I have come across many cases like this. Buying a plot of land has become a very tricky affair, especially when considering the blatant corruption surrounding the deals including creating fake documents, demand for half payment in cash and also issues of disputed land sales. So, if you are ready to buy a piece of land it is advisable to be very cautious and thorough. Also, the steps and procedures are quite different from purchasing a flat and hence require a careful analysis before setting out on the path.
In India, the real estate sector often pilfers with the law governing it. Therefore, it is advisable for land buyers to check for the following factors thoroughly and even get them examined by a legal expert before making the actual purchase:
The Deed Title: Check if the deed title is in the name of the seller and he has the full right to sell it. Insist upon looking at the original and not just a photocopy.
Encumbrance Certificate: This document can be procured from the sub-registrar's office where the deed is registered. It declares that the land is free of any legal hassle and unpaid dues.
Property Tax Receipts and Bills: Ask for the originals again and ensure all the payments have been made as this could lead to legal complications and more expenditure in the future.
Apart from these, you must also check that the loans on the land are repaid with a release certificate issued by the bank and get the property valued for the exact land measure.
To purchase a piece of land, the following documents are required from the seller's end:
1. Original Land Deed of the current owner, known as the 7/12 document and also the previous owners with the proper names on the title.
2. An Encumbrance Certificate from the Sub-registrar's office for the last 30 years at least.
3. Release Certificate from the bank, stating that the loan on the land has been completely repaid.
4. Original property tax receipt and other bills relating to the plot.
SHRI GOPAL VERMA
ADVOCATE ON RECORD
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA