Property can be registered below circle rate, rules Delhi High Court

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Providing relief to thousands of land owners in Delhi, the High Court on Wednesday allowed registration of properties in the Capital even if valued below the minimum circle rate of the area.

A Bench of chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw relied on provisions of the Indian Stamp Act to revive discretionary powers vested with the state Government to register sale of property below the circle rate. Over a period, the Government had started treating circle rate as the absolute measure of registering properties despite the Stamp Act giving room for manoeuvre.

The court has now provided property owners an opportunity to convince the Collector of Stamps why their asset should be valued below the circle rate of the area. The registrar/sub registrar will now accept such sale/conveyance deeds and forward it to the Collector of Stamps before whom the property owner can appear and explain the reasons for lower valuation of his property.The court recognised that there may be various reasons for low valuation, such as a property being disputed, having unauthorised occupants and poor location etc.

The court made it clear that circle rate circulars issued by the Delhi Government can no longer come in the way of registration of a property. Its directions came on a bunch of PILs filed by Manu Narang, Amit Gupta and Atul Gupta arguing that “no absolute benchmark can be fixed and dictated for determination of the minimum price of any property since prices of property vary from place to place, person to person and due to various other factors.”