Title of property
Your property-related legal queries answered by S.C. RAGHURAM, Partner, RANK Associates, a Chennai-based law firm
In 1984, a property (60 cents) was sold to six of us after dividing it into six plots with a clear demarcation of roads. This was done through a power agent registered at SRO Pallavaram, which is also the jurisdiction of property. After showing the original mother documents, copies were given to us. But the owner had retained the original documents, and in 1996, created another power of attorney with another person and registered it at the SRO in Virugambakkam. This power agent, created an equitable mortgage with Indian Bank by pledging the mother documents of the already sold land and obtained a hefty sum (about Rs. 60 lakh as loan) in Jan 1996. In June 1996, he again sold the land to someone else for
Rs. 2.4 lakh.
If the sale deeds of the year 1984 were executed by the Agent based on a valid and subsisting power of attorney from the erstwhile owner, the title of the property will vest with the initial six purchasers. Any transaction subsequently done by the earlier owner will not be valid and binding on the initial purchasers. Hence the mortgage created in favour of the Bank as well as the subsequent sale will be null and void. However, these documents will reflect in the encumbrance certificates and can be a hindrance for the six owners to deal with their property with third parties. It is advisable to initiate proceedings before the concerned sub-registrar for cancellation of the fraudulent documents or file a suit for declaration that the said documents are invalid and for a consequent direction to the sub-registrar to remove the relevant entries.
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