Tuesday, September 27, 2016

High Court bans registration of unauthorised plots

High Court bans registration of unauthorised plots

SURESHKUMAR

CHENNAI, September 10, 2016

Says order necessary to save the ecology while giving time to government to come up with necessary legislative changes

The Madras High Court on Friday issued an order banning registration of plots and houses in unapproved housing layouts as well as conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural use in an unplanned manner in Tamil Nadu.

"We direct that no registering authority in the State shall register any sale deed in respect of any plot in unauthorised layout or any flat/ building constructed on such plots," said the First Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan.

The Bench said the order was necessary to save the ecology and prevent flooding while simultaneously giving time to the State government to come up with legislative changes.

It then directed the Inspector General of Registration to circulate the order to all registering authorities (Sub-Registrars) in the State.

The interim directions were passed on a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate 'Elephant' G. Rajendran seeking a direction to the government to forebear the local administration from giving approval or permission to convert agricultural lands into housing layouts and forebear the Registration Department from registering such property.

The Bench expressed its concern over the absence of any provision for regulating conversion of agricultural lands that were uncultivated for more than three years.


Also read the related stories

Madras HC bans registration of unauthorised plots, houses

A Subramani | TNN | Sep 9, 2016, 06.18 PM IST

CHENNAI: Registering sale deed of houses built on unauthorised layouts will not be possible anymore in Tamil Nadu. The Madras high court on Friday imposed a blanket ban on registration of sale deed concerning houses on unauthorised plots and unauthorised layouts, saying it was the only way to prevent flooding and haphazard development in the state.

It also directed the inspector general of registration to circulate the order to all registering authorities in Tamil Nadu forthwith.

"We hereby direct that no registering authority shall register any sale deed in respect of any plots in unauthorised layouts or any flats/buildings constructed on such plots. This order becomes necessary to prevent further development of unauthorised layouts and conversion of agricultural areas for non-agricultural use in an unplanned manner, as also to save ecology and prevent flooding while simultaneously giving time to the government to come forth with necessary policy documents and legislative changes," said the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan. It then adjourned the case to October 21 for further hearing.

"We are concerned with the absence of any provision for the Act/rules/regulations at present describing any wetland lying idle for more than three years, to be converted into residential or other use," the judges said.

"We are of the view that this aspect would brook no delay till the government develops some thought process and brings into force Section 22A of Registration (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act 2008," they added.

The bench was passing orders on a PIL filed by advocate Elephant G Rajendran seeking to forbear authorities from giving approval or permission to convert agricultural lands into layout and consequential relief of forbearing the inspector general of registration from registering the unapproved land and buildings.

When an additional advocate general of Tamil Nadu, representing the registration department, told the bench that authorities could not refuse registration where plots in unauthorised colonies were sought to be registered, the bench said the sale deed would become incapable of registration in such situations. When there was no sanction for developing the area indicating where the roads and common areas are, the "sale deed itself would become incapable of registration," it said.

In this regard, the bench recalled a TOI report highlighting how wetland area in Chennai had been reduced from about 80% in the 1980s to 15% at present, and said the bench noticed the fact in an earlier order on a similar PIL on September 6.


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