• False certificate issued from housing society

I have purchased a 1 BHK flat in 1996 for Rs. 6 lacs in which there was one broker involved in the purchase of this property which was located in registered Cooperative Housing Society. At that time I was just 26 years old and not was not aware of provisions of Indian Stamp Act and Indian Registration Act. I have paid Stamp Duty and Registration for this purchase as per the prevalent rules. Broker has also confirmed 20 years back that there was no pending dues of any kind against the said flat. Society has also issued a Certifcate to HDFC Ltd. from where I had taken housing loan that all dues in respect of this flat such as maintenance etc and various charges are cleared upto date. After I purchased the flat, Society has transferred the flat in my name and also endorsed my name in the Share Certificate in 1996 itself.

I have gifted the said flat through gift deed to my wife in 2004 after paying duty and registration and society has transferred the flat in the name of my wife and accordingly endorsement of my wife's name is made in 2004 itself by the society.

Now my wife is selling the flat and now we came to know that Stamp Duty and Registration was not paid in respect of earlier to sale agreements which took place prior to my purchase i.e. in 1994.

Society had fraudulently issued a No dues certificate in 1996 to me in conspiracy with broker and I have not paid attention to the previous two agreements of sale that took place prior to my purchase for non payment of duty and registration on those agreements.

In the past twenty years, i have not been issued a single letter by society asking to pay the stamp duty on these earlier chain of agreements.

Now new management committee has taken over the affairs of the society and when I approached them for NOC they are asking me to pay the stamp duty with penalty for earlier chain of two agreements which now runs into Rs. 4 lacs. which I am left with no choice but to pay as the new buyer is also insisting for payment of duty on those two old agreements.

What is the recourse available to me in the light of false certificate issued by society in 1996 to HDFC stating no dues against the flat even though duty was unpaid which I came to know now and have to pay alongwith 400% penalty. I have sold the flat after paying stamp duty with penalty and now I or my wife is no longer the member of the society:

1) Can i file criminal case or police complaint against the society now for issuing false certificate in 1996? whether it is time barred under criminal law or under limitation law?
 
2) Can  a past member file case in cooperative court against the society now for issuing false certificate in 1996? whether it is time barred under Cooperative Societirs Act, 1960 or under limitation law?

3) Can I file case in district consumer court against the society now for issuing false certificate in 1996 for deficiency in service or unfair trade practice? whether it is time barred under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 or under limitation law?

4) What are the other legal recourse available to me against the Society?

Please advise me on each point in detail.
Asked 10 months ago in Property Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion: Hindu
The recourse available to you is to file a criminal complaint for cheating and breach of trust against the office bearers of society. It is not barred by time. You can also claim compensation from society for issue of a false certificate. This, however, will not cure the defect in your title. To cure the defect you should pay the deficient stamp duty with penalty and obtain endorsement to this effect. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18259 Answers
450 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) your claim is not barred by limitation as demand for payment of stamp duty for earlier agreements was raised by society now 

2) your sale  deed for purchase of flat must have contained indemnity clause wherein seller agreed to indemnify you against any claims . You can seek to recover the money paid by you from original seller 

3) you can move cooperative court against society and seek to recover money paid by you 

4) in alternative move consumer forum against society for deficiency in service . It is not barred by limitation as money for deficiency in stamp duty had been paid only now by yiu 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23386 Answers
1229 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
You will have to pay stamp duty with penalty decides bby Registrar.
Legal liability is not on society as the certificate they isuur ID about no dues of society charges.
Yor deal with the seller  was not diligently done.
Before 2011 there were many sale in Mumbai and other parts took place without registration .the buders originally sold many flats without registration.
It is unfortunate that you purchased a flat which had no clear registered document.
Factually societies don't initiate to notify the members regarding non payment of stamp duty and registration unless they go for conveyànce certificate.
No point in taking criminal steps,so better to pay stamp duty for the chain documents which can be claimed from concerned sellers.
No cause of action arise against society and it will not come under consumer act.the non due certificate intents the duesbtowards the society.
Thresiamma G. Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1316 Answers
85 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) file complaint before consumer forum against society 

2) society ought to have insisted that seller in 1996 pay stamp duty before transfer of flat in your name 

3) move consumer forum against society for deficency in service
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23386 Answers
1229 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. I have already said that criminal prosecution of office bearers can be launched. 

2. The chain of title is traceable to the original sale deed i.e the first sale deed of the property. Insufficiency of the stamp duty paid by any of the previous buyers makes your title defective.

3. You can move the civil court to claim heavy compensation from the society.

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18259 Answers
450 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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