FAQ

Where the registration of document is done ?

As per Section 28 and 29 of the Registration Act the document should be presented for registration at the office of the Sub-Registrar / Joint Sub-registrar   within whose sub district the whole or some portion of the property to which such document relates is situated or in the office of the Sub-Registrar situated.

What is the procedure on admitting a document to registration ?

If all the persons executing the document appear personally before the officer and/or are personally known to him or if he is otherwise satisfied that they are the persons they represent themselves to be and if they all admit the execution of the document, the Registering Officer should register the document as required under Section 58 of the said Act.
He should endorse the following particulars, namely :
a) The signature and admission of every person admitting the execution of the document in person or by his representative, assign or agent;
b) The signature and admission of every person examined in reference to such a document;
c) Any payment of money or delivery of goods made in the presence of the Registering Officer in reference to the execution of the document and any admission or receipt of consideration made in his presence in reference to such execution.
If any person admitting the execution of a document refuses to endorse the same, the Registering Officer nevertheless is empowered to register such a document but he should endorse a note of such a refusal and as required under Section 59 of the Act, as he should affix the date and his signature to all endorsements made under Sections 52 and 58 of the Act which is relating to the same document.
After completion of all formalities related to registration, the Registering Officer shall endorse on the document a certificate containing the word “Registered” together with the number and page of the book in which the document has been copied. Later, the endorsements and certificate shall thereupon be copied into the margin of the Register book. The copy of maps on plans of any, shall be filed in Book No.1. The registration of the document is then deemed to be completed and the document is returned to the person who presented the same for registration or to such other person if any, who has been nominated in writing in that behalf on the receipt mentioned in Section 52 of the Act. However, such original documents are returned by post or by hand delivery only after the proper procedure for the preservation of the original document has been completed by the Registration Authorities.

What is the recourse available to a person wishing to register a document which has been refused by the Registrar ?

Where the refusal order/direction of the Registrar/Sub-Registrar is on the ground other than that of denial of execution, the appeal lies to the Registrar under Section 72 of the Act. On such a refusal to admit a document for registration, any person wishing to register the same should, within 30 days from the date of refusal, appeal to the Registrar to whom such Sub-Registrar is subordinate, in order to establish his right to have the document registered.
In such an event, under Section 74 of the Act, the Registrar may enquire whether the document has been executed and whether the requirements of the law currently in force have been complied with on the part of the applicant or the person presenting the document for registration, as the case may be, so as to admit the document for registration.
For the purpose of an enquiry, as per Section 74(4) of the Act, the Registrar is empowered to issue summons to enforce the attendance of witnesses and compel them to give evidence as if he were a Civil Court. As per Section 75(1) of the Act, if the Registrar finds that the document has been executed and that the said requirement had been complied with he can order for registration of the document. As per Section 77 of the Act, when the Registrar refuses to order the document to be registered, any person claiming under such a document or his representative, assignee or agent may within 30 days after making the order of refusal institute a suit in the proper Civil Court for a decree directing the document to be registered.

Is the Registering Officer empowered to make any enquiry about any person purporting to have executed the document ?

The Registering Officer is empowered under Section 34(3) of The Registration Act, to enquire whether or not such a document was executed by the person by whom it purports to have been executed. In order to satisfy himself, the Registering Officer may ask the person appearing before him to prove his identity. In the case of any person appearing as a representative or agent, the Registrar may ask for relevant documents which show that the has the right to appear on behalf of his Principal. After carrying out such an enquiry, the Registering Officer is entitled to refuse the registration of a document if he is not satisfied with his findings.

Does a Deed of Rectification rectifying the mistakes in the names of the parties, the figures, the description etc. In the duly registered main document require registration ?

If the main document/agreement is registered, then in that event it is always necessary to register the Deed of Rectification too.

Can a document relating to an immovable property in India be executed out of India ? If so, can it then be registered in India?

Yes, a document relating to an immovable property can be executed out of India and later it can be presented for registration in India. As per Section 26 of The Registration Act, 1908 if a document purporting to have been executed by all or any of the parties out of India is presented for registration within the prescribed time, the Registering Officer may, on payment of proper registration fee, accept such document for registration if he is satisfied that :
a) the instrument was executed out of India.
b) the instrument has been presented for registration within four months after its arrival in India.

What is the remedy, if document is not registered within a prescribed period of four months ?

As per the provisions of Section 25 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 if a document is not presented for registration within the prescribed time period of four months, and if in such a case the delay in presentation of the document does not exceed a subsequent period of four months, then the parties to the agreement can apply to the Registrar, who may direct that on payment of a fine not exceeding ten times the proper registration fees, such a document should be admitted for registration.

What is the time frame prescribed for registration of a document ?

Under Section 23 of the Act, subject to certain exceptions, any document other than a will has to be presented for registration Within Four Months from the date of its execution. The term “ execution” means signing of the agreement. Under the present rules and regulations, all agreements in respect of a transfer of a premise or an immovable property have to be duly stamped, under the provisions of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 before the document is presented for registration.

What are the consequences of non-registration of a document which are compulsorily registrable ?

According to Section 49(c) of the Act, if a document of which registration is compulsory under Section 17 of Registration Act, has not been registered, it cannot be produced as an evidence in a court of law.

Is registration necessary under the provisions of the Maharashtra Apartments’ Ownership Act, 1970 ?

Yes, registration is necessary under this Act. Under Section 13 of the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act, 1970 it is necessary on the part of the owner/owners to execute a declaration with regard to description of the land on which the building and improvements are to be located, including the number of storeys, basements, number of each apartment, area of each apartment, number of rooms and immediate common area etc. Alongwith a set of floor plans of the building showing the layout, location, and dimensions of the appurtenance and bearing the verify statement of an architect certifying that the same is an accurate copy of the floor plans of the building as filed with and approved by the local authority within whose jurisdiction the building is located.

Is the registration of a document compulsory under the provisions of the Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act, 1963 ?

Yes, registration is necessary under the provisions of this Act. Under Section 41(1) of the Maharashtra Ownership Flats ( Regulation of promotion of construction, sale, management and transfer) Act, 1963, it is laid down that notwithstanding the provisions of any other laws, the agreement in respect of flats to be sold by the owner/promoter/developer to the flat purchaser requires compulsorily to be registered under the Registration Act.

Is a description of an immovable property, which is the subject matter of the document to be registered necessary to be set out in the Schedule attached to the agreement? Is it necessary to annexe maps or plans of the immovable property ?

Section 21 of the Act deals with the provisions relating to the description of an immovable property alongwith maps or plans. It is always necessary, with a view to identify the property involved in a document, that the description of the property is mentioned in a separate schedule, preferable with maps or plans, so as to enable the Registering Authority to make notes in the books to be preserved. The description should mentioned the area of the property, the number of the property, the boundaries of the property, the streets on which it is situated, along with the name of the village, Taluka, district. The city Survey Number, with Hissa Number if any, should also be mentioned. It is the discretion of the registering officer to refuse to accept a document if the description of the immovable property is not sufficient to identify the property correctly.

What should be the language of the document ?

The language of a document presented for registration should be in a language commonly used in the district existing in the State. Under section 19 of the Act, the Registering Officer is empowered to refuse to register a document if it is presented for registration in a language which is not commonly used in the district unless the document is accompanied by a true translation into a language commonly used in the district and also by a true copy.

Who can present the document for registration ?

Section 32 of the Registration Act, 1908 deals with the provisions relating to the presenting of documents for registration by a person. Subject to certain exceptions, every document which is to be registered under the provisions of the Act should be presented at the proper registration office by: (a) the concerned person himself/herself, or (b) the representative or the agent of such a person duly authorised in manner as is stated in Section 33 of the Registration Act, 1908.

What are the fees for registration of a document ?

The State Government has been empowered to fix the fees for registration of the document. The registration fees at present fixed for registering documents relating to property transactions are approximately 1 % of the consideration of the document but subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 30,000/-
The registration fee for the following immovable property transactions is leviable on the market value of property on which stamp duty is charged.
The transactions are as under :
(i) Conveyance,
(ii) Exchange,
(iii) Gift,
(iv) Partition,
(v) Transfer of Lease by way of Assignment,
(vi) Sale,
(vii) Settlement,
(viii) Power of Attorney given for consideration and
(ix) Authorising the attorney to sell the property.

What procedure is followed at the time of lodging a document for registration ?

For registration of any instrument, the original document which should be typed/printed on both side along with one  photocopy of the original have to be submitted to the Registering Officer. The copy is required to be photocopied only on one side of the paper.
The registration procedure also requires the presence of two witnesses and the payment of the appropriate registration fees. On completion of the procedure, a receipt bearing a distinct serial number is issued.

Is it possible to register a document at a person’s private residence?

Under Sections 31 of the Act, a provision has been made authorising the Registering Officer, on special cause being shown ( for instance if the person is physically handicapped ) to attend at the residence of any person desiring to present a document for registration and accept for registration such a document or a “Will”, provided Registering Officer is satisfied about the special cause shown is sufficient.

Whose document has to be registered ?

Section 28 of the Registration Act, 1908 states that all documents of which registration is compulsory if it relates to an immovable property as well as a few documents of which registration is optional should normally be presented for registration in the office of Sub-Registrar within whose sub-district the whole or some portion of the property to which the document relates is situated.

Which documents require to be compulsorily registered ?

Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 lays down different categories of documents for which registration is compulsory. The documents relating to the following transactions of immovable properties are required to be compulsorily registered;
a) Instruments of gift of immovable property
b) Lease of immovable property from year to year or for any term exceeding one year or reserving a yearly rent.
c) Instruments which create or extinguish any right or title to or in an immovable property of a value of more than one hundred rupees.
Under section 2(6) of the Registration Act, 1908 the term “ Immovable property” includes: “Land, buildings, hereditary allowances, rights to ways, lights, fisheries or any other benefit to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to any thing which is attached to the earth, but not standing timber, growing crops nor grass.”

Why documents are registered ?

The documents are registered for the purpose of conservation of evidence, assurance of title, publicity of documents and prevention of fraud. Also, registration helps an intending purchaser to know if the title deeds of a particular property have been deposited with any person or a financial institution for the purpose of obtaining an advance against the security of that property.

What is Registration ?

Registration means recording of the contents of a document with a Registering Officer and preservation of copies of the original document.

In whose name should the stamp paper be purchased. ? Can the client execute the document on � stamp paper purchased by an Advocate ?

As per section 34 of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 the stamp papers should be in the name of one of the parties who has signed the documents. Therefore the stamp paper should be purchased in the name of one of the parties who would be signing the instruments. If the stamp paper has been purchased in the name of an Advocate, C.A., etc than such instrument shall be treated as an instrument not duly stamped and shall be inadmissible in evidence.

In case of resale of the flat who has to pay the Stamp duty, the purchaser or the seller ?

The parties can themselves decide who shall pay the stamp duty. If nothing is mentioned in the agreement then as per section 30 of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 if the transaction relates to resale of flats then the stamp duty will have to be paid by the purchase.

Will stamp duty have to be paid if the flat is gifted by a donor ?

Yes. Stamp duty will have to be paid if the flat is gifted by the donor.

On what basis ( Carpet, Built-up or Super built-up ) are the rates fixed by the stamp authorities ?

For the purpose of determination of True Market Value, the Built-up area is taken into account.

Can there be refund of Stamp duty in case if the Stamp paper is unused or multiliated?

Yes, Refund can be claimed v/s 47 of The Bombay Stamp Act 1958. However such claim can be made to the collector of Stampswithin a period of 6 months from the date of purchase of Stamps

What remedy is available to the parties, in case they do not agree with the true market value of the property as determined by Collector of the District

The parties can go in appeal to the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority, Maharashtra State, Pune. under section 32 B of Bombay Stamp Act, 1958.

Whether any penalty is levied in cases referred to the Collector by the Sub-Registrar for determination of true market value of the property where the Collector comes to the conclusion that the true market value of the property was not stated in the instrument ?

In addition to recovery of deficit Stamp duty in such cases, the concerned party is required to pay penalty of Rs. 250/- plus 15 % interest for each year or part of the year on the deficit amount from the date of presentation of instrument before the Sub-Registrar.

What are the rates of Stamp duty on instruments relating to transfer of immovable property.

The rates of stamp duty on instruments relating to transfer of immovable property vary from place to place. The rates are specified in Article 25 of Schedule 1 appended to the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958. However, Article 25(d) which deals with the instruments of transfer of residential premises in � Co-operative Housing Society or where the provisions of Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act 1963 and the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act, 1970 apply, provides for levy of concessional rates of Stamp duty. In areas, where the provisions of the aforesaid Acts apply, residential premises upto � market value of Rs. 1,00,000/- attract such concessional rates. Instruments relating to the transfer of residential premises of market value of more than Rs. 1,00,000/- attract normal rates of stamp duty for values over and above Rs. 1,00,000/- as applicable in that area. Such normal rates are 8 %, 6%, 3 %, 5 %. Etc. depending on where the property is situated.

What happens if the instrument is executed on stamps which does not bear the name of one of the executors.?

Such instruments are not admitted in evidence, for any purpose. These instruments are also treated as not properly stamped. These instruments are liable to be impounded and sent to the Collector of Stamps for recovery of proper stamp duty.

In whose name the stamps are required to be purchased ?

The stamps are required to be purchased in the name of one of executors to the instrument.

What are the consequences of not paying Stamp duty?

The documents if not duly stamped, shall not be admissible in evidence in the court of law. As per the provision of Section 59, any person who, with the intention to evade the Stamp duty, executes or signs any instruments chargeable with stamp duty, without the same being duly stamped, shall on conviction, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for � term which shall not be less than one month but which may be extended upto six months and fine upto Rs. Five Thousand. The Section 67 and 68 empowers the authorities to enter upon any premises and to inspect and impound/seize the documents which are not duly stamped and burden is casted upon every public officer to assist the authorities in detection of evasion. The documents impounded for want of proper duty, attracts penalty @ 2 % per month from the date of execution of such document.Miscellaneous

What is the validity of Stamps ?

As per the provisions of Section 52-B, the stamps which are purchased and not used within six months shall be rendered invalid thereafter. The stamps purchased and not used for intended purpose are entitled for refund after deduction of certain charges, if lodged for refund within six months from the date of purchase and on fulfilling the conditions stipulated in Chapter V of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958.

How to pay Stamp Duty ?

The Document which is chargeable with Stamp duty can be prepared on the non-judicial Stamp paper of appropriate value. Unexecuted document can be got franked with special adhesive Stamps by Franking Machine intended for stamping such documents, by tendering required amount in the office of collector of Stamps whereever this facility is available. When documents is lodged for adjudication, on receiving intimation as to the amount of Stamp duty payable by tendering appropriate amount equal to the amount of Stamp duty and penalty if any, the Collector of Stamp shall certify the document as to the payment of proper duty.

What is meant by adjudication of instruments? Which authority is to be approached for adjudication of instruments ? What is the amount of fees required to be paid for adjudication? What documents are to be enclosed while submitting application for adjudication ?

Section 31, of Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 deals with the adjudication of the instruments. Adjudication means determining the chargeability of stamps duty on instruments. The authority to be approached is the Collector of Stamps appointed in each District. Application for adjudication should be accompanied by � true copy or an abstract of the instrument and also with such affidavit or other evidence as may be necessary to prove that all facts affecting the chargeability of the instrument have been truly setforth in the instrument along with the proof of payment of Rs. 50/- as adjudication fee. Adjudication can be done both for signed as well as unsigned documents.

Who is liable to pay Stamp Duty ?

As per the provisions of Section 30 the onus of payment of Stamp duty in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, shall be borne by the executing in the manner provided their with respect of certain kinds of documents viz. Mortgage deed, release, security bond, settlement, bond etc. in the case of conveyance, the grantee and lease the lessee shall pay the stamp duty in the case of exchange of property, both the parties in equal share shall pay stamp duty. In case of partition, the parties thereto in proportion to their respective shares should pay stamp duty.

How is Stamp Duty payable?

Stamp Duty can be paid by
1. Using Stamp paper
2. Using adhesive stamps
3. Franking

What point of time of Stamp Duty payable. ?

The Section 17 & 18 of the Act states the time of payment stamp duty. Generally all the instruments executed in the state shall be stamped before or at the time of execution or immediately thereafter or on the next working day following the day of execution. Similarly, the instruments which is executed out of the state and within three months from its receipt in the state, shall be stamped.

How Stamp Duty is calculated.?

Broadly the 62 articles of Schedule I are grouped in three categories.
Category i) Articles whose amount of Stamp duty is fixed irrespective of the value mentioned in the document / instrument. ( Viz. Administration Bond, Adoption deed, Affidavit, Divorce, Appointment in execution of power , Apprenticeship deed, Article of clerkship, Award, Cancellation deed, Charter party, Duplicate, Copy of Extracts, Entry of Memorandum of Marriage, Indemnity Bond, Letter of license, Memorandum of Association of a company, Notarial Act, Power of attorney, etc.)

Category ii) Articles where depending upon the value mentioned in the document, the amount of stamp duty is varied. (Viz. Agreement relating to deposit of title deeds, pawn, pledge or hypothecation, Clearance List, Lease , Article of association, Mortgage deed, Security Bond, etc.)

Category iii) Articles which attracts Stamp duty on the consideration mentioned in the document or True Market Value, whichever is higher. ( Viz. Conveyance, Agreement for sale, Gift, Exchange,Partnership Deed,Partition, Development Agreement, Transfer, Trust, etc.)

For category I and II types of instruments the Stamp duty payable can be ascertained by referring to the Schedule I; but to ascertain the Stamp duty on the instruments mentioned in Category III, the expertise in valuation is required. The True Market Value is determined as per the provision of the Bombay Stamp ( Determination of True market value of the property ) Rules, 1995.

Whether Stamp duty is payable on transactions or on instruments?

It is payable on instruments and not on transactions. The definition of the term instrument is very wide.

What is Stamp Duty ?

It is a type of tax which is paid for the transaction performed by way of document or instrument under the provisions of Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 and Indian Stamp Act, 1899.

What is the bombay stamp Act,1958?

The Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 comes into force on 16th February, 1959 and is applicable in the State of Maharashtra. This Act is intended to levy Stamp duty on certain types of documents executed in the State or brought from outside for acting upon the same in the State. The various instruments/documents are broadly covered under different 62 articles listed in Schedule-I appended to the Act. The rates at which stamp duty is levied on these documents are mentioned in Schedule �I. The Bombay Stamp Act, levies Stamp duty on documents/instruments by which any right or liability is, or purports to be, created, transferred, limited, extended, extinguished or recorded. The stamp duty is payable on instrument and not on the transactions.

If a foreign national (except a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan) is a person resident in India as per the provisions of Section 2 (v) (i) B of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 does he require approval of RBI to purchase any immovable property in India?

No, he does not require approval from Reserve Bank from FEMA angle. However, approvals if any, required in terms of regulations prescribed by other authorities such as the concerned State Government etc., will have to be obtained by him/her.

Does Reserve Bank determine the residential status of a person for the purpose of acquisition of immovable property in India?

No. Under FEMA residential status is determined by operation of law. The onus is on an individual to prove his/her residential status if questioned by any other authority.

What is meant by a person resident in India?

From FEMA angle, a person resident in India means a person residing in India for more than one hundred and eighty-two days during the course of the preceding financial year (April-March) and who has come to or stays in India either for taking up employment, carrying on business or vocation in India or for any other purpose, that would indicate his intention to stay in India for an uncertain period. In other words, to be treated as ‘a person resident in India’, under FEMA a person has not only to satisfy the condition of the period of stay (being more than 182 days during the course of the preceding financial year) but has also to comply with the condition of the purpose/intention of stay.

Where are the terms a ‘person resident in India’ and a ‘person resident outside India’ defined?

Section 2 (v) and section 2 (w) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 defines a ‘person resident in India’ and a ‘person resident outside India’ respectively.

Is a person resident in India governed by the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India) Regulations, 2000?

A person resident in India who is a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan is governed by the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India) Regulations, 2000.

What if such an immovable property was held for less than ten years?

If such a property acquired out of rupee funds is sold after being held for less than ten years, remittance can be made, if the sale proceeds were held for the balance period in NRO account (Savings/Term Deposit) or in any other eligible investment, provided such investment is traced to the sale proceeds of the immovable property.

Can a PIO who had acquired immovable property viz., residential/commercial property/agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India while he was a person resident in India continue to hold or transfer such immovable property? In which account the sale proceeds may be credited?

Yes, under the provisions of Section 6 (5) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, PIO who had acquired immovable property in India while he was a person resident in India may continue to hold such property. Under the general permission available he may transfer agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India by way of sale or gift to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India and residential/commercial property in India by way of sale to a person resident in India and way of gift residential/commercial property in India to to a person resident in India or to a NRI/PIO. However, if a PIO is a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan he should seek prior approval of Reserve Bank for transfer of such immovable property in India. The sale proceeds may be credited to NRO account.

Can NRI who had acquired immovable property viz., residential/commercial property/agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India while he was a person resident in India continue to hold or transfer such immovable property? In which account the sale proceeds may be credited?

Yes, under the provisions of Section 6 (5) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 NRI who had acquired immovable property in India while he was a person resident in India may continue to hold such property. Under the general permission available he may transfer by way of sale or gift agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India and may transfer by way of sale or gift residential/commercial property in India to a person resident in India or to a NRI/PIO. The sale proceeds may be credited to NRO account.

Can NRI/PIO rent out the residential/commercial property purchased out of foreign exchange/rupee funds, if not required for immediate use?

Yes. Rent received, being current income may be credited to NRO/NRE account or remitted abroad.

Can Foreign Embassies/Diplomats/Counsel General purchase/sell immovable property in India?

Yes. Under general permission available Foreign Embassies/Diplomats/Counsel General may acquire any immovable property other than agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India. Such property may be purchased/sold provided prior clearance from the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs has been obtained for such purchase/sale. The consideration for purchase of such property should be paid by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel.

Can a person resident outside India who has established a Branch Office or other place of business for carrying on in India any activity in accordance with FERA/FEMA regulations purchase commercial/residential property?

Yes, provided it is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity and all applicable laws, rules, regulations or directions are duly complied with. The purchase price should be paid by way of inward remittance through proper banking channel. A declaration in form IPI should be filed with Reserve Bank within ninety days from the date of acquisition of commercial/residential property.

Can sale proceeds of any immovable property in India inherited, by a person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India), from a person resident outside India be repatriated by him or his successor?

No. He needs to seek prior approval of Reserve Bank with documentary evidence in support of inheritance and tax clearance/no objection certificate from Income Tax authority.

Can sale proceeds of any immovable property in India inherited, by a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India, from a person resident in India be repatriated by him?

Yes. Amount not exceeding USD one million, per calendar year subject to production of documentary evidence in support of inheritance and Tax clearance certificate/no objection certificate from Income Tax authority to authorized dealer for remittances. However, a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran shall seek prior approval of Reserve Bank with documentary evidence in support of inheritance and tax clearance/no objection certificate from Income Tax authority. This remittance facility is not available to a citizen of Nepal or Bhutan. (Please refer to Regulation 4 (2) (ii) to Notification No. FEMA 13/RB-2000 dated 3rd May 2000)

Can sale proceeds of any immovable property inherited by NRI/PIO from a person resident in India be remitted abroad?

Yes. Amount not exceeding USD one million, per calendar year subject to production of documentary evidence in support of inheritance and Tax clearance certificate/no objection certificate from Income Tax authority to authorized dealer for remittances. However, if a PIO is a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran he should seek prior approval of Reserve Bank with documentary evidence in support of inheritance and tax clearance/no objection certificate from Income Tax authority. This remittance facility is not available to a citizen of Nepal or Bhutan. (Please refer to Regulation 4 (3) to Notification No. FEMA 13/RB-2000 dated 3rd May 2000)

Into which account the sale proceeds of residential/commercial property received by way of gift by NRI/PIO can be credited?

The sale proceeds of residential/commercial property received by way of gift by NRI/PIO should be credited to NRO account only.

The rupee loan availed by NRI for purchase of residential accommodation was repaid either by inward remittance or by debit to NRE/FCNR (B) account. Can the sale proceeds of such property be repatriated?

Yes. Repayment of loan in foreign exchange is treated as equivalent to the foreign exchange received for purchase of residential accommodation.

Can NRI/PIO repatriate the sale proceeds of residential/commercial property in India acquired by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel or by debit to NRE/FCNR (B)/NRO account? If so, what is the quantum?

NRI/PIO may repatriate the sale proceeds of residential/commercial property in India acquired by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel or by debit to NRE/FCNR (B) account. The amount to be repatriated should not exceed the amount paid for acquisition of residential/commercial property (a) in foreign exchange received through normal banking channel or by debit to FCNR (B) account or (b) the foreign currency equivalent, as on the date of payment, of the amount paid by debit to NRE account. The sale proceeds of residential/commercial property in India acquired by way of debit to NRO account cannot be repatriated and should be credited to NRO account only.

Can NRI/PIO, avail of housing loan in rupees from an authorized dealer or housing finance institution in India approved by the National Housing Finance Bank for purchase of residential accommodation or for the purpose of repairs/renovation/improvement of residential accommodation?

Yes, subject to certain terms and conditions. Such loans can be repaid by the borrower by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel or by debit to his NRE/FCNR (B)/NRO account or out of rental income derived from renting out such property. Such loan can also be repaid by the borrower’s close relatives through their account in India by crediting the borrower’s loan account. (Please refer to Regulation 8 to Notification No. FEMA 4/2000-RB dated 3rd May 2000 and A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.95 dated April 20, 2003 and A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.94 dated May 25, 2003).

Can refund of application/earnest money/purchase consideration made by the house building agencies/seller on account of non-allotment of flat/plot/cancellation of bookings/deals for purchase of residential/commercial property together with interest, if any (net of income tax payable thereon) be credited to NRE account?

Yes, provided original payment was made by way of inward remittance or by debit to NRE/FCNR (B) account. For this purpose no permission of Reserve Bank is required and they may approach the Authorised Dealer directly in the matter. (Please refer to A. P. (DIR Series Circular No. 46 dated November 12, 2002).

Under the general permission available what is mode of payment for purchase of residential/commercial property in India by NRI/PIO?

Under the general permission available NRI/PIO may purchase residential/commercial property in India out of funds remitted to India through normal banking channel or funds held in his NRE/FCNR (B)/NRO account. No consideration shall be paid outside India.

Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident in India or outside India transfer by way of mortgage his residential/commercial property in India acquired with the specific approval of Reserve Bank to a party in India or abroad?

No. He should seek prior approval of RBI. However, immovable property purchased by a person resident outside India who has established a Branch Office or other place of business for carrying on in India any activity in accordance with FERA/FEMA regulations, may under general permission available, mortgage such a property with an authorized dealer as a security for any borrowing.

Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India transfer by way of gift agricultural land/plantation property/farm house acquired by him in India?

No. A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India would need to seek prior approval of Reserve Bank for transfer by way of gift agricultural land/plantation property/farm house acquired by him in India.

Under general permission available to whom can NRI/PIO transfer by way of gift agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India?

Under the general permission available NRI/PIO may transfer by way of gift agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India.

Under general permission available can NRI/PIO transfer his residential/commercial property by way of gift?

Yes. NRI/PIO may transfer by way of gift residential/commercial property in India to a person resident in India or to a NRI or a PIO.

Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India transfer by way of sale agricultural land/plantation property/farm house acquired by him in India?

A foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India would need to seek prior approval of Reserve Bank for transfer, by way of sale, agricultural land/plantation property/farm house acquired in India

Under general permission available to whom can NRI/PIO transfer by way of sale his agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India?

Under the general permission available NRI/PIO may transfer by way of sale his agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India.

Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin whether resident in India or outside India transfer by way of sale residential/property in India acquired with the specific permission of Reserve Bank to a person resident in India or outside India?

No. A foreign national of non-Indian origin whether resident in India or outside India would need to seek prior approval of Reserve Bank for transfer by way of sale residential/property in India acquired with the specific permission of Reserve Bank to a person resident in India or outside India.

Can a PIO transfer by way of sale his residential/commercial property to a NRI or a PIO?

No. He would need to seek Reserve Bank prior approval for transfer by way of sale residential/commercial property in India to a NRI or a PIO.

Under general permission available to whom can a PIO transfer his residential/commercial property by way of sale?

PIO can transfer by way of sale residential/commercial property in India only to a person resident in India.

Under general permission available to whom can NRI transfer by way of sale his residential/commercial property?

NRI can transfer by way of sale residential/commercial property in India to a person resident in India or to a NRI or a PIO.

Can a person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin) hold any immovable property in India acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident outside India?

With the specific approval of Reserve Bank a person resident outside India may hold any immovable property in India acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident outside India, provided the bequeathor had acquired such property in accordance with the provisions of foreign exchange law in force at the time of acquisition or under FEMA regulations.

Can a person resident outside India (i.e. NRI or PIO or foreign national of non-Indian origin) hold any immovable property in India acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident in India?

Yes. A person resident outside India can hold immovable property acquired by way of inheritance from a person resident in India as per the provisions of Section 6(5) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

Can a person resident outside India (i.e. a NRI or a PIO or a foreign national of non-Indian origin) acquire agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India by way of gift?

No. A person resident outside India cannot acquire agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India by way of gift.

Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India acquire residential/commercial in India by way of gift?

No. Under section 2 (ze) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 ‘transfer’ includes among others, ‘gift’. Therefore, a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire residential/commercial property in India by way of gift.

Can NRI/PIO acquire residential/commercial property by way of gift under the general permission available?

Yes. Under general permission available NRI/PIO may acquire residential/commercial property by way of gift from a person resident in India or a NRI or a PIO.

Can a person resident outside India (i.e. a NRI or a PIO or a foreign national of non-Indian origin) acquire agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India by way of purchase?

No. A person resident outside India cannot acquire by way of purchase agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India.

Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin acquire residential property on a lease in India?

Yes. A Foreign National of non-Indian origin including a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan may acquire only residential accommodation on lease, not exceeding five years for which he/she does not require prior permission of Reserve Bank of India.

Can a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India acquire any immovable property in India by way of purchase?

No. Under section 2 (ze) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 ‘transfer’ includes among others, ‘purchase’. Therefore, a foreign national of non-Indian origin resident outside India cannot acquire any immovable property in India by way of purchase.

Is there any restriction on number of residential/commercial property that NRI/PIO can purchase under the general permission available?

There is no restriction on number of residential/commercial property that NRI/PIO can purchase under the general permission available

Is NRI/PIO who has purchased residential/commercial property under general permission required to file any documents with Reserve Bank of India?

NRI/PIO who has purchased residential/commercial property under general permission is not required to file any documents with the Reserve Bank.

Who is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO)?

For the purpose of acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India, a PIO means an individual (not being a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka or Afghanistan or China or Iran or Nepal or Bhutan), who (i) at any time, held Indian passport; or (ii) who or either of whose father or grandfather was a citizen of India by virtue of the Constitution of India or the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955).

Where can one find regulations/directions issued by Reserve Bank for acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India?

Regulations regarding acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India by a person resident outside India have been notified vide RBI Notification No. FEMA 21/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 as amended vide Notification No. FEMA 64/2002-RB dated June 29, 2002 and Notification No. FEMA 65/2002-RB dated June 29, 2002 and relevant directions issued in the form of A.P. (DIR Series) Circulars. These are available on RBI website: www.fema.rbi.org.in

Under the extant foreign exchange regulations to whom is general permission available for purchase immovable property in India?

General Permission is available to purchase only a residential/commercial property in India to a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India (NRI) and who is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO).