Illegal registration of properties is way of life here: Delhi HC
NEW DELHI: Illegal registration of commercial properties as residential was a “way of life” in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has observed while hearing a PIL alleging rampant corruption in the offices where properties are registered.
“Is it not a way of life here,” a bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar asked when the issue of illegal registration of commercial properties as residential ones was raised before it in the plea, which also sought a CBI or SIT probe into the matter.
The court issued notice to the Delhi government, its revenue, service and vigilance departments, the Anti Corruption Branch, the CBI and the Controller of Accounts seeking their stand on the allegations made in the petition by a lawyer.
The petitioner has referred to a specific sub-registrar office at Asaf Ali Road in Old Delhi and alleged that the official there was accepting bribes to register commercial properties as residential ones, leading to a “huge loss of revenue” to the state exchequer.
Petitioner RP Gupta has also alleged that such practices are probably prevalent in all the subregistrar offices in Delhi.
He has claimed that despite several representations and complaints made against the alleged illegal activity in this, no action has been taken.
The bench directed the office of the Lt Governor to file a separate status report on registration of transactions in relation to transfer of immovable properties taking place in the jurisdiction of the sub-registrar office. It listed the matter for further hearing on March 7.
COURT SEEKS UGC, DU RESPONSE IN CONTEMPT PLEA
In a separate case, the high court also sought responses from the University Grant Commission and Delhi University on a plea seeking contempt action against them for allegedly not complying with its decision to appoint an ‘ombudsman’ in all varsities for redressal of students’ grievances.
Justice V Kameswar Rao issued notices to the UGC and DU seeking their replies on the plea and listed the matter for hearing on May 14.
The high court had in 2017 directed the UGC to set up a system to redress the grievances of students in all varsities, including DU, within four months.
It had directed the DU to “take necessary steps forthwith and appoint the ombudsman” expeditiously in terms of provisions of the UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations of 2012.
The contempt petition filed by Brajesh Singh, an advocate, alleged deliberate and willful non-compliance of the court’s February 3, 2017 order, which had said that the failure of universities to appoint an ombudsman or constitute a Grievance Redressal Committees (GRC) for colleges would defeat the very object of the grievance redressal mechanism provided under the regulations.