Certificate now mandatory for Goan widows selling property

MARGAO: Goan widows including those residing abroad and wanting to sell or gift their property or carry out mutation will be unable to go ahead with the process unless they possess a certificate allowing them to carry out the property transactions.

Widows from the state residing abroad are likely to face more difficulty in obtaining the certificate, as they will be required to obtain the document from the Indian embassy or consulate in the country of their residence. This document will further need an attestation by the concerned district collector.

The certificate allowing widows to proceed with land transactions is mandatorily required by the Goa government to register the widows’ land transactions in the sub registrar’s office. A circular dated October 4 in this respect, issued by under secretary, revenue, Sudin A Natu, states that the concerned deputy collector (who is also the sub divisional magistrate) has been designated to issue such a certificate to widows residing in his jurisdiction. However, Goan widows residing in other states of the country must obtain the document from the respective area deputy collector. Further, Goan widows residing abroad need to obtain the certificate from an appropriate officer in the Indian embassy or consulate in the country of their residence. The document has to be further attested by the concerned district collector, states the circular.

According to sources, the state government has issued this circular while adhering to direction of the Supreme Court, which had observed that many widows were either threatened or forcefully asked to sign and sell their properties in a few states. While hearing a petition in this regard, the apex court order was issued to the state governments asking government authority to hear the concerned widow and subsequently issue her a certificate to be produced in the office of the sub registrar for effecting the transaction of land.

In this respect, the revenue department issued the first circular in May this year, authorising the deputy collector (sub divisional magistrate) to issue the document. However, the government had to face the issue pertaining to jurisdiction, whether the widow must approach the deputy collector from her area of residence or from the area where the property is located. Later, after overcoming this difficulty, the department again issued another circular on October 4 providing more clarity on the subject. As per the circular, the deputy collectors must issue the certificate within ten days from the date of submission of the related application.

Circular copies have been sent to the district collectors and the deputy collectors besides the offices of the sub registrar mentioning that all transactions of land, be it sale, gift, mutation, power of attorney etc, by widows are to be endorsed by the deputy collectors, and after a summary enquiry to record the deposition of the applicant (widow) in the presence of two witnesses who can identify the widow, the certificate be issued.

The circular further states that the widow has to attach the draft of the kind of land transaction to be undertaken.

The circular has saddened many Goan widows, who reside in countries like England, as they are now compelled to reveal their property status in the country they are now residing for work or where they have attained citizenship. Some widows are of the opinion that the state government is trying to take the full advantage of the apex court order.

Certificate issued to 74 widows in Salcete

MARGAO: According to Deputy Collector of Salcete taluka Uday Prabhudesai, since June, his office has issued the mandatory certificate to as many as 74 widows residing in the taluka.

Speaking to this daily, Prabhudesai said, “I have issued 74 certificates to widows residing in Salcete to sell, transfer and gift their properties, as per the direction of the government.”

Prabhudesai said that the widows had no problem with regard to the land transactions. “They were neither forced to sell or gift the property or properties. They said they had willingly come forward to part with their land,” he said and added that the certificate was issued to each of the widows after completely hearing them.

Sources in the sub registrar’s office said that based on the certificate, the sale deeds and the gift deeds were registered.

This article was first published on Navhind times on 29th oct 2018