From obtaining a passport to opening a bank account and availing government subsidies, the need to have an Aadhaar Card is mandatory for every citizen living in India. It is one of the most important documents with a citizen's personal details stored in a government database.
The same Aadhaar Card at present is making news in the real estate sector. The aim is to curb corruption and safeguard the interest of home buyers.
A petition to link Aadhaar Card with property documents
During October 2019, a petition was filed by the BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay before Delhi High Court. The appeal was regarding the linking of movable and immovable property documents of citizens with their Aadhaar numbers, with a hope to bring transparency in transactions, prevent corruption, stop black money generation and many other similar reasons.
The petition states, "If the government links property with Aadhaar, it will lead to an increment of 2 per cent in annual growth. It will clean out electoral process, which is dominated by black money and benami transaction and thrives on a cycle of large black investments...use of political strength to amass private wealth, all with disdain of the citizen. Benami transaction in high denomination currency is used in illegal activities - terrorism, naxalism, separatism, gambling, money laundering and bribing. It also inflates the price of essential commodities as well as major assets like real estate and gold. These problems can be curbed up to a great extent by linking movable-immovable properties with the owner's Aadhaar number."
How will real buyers benefit by linking Aadhaar number to real estate property documents?
Introducing RERA, GST, and now Aadhaar Card link are all an attempt to see progress in real estate. Confidence of the buyers will undoubtedly be boosted who are looking forward to investing in real estate properties. This move is also anticipated to eradicate the inclusion of brokers who charge an unnecessarily hefty amount to the buyers. On the other hand, developers and investors will be able to do a transparent business of selling the properties.
The property market in India lacked proper land records for many years. With Aadhaar Card coming in action, the authentic land records will be available, and one can check online for reference in future as well. Property inheritance, property disputes and conjoined ownership kind of issues will be lesser and addressed more efficiently. Several benami transactions where the true owner of the property is often hiding behind the owner shown in the records will be prevented, and the actual seller and buyer can identify each other.
The President of National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) Maharashtra, Mr Rajan Bandelkar, said, "Aadhaar property registration has the potential to weed out black money and eradicate fraudulence from the real estate sector. This move also has the potential to enable rationalization of home prices, as all those who have invested in Benami property will rush to disinvest. The Aadhaar-property linkage will also provide some ease to procedures related to home buying such as home loan, property transaction, sale or purchase of property, etc due to enhanced transparency. Since the entire linking process will be time-consuming, the government should give enough time to property owners".
In response to the petition, a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar have issued a notice to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Centre and the Delhi government seeking their response in this matter. The time given to them is till November 20, 2019.