PUDUCHERRY: Victims of fraudulent registrations of land and property through impersonation or production of false documents and evidences -- commonly known as land grabbing -- can now get relief from the registration department without having to approach civil courts. The Inspector General of Registration (IGR) and Revenue Secretary V Candavelou have issued a circular empowering district registrars to cancel fraudulent documents. This will help prevent further fraud and cheating of innocent buyers in future.
So far the registering officers have been advising the aggrieved parties to approach civil court for remedies, which is a long-drawn battle for them to secure their property. In many instances aged persons, poor widows and persons living abroad, particularly in France, have been the targets of anti-social elements.
Recently two ruling party MLAs had raised the issue of attempt by anti-social elements to grab land.
Advising innocent petitioners to approach civil court without exercising the inherent powers available with the registering officers would only add to the mental agony of the distressed land owners, stated Candavelou. Those involved in fraud are punishable under Section 82 and 83 of the Registration Act,1908, but the victims could not get justice without approaching the court.
After the High Court of Madras on July 17, 2014 passed an order upholding a circular issued by the Tamil Nadu government in this regard,the Puducherry government has also issued a similar order to provide relief to victims after a spate of land grabbing complaints. On an average one or two complaints are received every month, said an official.
At present inquiry is going on in five to six cases of fraudulent registrations.
According to the new system in place, complaints of fraudulent registration received by the registration department have to be forwarded to the district registrar who will register it in the prescribed format. Thereafter, the district registrar will issue notices to the executants of the documents and witnesses to appear for inquiry. The inquiry has to be completed within two months and if the parties do not appear, an ex-parte order would be issued. Once the inquiry is completed and it is proved that the document has been registered fraudulently, he would direct the registering officers concerned to file FIR against the persons concerned and annul the documents registered fraudulently.
The responsibility has also been fixed on district registrar by the IGR.
“Any failure in registering complaints and initiation of inquiry, followed by FIR and making annulment entries in Index -II will be viewed seriously and necessary disciplinary action will be initiated against the district register and registering officer concerned,” he said.
Any aggrieved party, on the order of the district registrar, could prefer an appeal before the IGR. The district registrar is also duty-bound to ensure that the sub-registrars follow the provisions of Section 34(3) and 35 of the Registration Act, 1908 (read with Rule 55 of the Puducherry Registration Rules,1969) while registering documents.