Read Order: Ved Pal versus State of Haryana and another
Chandigarh, September 6, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has enumerated some aspects and measures that should be taken into consideration by the Government of Haryana while considering prevention of cases of fraud/cheating and defrauding of innocent buyers by the unscrupulous property dealers.
The case pertains to an FIR registered under various sections of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Haryana Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act, 2008 against a proprietor of M/s Shri Ram Real Estate, for carving out unauthorized colony on land in the revenue estate of village Sihi, District Faridabad by sub dividing land into a colony without obtaining licence from the Director, Town Country Planning, Haryana, Chandigarh.
The proprietor, being the petitioner, had filed this petition under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C., for grant of anticipatory bail.
It was contended by the State Counsel that the petitioner carved out plots without obtaining the requisite licence without getting himself registered as a property dealer and executed agreements to sell in favour of Priyanka Devi and others and defrauded them.
In one of the replies filed by HPS, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ballabgarh the petitioner was stated to have purchased land measuring 3257.58 sq. yds. in the shape of 52 plots by way of agreement to sell dated August 22,2019 executed in his favour by Arun Tewatia which was stated to have been cancelled on November 2,2020 and to have sold one plot to Priyanka Devi by agreement to sell dated October 9,2019 which was alleged to have been subsequently cancelled on September 29,2020.
The Bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi granted anticipatory bail to the petitioner keeping in consideration the facts and circumstances of the case, nature of accusation against the petitioner, the fact that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was not essential in the case and there was no material to justify the apprehension of the petitioner fleeing from justice or tampering with evidence or criminally intimidating the prosecution witnesses.
The Court opined that it was very strange that the transactions of sale and purchase of land were being made by persons, who were not registered property dealers but were evidently working as property dealers, by merely executing agreements to sell which were even alleged to have been subsequently cancelled yet possession of the land had been transferred and even houses had been constructed on the same.
Moving further , the Bench noted the issue of defrauding of the innocent buyers by the unscrupulous property dealers by culpable misrepresentation of the facts and gross negligence/inaction on the part of concerned administrative authorities and lack of proper investigation by the police.
Big fraud had been committed involving transfer of land divided into plots by executing agreements to sell and handing over possession thereof without execution of any sale deeds (except two sale deeds) on the basis of which even construction of fifteen houses had already been raised, added the Court.
The Bench mentioned that a common man is first defrauded by the land owners, colonizers and property dealers by fraudulently transferring agricultural land to them without requisite license/permission for huge amount of money by exploiting his need for shelter by construction of a residential house.
The concerned agencies of the State, which are bound to protect the common man against such frauds, initially sleep over the matter and by their inaction allow raising of construction by him and subsequently wake up from their slumber and then cause huge loss to him by demolishing the construction raised on the ground of the same being unauthorized construction in an unauthorized colony without taking strict action against the concerned land owners, colonizers and property dealers, highlighted the Bench.
Keeping these facets in view, the Bench has mentioned certain measures that are to be kept into consideration. Few of them are-
- Registration of all agreements to sell immovable property residential/commercial/industrial in the State of Haryana may be made compulsory by appropriate legislation/amendment as may be considered necessary;
- Giving of information regarding all agreements to sell/sale deeds executed in respect of urban residential/commercial/industrial land falling within the purview of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975 to the District Town Planner in all the Districts in the State of Haryana by the property dealers/concerned land owners may be made compulsory;
- Information regarding licences granted to the companies/firms/builders/colonizers with requisite particulars regarding terms and conditions of the licences and also of the residential/commercial/industrial land to which the licences pertain be made available on the website in respect of all the Districts in the State of Haryana in searchable mode so that a person on submitting the particulars of land he intends to purchase gets the requisite information regarding the status of the same;
- The Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police and District Town Planner in all the Districts in the State of Haryana may be made responsible for strict implementation of the Haryana Regulation of Property Dealers and Consultants Act, 2008 for ensuring that no person works as property dealer without requisite registration and also furnishes complete information regarding the transactions made through him; and
- The District Town Planner, Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police in all the Districts in the State of Haryana may be made responsible for strict implementation of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975 and if any unauthorized colony comes up in the District then departmental action may be taken against the concerned District Town Planner, Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of the District.