The incident narrated here happened late last month but I came to know about it only yesterday. I am blogging this so that those who stay outside Kerala would be aware of some of the problems involved in land transactions in God's Own Country.
Normally it should be a simple transaction. The price is agreed upon and paid, proper document drawn up, and the land purchase registered before the appropriate Registrar. If there is a broker involved, he would be paid a commission. The document writer would be paid his fees and miscellaneous expenses at the Registrar’s office.
Yesterday I had lunch with a Keralite who has been staying outside Kerala most of his life. He had sold some of his ancestral lands to a Keralite from the Gulf. Practically they were strangers to the place. They went to the concerned office along with the broker for registering the document. Initially the Registrar refused to act, citing all sort of reasons. The seller succeeded in persuading her and the document was registered.
Then the real trouble started. A group of brokers in the locality surrounded them demanding brokerage for them also. The demand was made to the buyer and the seller.
The buyer and seller escaped from there and proceeded to Kottayam separately. What they didn’t realize was that the brokers were following along with the local Sub-Inspector of Police. Registration of land has nothing to do with the police.
The seller stopped at a hotel for a quick cup of tea. Then cinema-like scenes started. The police Jeep screeched to a halt and the SI jumped out along with the brokers. The seller was threatened that he would be arrested unless he paid.
The seller now told the SI that he would pay if the Office of the Director General of Police confirmed that was to be done, and that they would wait in the hotel till the confirmation came. He took out his cell phone. He really has contacts at high level.
The brokers vamoosed and the SI stayed back apologizing. Unfortunately my friend did not make a complaint.
Also see Kerala: Left with empty granaries