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Registrar offices in Mumbai stops registration of flats on collector's land

MUMBAI: The registrar’s offices across the city have stopped registering sale and lease documents for houses and commercial tenements on collector’s land. Sedhuraman Iyer, a broker from Chembur, said the process had been stopped since Tuesday. “The registrar’s office has received a circular from the collector’s office informing it that unless the property registration card does not mention it is a B1 property (land given by collector) and is not accompanied by a no-objection certificate from the collector, it will not be registered,” he said. Residential buildings on collector’s land are spread across the city. There are around 3,000 housing societies on collector’s land in the city and around 22,000 across the state. Pramod Joshi, another broker, said the registrar’s office had come up with a similar circular in 2001-02 but it was struck down by the Supreme Court. Salil Rameshchandran, chairman, Shivshrishti housing society, Chembur, said the circular was in contempt of two court orders. On January 5, the collector’s office informed various housing societies on collector’s land about various government resolutions that require an NOC from the collector for renting, mortgaging and sale of flats. On January 6, the city and suburban collector’s office wrote to the registrar’s office to ensure societies complied with conditions stipulated in the GRs, and if this was not done, to stop registering documents. “All these conditions are disputed by the societies and the collector has no authority to issue such conditions on buildings owned by the societies. In Aspi Chinoy vs State of Maharashtra, the Bombay high court said the co-operative housing society member is as good as the owner of the flat and no prior permission is required from the collector,” said Rameshchandran. Rameshchandran said the revenue department is supposed to come out with a report on conversion of land to freehold land. “The report was to be submitted by the committee headed by the principal secretary in two months. It is almost two years and it is not ready. Instead, they are issuing GRs which promote red-tape, corruption and “dis-ease of doing business”, he said, adding that the societies will approach the court for contempt of its order. A senior revenue official said the report would be submitted to the government by the month-end.

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