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Agricultural lands cannot be directly used for residential purpose. They need to be converted for using them for residential purposes by paying conversion charges. The Special Deputy Commissioner is the competent authority to permit conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purpose. No building can be constructed on agricultural land without obtaining conversion and other approvals from the concerned authorities.Residential sites are to be formed only in the residentially converted land and such a land should be in the residential zone as per zonal regulations for getting approval for such conversion.

As per zonal regulation of Comprehensive Development Plan, the Green Belt Area is meant only for agricultural activities. Non-converted land continues to be agricultural land.There are various restrictions on sale and purchase of agricultural land.In Bangalore,only the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is the competent authority to approve the layout plan and to get this approval the layout should have specified road width, residential area, civic and other amenities. The Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (BMRDA) is the competent authority to approve sites on the outskirts of Bangalore.

It is very common that people in Bangalore buy house sites popularly known as revenue sites, which are formed on the agricultural land without the approval of the competent authority for changed of land use from agricultural to non-agricultural purposes under the relevant provisions of Karnataka Land Reforms Act, Karnataka Land Revenue Rules and regulations without knowing the hassles involved in buying such sites. Local agents aided by certain landlords misguide the Buyers and market their revenue sites.

Middlemen ride:

Middlemen and the local brokers, who have mastered the art of marketing, motivate the innocent people to buy the revenue sites keeping them in dark of the hassles involved in the purchase of revenue sites.These middlemen normally pay a nominal sum as a token advance to the landlord and a General Power of Attorney is obtained from them to deal with such properties. Thereafter, they search for the prospective Purchasers. The middle men, like double edged razors, hike the price of the land depending upon the situation while, at the same time, they do not finally settle the account of the land Owners.

These middlemen, who consider themselves as above the Law form layouts on agricultural lands without land conversion, approved layout plan, from the competent authority.To increase the saleable area of sites in these layouts, they will narrow down the width of the roads.These layouts are formed without civic amenities and other infrastructural facilities.To attract the Customers, these people make colorful brochures with photographs of certain parts of Bangalore and paint an attractive picture.Some of them even download the foreign photographs of houses from internet for their brochures. After the sale transaction is complete,the Purchaser will have bitter experience. In certain cases, the Land Owners in league with brokers will register some imaginary sites formed on the agricultural land using their clout and influence.

Ancestral Property

In the recital of a Sale Deed, it is customary to mention how the Seller has acquired his title, interests and rights over the immovable property from origin to the end. In case of revenue sites, the brokers have devised a very ingenious method to hide this fact. They merely mention in the recital that the property is an ancestral property of the Seller. In this way the property passes on from the (General Power of Attorney) GPA Holder to the Purchaser.

There are several instances, where the land notified for acquisition and the land granted for Schedule Caste people have been converted into sites, where the Purchaser of such a site would not get any title of the property. Then the Law stipulates that certain lands, when granted to the Schedule Castes, will revert to them if purchased by others.

GPA transaction

Generally, brokers will take GPA from the Land Owner for the entire land and register in favor of the Purchaser; Most of the revenue sites are registered on the strength of GPA. Very few people will take care to check the legality of the GPA executed by the original Vendor. Nobody bothers to find out whether the GPA is registered or not, whether the Executor of the GPA is alive or not. If the Executor of the GPA is not alive the GPA transaction is totally invalid. A joint GPA executed by two Owners becomes invalid if one of them dies.

Form 9 and Form 10

Originally, a property falling under the village Panchayath area alone has the genuine site status. Form No.10 is for a house coming under the Gramathana village Panchayath area and Form No.9 is for a vacant site coming under the Gramathana village Panchayath area. The middlemen and some of the revenue officials make bogus Forms No.9 and 10 and register immoveable properties in favor of innocent Purchasers. Earlier, when the Urban Land Ceiling Act was in force, thousands of revenue sites were registered by merely mentioning in the Sale Deed the description as one square asbestos sheet house. This was so done just to avoid application of the Urban Ceiling Act.After the Urban Land Ceiling Act was abolished the term one square asbestos sheet house was also removed from the real estate Agent's dictionary.It is illegal to form layouts and sell sites in the agricultural land/Green Belt Area, Even after selling all the sites, RTC (Record of Rights, Tenancy and Crops Inspection) will be in name of the original Land Owner.

Agent being a GPA Holder will sell the sites formed in agricultural lands to the innocent Purchaser. The numbers assigned to the sites by the Agent will never match with the survey numbers assigned by the Government to these lands. What is purchased is an imaginary site only and the Purchaser of the revenue site will not get the title of the property. If the Owner is a thorough gentleman then the Purchaser can enjoy the property till the Government regularises such revenue sites.

Difficult to get loans

If the title deeds are not clear and does not establish marketable title, it is very difficult to obtain bank loans for construction by mortgaging these sites. Generally, these sites are situated on the City outskirts.There will be no proper roads, electricity or water supply. There is no scope for immediate development and after all this, if the prices of the sites appreciate over a period of several years, the original Land Owner will appear from nowhere and start cultivating the area. He will remove all the boundary stones laid by the broker. The Purchaser will then find it difficult to identify his property. In certain cases, the GPA Holder sells the same sites to several persons and collects the money from all of them. Consequently, marathon litigation awaits the Purchaser.The Laws are so complex that they give rise to multiple interpretations. To add to his woes, the Court fees, which are very high, drain his already depleted resources to forget everything and be done with it.

Only a fraction of the deceived Purchasers feel that the Laws are helpful under such circumstances.It is hoped that people will exercise utmost care and restraint, when they go about purchasing revenue sites.A little caution in time will save lots of botheration in future.Instead of purchasing a 60 x 40 revenue site a Purchaser can as well go for a smaller one within the City limits or BDA formed sites or BDA approved site.Moreover, all the sites formed in and around Bangalore must have BDA or BMRDA approval.The Buyers, therefore, are advised to consult qualified Legal Experts before investing their hard earned money instead of wasting their hard earned money on revenue sites and spending sleepless nights.



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