Parliament passes Bill to give ownership rights to residents

Parliament 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 separately.

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 Digvijaya 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.