Govt attempt to protect overseas Goans’ lands draws just 22

PANAJI: To prevent manipulation of land records and execution of fraudulent sale deeds of land belonging to non-resident Indians, the commission for NRI affairs had decided, early last year, to create a databank of all landed properties of NRIs and OCI cardholders willing to register their properties with the commission.

While over a dozen Goan overseas associations were intimated by the commission, only 22 overseas Goans, including OCI cardholders, have so far registered their properties owned or inherited by them either individually or jointly as co-owners.

The commission, on February 12, 2014, had requested the associations to request their members to register their landed properties, other than flats and shops, with the state government, by providing details of property records with copies of Form I & XIV.

“Lately there have been instances where the landed properties owned by some NRIs and PIOs of Goan origin have been usurped, in their absence, by unscrupulous elements manipulating the land records and executing fraudulent sale deeds. Against this background the state government is seriously contemplating the enactment of a suitable legislation whereby the government will offer to protect the landed properties of interested NRIs and PIOs of Goan origin,” the commission’s email read.

Details of the properties of the 22 persons who responded have now been passed on to both district collectors and the state registrar-cum-head of notary services to ensure that the properties are protected.

“We have requested the collectors and state registrar to intimate the property owner concerned in the event of any encroachment or sale of any of their properties. Prevention is better than cure,” commissioner for NRI affairs, Wilfred Mesquita told TOI.

On Wednesday TOI reported about the plight of John Linton Carrasco, who returned to Goa after 10 years to find that his ancestral land, admeasuring 11,000 sq m at Sirsaim, Tivim, had been sold to 14 people through fraudulent means.

The entire property was converted into 32 smaller plots, 14 of which were sold for a total of Rs 92 lakh to 14 people.

He also found that construction of a road was under way in his property and his complaint was registered at the Mapusa police station.

Mapusa PI Tushar Lotlikar told TOI that a case of cheating and forgery has been registered against Pauline Das, a resident of Mumbai and 14 other persons.

Carrasco’s power of attorney was forged and for executing the sale deed at the sub-registar’s office Das allegedly affixed a photo on the forged power of attorney. Carrasco’s driving license and his brother’s Indian passport were also forged to execute the sale deed.

In July this year three persons were arrested in a forgery and cheating case in which land admeasuring 1400 sq m in Socorro was sold to a Mumbai resident by forging documents.