The Survey and Settlement Department plans to issue it to each property in urban areas. Details from K. Sukumaran

Perhaps, there is no other sector of the Indian economy other than the real estate ownership document sub-segment which has undergone many avatars. There are, in fact, multiple authorities who claim administrative powers over land, building, roads, etc., but no authority or official takes full and complete responsibility to certify the ownership rights of any property in its entirety. While the Transfer of Property Act, 1982 can be considered a basic legislation dealing with the sector, many other Central and State legislations, like Land Ceiling and Registration Act, 1976, Urban property Act/s, Urban Development Authorities Act/s etc., all over the country have spread their jurisdiction only in parts over property.

Whatever be the legislations governing various areas of the property sector, and ownership thereof, the maintenance of records and documentation till recently has not been receiving an integrated approach. With the increasing number of transactions in property consequent to large scale investments, the need for ‘documenting’ the property records have come to be a critical aspect of legislative measures.

For years together, there has been no attempt by the executive wing to systematise the process of land record keeping.

Possession and enjoyment, tax paid receipts, khata, gift/partition and sale deeds have been considered enough evidence of primary ownership. These, together with the record of encumbrances, support ownership rights. However, no single document is in itself sufficient proof of title and ownership. And, no single authority can bestow the title to any one. A change to this concept came about after digitalisation of property records in Karnataka under the ‘bhumi’ project, which also can generate a khata ‘online’ on remitting the prescribed fee.

The latest attempt in the field is of documentation is the proposal of the Survey and Settlement Department of the Karnataka Government to issue a Property Records Card to each item of property in all urban areas. The P.R. Card will have six pages. There will be a property section which gives details of the property.

The ownership section will give details of ownership, such as name of the owners from time to time, their addresses etc. There will also be a ‘burden’ section, a ‘security’ section, and a cadastral section, viz., map showing the area, dimension, etc. The last section will have an overview map of the location of the property in a locality. The Card will be mandatory for all property-related transactions.

The project will be introduced in the BBMP area. Out of 198 wards, 50 wards will be taken up in the first phase. Like in the case of Aadhar cards, the services of private agencies may be utilised at a cost of, say, Rs. 400 or Rs. 500 per card.