Govt moves to check benami, Aadhaar to be made must for property deals

The government has also firmed up plans to enable electronic registration of properties, for which Aadhaar-based authentication will be a prerequisite.

Written by Sunny Verma | New Delhi | Updated: August 2, 2017 8:32 am
Aadhaar, Aadhaar Act, Right to Privacy, SC Aadhaar While this is expected to ensure foolproof property titles for the buyers, it will also minimise the scope of fraudulent and benami transactions. (Representational)

In a move meant to curb benami transactions and the use of black money in real estate deals, the government is planning to make Aadhaar-based authentication mandatory at the time of registration of documents such as agreement for sale, power of attorney and will among others. The government has also firmed up plans to enable electronic registration of properties, for which Aadhaar-based authentication will be a prerequisite.

Sources said the government plans to amend Sections 32 and 32A of the Registration Act, 1908, for this. “Every person presenting a document at the property registration office for registration, shall, whether executing or claiming under the same, undergo Aadhaar authentication,” said a source.

While this is expected to ensure foolproof property titles for the buyers, it will also minimise the scope of fraudulent and benami transactions.

The department of land resources, under the Ministry of Rural Development, has already written to state governments and Union Territories, advising them to notify rules mandating “consent-based Aadhaar authentication” at the time of registration of documents.

The Centre is also planning to amend the Registration Act, 1908, to provide legal backing to Aadhaar-enabled authentication of documents. Sources said a draft of the amendments will be sent to the Union Cabinet for approval, and thereafter to Parliament.

The Ministry of Rural Development did not respond to emails sent on Tuesday. The Aadhaar law allows the Central Identities Data Repository, under the UIDAI, to offer authentication services. “The Authority shall perform authentication of the Aadhaar number of an Aadhaar number holder submitted by any requesting entity, in relation to his biometric information or demographic information, subject to such conditions and on payment of such fees and in such manner as may be specified by regulations,” states Section 8 of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

The latest move comes after a series of measures adopted by the government to curb the use of black money and benami transactions in the real estate industry. Besides demonetisation, which resulted in a sharp decline in real estate transactions, the government also enacted the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016 last year, which empowers authorities to provisionally attach and eventually confiscate benami properties.

It further said that a person found guilty of benami transactions would face rigorous imprisonment for at least one year, which can be extended up to seven years. The person shall be liable to pay a fine, which may extend to 25 per cent of the fair market value of the property.

In a letter sent to chief secretaries and administrators of all states/ UTs on March 9 this year, the Centre said: “To enable consent-based Aadhaar authentication services for registration of documents, the state government/UT Administration/Inspector General of Registration of the State/UT will need to exercise powers contained in Section 69 of the Registration Act, 1908.” It said this would help to prevent/identify benami and fraudulent transactions.

According to Section 69 of the Act, “the Inspector-General shall exercise a general superintendence over all the registration-offices in the territories under the state government, and shall have power from time to time to make rules consistent with this Act… generally, regulating the proceedings of the Registrars and Sub-Registrars.” The existing law, however, does not mention Aadhaar of Aadhaar-enabled authentication.

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  1. R
    Ram Sharma
    Aug 5, 2017 at 1:24 am
    This whole Aadhaar nonsense has taken on a decidedly Kafkaesque turn. It is sad to note that the Supreme Court sat on adjudicating such a critical issue for over two years. The resulting chaos has made the life of hundreds of millions of Indians miserable. The Supreme Court must end this misery once and for all by declaring Aadhaar unconst-i-t-utional. There is no other alternative to end this insanity.
    Reply
    1. #
      #AADHAARFAIL
      Aug 3, 2017 at 8:48 am
      Aadhaar product is SEVEN years old, authentication still fails for "Half Billion" indians, millions of honest tax payers are unable to link aadhaar with PAN, UAN, etc. #AADHAAR's right place is in dust bin, it has wasted billions of dollars of tax payers money. When your fingerprint gets stolen, printed and used for aadhaar pay, cloning SIM and changing bank password using OTP, your aadhaar devotion will vanish. Jai Hind. 1. 25 lakh families in Rajasthan are unable to withdraw ration even after seeding #AADHAARFAIL with their ration card. 2. #AADHAAR authentication does not work for half billion Indians. 3. AADHAAR authentication does not work even after updating bio-metrics and waiting for 90 days 4. AADHAAR bio-metrics can be stolen, printed and used for #AADHAAR pay 5. #AADHAAR does not work for NRIs, people outside India 6. AADHAR can not be generated if a person's fingerprint matches with someone else's with 60 percentage probability. 7. Rogue government can deactivate #AADHAAR
      Reply
      1. #
        #AADHAARFAIL
        Aug 3, 2017 at 6:36 am
        When your fingerprint gets stolen, printed and used for aadhaar pay, cloning SIM and changing bank password using OTP, your aadhaar devotion will vanish. Jai Hind. 1. 25 lakh families in Rajasthan are unable to withdraw ration even after seeding #AADHAARFAIL with their ration card. 2. #AADHAAR authentication does not work for half billion Indians. 3. AADHAAR authentication does not work even after updating bio-metrics and waiting for 90 days 4. AADHAAR bio-metrics can be stolen, printed and used for #AADHAAR pay 5. #AADHAAR does not work for NRIs, people outside India 6. AADHAR can not be generated if a person's fingerprint matches with someone else's with 60 percentage probability. 7. Rogue government can deactivate your #AADHAAR blocking ur gas, electricity, mobile, bank account 8. AADHAAR works for millions of illegals staying in India 9. AADHAAR is blocking subsidies for millions of legitimate people 10. Take 10 lakh insurance for each #AADHAAR failure case/delete
        Reply
        1. S
          S Srinivasan
          Aug 3, 2017 at 4:11 am
          Why one year as punishment for the benami holding of lands and why not life imprisonment,that way alone can curb this menance.
          Reply
          1. S
            Sekhar Bhattacharya
            Aug 2, 2017 at 8:59 pm
            It is an excellent move-but will be opposed at the State govt level where the large properties is on the names of political leaders,in the same way adhar should be linked with car RTO registration also-this will show how many cars in one name and what is the source of income and IT returns submitted all will one go.
            Reply
            1. A
              Avinash
              Aug 2, 2017 at 7:24 pm
              Good move.
              Reply
              1. K
                Khan neihsial
                Aug 2, 2017 at 1:18 pm
                Now almost everything is linked with Adhaar, but why the govt didn't link voter ID with Adhaar?
                Reply
                1. R
                  Reader
                  Aug 2, 2017 at 1:48 pm
                  By blocking Aadhaar number for some hours using software, voting rights of citizens can be denied. Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship. At present, the Supreme Court is hearing many cases against Aadhaar.
                  Reply
                  1. R
                    Ram Sharma
                    Aug 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm
                    If Aadhaar numbers are made mandatory for voting, India will become a de facto dictatorship. Under Aadhaar Act, government has the right to cancel any Aadhaar number without recourse to legal remedies. So to win an election, government has to just cancel Aadhaar numbers of all people who are suspected of supporting the opposition parties. So simple. Same method used by many dictators to permanently rule banana republics. Bye bye, Indian democracy!
                    Reply
                  2. P
                    Prasant
                    Aug 2, 2017 at 12:39 pm
                    Prashanthsutar786
                    Reply
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