Delivering a judgment on whether conversion of residential plots into apartments is allowed, a division bench of Justices Tejinder Singh Dhindsa and Vivek Puri observed that the administration "does not recognise ownership rights over any floor or part of any site or building by virtue of purchase of a share thereof or on account of a memorandum of understanding having been entered into between the co-sharers".
"The purchaser only becomes a co-owner or co-sharer in the entire site or building which remains in joint ownership," the bench added.
In case of a dispute between the co-sharers or co-owners, the bench, while dismissing a bunch of petitions, said: "The only remedy would be to put the property on auction and the sale proceeds thereafter to be distributed as fragmentation or division of the building or site by metes and bounds is specifically prohibited.
"Similar stipulations to be incorporated compulsorily in the affidavit to be submitted by the purchaser or vendee at the time of execution and registration of the sale deed as also at the stage of submitting transfer applications for entering of mutation in the name of the purchaser in the records of the estate office. Likewise, such stipulations be made a part of the transfer letter to be issued by the estate office."
The high court was hearing the petitions against conversion of residential plots into apartments. A survey conducted on an high court order revealed that between 2016 and 2019, a total of 891 sale deeds were registered, where part of a property was sold outside the family.
The petitioner argued that the residential plots in Chandigarh were meant to be single-dwelling units. In recent years, these were being sold floor-wise to multiple owners, putting additional burden on infrastructure.
The Chandigarh administration pleaded that it did not allow floor-wise sale of property.