I bought a resale apartment from an individual who had not taken possession of the flat from the builder (The Confident Group) and had a loan going.
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The builder was my point of contact for this purchase and I had absolutely no interaction with the seller. In fact, the senior executive from The Confident Group, refused to share the seller’s contact details.
The builder helped me in getting the housing loan through Axis bank and ensured that all the documents related to the apartment were handed over to the bank executive for verification.
The builder demanded that I pay Rs.30,000 in cash. This, I was told, would be used to grease the palms of the brokers and lawyers attached to the sub-registrar’s office. I was strictly against giving a bribe to get my work done. I categorically refused to give any extra money for which I will not get a receipt. The executive told me to get the registration done on my own and that The Confident Group would not be able to handle this.
Please note, I never received an email about the cash payment information from The Confident Group. It was communicated only over the phone. My emails on this topic too were ignored.
I contacted a few people who had recently purchased apartments, and all said that they had to give some hefty amount in cash to the builder for registration and khata. I also contacted the organization, Ipaidabribe.com. Their comment was, “It is illegal to undervalue the property, but because of the Land Mafia in Bangalore, even though you want to be honest, it is impossible to go with the actual value i.e government value. You will have to pay the buyer extra. And, the extra cash you have asked to keep is to bribe the sub-registrar. Friends, we need to come up with something to stop this land mafia killing our people.”
A day before the registration, I contacted Mr. Raghunandan, who was travelling. He told me not to buckle and get the registration done. His golden words still reverberate in my ears, “Bribe takers are really cowards”. And, indeed they are!
(Mr. T R Raghunandan, IAS, is a member of the State Planning Board – Karnataka and also initiated forums to tackle corruption. Raghunandan has served as Secretary of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj for Karnataka and as Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Panchayat Raj, before retiring voluntarily in 2009. He is a consultant on fiscal decentralization and local governance to international development agencies such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Raghunandan linked me to Pritam who, too, had refused to bribe for registering his apartment. Pritam was very helpful. He diligently explained the process of registration and motivated me not to give in to anti-social pressure. He also shared the ‘India Against Corruption’ badges.
I went to the Sub-Registrar’s office, with my daughter. We wore the ‘India Against Corruption’ badge. (The scene is like any other government office – hoards of people, some chewing paan, and many with the “menial” look, ready to drop at the feet of the unbuttoned paan chewing loafers that acted like their messiah.)
My daughter and I were looked at with much curiosity. I guess, that’s because they saw a schoolgirl and a professionally attired lady flaunting ‘India Against Corruption’ badge barging in directly to the Sub-Registrar’s office sans a broker or a male companion.
It is very easy to get your apartment registered, and you do not have to part with your hard-earned money either.
This is how I acquired a 1244 sq ft of place in my name, and it did not even take 30 minutes:
I directly contacted the Sub-Registrar and asked him the procedure to get the property registered.
He asked for the sales deed, encumbrance certificate, tax paid receipts, and the khata. I had the print out of all these docs. This was the 1st step – getting the papers verified.
The sales deed and the other forms were signed by me and the seller.
Witness signature was also acquired.
I gave the bank drafts for the registration and stamp duty.
I paid Rs.360/ only towards scanning charges.
No, I did not have to run from one table to another with folded hands. All I had to run for before I went to the government office was to:
Get the documents in order. Get print-outs and Xerox.
Get the demand drafts towards registration and stamp duty.
Call up people to understand the process.
What flummoxed me is, The Confident Group is a member of CREDAI, and they also have a registration department that handles the registration and the khata-related work. However, they ask for cash payment from their customer. I can’t help but wonder, how eloquently they are fooling their customers and also indulging and promoting corruption.
I would like to reiterate, we are responsible for the sharks at government offices – If you are clean and do not have anything to hide, why be scared!
Khata in my name in two weeks
I popped in at the Sarjapur Panchayat office to find out the details about applying for a Khata for my apartment.
I entered the Vice-chairman’s office. He was with the Panchayat Development Officer. They were evasive and did not clearly spell out the documents that I needed to submit.
So, I met the Chairman, Syed Ahmed Afzal. He explained in detail the process and the documents that I was required to submit. It is very simple. You have to submit:
An application on plain paper, addressed to the President of the gram panchayat.
A xerox of the sales deed.
It normally takes about a month to get the khata. But Afzal clearly, must say very bravely, told me to hand over the application to him directly since the staff might keep delaying on one pretext or the other. He said I would get the Khata in 2 days.
However, I didn’t hand over the application to the Chairman. I didn’t want the yoke of obligation around my neck. I submitted the application for khata transfer certificate on 3 October 2012 to the Bill Collector, Chinnappa.
It normally takes a month to get this certificate. This is because, the PDO announces about the application in the gram panchayat area to validate the assertion of the property. The Khata Transfer Certificate is issued to the claimant if no claims are made within 30 days of applying.
Fair! And I got my Khata in two weeks. No bribe paid!