In order to ensure housing for all, the Madras High Court has proposed ban on non-resident Indians from purchasing houses in India, prohibit speculative sale, and impose 100 per cent extra stamp duty on purchase of second house.
The court on its own impleaded the Union housing and finance ministries as party respondents.
It has directed them to answer a series of questions including as to how many families have basic amenity of housing in India as well as in Tamil Nadu, population and housing ratio in the country and in the state, when 'Housing for All' mission of the central government would be achieved.
"Why the government does not consider imposing such restrictions to control escalation of house prices and to provide a house to every family in the country, a division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice Abdul Quddhose wondered.
Directing the authorities to inform as towhether the central and state have got special schemes to provide housing for the marginalized and economically weaker sections including SC/ST communities, the bench has also sought the details of the number of families that possess more than one house.
"Why the governments do not restrict families/individuals from purchasing/possessing more than one housing unit/flat/plot till "Housing for all" is achieved?
Why not the government charge 100 per cent more or extra stamp duty to discourage buying more than one house by a family while purchasing second house?
Why not the government conditionally allow the families to purchase more than one house provided the said family pays 100 per cent extra statutory dues like property tax, electricity charges, water and sewerage charges on the second property?" the bench said.
This apart, the court also wanted the authorities to know as to why it should not prohibit the NRIs from purchasing houses in India to bring down the cost of housing.
Justifying its directions, the court said "Lakhs and lakhs of people are living on platforms, roads, and cement pipes, slums, under the trees and on banks of water bodies without proper shelter and basic amenities and safety."
It is true that the Centre had taken a policy decision to provide housing unit to every family.
It should be achieved at the earliest, the court said, adding it could become fruitful when restrictions are put on persons who hold more than one housing units.
The court passed the order while hearing an appeal moved by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board challenging a single judge order against acquisition of about 369 acres of private land in Thudiyalur and Vellakinar areas of Coimbatore for a housing scheme.