, distance from roads, markets, bus stand, railway station, factories, educational institutions, hospitals, government offices and shopping complexes, the court was told, adding that determination of collector rates is to be done after consulting experts from various departments.
It was submitted that instead of giving free hand to district collectors, the government is directing them to fix the collector rates in a particular manner, which is against rules. The court was informed that financial commissioner (revenue) notified on September 6 asking all district collectors to reduce collector rates of properties in urban areas by 5% and that of properties in rural areas by 10%.
“Collector rates so determined by the government are hardly half of the market value of the properties concerned, with the result that if a property’s market value is ₹2 crore, its transfer will be registered for only ₹1 crore, and balance amount will be paid in black money. In this way, black money is being pumped into real estate business,” the court was told.