To avoid being tricked by fraudsters in property-related transactions, people will soon be able to search for the transaction history and encumbrances of a property on a real-time basis.
The initiative by the department of registration and stamps will help cut down on instances of property-related fraud wherein fraudsters sell or mortgage the same property to multiple people.
Across Maharashtra, people will soon be able log on to the department’s website and use the e-Search option to know if a property has been purchased, sold, gifted, leased or mortgaged since 2002. This is crucial in taking decisions related to buying of a property, sanctioning a home loan and renting or leasing it as this helps detect encumbrances and loose ends.
S Chockalingam, inspector general of registration and controller of stamps, said, “Earlier, we used to push data from (our end) to the website every month. However, recently, we succeeded in pushing data on a real-time basis.”
“We are checking for bugs and it (the updated facility) will be activated soon. So, once a document is registered, it will be available immediately in the public domain,” Chockalingam said, adding that dry runs were being conducted.
The new facility is expected to be activated completely in a fortnight.
In the time-consuming and costly manual mode, a citizen has to visit the sub-registrar office, make a written request for the transaction details and pay the prescribed fees by challan, before physically searching all previous registered documents relating to the property.
The e-Search enables property- or document-wise search round the clock once relevant details, such as village name, property number or document number and registration date, are entered.
Mumbai, Thane and Pune residents can also download the actual document, though there are plans to make it chargeable soon.
The department of registration and stamps looks after registration of documents and collection of stamp duty through over 470 sub-registrar offices. Around 22 lakh documents were registered in 2012-13. Maharashtra has around 2.3 crore rural land records known as saatbara and 50 lakh property cards (urban land records).