Law minister Nilesh Cabral said that his ministry, along with the revenue ministry, is planning a property register for land owners to share their details, so that they can be alerted if a third party attempts to sell their property by forging documents.
In the plan, Cabral said, owners would have to enlist their property and their contact details. If any person attempts to fraudulently sell the property, the owner, who may be anywhere in the world, will get an email informing him of the attempt.
“The owner will get a message and he can intervene before it is too late, and stop the sale,” said Cabral.
Over the past few years, the state has witnessed several cases of people losing their properties while they were away. They were left with no option but to fight a long-drawn legal battle.
“I have seen several complaints of properties of rightful owners sold while they have had no inkling. I had a meeting with the revenue minister in this regard, as my department cannot bring in the change single-handedly. (Atanasio) Monserrate has agreed to help,” Cabral told TOI.
The law minister said that when anyone approaches his department for registration of a property, the officers have to oblige, and there is no way for them to know if the person doing a transaction is not the owner, or the documents produced are fake.
Cabral said that while the proposed initiative sounds promising, it is a difficult task and will take a lot of time before the system is put in place.
“It is a big exercise, but I want to get it done and to make land records accessible online,” he said. “I need some time to have the new system introduced.” During his previous stint, Cabral introduced several reforms in the law ministry, chiefly regarding registration of properties by simplifying the process and introducing online facilities.
After the proposed new system is introduced, he said, his next plan would be to see that if any landowner wishes to sell, offer him a facility that he can do it online without stepping into the registrar’s office.
“People who wish to sell their properties have to come to the registrar’s office only once to register fingerprints and other details,” he said. “In future, they will be able to conduct the sale of their land or house from any part of the world.”