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AWAIT EASE IN NORMS FOR
“DAMNED CONVEYANCE”

The Government of Maharashtra is now keen on revitalizing the norms of existing law on Deemed Conveyances to give relief to thousands of flat owners in old housing societies who are eager to complete the formality of conveyance before opting for redevelopment.

The Government has expressed its serious concern over the issue of unsold flats apart from taking stern action against the builders for non-execution of Conveyance Deeds in favour of housing societies. However, while the final decision is at initial stage, the eagerness of the Government to consider these issues is at advanced stage.

It is stated that there are about 23,500 housing societies in the city. It is a matter of regret that of these, out of 903 housing societies that had applied, only 549 were issued the conveyance instrument. After 2012, 398 housing societies had applied of which, only 87 have been given conveyance so far.

The incongruity and unease in the Law of Conveyance proves beyond doubt that the contributing flat owners and housing societies were facing hardship in completing the required formalities. It is feared that the scant response towards much enthused scheme is bound to continue if the Government did not relax the existing norms of Deemed Conveyance. It is alleged that the Developers are being asked to pay bribes under their nose to Government Officers of Revenue Dept. to record updates in Property Card.

The flat owners and housing societies are not able to afford to pay and hence, are reluctant to go with the scheme. Owners of the dilapidated flats are in constant fear that once they move out in search of alternate accommodation, they will lose the ownership of their land forever. It is demand that the title of the land is passed to the Government in cases of dilapidated and dangerous buildings seeking conveyance while going for redevelopment.

A view is being spread that why for obtaining Deemed Conveyance Certificate, documents like Building Plans, Commencement Certificate, Occupation Certificate, Completion Certificate, property cards, would be required to be furnished by the housing society when it is already registered and paying various taxes to the BMC/Government?.

Such a view is in contradiction to the letter and spirit of amended provisions. Unless a promoter has given, the housing society cannot be compelled to produce such requirements. Such additional requirements may be propagated so that non availability of such documents can lead to unreasonable demands from the corrupt officials involved in granting of Deemed Conveyance.

And this legal fiction of Deemed Conveyance has further more proved to be wholly without proper understanding as it is not the end of the journey. Subsection 5 takes the process at the doorstep of the Sub-Registrar or the concerned appropriate Registration Officer who is again required to hear the Builder to show cause why the unilateral instrument should not be registered as Deemed Conveyance and after once again giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard the said final authority may, on being satisfied that it was a fit case for unilateral conveyance, register that instrument as ‘Deemed Conveyance’.

It ex-facie appears that the relevant bill was drafted in the Office of the Builders! It is heavily tilted to only safeguard their interest at any cost and at all costs! They are to be heard by the Competent Authority, thereafter by the Sub-Registrar or any appropriate Registrar and again a hearing to the Promoter (builder) finally!
Hearing the builders at every stage, reasonable opportunity of being heard leaves a lot of scope and gap of opportunity to challenge the final order by crying that no opportunity of hearing was granted. Unfortunately our Courts are ever ready to entertain such grievances even at the drop of the hat to quash and set aside such order even after long drawn battle for Deemed Conveyance.

Our system will not allow this concept of Deemed Conveyance to reap the fruits for the end consumer as the Promoters have a very strong lobby at every stage to throttle the cooperative housing movement even with the help bureaucracy and the ruling politicians. In addition to 5 subsections of S.11 of the Act there are 13 Rules and 6 forms for the purpose of achievement of dream of the Deemed Conveyance to be followed by the societies desirous of getting this order of registration of Deemed Conveyance.

It is also decided that the State Government will issue a circular, asking officials not to insist on an Occupation Certificate (OC) for giving Deemed Conveyance.

Though OC is not mandatory for issuing Deemed Conveyance to cooperative housing societies, complaints of its insistence by officials from the registrar's office have come to light though the laws have made it clear that OCs are not compulsory for Deemed Conveyance. At least 2,200 housing societies in Mumbai do not have OCs. The State Government circular, once enforced, will facilitate transfer of property rights in such housing societies.

There is, however, a catch. After the deemed conveyance, it will become the housing society's responsibility to obtain the OC from the BMC. The Civic Body withholds the OC for a building if a developer has not met all conditions stipulated during the building approval process. Following the Deemed Conveyance, it will be the housing society's responsibility to meet these conditions, while the developer will continue to remain culpable. Housing Industry sources also said the society might not be able to discharge the responsibility in cases where the Occupation Certificate has been withheld due to irregular construction.

It is an intense appeal to let us have Deemed Conveyance genuinely and not deceptively!

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