SHC expands ban on land deed registration to rest of Sindh

Court making an example of sub-registrars who approved deeds without completion plans


Our Correspondent March 22, 2017
Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh is the new chief justice of Sindh High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: After banning the registration of the sale, lease or sub-lease deeds in respect of any property in Karachi, the Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered on Tuesday that no such deeds will be registered by any sub-registrars unless completion plans issued by the competent authority are made 'part and parcel' of such deeds across the province.

A two-judge bench, comprising justices Nadeem Akhtar and Faheem Ahmed Siddiqui, also ordered the Board of Revenue to refer the case of three sub-registrars who were involved in the approval such deeds in violation of the laws to the anti-corruption department for taking appropriate action against them, according to the law.

Last week, the same bench had ordered the Karachi district registrar to ensure that no such deed in respect of any premises was registered without presentation or production of the completion plans. He was also ordered to take action against three sub-registrars who were involved in issuing sub-leases illegally, without verifying building completion plans.

During Tuesday's proceedings, Karachi's District Registrar Ghulam Abbas appeared and filed detailed a report, dated March 21, saying the three sub-registrars who had registered a sub-lease in respect of the subject property in violation of Section 18-G of the Sindh Building Control Authority Ordinance, 1979, have been suspended.

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Abbas said concrete measures were now being taken by his department and the provincial board of revenue to ensure that such illegal acts are not committed in the future by any sub-registrar in Karachi.

According to his statement, circulars had been issued from time to time directing all the sub-registrars to comply with the mandatory requirements under the law at the time of registration of the documents. He added that the court's recent order, directing all district registrars in Karachi to display such notices on the notice boards at prominent places all over the city, had also been complied with by them.

Abbas undertook to ensure that no sale deed, lease deed or sub-lease deed is registered by any sub-registrar in Karachi without presentation or production of the completion plan in terms of Section 18-G of the ordinance.

The bench also heard arguments from the provincial law officer, Miran Muhammad Shah, and the district registrar, whose further appearance in the court was dispensed with.

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"In view of the statement filed today and the submissions made before us, it is ordered that henceforth no sale deed, lease deed and/or sub-lease deed shall be registered by any sub-registrar in any part of the province of Sindh in respect of any property/land unless completion plan issued by the competent authority in respect of the construction thereon is made part and parcel of such deed," the judges ordered. They further ordered that 'the sub-registrar concerned shall affix his seal/stamp and put his signature on the completion plan as well, at the time of registration'.

The bench discharged bailable warrants issued against the three sub-registrars -Imdad Ali Qureshi, Zohaib Nazar Gopang and Aftab Ahmed Korai - on March 1. However, it directed the provincial board of revenue to refer their case to the anti-corruption department for taking appropriate action them in accordance with law and file a compliance report in the court. A notice was issued to the board of revenue's member in charge of registration, stamps and evacuee property for compliance with the court's order.

The hearing was adjourned till April 6.

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