India Real Estate Ruling – Police Cannot Seize Immovable Property

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MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday ruled that the police did not have the power to attach immovable properties of a person. Under Section 102 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), they can The said provision of CrPC gives police the power to seize only certain properties that may alleged be or suspected to be stolen.

Justice B H Marlapalle, Justice R C Chavan and Justice Roshan Dalvi ruled that the police did not have the power to seize immovable property. The 173-page judgment stated, “By definition of theft, an immovable property cannot be ‘stolen’. As to ‘finding’ it under circumstances that raise suspicion of the commission of the offence, it is difficult to conceive how an immovable property itself could give rise to such a suspicion.” of commission of offence.” The judgment was passed with a majority of 2:1, with Justice R C Chavan and Justice Roshan Dalvi disagreeing with Justice B H Marlapalle who said the police did have the power to seize an immovable property.

The case issue was referred to the full bench after a division bench of the HC was hearing a petition filed by a developer from Pune, Sudhir Karnataki (51), who sought the release of his property seized by the police following an from the commissioner of police in July 6, 2009. The order was passed based on a compliant lodged by a professor, Yeshwant Vasudeo Natu (63).

The judgment says there have “been several civil wrongs which have been treated as crimes, for which both civil remedies are available… this does not mean civil remedies are abolished or cannot be resorted to, or can be treated as inefficacious”.

“The matter was referred to the three-judge bench after two conflicting judgments of two division benches of the HC were pointed out while hearing Karnataki’s petition,” said his advocate Kunal Cheema.

Justice Marlapalle differed with the other two judges. Though Justice Marlapalle said in a dispute between individuals, the police did have the power to seize an immovable property, in a dispute between private individuals. Where as the other two did agree. not said the police did not have the powersThe court also Sympathizing with the police, the court said, “They (police) are anyway overburdened with criminal matters.” The judgment added, “Convictions in criminal courts in India is miniscule compared to the number of charge sheets filed. There is growing tendency to add to burden of the already inadequate police force. Without augmenting their strength and without enhancing their skills if new kind of work is passed on to them, there would be even more failures.”

The case issue was referred to the full bench after a division bench of the high court was hearing a petition filed by a developer from Pune, Sudhir Karnataki (51), who sought the release of his property, which was seized by the police by an order of the commissioner of police, July 6, 2009. The order was passed based on a compliant lodged by a professor, Yeshwant Vasudeo Natu (63).

The judgment says there have “been several civil wrongs which have been treated as crimes, for which both civil remedies are available… this does not mean civil remedies are abolished or cannot be resorted to, or can be treated as inefficacious”.

“The matter was referred to the three-judge bench after two conflicting judgments of two division benches of the high court were pointed out while hearing Karnataki’s petition,” said his advocate Kunal Cheema.

Pune Real Estate: PMC Loses Out On Crores From Leased Properties

(Mid-Day, Nov 29, 2010)

emptied

Civic body kisses Rs 36 crore goodbye every year because of its policy of leasing properties for 99 years and poor recovery system

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) seems to be in a benevolent mood these days. The civic body is getting only Rs 4 crore annually from leased properties, but it could earn almost Rs 40 crore per year if it follows the market value rate. This means it collects just 10 per cent of the revenue that can be collected, an annual loss of Rs 36 crore.

This is because the PMC leases properties for 99 years and does not have a proper recovery system.

Vivek Velankar, RTI activist and president of Sajag Nagrik Sangh, said that property should not be leased out for more than five years. Also, it should be let out at market rate with a 10 per cent increase in rent every year. “The PMC does not have any right to lease out properties for 99 years. Leasing of property for such longer period amounts to indirect selling and the lease becomes irrevocable and perpetual,” he said.

BJP corporator Ujjwal Keskar said the PMC was hacking its source of big income by leasing properties for 99 years at meagre rent. “It’s pathetic the PMC does not even have a proper system to recover long pending arrears of rent,” he said.

The municipal body does not even have an updated list of properties owned by it and the arrears are increasing every year.

However, Keskar has released a list of 201 property holders who have arrears since last 28 years.

RTI activist and president of NGO Nagri Hakka Samiti Sudhir Kaka Kulkarni said the rent arrears go up to Rs 8.5 crore every year.

Prakash Barne, who runs a canteen in the PMC main building, has arrears up to Rs 1.07 lakh accumulated over 12 years. Sai Service housed in PMC-owned complex Savarkar Bhawan is to pay Rs 10.44 lakh since last 11 years.

Kulkarni said that none of the commissioner had taken any interest in making an updated list of leased out properties. “These lands are given to rich and popular personalities without considering the proper criteria.

Many of the leased properties have been given to family members of PMC officials and elected members,” he said.

Kulkarni said there was no system to verify if the property was even being used by the same person to whom it was leased. “We want a responsible officer who can handle this efficiently and give a clear picture of these properties to the citizens,” he said.

Court Rejects Discharge Plea Of Former PMC Deputy Commissioner In TDR Scam

(TNN, Nov 26, 2010)

Pune PropertyPUNE: The court of special judge J D Kulkarni on Wednesday rejected the discharge plea of former Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) deputy municipal commissioner Shirish Yadav in the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) scam.

The State Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Pune, had filed supplementary chargesheet against Yadav and six others under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act in 2009.

The TDR scam came to light after the PMC assistant engineer Bharat Digambar Mohite registered a complaint against several suspects with the Deccan Gymkhana police station on October 10, 2003.

Yadav filed the discharge plea on the ground that there was no evidence against him in the scam. Lawyer Sureshchandra Bhosale pleaded to discharge Yadav from the scam as he had not played any active role and that he was chargesheeted due to political rivalry.

According to Bhosale, the sanction obtained to prosecute Yadav was illegal as it was not in accordance with the provisions of the BPMC Act.

Additional public prosecutor Pratap Jadhav opposed the plea on the ground that there was prima facie evidence against Yadav for framing charges in the scam.

Judge Kulkarni upheld the prosecutions plea and rejected the discharge plea and directed all the suspects to remain present for framing charges on the next date of hearing.

Yadav was chargesheeted along with special land acquisition officer Shivaji Ramkrishna Kumavat, Sushant alias Bhima Shankar Dharma Kashid, TDR agents Chandrashekhar Vilas Shinde and Satish Vitthal Girme and notaries Achyut Damodar Gospurkar and Yuvraj Nivrutti Londhe.

The complaint had stated that the PMC had acquired 36,000 sq.m of land for constructing a garden at S. Nos 143/1, 143/2, 144/1/2 and 144/3 at Kothrud and had compensated the owners Prabhakar Krishnaji Bhide, Haridas Gangaji Parekh and others.

The complaint said that the suspects had duped PMC by acquiring TDR on the basis of forged documents and power of attorney prepared in the name of the land owners. The TDR was sold to influential persons.

The chargesheet said Yadav had made false entries in the PMC records while Kumavat had deliberately misplaced two property documents and TDR agent Shinde was present in the conspiracy meeting held at Nakshatra hotel in Kothrud.

The chargesheet stated that Shinde, related to kingpin Subhash alias Kaka Kulkarni, had accepted money on behalf of Balaji Hire and TDR agent Satish Girme. The chargesheet further stated that hotel manager Kashid knew the other suspects and he had a deposit of Rs 1.75 crore in a co-operative bank and another Rs 60 lakh in a nationalised bank at the time. The ACB says all TDR dealings were done through these bank accounts.

The ACB had taken action against the notaries Gospurkar and Londhe for certifying documents without verifying the original documents.

The Deccan Gymkhana police had filed the first chargesheet against Subhash Kulkarni, Sanjay Kirad, Balaji Hire and Kishore Gore in the scam on January 18, 2006.
Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

 

Pune Real Estate: Move To Double-Tax Errant Properties In PCMC Shot Down

(DNA, Nov 24, 2010)

Pune PropertyThe standing committee of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Tuesday rejected the civic body’s proposal of charging double property tax from those who have undertaken illegal constructions.

The civic administration had tabled the proposal before the standing committee for the approval. Now, the general body will take the final decision.

PCMC standing committee president Prashant Shitole told media persons that although the state government has issued guidelines to municipal corporations for charging double penalty for illegal constructions, the proposal has exposed the weakness of civic administration.

“If the proposal is allowed to be implemented, there would be tremendous resentment among citizens,’’ he said.

There were 14,000 illegal constructions in the PCMC limits after 2008, said PCMC assistant commissioner and property tax department head, Shahaji Pawar.

There are approximately 3 lakh property holders in the PCMC limits. The civic officials said they did not have the exact data of illegal structures in the city, but the civic body will soon start collecting information about illegal structures in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation and Pimpri-Chinchwad New Town Development Authority limits also.

They said nearly 93,000 property tax holders did not complete the legal formalities of their properties, including submission of completion certificates to the PCMC.

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

 

PCMC Real Estate Turns To Gold With The Pune International Exhibition & Convention Centre

Pune PropertyPrithviraj Chavan, the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has finally put the Pune International Exhibition & Convention Centre at Moshi in PCMC on the fast track.  Obviously, this world class piece of infrastructure is going to open the floodgates to a new wave of demand for real estate in the northern parts of the Pimpri- Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. This is one of the best examples of how planned growth and foresight can ensure that an entire city’s real estate fortunes reach for the stars.

There were a couple of decisive factors involved in choosing this location as the venue for the international convention centre. First and foremost, PCMC boasts of a prolific manufacturing sector where a number of global industry giants have their plants. The arrival of this Convention Centre will be a major boost to these industries, who will be able to host and attend massive international business events. This benefit also applies to the IT occupiers of the Software Parks at Hinjewadi and Talawade, which are also in the vicinity. Secondly, only the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation could offer the 240 acres over which this Rs. 600 crore project will be developed.

With the arrival of this project, the PCMC will become the primary focus for an increasing number of global-scale business events in Pune and Mumbai, as well. After all, this will be the largest such Convention Center in India. It will incorporate seven convention halls of 10,000 square meters each, a 600-room 3 star hotel, two 5 star hotels, an eco-friendly 9-hole golf course and parking space for 3500 vehicles. At a rough estimate, a minimum of  30 major exhibitions and conventions will be held there annually. No other event venue in and around Maharashtra or anywhere else in India will be able to match its state-of-the-art facilities and sheer opulence, grandeur and overall enablement. Phase-I will be ready by the end of 2012.

This project will have an enormous impact on the real estate values in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation – especially in terms of residential properties in its immediate proximity. Woodsville, an integrated residential complex by Pharande Spaces that is located diagonally opposite the ICC, is by far the most advantageously located project in this regard.

In fact, the location for Woodsville was chosen with great foresight, precisely to capitalize on the positive fallout of the International Convention Centre’s eventual arrival. Pune property buyers who had booked flats in Woodsville will soon witness the value of their investment rising exponentially. Similarly, Pharande Spaces’ upcoming project Essmeralda Isles in Pradhikaran Sector VI, is just half a kilometer from the ICC.

In these two projects, homebuyers from Pune and PCMC finally have the perfect combination of an elite lifestyle in an internationally renowned neighbourhood and tremendous appreciation potential.

Posted by: Avinash Gokhale

Pune Real Estate: Why Integrated Residential Projects Make Ultimate Sense

Pune PropertyI have often been asked why developers such as Pharande Spaces concentrate primarily on large, integrated residential property projects. After all, doesn’t it make more business sense for Pune builders to launch smaller projects?

Why don’t developers of large-format residential property schemes cash in for demand for more ordinary flats for sale in Pune? Here are some of the arguments I hear:

•    The developer’s construction costs for smaller residential property developments is much lower
•    They require a lot less land, and can be constructed in central areas where demand is high
•    They can benefit from whatever infrastructure already exists in the locality, so there’s no need to put in much more
•    They can be constructed much faster and also sell much faster to a ready clientele who are looking for flats for sale in Pune
•    There was demand for smaller residential projects even while the recession was on

Tempting arguments, for sure – but they represent the small picture.

•    True, integrated residential projects can only come into existence if the developer has considerable land parcels at his disposal. Even if he does, such land parcels are only available in areas like Pune’s Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, which is not near the city center.
•    True, he must supply all the infrastructure and public utilities in such a residential project
•    True, there is a ‘wastage’ of develop-able area because such large residential developments, by necessity, call for huge open spaces
•    True, integrated residential projects take a much longer time to complete than smaller, stand-alone projects

However, this is a limited viewpoint. It does not factor in the most pressing requirements on the Pune residential property market – regulated urban development. The fact is – a multitude of smaller projects disfigure the face of a location, put its infrastructure under tremendous pressure and are usually overpriced because of ‘location value’. One look at the current property rates in Pune will confirm this – what you pay for in location, you lose in comfort and convenience.

In sharp contrast, well-planned integrated residential property schemes beautify, uplift and give value to a new location. Not only do they bring in their own infrastructure – despite being on the outskirts, they also provide residents with all the benefits and comforts of a more centralized location. The vast open areas provided in integrated residential projects are not wasted space – they are what spacious, dignified living is all about.

There is more. Because integrated residential projects have their own retail outlets, office complexes and entertainment facilities, they reduce commuting and transportation time and expense. In fact, they inject life into a new location and raise its value on the real estate market.

For the sake of an argument, let us consider the Woodsville project at Ravet in Pune’s PCMC area:

•    It is located next to a major arterial road that provides direct access to Pune city and the most prominent industrial hubs of the Pimpri Chinchwad MIDC
•    It is a self-contained and completely integrated residential project that has homes of every description and to suit every budget
•    It offers retail, healthcare and entertainment facilities to its residents
•    Like many other projects of its kind, it offers 360-degree, multi-level security to home owners

What smaller residential project in a city like Pune can offer so much to its residents within a single location?

Developers like Pharande Spaces focus on integrated residential developments because they positively transform the landscape and uphold all precepts of sustainable development.

Moreover, the new generation of large, integrated residential projects in Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation have made modern, fully-equipped and self-sufficient residential projects affordable to the middle class. No longer are such properties available only to moneyed HNIs and NRIs.

Thanks to this, even salaried individuals can buy a home in a project such as Woodsville or Celestial City, both of which offer well-defined living spaces, recreation facilities, office complexes, convenient retail establishments and a superior standard of living. These projects offer ultimate value for money to those who seek to buy property in Pune.

Which leads back to the original point. In a city like Pune, integrated residential schemes make more sense than smaller projects because they are the most modern and sustainable model of urban growth – and to a better way of living.

To own a home in one of them is an assurance of a lifestyle that cannot be replicated elsewhere in a crowded city. Developing such a project is more than a business proposition – it is an opportunity to contribute to the future of the city’s real estate market.

Is that not reason enough?

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI (Pune Metro) and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

You may reprint or quote this article with full credit to the author and a link back to PunePropertyBlog.com

PCMC Collects Rs 103 Crore Property Tax

(TNN, Nov 18, 2010)

Pune PropertyPUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has collected Rs 103.61 crore as property tax till November 13.

This is just Rs 3 crore short of the entire property tax collected in the previous year. The PCMC had collected Rs 106 crore of property tax in 2009-10 and, for the first time, had crossed the Rs 100-crore mark.

Shahaji Pawar, assistant commissioner and chief of the property tax department, said: “Targets were given to the officials and emphasis was laid on personally meeting big defaulters. The administrative officers were asked to visit people who had arrears ranging Rs 3 lakh to 5 lakh. The assistant zonal officers were to meet those having arrears between Rs 1 lakh and 3 lakh, and clerks met people who owed between Rs 50,000 and 1 lakh.”

Review meetings of zonal and administrative officials were held regularly to monitor the progress. Also, the records of 15 zonal offices were checked to verify whether bills were distributed on time and records of collections maintained, Pawar said.

The property tax bills were distributed early giving the people ample time to pay.

Pawar said that the department hoped to achieve annual collection of Rs 125 crore by March 31.

“The department will soon begin the process of seizing properties of big defaulters. They will be served notices and directed to clear their arrears. If they fail to clear the arrears, then the PCMC will auction their properties to recover the arrears.”

The PCMC has decided to charge two per cent penalty per month for delay in payment. Pawar said, “People have to pay their property tax for the first six months of the financial year by September 30. If they do not pay, two per cent fine will be collected from October 1 onwards. Tax for the remaining six months has to be paid by December 31, failing which fine will be collected from January 1 onwards.”

Thergaon zone collected the highest amount of property tax at Rs 11.44 crore by November 13, followed by the municipal office zone (Rs 11.3 crore) and Akurdi (Rs 10.69 crore). Pimprinagar had the lowest collection (Rs 1.43 crore), followed by Kiwale (Rs 1.61 crore).

Total property tax collection through online payment was Rs 4.73 crore.

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

 

Centre Okays Rs 50 Crore For PCMC JNNURM Projects

(TNN, Nov 17, 2010)

pune PropertyPUNE: The Union government has approved the release of Rs 50.11 crore for Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) projects to be implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme.

“The release of these funds were approved at a meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee ( CSMC) held at New Delhi on Friday,” said Prakash Kadam, additional commissioner, PCMC.

“Rs 15.09 crore has been released for phase two of the sewage scheme and Rs 35.02 crore is for the third and fourth instalments of the water supply projects,” said Neelkanth Poman, computer officer, PCMC.

He added that the state government would release its share of funds too Rs 6.04 crore for the sewage scheme and Rs 14 crore for the water supply project. The PCMC will have to contribute its share of Rs 9.05 crore for the sewage scheme and Rs 21.02 crore for the water supply projects.

Poman said the PCMC is expected to get the Centre and state funds in a month.
Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

 

Pimpri-Chinchwad Civic Body, Police Will Act Against Illegal Hoardings

(DNA, Nov 17, 2010)

Pune PropertyAdditional municipal commissioner Prakash Kadam said on Tuesday that police cases will be filed against those putting up unauthorised billboards in Pimpri-Chinchwad area and a penalty of Rs3,000 would be imposed on those found guilty.

The civic body and the city police will jointly take action against illegal flex boards from Friday.

The decision was taken at the meeting organised at Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) head office. Municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma, additional commissioner Prakash Kadam, deputy police commissioner Dynaneshwar Chavan, ward officers and PCMC anti-encroachment squad staff were present.

Speaking to media persons on Tuesday, Kadam said, “Action against unauthorised flexes will start from Friday. All unauthorised flexes, banners and hoardings should be removed in two days.’’

“The PCMC will collect a fine of Rs500 plus Rs2,500 as charges for removing the flexes. The civic body will provide a camera to each ward office to take snaps of illegal hoardings,’’ he said.

The registration number will be written on flexes and banners.

Civic officials said in eight months, around 1,301 illegal banners, flexes and posters had been removed. Kadam said Sharma had visited various parts of the city and identified the illegal billboards.

The civic officials added that while removing the flexboards, the officials faced resistance from political leaders. Hence, police officials will be present to help civic staff.

Deputy chief minister and district guardian minister, Ajit Pawar, and chief minister Prithviraj Chavan recently stated that there should a separate law to initiate action against illegal flexes and hoardings.

Pune Municipal Corporation Property Lease Policy Draws Flak

Pune PropertyCivic activists on Sunday resolved to strongly oppose the proposal of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to increase the duration of lease of its properties from 30 years to 99 years, as it would result in perpetual ownership of those properties by private owners.

Sajag Nagrik Manch (SNM) had organised a meeting of activists on the issue. Cartoonist and activist Mangesh Tendulkar chaired the meeting. President of SNM, Vivek Velankar, convener Jugal Rathi and civic activists Vijay Kumbhar were present on the occasion.

Kumbhar has been following up the issue for years. He told activists that once the PMC properties are leased out for 99 years, the civic body would lose them forever. If this proposal is approved, then there would not be any public property left for the next generation.

Hence, he said, citizens in large numbers should object to the proposal. He said the last date for filing suggestions and objections to the proposal is December 2.

Velankar said civic activists should gather signatures of citizens in large numbers to express solidarity against the proposal. It is necessary for citizens to raise their voice against the proposal for the sake of the next generation.

He said activists should gather 25,000 signatures by November 30. The draft of the objection to the proposal would be available at the SNM office. The objections can also be sent by email.

Tendulkar said the common man has to face criminals who have occupied positions of power by manipulating the democratic process. Common citizens have become frustrated. It is the responsibility of the NGOs to stand firmly in such a situation.

Vice president of the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sandip Khardekar, said activists should use all means to take the issue to its logical end.

Activist Sudhir Kulkarni said the civic body should explain the purpose behind the proposal. It should declare the list of properties it has leased out and to whom.