HC: Il­le­gal reg­is­tra­tion a way of life

Plea Al­leges Bribes Taken To ‘Help’ Com­mer­cial Prop­er­ties

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

New Delhi: Il­le­gal reg­is­tra­tion of prop­er­ties is un­der the glare of the Delhi high court that has slammed the civic agen­cies for al­low­ing it to oc­cur as a “way of life” in the cap­i­tal.

A bench of act­ing Chief Jus­tice Gita Mit­tal and Jus­tice C Hari Shankar ear­lier this week de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion from all au­thor­i­ties con­cerned on why they have not yet taken any strict ac­tion to curb the malaise.

The ob­ser­va­tion and di­rec­tive came dur­ing the hear­ing of a PIL al­leg­ing ram­pant cor­rup­tion in the of­fices where prop­er­ties are reg­is­tered. “Is it not a way of life here,” the bench asked when the is­sue of il­le­gal reg­is­tra­tion of com­mer­cial prop­er­ties as res­i­den­tial ones was raised be­fore it in the plea by a lawyer, who also sought a CBI or SIT probe into the mat­ter.

The court then pro­ceeded to is­sue no­tices to the Delhi gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing its rev­enue, ser­vice and vig­i­lance de­part­ments, the anti-cor­rup­tion branch (ACB), CBI and the con­troller of ac­counts, seek­ing their stand on the al­le­ga­tions made in the pe­ti­tion.

The bench also di­rected the of­fice of the lieu­tenant gover­nor to file a sep­a­rate sta­tus re­port on the reg­is­tra­tion of trans­ac­tions in re­la­tion to trans­fer of im­mov­able prop­er­ties tak­ing place in the ju­ris­dic­tion of the sub-regis­trar’s of­fice men­tioned in the pe­ti­tion and listed the mat­ter for hear­ing on March 7.

The pe­ti­tioner re­ferred to a spe­cific sub-regis­trar of­fice 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.

He also al­leged that such prac­tices were prob­a­bly preva­lent in all sub-regis­trar of­fices in Delhi, given the brazen man­ner in which the of­fi­cial he met was de­mand­ing and re­ceiv­ing bribes for this work. The pe­ti­tioner claimed that de­spite sev­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tions and com­plaints made against the al­leged il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity, no ac­tion was taken, forc­ing him to ap­proach the court.

Urg­ing the court to in­ter­vene, the pe­ti­tioner sought strict ac­tions against the of­fi­cial con­cerned and di­rec­tions to CBI to in­ves­ti­gate the largescale cor­rup­tion so that com­mon peo­ple don’t suf­fer.

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