Concerned about homelessness, Madras High Court asks why not limit individuals from buying more than one house?

WION Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Feb 04, 2020, 08.05 PM(IST) Written By: Sidharth MP

File photo: Madras High Court Photograph:( Reuters )

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The bench also observed as to why the authorities could not limit the NRIs from purchasing houses in India, in order to bring down the costs.

The Madras High Court has raised questions whether individuals can be restricted from buying more than one house until the Government completes the Awas Yojana, which intends to provide housing for all in urban areas by 2022. 

A bench comprising of Justice Kirubakaran and Justice Abdul Quddhose sought responses by March 6th from the Central and State Government over, “when the housing for all ‘Awas Yojana’ would be completed, how many people in the country own more than house or plot, how many families have basic housing amenities in India ”

The Court was hearing an appeal moved by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board challenging a single judge order against the acquisition of about 369 acres of private land near Coimbatore for a housing scheme. 

The Court directed the authorities to inform whether the Central and State Governments had schemed to provide housing for marginalized and economically weaker sections. Details were also sought about the families that possess more than one house.

“Why don’t the Governments curb individuals from purchasing more than one house/plot till ‘housing for all’ is accomplished. 

Why can’t the registration charges for the second house that an individual buys be charged twice as much? Why not the government charge individuals twice as much electricity charges, water tax and house tax for the second house?”

The bench also observed as to why the authorities could not limit the NRIs from purchasing houses in India, in order to bring down the costs.

The judges highlighted the plight of lakhs of people who are living on platforms, roads, slums and river banks without basic amenities and safety. The court observed that Housing moral all could be achieved when restrictions are put on persons who hold more than one housing units.