Vadodara man booked for not disclosing religion during sale of property

Charged under Disputed Areas Act for cheating and forging documents for selling property to a person of different religion in violation of law


In a shocking incident in Vadodara, a Parsi man from was booked for failing to disclose religion while selling his property to a Muslim man. The charges against him were filed under the Gujarat Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable and Provision for protection of Tenants from Eviction of Premises in Disturbed Areas Act.

This Act prohibits the sale of property in a ‘Disturbed Area’ to a person of a different religion without the permission of the District Collector, in a purported bid to maintain communal harmony by preventing changes to demography.

Enacted in 1991 and modified in 2005, the Disturbed Areas Act as it is commonly referred to, says “Where the State Government, having regard to the intensity and duration of riot or violence of mob and such other factors in any area of the State is of opinion that public order in that area was disturbed for a substantial period by reason of riot or violence of mob, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette declare such area to be a disturbed area.” In order to transfer immovable property in a Disturbed Area, a person must make an application to the District Collector.

The Act applies to communally sensitive areas in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Himmatnagar, Bharuch, Surat, Godhra, and Kapadvanj. Fresh amendments were passed in July 2019 by the Gujarat Assembly, but held back allegedly by the Ministry of Home Affairs in January 2020. The ministry reportedly sought greater clarification as to the definition of “immovable property” and also sought to know if provisions of the act violate any other law and the Indian Constitution. In February 2020, large swathes of Khambhat town in Anand district were also placed under the Disturbed Areas Act for five years.

The proposed amendments reportedly gave greater power to the District Collectors to gauge whether the sale would lead to ‘polarisation’ or ‘improper clustering’ that had the potential to cause disturbance in future. It also allowed for imprisonment of people violating the act from anywhere between three to five years. The fine amount was also increased from the original Rs 1,000/-  to Rs 1,00,000 or ten percent of the value of the property.  

The entire act may be viewed here: 

In the present case, according to the Times of India, the accused, one Feroze Contractor, a resident of Vasna Road in Vadodara, was booked for cheating and forging documents to sell his plot in Samarpan Society to Feroze Patel and his family.

The offense was registered at the JP Road police station on Sunday, on a complaint filed by the society president Manish Malhotra who alleged that Contractor did not disclose that he was Parsi while applying for permission from the District Collector to sell his plot. He also alleged that Contractor had failed to disclose that the sale deed was signed between Contractor and Patel in June last year. It was only when Patel started construction on the plot that residents discovered it had changed hands.


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