Saturday, 15 March 2014


Scrutiny of property documents is a very technical job which only experts in the matter can correctly carry out.If scrutiny of property documents is not carried out in a scientific way there is every likelihood of the purchaser being trapped into litigation.

The first and foremost thing to be considered by a prospective buyer of an immovable property before finalization of any deal is to get scrutinized the property documents to know about the marketable title of the property, genuineness of the document, enforceability of the title and whether the provisions of the laws, rules and regulations of the revenue authorities are complied with. Origin of the property, flow of title and present status of the property are to be verified in a systematic manner.

On being satisfied with the title of the property, the purchaser can enter into a sale agreement with the vendor.It may be noted that the property transactions are not executed through oral agreements or understandings.These transactions are executed underwritten documents which require compulsory registration.While drafting property documents, be it a sale agreement, sale deed, gift deed, mortgage deed, will, etc., every minute care is to be taken to protect the interests of the parties which in turn requires considering and dealing with the various aspects of the matter to bring out all the relevant information leaving no scope for ambiguity leading to interpretation and disputing.Failure to adhere to this golden principle would lead to misunderstanding between the parties. The fact that a large number of cases relating to property matters are filed for adjudication of the courts would itself go to show that there is a great scope for improvement in the scrutiny and drafting of property documents.

Disputable Issues
Precisely, it is not possible to categorically state as to the type of disputes which could arise from out of a property transaction - It may relate to the valid title of the vendor, time schedule for payment of sale consideration, handing over possession of the property,non-compliance of the conditions detailed in the agreement to sell by either of the parties to the transaction, share of a coparcener on partition of HUF, interpretation of the recitals of a will, and the like. Failure on your part to take care of tracing the title of the property in a proper way will lead to various types of litigation.

When disputes arise, at the first instance people try to resolve their disputes amicably and when they fail to reach an amicable settlement they knock the doors of the competent court for resolving the disputes.Readers may kindly note that when once the matter becomes sub judice, it will take very long period to get the disputes resolved by the courts and the litigants are generally prevented to deal with the property without the permission of the concerned court when the matter is sub judice.

There could be different type of relief sought from a court of law. The relief may be for specific performance,restraining the opposite party from interfering with the peaceful possession and enjoyment of the property, compensation for the loss, recovery suits, eviction suits, interpretation of a Will, declaratory suits, partition of joint family property and so on.

Types of suits / action
When the vendor of a property though initially has agreed to sell his property to the purchaser at an agreed sale consideration backs out of his commitment, the purchaser can file a suit against the vendor for specific performance of the agreement and the court on being satisfied with your claim, as a purchaser, may adjudicate and pass an order for execution of the sale deed in your favour. On failure of the vendor to transfer the property in your name despite the court's order, you may file an execution petition. On the basis of the execution petition, the court will take necessary steps to get the property registered in your name as per court's order.

Declaratory suits
Under certain circumstances, when your title to the property is challenged or found to be doubtful or defective, it is necessary for you to get an order from the court on your title for which purpose you may need to file a declaratory suit in a court of law.

Filing suit for permanent injunction restraining the opposite party from interfering with your peaceful possession and enjoyment of the property may be necessary when your property is under the threat of interference by some third party.

Partition Suit
Similarly, when you are a co-owner of a property and when you desire to get your share in the property to be enjoyed by you separately and independently, you may have to file a suit for partition.

Money Suit
For realization of the money lent on the security of an immovable property by way of mortgage, you may have to file a suit for recovery of the money due from the Mortgagor and on his failure you may have to proceed, according to law, for realization of the money due by selling the property mortgaged.

Disputes before quasi-judicial authorities
Different types of litigations concerning the land revenue, land acquisitions, title documents etc., are heard and disposed of by several quasi judicial authority such as Tahsildars,Assistant Commissioners,Deputy Commissioners, Survey Settlement Commissioners.Therefore, knowledge of authority of these officers would help you a lot in your property matters.

Disputes concerning stamp duty and under valuation
District registrars of Registration and the Inspector General of Registration adjudicate the disputes concerning the stamp duty payable and under valuation of property. In case you have any grievance with regard to the valuation and the payment of stamp duty on your property transfer, you may approach these authorities for remedy to your grievance.

Landlord and Tenant disputes
In respect of disputes between the landlord and tenant falling within the jurisdiction of the Rent Controller, you may have to file petition only before the Rent Controller for relief. The disputes may relate to non-payment of rent, enhancement of rent, fixation of fair rent, eviction of the tenant, etc.

Criminal cases
To initiate cause of action for forgery and fraud in property transactions, you may have to file at the first instance a police complaint or file a complaint before the Magistrate. Criminal courts have a different structure and if you lodge a complaint, the State will prosecute the matter. In criminal matters, there is no suit valuation.

Writ jurisdiction
You may invoke writ jurisdiction against the decisions of the Government affecting your property rights by filing writ petition in the concerned High Court or in the Supreme Court for appropriate relief.

The type of legal remedy explained above is only illustrative and not exhaustive. In addition to these remedies, there are other relief/remedies available to a party.The relief is to be sought from a court of competent jurisdiction and for this purpose having knowledge of the jurisdiction of various courts is necessary. An experienced advocate dealing with property matters could render very useful service in the matter who may guide you properly and protect you from unnecessary litigations.

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