Illegal registration of properties is way of life here: Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: Illegal registration of commercial properties as residential was a “way of life” in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has observed while hearing a PIL alleging rampant corruption in the offices where properties are registered.

“Is it not a way of life here,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked when the issue of illegal registration of commercial properties as residential ones was raised before it in the plea, which also sought a CBI or SIT probe into the matter.

The court issued notice to the Delhi government, its Revenue, Service and Vigilance departments, the Anti Corruption Branch, the CBI and the Controller of Accounts seeking their stand on the allegations made in the petition by a lawyer.

The petitioner has referred to a specific sub-registrar office at Asaf Ali Road in Old Delhi and alleged that the official there was accepting bribes to register commercial properties as residential ones, leading to a “huge loss of revenue” to the state exchequer.

Petitioner R P Gupta has also alleged that such practices are probably prevalent in all the sub-registrar offices in Delhi.

He has claimed that despite several representations and complaints made against the alleged illegal activity in this, no action has been taken.

The bench directed the office of the Lt Governor to file a separate status report on registration of transactions in relation to transfer of immovable properties taking place in the jurisdiction of the sub-registrar office. It listed the matter for further hearing on March 7.