NRI and PIO are generally permitted to purchase any immovable property in India except agricultural/plantation/ farm house property.
The legal provision as laid down under Section 3 and Section 4 of the Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India) Regulations, 2000 is transcribed hereunder for information.
Section – 3:- Acquisition and transfer of property in India by an Indian Citizen resident outside India. – A person resident outside India who is a citizen of India may –
Acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural/plantation/farm house, and
Transfer any immovable property in India to a person resident in India,
Transfer any immovable property other than agricultural or plantation property or farm house to a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India or to a person of Indian origin resident outside India.
Section – 4:- Acquisition and transfer of property in India by a person of Indian origin – A person of Indian origin resident outside India may –
Acquire any immovable property other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property in India by purchase, from out of:
(i) funds received in India by way of inward remittance from any place outside India or
(ii) funds held in any non-resident account maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the regulations made by the Reserve Bank of under that Act;
Acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property by way of gift from a person resident in India or from a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India or from a person of Indian origin resident outside India;
Acquire any immovable property in India by way of inheritance from a person resident outside India who had acquired such property in accordance with the provisions of the foreign exchange law in force at the time of acquisition by him or the provisions of these regulations or from person resident in India;
Transfer any immovable property in India other than agricultural land/farm house/plantation property, by way of sale to a person resident in India;
Transfer agricultural land/farm house/plantation property in India, by way of gift or sale to person resident in India who is a citizen of India;
Transfer residential or commercial property in India by way of gift to a person resident in India or to a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India or a to a person of Indian origin resident outside India.
As regards procedure for registration of land purchase, I have to state that a person interested in buying immovable property should prepare or get prepared from an advocate, a sale deed after verification of title of the seller. In case the property to be purchased falls within the jurisdiction of the Planning and Development Authority (PDA), then the N.O.C. from the PDA should be furnished by the sellers to the Registering Officer i.e. Sub-Registrar within whose jurisdiction the property exists. All the Executing Parties i.e. sellers and purchasers should sign the respective deed of sale by putting their passport size photograph and finger prints of both the hands. After completing the sale deed, one Xerox copy on green ledger papers should be obtained of the entire sale deed including the plan if any, and then both the deeds i.e. sale deed (original) as well as the xerox copy get should be presented for registration in the respective Sub-Registrar’s Office.
The stamp duty and registration fee chargeable on sale deed is 2% each on the market value of the property sold/purchased. Thereafter, the original sale deed is returned duly registered to the purchaser within a week or so depending upon the work load.
As regards inherited land, there is no registration as such. But one has to get a deed of successions recorded from the respective Sub-Registrar’s Office to prove inheritance by the surviving heirs of the deceased or may proceed to get a court decree by filing inventory proceedings in the Court of Law.
By virtue of the above referred documents such as a deed of succession or a Court Order of inventory proceedings, one can stake his claim for inheritance in the estate left by the deceased person/persons.
As regards execution of will, the same can be executed before the Civil Registrar-cum-Sub-Registrar who is also a Notary Ex-Officio for the above purpose. Before executing a will, consent of the other spouse is necessary to bequeath a particular property or share in the property. So a deed of consent is essential to be recorded before the Notary Ex-Officio by both the spouses jointly, giving mutual consent to each other for executing wills separately.
Thereafter separate deeds of wills of each spouse are recorded in the office of the Ex-Officio Notary in the presence of the three suitable witnesses. In case either of the executant is illiterate, then they should bring separate person as Translator who should translate the text into Konkani or Marathi, as the case may be, and write the translation on the same book of the wills and read the same to the Executor in the presence of three witnesses. Then only the Executant will sign the Book after understanding the nature or text of the will.
It is advisable to engage an advocate for the above purpose who can guide the parties as far as legal aspects are concerned.
(V. G. SALKAR)
Head of Notary Services