WHEN STATES EX­PLOIT BUY­ERS’ VUL­NER­A­BIL­ITY

The Campa Cola so­ci­ety row is a case in point of how states are earn­ing huge rev­enues by reg­is­ter­ing il­le­gal prop­er­ties

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

When a home­buyer pays a cer­tain per­cent­age of the cost of his apart­ment as stamp duty and gets his flat/ land reg­is­tered with the rev­enue depart­ment of the state govern­ment, he be­lieves his property has got all le­gal/req­ui­site ap­provals. This i s the mis­con­cep­tion that the res­i­dents of 106 flats in the Campa Cola so­ci­ety in Mum­bai had har­boured when t hey got sale deeds ex­e­cuted in their favour from the builder dur­ing the late ’80s by pay­ing stamp duty of ` 1 lakh to ` 4 lakh each to the state rev­enue depart­ment. To­day they stand to lose ev­ery­thing as the Supreme Court has or­dered the de­mo­li­tion of their flats as these were built in vi­o­la­tion of sanc­tioned plans.

This case, af­ter t he SC de­clined t o reg­u­larise t he apart­ments, might be headed for clo­sure, but the apart­ment own­ers are rais­ing per­ti­nent ques­tions. Why did the sale deeds, ex­e­cuted in their favour by the builder, not help their cause in es­tab­lish­ing their ti­tle over the prop­er­ties, es­pe­cially when the govern­ment earned a hefty rev­enue from stamp duty?

“Vin­odb­hai Kothari, who died on Sun­day (June 14, 2014), was the first per­son to get his apart­ment reg­is­tered in 1985 by pay­ing ` 1.5 lakh as stamp duty and reg­is­tra­tion fee to the rev­enue depart­ment of the state govern­ment. Since then, he and his fam­ily have been reg­u­larly pay­ing property taxes which were re­vised and raised from time to time by the govern­ment. Had the rev­enue depart­ment re­fused to reg­is­ter the sale deed in favour of Kothari way back in 1985, hold­ing that the flat was il­le­gal, more than 800 res­i­dents would not have fallen prey to the greed of the de­vel­oper,” says Vidya Srini­vas, a home­buyer in the Campa Cola so­ci­ety.

Con­tin­ued on page 05

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FILE PHOTO

Res­i­dents protest out­side the Campa Cola so­ci­ety in Mum­bai

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