Everything you need to know about Indian Property Law

Before knowing the property law in India, first let us understand what is a property? A property is defined as anything that is owned by a person or entity. There are 2 major types of property: real and personal. While real covers the real estate and land, personal cover everything else. There are 4 sub-types of property: Common, community, Separate and Public. There are 19 major property laws in Indian Legal system stated as follows:-

1. The Transfer of Property Act 1882

This is used to govern the transfer of property in India. It states that immovable or movable property can be transferred to an individual, company or association and the transfer can be done in present or in the future2

2. Indian Trusts Act, 1882

This act under the property law is applicable to private trusts. It consists of the definition of trustees as per law and the law abiding definition of a trust.

3. Specific Relief Act, 1963

Replacing the previous version of 1877, this act is used for the people whose contractual or civil rights have been breached. This includes recovery, rectification, preventive, etc.

4. The Indian Easements Act, 1882

Under this act, former laws of license and easement can be defined and amended. Easement refers to property and helps the owner to practice his property rights.

5. Registration Act 1908

In reference to a particular property, this act provides a way to give people about their legal rights, documents and fraud prevention by laying out a method of public registration of documents under the Indian property law.

6. Indian stamp Act, 1899

This law is directly responsible for the stamp tax charged on instruments that record transactions. However, due to loopholes in the act with respect to developments in data technology, a new enactment called The Uttar Pradesh Stamp Act, 2008 was released to amend the law in the same state.

7. Limitation Act, 1963

It has three divisions. First division deals with Suits (Article 1 to Article 113), Second division deals with Appeals (Article 114 to Article 117) and Third division deals with Applications (Article 118 to Article 137).

8. The General Clauses Act, 1897

Lawyers who practice property law often call this the ‘Law for all the laws’ as this act helps to interpret other acts in India. With the help of this, a few basic assumptions can be used by the person drafting a new act.

9. Indian Evidence Act, 1872

This law defines a set of basic rules of admissible evidences in Indian Law Court. With the introduction of this law, a standard was set for Indians in reference to evidences under its 11 chapters and 167 sections.

10. Indian Succession Act, 1925

As the name suggests, this law laid down the set of rules regarding the will made by a person just before their death or did not make any will.

11. Partition Act, 1893

This act enables the court that if a property cannot be divided with a substantial reason and a sell off is much more beneficial for involved shareholders, the court can order a sale of the property with the instructions of division of proceeds.

12. The Presidency- Towns Insolvency Act, 1909

Pre-independence, India was divided into Presidency towns by the Britishers to enhance administration. Property law includes this act as it cites the provisions relating to insolvency in these towns. For instance, it laid down various situations where a debtor commits an act of insolvency.

13. Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920

This act consists of laws in reference to insolvency regulated by courts with outside Presidency town jurisdiction.

14. The Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993

As the name suggests, this act comes under the property law section to help banks and financial institutions recover blocked funds with the help of recovery officers and employees appointed by the Central Government.

15. Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002

Commonly known as SARFAESI Act, this helped banks in the recovery of loans by selling off the properties (commercial/residential) via auction. This is applicable on loans above Rs 1 lakh or with more than 20% of original principal amount as debt.

16. Indian Contract Act, 1872

Except for Jammu and Kashmir, this property law is applicable on all other states of India. It legally caters to the contracts by checking the legal binding of a promise determined by the circumstances and the enforcement of these rights.

17. Sale of Goods Act 1930

Under this act, a seller transfers or agrees to do the same of the title of his goods to a buyer. Price and time of goods selling is fixed and this act is applicable in all Indian states except Jammu and Kashmir.

18. Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881

This act introduced a criminal penalty in its previous version in the case of an incident where a person issues a cheque with an amount that is more than the money in his account.

19. Enemy Property Act, 1968

As per this act in Indian property law, the descendants of people immigrated to China and Pakistan post-partition have no claim over their property in India.

Indian Property Law has numerous sections and sub-sections to specify the plan of action under multiple circumstances. It sets a certain standard for property related disputes and plays a pivotal role in the smooth functioning of Indian legal system.

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