New Delhi: Parliament on Wednesday passed a bill to grant ownership rights to people living in 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, benefiting eight lakh families.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019 was passed by a voice vote in Rajya Sabha. It was already passed in Lok Sabha on November 28.
Replying to the debate in the Upper House, Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the bill would soon get the President's nod and the work of uploading maps of 1,731 colonies would be completed.
"We have already uploaded maps of 1,130 colonies. After uploading all maps, we would give 15 days' time for filing objections (by resident welfare associations and other stakeholders)," he said.
"We would open the filing of application by resident from December 15 and a dedicated portal for that would also be provided," the minister said.
About empowering women under the bill, he said that the registration of property in these colonies would be done "either in the name of women head of the family or co-jointly (with male member)".
He also told the House that progressive names would be given to these colonies. About consideration of other colonies falling in forest areas, Archaeological Survey of India protected land, Zone O, Yamuna flood plains and in affluent categories, he said that these are not included in this bill and would be taken up
About the stamp duty and other charges for registration of house in these colonies, the minister said that it would not hurt anybody as this is on nominal basis.
Explaining why the colonies were not authorised on the basis of an executive order, he said that there was a Supreme Court judgement on these type of properties and the bill was required in view of this.
The Supreme Court in its judgement in 2011 had held that sale agreement or General Power of Attorney or Will transactions are not 'transfers' or 'sales' and that such transactions cannot be treated as completed transfers or conveyances and they can continue to be treated as existing agreement of sale.
Earlier participating in the debate, Congress member Digvijay Singh had said that when the delineation was done by the central government, the Delhi Government should have given ownership right to these residents with executive orders and there was no need for this bill.
The minister said, "I am confident that our job (of providing ownership to resident of unauthorised colonies) would be done for eight lakh families."
The minister told the House that he was working on the issue since 2017 when he took charge of the ministry.
Before passing of the bill, Congress member Jairam Ramesh asked the minister to give some other nomenclature to unauthorised colonies like duly authorised. He was of the view that these people were deprived of their rights due to slow administrative actions.
The minister also told the House that this bill could act as a model for other states facing the same issues. He expressed dismay that in 2015 the AAP Government had promised in its action plan that they would regularise these unauthorised colonies within one year of taking charge of Delhi Government.
The minister also said, "We (all parties and governments) are to be blamed for their (poor living) conditions (in unauthorised colonies)."
The minister thanked all 18 members who participated in the debate and supported the bill but said that some of them gave "ostensible support" to the draft law.
The bill states that there has been a phenomenal increase in the population of the National Capital Territory of Delhi in the last few decades owing to migration and other factors.
However, it says, the development of planned housing colonies has not kept pace with the requirements of the burgeoning population which resulted in an increase of unauthorised colonies.
In view of the socio-economic conditions of the residents of the unauthorised colonies and ground realities, it is desirable to recognise and confer rights of ownership or transfer or mortgage to the residents of such colonies, the
It will be done "on the basis of Power of Attorney, Agreement to Sale, Will, possession letter and other documents including documents evidencing payment of consideration and to facilitate development or re-development that may improve existing infrastructure, civic and social amenities which may lead to better quality of life," it added.
It also provides for levy of the stamp duty and registration charges on the amount mentioned in the conveyance deed or authorisation slip issued by the Delhi Development Authority and non-payment of any stamp duty and registration charges on any previous sale transactions made prior to the last transaction.