Different procedures exist in India for transferring ownership of immovable real estate property. Options range from a simple sale to a gift deed to a relinquishment deed, depending on the circumstances. The terms “illegal sale” or “illegal transfer” refer to when a property is sold or transferred without the approval of the genuine owner. People from other countries commonly want legal assistance in India for property and land disputes. Property fraud is an issue for NRIs who are unable to keep track of the present situation of their land and assets in India. This could imply visiting India more frequently, which they may not be able to accomplish on a regular basis and which can be a mental and physical drain.
Under Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act, a “sale” is defined as a transfer of ownership in exchange for a price paid or agreed to be paid. The Transfer of Property Act, Section 54, defines how an immovable property transaction should be conducted. To sell tangible immovable property worth one hundred rupees or more, reversion, or any other intangible object, only a registered instrument can be utilized. When the tangible immovable property is worth less than a hundred rupees, it can be sold using a registered document or by simply giving over the item.
The Essentials of a Valid Sale
The transferor or seller must be legally capable of contracting and possessing the transferable property. That is, he must not be a minor, be of sound mind, and not be barred from transferring the property by law. The transfer shall be made by the owner of the property or a person authorised to dispose of transferable property that is not his own.A transferee must be competent to receive the transfer and must not be barred from receiving the property transferred by law.
A transferable immovable property must be the subject of the transfer. The purchase price must be paid, promised, paid in part, or promised in part. Property must be transferred by sale when it is executed by the transferor in writing and is attested and registered.
Ways of Illegal Sales
Power of Attorney: The most common method for a property to be illegally sold is through the use of a Power of Attorney. A power of attorney is a document signed in the name of another person by the owner. The actual owner transfers his or her power to contract in place of the actual owner, as well as possession, to the recipient through a Power of Attorney. And it’s a typical occurrence among NRIs for power of attorney to be abused. Misuse of the power of attorney results in an illegal transfer of property as well as a sale of the property. The increasing use of Power of Attorney to transfer property through sale has coincided with the growth in the property market. Buyers and sellers devised a complex three-step plan to carry out the selling transaction in order to circumvent the law and avoid paying taxes on real estate transactions. First, a selling agreement was drafted, outlining the terms of the transaction. The seller would then execute an irrevocable power of attorney, putting the buyer in complete control of the property. The seller would then leave this property to the buyer through a will as the third and last stage.
Forgery: Forgery is another method of committing an illegal sale. People frequently falsify the original property paperwork and register themselves as the property’s owner. Forgery is fairly widespread with NRIs and their properties. People are after homes whose owners have relocated to India and have left vacant land. These sharp-eyed individuals expertly falsify the property’s documentation and claim ownership of the property.
Impersonation: Impersonation is when someone takes on the identity of the real owner. It is not uncommon for people to pose as NRIs and conduct transactions on their behalf. Many examples have been reported in which impersonators specifically look for and target properties held by NRIs. Then they use forged identification documents. They sell off homes owned by NRIs, since they can confirm themselves as NRIs.
As a precaution, property should be transformed and transferred in your name only, not in the names of those who have passed away. This would ensure that the property in question deters people who are overly interested in snatching properties that have been left unmanaged and unsightly for an extended period of time. In India, this also addresses property and land conflicts.
Remedies for the Illegal Sale of Property
Filing a Civil Lawsuit
The property owner asks for an injunction, requesting the court to prevent the other party from selling the property. A civil suit can be filed in which the court declares the owner as the actual possessor of the property based on the documents. A civil suit can be lodged for a property partition when the property is under joint proprietorship.
Requesting Registration Authority
An application is made to the registering authorities, requesting that the conveyance deed of transfer be invalidated. In the event of discrepancies, revenue officials can be ordered to verify and update the land records, which can help avoid fraud.
A criminal case can be filed at the police station for cheating under the Indian Penal Code.
While there are many fraud cases in India, this does not mean that victims of such crimes are without legal recourse. Illegal sales, property fraud, and document forgery can all be successfully challenged, restoring the legal rights of the legitimate owner. The Legal Help NRI expert teams are skilled and experienced in dealing with land and property disputes for non-resident Indians. Our professionals are constantly striving to come up with realistic, constructive, and innovative solutions to any property-related concerns.