This Opinion involving due diligence of the land has been published with the consent of our client, and names and identities have been concealed to respect their privacy. If you have a similar matter, please contact us first for legal advice by sending us an email at email@example.com.
Date: June (2015) We have been retained by our client to provide an opinion on whether due diligence can be conducted to establish a person’s land ownership in Pakistan. In this regard, we have been provided with a series of documents to look into the matter, which are attached herein as appendixes A to S (omitted for confidentiality of the client) in the Opinion.
Based on our investigation of these documents and our own thorough research into the matter, we have formulated the following opinion. The observations of this opinion override any previous facts or points communicated at our end, as this is the final opinion.
In addressing the questions at hand, we have received the following documents:
- A Sale Deed, of Land Purchased by X (Appendix A)
- A Power of Attorney, by Mr. X to Mr. Y in English (Appendix B) and Urdu (Appendix C)
- Sale Deed by Mr. X’s Attorney in English (Appendix D) and Urdu (Appendix E)
- Affidavit of Mr. S (Appendix F)
- Inquiry Report by Tehsildar Islamabad in Urdu (Appendix G)
- Inquiry Report by Patwari XYZ Town Islamabad, in Urdu (Appendix H)
- Copy of Stamp Vendor Register From where Power of Attorney Stamp Paper was issued (Appendix I)
- Paper titled Record No. 112 (Appendix J), which is possibly an unofficial translation of Appendix I above
- Letter No. XVYTZ Dated XX Feb, 2014-05-08 (Appendix K)
- Letter No. XYZ Dated 28-01-2014 (Appendix L)
- Map of XYZ Town Islamabad Capital Territory (Appendix M)
- Letterhead of XYZ Property Advisors (Appendix N)
- Copy of Patwari Register records (Appendix O)
- Copy of receipt of advance payment paid by Mr. X Dated 09-04-2007 (Appendix P)
- Copy of XYZ Property Advisors Receipt containing the account number of Mr. P (Who sold land to Mr. X Appendix Q)
- Copy of Receipt for advance payment by Mr. X Dated 09-04-2007 (Appendix R)
- Copy of XYZ Town Brochure (Appendix S)
All of the above documentation has been used to investigate the matter of the present ownership of the property situated at Khewat Number ABC, Survey Number XXX, Extract Number XXX, ABC Tehsil, and District Islamabad.
Steps for Due Diligence taken by Josh and Mak International.
Firstly, in order to confirm the ownership of the property, our team paid a visit to the Local Town Patwari Office, from where we came to know that Mr. X is the present owner of the property in question. It may, however, be worth placing a caution that updating of records at the Patwari Office is sometimes delayed due to parties to the sale being unaware of the legal requirement of keeping such records. Another reason for such delayed updating can be that the Patwari Office always has a large workload in terms of updating records manually in the register. This may lead to delays or omissions.
As a result of the site survey and the visits to the relevant offices, we have come to the following findings and conclusions. Please find below the reproductions of our findings in an excerpt from an email we have sent earlier:
“To confirm the authenticity of the documents and ownership of the land, it is important to know whether the documents included a registration certificate pertaining to the sale of the property, which is being claimed by Mr. X and his family. Such a certificate is in common practice appended on the back of the first page of the Power of Attorney or on the last page of the Sale Deed. Furthermore, a Power of Attorney and Sale Deed for the sale or mortgage of immovable property is required, under Pakistani Law, to be registered under Section 17 of the Registration Act 1908. There are, of course, some exceptions to this requirement, but they are not applicable to this case, so we can disregard them in this discussion. Without the registration certificate, the authenticity of these documents is not very easy to establish without a complicated procedure of search at the local district registrar offices situated in the Islamabad district. Even if the registrar is approached for the task of authentication, it will be extremely time-consuming for them to find the records as all of these records are contained on paper and there is no organized method to come up with them without a registration certificate number or an indication as to which series of numbers it was filed under. Based on the above, Mr. X’s family was advised to provide you with any document, which will give an indication of the Registration Certificate, or anything containing the stamp or signature of the Registrar or Sub-Registrar. That document would potentially help us to carry out a quicker and more accurate search at the Registration Department, which will place us in a better position to establish the proper authentication of the documents.”
These documents or registration certificates have still not been received or found through our search. Paragraphs 8-14 of the original opinion are published here only due to the client’s request for anonymity.
Next, as mentioned above, as per our most recent findings (through a visit to the relevant offices), the sale of land has also not been registered with the Patwari of X Town. Therefore, the only other way to confirm if a sale has actually taken place would be to check with the District Registrar’s Office. Also, without the Sale Agreement’s Registration Certificate, it will be very difficult to find this particular register without a clue as to its registration number or series.
Recently, we received an email from our client dated XYZ, with another set of documents. After reviewing those documents, we can confirm that they are in conformity with our previous response communicated to the Client. These documents contain a letter No. XYZ issued to Mrs. F, which states a reply from the Office of the Addl. Deputy Commissioner, District Collector, ICT, Islamabad vide their letter XXX (Appendix L) along with inquiry reports, which are enclosed for information (Appendix G & H). It also contains a letter XYZ dated 28-01-2014 addressed to the Deputy Director (CC) Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, which states that the matter was referred to Tehsildar Islamabad for a report (Appendix G). Finally, the email contains reports of Tehsildar Islamabad and one Patwari (Appendix H). All of these have been reviewed and set out in appendices A to S attached.
The report of Tehsildar Islamabad is of very poor quality, but we have been able to translate it for your perusal (Appendix G):
Report of Deputy Tehsil Dar, Islamabad X-X-2014
Subject: Information regarding property of Mr. X. This report states that, according to the documentation available with the land record-keepers, Mr. X is the owner of X kanals of land situated at Town, details having been furnished below: According to the record register number 123, Mr. X purchased 1 kanal of land with transfer number 12345 for 1,000,000 PKR per Kanal. At the time of purchase, the land was about XXX PKR per Marla in the market. Mr. X also purchased, in the same khasra (area number), 1 kanal of land with transfer number 13207 for 60,000 PKR per Kanal. At the time of purchase, the price of this piece of land was 60,000 PKR per Marla, and now it is around 100,000 PKR per Marla in the market.”
- We can confirm that the Report of Patwari states the same (Appendix H). However, in the translation (Appendix G and H), we have found a discrepancy. In both the reports, they have stated that Mr. X purchased the land for 50,000 PKR per Kanal, and the price of land per Marla was 50,000. Please note that a ‘Kanal’ is bigger than a ‘Marla,’ and there are 20 Marlas in One Kanal.1 According to our understanding, Mr. X purchased One Kanal of land for XXXX PKR per Marla.
There are also two more documents which we received on XX- 201X, one being a Special Power of Attorney (Appendix B, C) and another Sale Deed (Appendix D, E).
The Special Power of Attorney (Appendix B and C): With regards to this power of attorney, we have received a document on 17-03-2014 containing a copy of the register of the stamp vendor from where it was issued. It states that Mr. X has given power of attorney to his close confidant Mr. PYP to look after his property and has given him full authority to deal with it. Along with this, we also received a Sale Deed (Appendix D and E) in the same email, which states that Mr. PYP, being the holder of the Special Power of Attorney, sold the land to Mr. Y.”
It is important to mention here that we have also received an affidavit of Mr. Y (Appendix F), which states that he is the sole owner of this property and Mr. X has nothing to do with it.
Apart from these documents (particularly Appendix F), which may have been forged and have still not been registered with any Land Record Keeping Offices, be it Patwari or Tehsildar, we are of the opinion that Mr. X is the current owner of the land in question.
Next steps (optional):
We would also further advise him that the said power of attorney (Appendix B, C) and sale deed (Appendix D, E) could be challenged at courts through a civil suit to claim his right back.
For context:Patwari is a Key Figure in Land Administration in Pakistan
A Patwari, also known as Tapedaar in Sindh and Patwari in other provinces and FATA, holds a vital position in the Revenue Department. Appointed and transferred by the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner, the Patwari may be the lowest official in the hierarchy, but their role is central to land administration.
Crucial Functions of the Patwari:
- Custodian of Land Records: The Patwari is entrusted with safeguarding all records of land rights, ensuring accuracy and transparency in property ownership information.
- Recording Ownership and Tenancy Changes: Whenever there are changes in ownership or tenancy of land, the Patwari meticulously updates the relevant registers in the land record.
- Crop Reporting: As a crop reporter, the Patwari conducts harvest inspections of fields, generating vital statistics on crop areas and determining the basis for various land-related taxes.
- Protector of State Property: The Patwari diligently monitors state property in the village and reports any encroachment on state land or public roads.
- Village Observer: Being the village official, the Patwari keeps the authorities informed about important occurrences in the area, such as floods, calamities, infectious diseases, and other significant events.
- Maintaining Landowner and Tenant Information: The Patwari consistently updates particulars of landowners and tenants, maintaining an accurate record.
- Supplying Revenue Record Copies: The Patwari provides copies of revenue records to the public, necessary for property transactions, liens, charges, loans, and other legal purposes.
- Involvement in Land Acquisition: The Patwari plays a crucial role when the state acquires private land for public projects, such as school or motorway construction.
- Assisting in Land Reforms: Patwari supports higher officials in the allotment of resumed land to tenants under land reforms schemes.
- Relief Efforts: The Patwari is a key figure in relief efforts, facilitating the suspension and remission of government dues on private holdings and taking charge of disaster-related relief distribution.
- Additional Duties: The Patwari contributes to various important tasks, including assisting in constituency delimitation, elections, population census, and agriculture and livestock census.
- Tax Collection: In some provinces, the Patwari is also responsible for collecting land-related taxes and other taxes, such as loans on agricultural land advanced by banks.
In conclusion, the Patwari’s significance in land administration cannot be overstated. From maintaining crucial land records to assisting in relief efforts and land reforms, the Patwari plays an indispensable role in serving the needs of the community and the government in Pakistan.
Based on the above information and the expertise demonstrated in the opinion provided, Josh and Mak International can offer the following types of investigative and legal due diligence services to the public at large:
- Property Ownership Verification: Josh and Mak International can conduct thorough investigations and research to verify the ownership of properties. They can examine land records, title deeds, and other relevant documents to confirm the legal ownership status of a property.
- Document Authentication: The firm can assess the authenticity of various legal documents, including sale deeds, powers of attorney, and affidavits, to ensure their validity and compliance with legal requirements.
- Land Record Examination: Josh and Mak International can access and review land records maintained by Patwari or Tehsildar offices to gather crucial information about the ownership, boundaries, and other aspects of a property.
- Due Diligence on Real Estate Transactions: The firm can conduct due diligence on real estate transactions, ensuring that all necessary legal requirements are met, and identifying any potential risks or legal issues.
- Legal Opinion and Consultation: Based on their investigations and research, the firm can provide expert legal opinions and consultations to clients, helping them make informed decisions regarding property transactions and ownership.
- Civil Litigation Support: In cases where disputes arise over property ownership or transaction documents, Josh and Mak International can offer support and assistance in civil litigation to protect their clients’ rights and interests.
- Dispute Resolution: The firm can help clients resolve property-related disputes through negotiation, mediation, or legal proceedings, ensuring fair and just resolution of conflicts.
- Compliance and Regulatory Assistance: Josh and Mak International can guide clients through the legal and regulatory requirements related to property transactions and ownership, ensuring compliance with applicable laws.
- Expert Witness Services: In legal proceedings, the firm can provide expert witness services, offering their expert opinions and insights to support their clients’ cases.
Overall, Josh and Mak International’s due diligence services provide a comprehensive and reliable approach to verifying property ownership, authenticating documents, and assisting clients in navigating the complexities of real estate transactions and disputes.
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