Soon 7/12 extract will include additional information on whether the plots are under litigation

Property buyers dreading the antecedents of the land they are planning to buy have reason to rejoice. If the Bombay high court has its way, property records will have to carry additional information on whether the plots are under litigation.

A division bench of Justice B H Marlapalle and Justice U D Salvi has recommended that legal liabilities of a land find mention in the 7/12 extracts (property records).

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“We suggest that all the district collectors in Maharashtra issue such circulars,” the judges have now advised.

The court said that the intention was to alert property buyers as well as government officials. “It is intended to ensure that the pendency of the suit with respect to the properties sought to be transferred by any means is brought on record, while effecting an entry in the 7/12 and other rights extracts,” said the high court. The judges added that the Nashik collector’s decision did not put any restriction on the transfer of properties under litigation. “It is intended only to alert the revenue officers and particularly those who are responsible for mutating the revenue entries regarding the rights of the parties.”

The court was hearing a petition filed by a Nashik resident who had challenged the local collector’s circular to revenue authorities to reflect pendency of court cases in the property records. The petitioner’s lawyers claimed that the decision had placed “unreasonable restrictions and caused prejudice” to his rights to dispose of the suit property.

The government’s lawyer Molina Thakur countered this argument by saying that the the ultimate objective of the circular was to safeguard the rights of the public. “When a buyer of a property puts in his hard-earned money to purchase a piece of land, he should be made aware whether the land is involved in litigation,” said the advocate. The court agreed with the government’s contention.

However, it remains to be seen if the government accepts the high court’s suggestion.

Consumer activists have welcomed the order, saying that property buyers would be able to verify readily from the records if the land they are planning to buy has any legal encumbrances.

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