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Punjab and Haryana high court upholds share wise sale of houses in Chandigarh | Chandigarh News



CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by Resident Welfare Association (RWA), Sector 10, challenging share and floor-wise sale of residential properties in the city.
The high court on September 30 had reserved its judgment for final order.
“Fragmentation of a site/building has to entail an element of permanent severance. Mere construction of three floors on a private plot and utilisation of the same as independent units would not amount to fragmentation. Fragmentation will take place only if there is a division of the site or division of the building with an element of exclusive ownership i.e. partition by metes and bounds and which in turn stands prohibited by virtue of rule 16 of the Estate Rules,” the high court said.

“A person who is in possession of a floor or a part of the building is merely a coowner in exclusive possession of a part of the property and the same does not amount to partitioning. To conclude sale of share (s) by owner or co-sharer of a residential site/building is not prohibited under the 1952 Act or rules framed there under. A sale of share does not amount to fragmentation… a co-owner can occupy specific/separate portions of the joint holding. The status of such property/building would remain joint and such joint status would come to an end only upon severance of ownership. Such severance of ownership can only be by way of partition by metes and bounds which in turn would fall within the scope and ambit of the term ‘fragmentation’,” the order further stated.

On apartments, the HC order clarified, “It clearly emerges from a perusal of the rules that for being recognized as an “apartment” or to express that the activity of “apartmentalization” is being carried out in the city, certain pre-requisites have to be met, i.e. there has to be a sub division of a building duly recognised by the estate officer along with proportionate share in common areas and common facilities; each sub division of a building to be a distinct, identifiable property to which the owner/lessee shall have title; the recognition of each sub division as an apartment by the estate officer would be accorded by way of a fresh letter of allotment or a fresh conveyance deed and pursuant to such recognition such sub division/apartment to be the sole and exclusive property of the declared owner/lessee. However, in the matter at hand all of the pre-requisites noticed hereinabove are missing. By virtue of sale of share(s) by a co-owner and thereafter the purchaser/vendee occupying a specific portion of the building on the basis of an internal arrangement/understanding, “sub division of building” as laid down under the Apartment Rules 2001 does not take place. The specific portion under the occupation of a co-owner is not accorded any recognition by the estate officer in any manner and neither does the co-owner become the sole and exclusive owner of such specific portion under his occupation”.
“We reject the contention raised on behalf of the petitioner that occupation/ possession of a specific portion be it a floor of a joint property by a co-owner amounts to ‘apartmentalization’,” the HC order said.

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