Lease deeds, Power of Attorney registration to be compulsory under new bill

In an effort to weed out corruption in land and real estate deals, the government on Thursday introduced a bill amending the century-old Registration Act in Parliament. Changes in the Registration Act, 1908, include mandatory registration of power of attorney transfers, lease deeds of immovable properties, registration of property in the state where it is located and allowing inspection of registered documents. 

The changes in the Registration Act will help bring clarity in determining market value of land, which will help the collector arrive at a more equitable value for the land during the process of acquisition. The amendments are expected to feed in to the proposed Land Acquisition Act, which gives enhanced compensation for land. The formulation to be used for calculating compensation is the current market or registered value of land. 

"Registered values are notoriously opaque and often out dated. If registration is made mandatory and frequent and if it can be vetted/reviewed by people then over a period of time there will emerge accuracy in the reporting of land rates, particularly in rural areas," a senior official said. 

The main intent of the Registration Act, 1908, was to ensure availability of all deals relating to land and property so as to ensure that land records were both correct and up to date. However, several common practices have undermined the original intent of the Act. The proposed amendments are an attempt to address loopholes in the 1908 Act and to address practices that have come up in last 100-odd years.