Acquisition Property In India
Acquisition of a real estate property by an Indian citizen residing outside India:
- No special permission is required for an Indian citizen residing outside India to acquire by way of purchase or gift any immovable property in India other than agricultural land, plantation property or a farmhouse.
- However, the restriction on acquiring agricultural land, plantation or farmhouse is applicable to all non-residents. The restriction on agricultural properties continues from the time of FERA. The Reserve Bank of India normally does not approve such proposals if applied for the permission.
- Under FERA, a declaration needs to be filed giving details of the property. Now this process has been dispensed with. However, the bank should be informed about full details of the property and cost incurred in acquiring the property. This can in a way, help at the time of repatriation of the property.
- It is notable that only non-residents who are Indian citizens, or who are of Indian origin have been permitted to invest in immovable properties in India. In other words foreigners are not allowed to buy immovable property in India.
- Further, non-residents who are Indian citizens or a person of Indian origin can also acquire any property (including agricultural property etc.) by way of inheritance. This is because to bequeath a property is a natural right. A law cannot give it. As a corollary, the heir can acquire a property as inheritance. However, once having acquired the property, restrictions on use or holding can be imposed under the law. Thus, even if agricultural property is inherited, the agricultural activities cannot be conducted. A person may have natural plants, trees, on the lands. However, he can not grow the same with the intention of earning income.