CHENNAI: Would imposing restrictions on customers to stop them from buying more than one house resolve the issue of inadequate housing in our country.
The Madras High Court seems to think so. A division bench comprising justices N Kirubakaran and Abdul Quddhose made the interesting observation on Tuesday.
“Every individual has the right to own more than one house, and as on date, there is no restriction on owning houses,” the bench said.
“However, such individuals should think of the rights of others to have a house, and avoid grabbing houses which should be available to others.”
It then proposed a ban on non-resident Indians from purchasing houses in India, prohibition of speculative sale, and imposition of 100 per cent extra stamp duty on the purchase of the second house.
The court made the observations while dismissing an appeal moved by the State Housing Board.
“...the Government has got the power to put restrictions on buying properties till ‘Housing for all’ is achieved,” the bench observed.
“Why not the government charge 100 per cent more or extra stamp duty to discourage buying more than one house by a family while purchasing the second house?” observed the court.
“If more money is available with him/her, he/she can invest in the bank,” it stated.
The court suo motu impleaded the Union housing and finance ministry as respondents in the matter.
The bench directed them to answer a set of questions including as to how many families have basic amenities of housing in India as well as in Tamil Nadu, population and housing ratio in the country and in the state, when ‘Housing for All’ mission of the central government would be achieved.
Directing the authorities to inform as to whether the central and state have got special schemes to provide housing for the poor sections including SC/ST communities, the bench has also sought the details of the number of families that possess more than one house.
(With inputs from agencies)