India: Requirements and procedures for tenant registration, including implementation, particularly in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore (2009-April 2013)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||9 May 2013|
|Related Document(s)||Inde : information sur les exigences et les procédures relatives à l'enregistrement des locataires, y compris la mise en oeuvre de celles-ci, tout particulièrement à Delhi, à Mumbai, à Kolkata et à Bangalore (2009-avril 2013)|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, India: Requirements and procedures for tenant registration, including implementation, particularly in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore (2009-April 2013), 9 May 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/51ab3a7c4.html [accessed 22 June 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
1. Tenant Verification
In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Director of the Centre for Public Affairs (CPA) in Uttar Pradesh, India, a "society" that conducts research, develops policy options and promotes dialogue (CPA n.d.), indicated that, "in normal circumstances," tenant verification consists of landlords registering their tenants at the nearest police station (CPA 16 Apr. 2013). He indicated that police keep records of the tenant's information (ibid. 15 Apr. 2013).
Several sources report that the registration of tenants is mandatory in some cities, such as Chennai (Chennai n.d.a), Delhi (Delhi n.d.), Bangalore (The Hindu 14 Mar. 2012), and Jaipur (The Times of India 10 July 2011). Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure grants any executive magistrate the power to issue orders in urgent cases of apprehended danger, for example, "terrorist/anti-social elements may seek hideouts in the guise of tenants" (The Hindu 26 Mar. 2012). Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Act No. 2 of 1974 states the following:
Power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger.
In cases where, in the opinion of a District Magistrate, a Sub-divisional Magistrate or any other Executive Magistrate specially empowered by the State Government in this behalf, there is sufficient ground for proceeding under this section and immediate prevention or speedy remedy is desirable, such Magistrate may, by a written order stating the material facts of the case and served in the manner provided by section 134, direct any person to abstain from a certain act or to take certain order with respect to certain property in his possession or under his management, if such Magistrate considers that such direction is likely to prevent, or tends to prevent, obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person lawfully employed, or danger to human life, health or safety, or a disturbance of the public tranquility, or a riot, of an affray.
An order under this section may, in cases of emergency or in cases where the circumstances do not admit of the serving in due time of a notice upon the person against whom the order is directed, be passed ex parte.
An order under this section may be directed to a particular individual, or to persons residing in a particular place or area, or to the public generally when frequenting or visiting a particular place or area.
No order under this section shall remain in force for more than two months from the making thereof:
Provided that, if the State Government considers it necessary so to do for preventing danger to human life, health or safety or for preventing a riot or any affray, it may, by notification, direct that an order made by a Magistrate under this section shall remain in force for such further period not exceeding six months from the date on which the order made by the Magistrate would have, but for such order, expired, as it may specify in the said notification.
Any Magistrate may, either on his own motion or on the application of any person aggrieved, rescind or alter any order made under this section, by himself or any Magistrate subordinate to him or by his predecessor-in-office.
The State Government may, either on its own motion or on the application of any person aggrieved, rescind or alter any order made by it under the proviso to sub-section (4).
Where an application under sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) is received, the Magistrate, or the State Government, as the case may be, shall afford to the applicant an early opportunity of appearing before him or it, either in person or by pleader and showing cause against the order; and if the Magistrate or the State Government, as the case may be, rejects the application wholly or in part, he or it shall record in writing the reasons for so doing. (India 1974)
Sources also state that people in contravention of orders issued under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure shall be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Chennai n.d.a; Hindustan Times 30 Dec. 2008), which states:
Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.-- Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any persons lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both: and if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. Explanation.-It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm. (India 1860)
Various types of information that could be
name (Chennai n.d.b; Kolkata n.d.a);
age (ibid.; Chennai n.d.b);
official identity documents (ibid.; The Hindu 14 Mar. 2012);
photographs (Punjab n.d.a);
address of permanent residence (Chennai n.d.b; Kolkata n.d.a);
proof of permanent residence (Punjab n.d.a);
address of previous residence (Chennai n.d.b; Kolkata n.d.a);
father's name (ibid.; Chennai n.d.b);
details about family members (Punjab n.d.a; Hyderabad n.d.);
details of co-occupants (Chennai n.d.b; Kolkata n.d.a);
religion (Punjab n.d.a);
caste and sub-caste (ibid.);
references (Kolkata n.d.a).
In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a legal researcher with Voices for Freedom (VFF) Asia, an international NGO with offices in India, the UK, Canada and the US (VFF n.d.a) that advocates for legal accountability and human rights (VFF n.d.b), noted that information regarding tenant verification is usually published in regional newspapers in the language spoken in that region, and therefore English-language research on tenant verification is limited (24 Apr. 2013).
The Delhi police website states that house owners are "required" to inform local police of the particulars of tenants (Delhi n.d.). The Delhi police also state that house owners should "check the antecedents" of the tenant and "verify" their information (ibid.). According to the Delhi police, house owners "in specified areas of Delhi" should submit tenant information in writing "to the area SHO/Police Station" as per orders issued under Section 144 of The Code of Criminal Procedure (ibid.). The Delhi police add that they conduct "regular tenant verification," including special tenant verification drives (ibid.). The CPA Director indicated that tenant verification drives can be conducted as a preventive measure, or after a major crime (16 Apr. 2013). He added that, as a preventive measure, district police stations or the entire "police commissionarate" conduct door-to-door verification of tenants, or request home owners to register their tenants (ibid.). The Hindu states that, in 2009, the Delhi police conducted door-to-door tenant verification of 900,000 houses, of which 86 percent of the landlords had already applied for tenant verification (3 Jan. 2010). The Hindu also states that, out of 730,067 visits to houses for door-to-door verification of domestic helpers, 89 percent of landlords had previously applied for verification (3 Jan. 2010). The VFF legal representative stated that "a lot" of people register their domestic workers (24 Apr. 2013).
On 15 July 2011, the Times of India reported that, due to the "serial blasts in Mumbai," the Delhi police were taking new safety measures, including a plan to "identify every landlord and tenant in the city. Each police station will maintain a master roll and update it regularly." In 2011, the Times of India reported that, according to the Special Commissioner of Crime, the tenant verification plan was being implemented in Vasant Vihar [Southwest Delhi] and Vasant Kunj [Southwest Delhi] (15 July 2011). The Times of India quotes a District Commissioner of Police in the South of Delhi as saying:
"'[w]e are asking for genuine ID cards from tenants whose database is available on the internet. Instead of sending documents to the tenant's hometown and waiting for a response, we can verify them on the internet within 24 hours. A special software has been developed for this purpose'". (The Times of India 15 July 2011)
The Times of India indicates that about 60,000 people have been verified in Gurgaon, and that half of these people were verified online (ibid.). However, according to the CPA Director, because the "day-to-day functioning" of the police in India is paper-based, tenant information is "kept in a file" (16 Apr. 2013). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
The Delhi police state that information related to "domestic help," including drivers and watchmen, must also be submitted to police for verification (Delhi n.d.). The Delhi police indicate that house owners should request information from the "servant," including: name, address, telephone numbers of relatives, previous workplace, references, a photograph and finger prints (ibid.). The Delhi police add that there are public advertisements advising people to verify their "servants" and "Resident Welfare Associations and Trader Associations are briefed in meetings regularly" (ibid.). The Delhi police also "regularly" conduct "servant verification drives" (ibid.).
On 13 August 2011, the Times of India reported that a Delhi tenant verification drive resulted in police finding a suspect. According to the Times of India, a police officer was conducting an "initial check" of tenant registration and found the suspect's information in several documents under different names (13 Aug. 2011).
Without specifying the number of years, the VFF legal representative indicated that tenants in Delhi and Mumbai must eventually register their leases at the local court (24 Apr. 2013). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate among the time constraints of this Response.
Media sources indicate that tenant verification is mandatory in Mumbai (The Pioneer 16 Sept. 2009; The Hindu 26 Mar. 2012). Media sources report that, according to police, tenant verification has been successful in Mumbai (ibid. 14 Mar. 2012; The Times of India 13 Mar. 2009). The Hindu reports that, according to the Mumbai Police Joint Commissioner of Law and Order, there is almost 95 percent compliance with tenant verification (14 Mar. 2012). The Hindu adds that, according to citizens of Mumbai, the tenant verification process is a "community-driven initiative where even housing societies require you to submit a verification form" before renting out a house (14 Mar. 2012). The Hindu also says that, in some cities, such as Pune, approval from a lawyer is also a requirement of tenant verification (14 Mar. 2012). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
Kolkata police state that landlords should collect detailed information from tenants and give the local police station a "tenant profile form," which is available at local police stations and on the Kolkata police website (Kolkata n.d.b). The Kolkata police website also contains a downloadable "Domestic Help Profile Form" (ibid. n.d.c). Further information on tenant verification in Kolkata could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
On 7 September 2012, the Times of India reported that, although the Police Commissioner indicated that the tenant verification programme previously was not implemented successfully, the police are now prioritizing tenant verification and will be launching a "special drive." On 14 March 2012, the Hindu indicated that the Bangalore police enforced a mandatory tenant verification rule in November 2011 under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure orders, but a landlord said that there is "'not much enforcement'." The Hindu also indicated that landlords were also ordered to submit tenant verification in 2006 and 2008, but the push for tenant verification was unsuccessful (14 Mar. 2012). On 10 February 2013, the Bangalore-based Deccan Herald reported that Bangalore police have attempted to make tenant verification mandatory. However, the Deccan Herald indicates that most owners have not conducted tenant verification (10 Feb. 2013).
1.5 Other States and Cities
The VFF legal representative said that tenant registration is mandatory in all states, and especially in metropolitan cities (VFF 24 Apr. 2013). Sources report on tenant registration in several states, including: Goa (The Times of India 16 July 2009), Hyderabad (Hyderabad n.d.), Punjab (Punjab n.d.b), Tamil Nadu (Tamil Nadu n.d.), Uttar Pradesh (Uttar Pradesh n.d.), Uttarakhand (The Pioneer 25 Sept. 2008), and West Bengal (West Bengal n.d.). On 3 April 2012, the Kashmir Monitor reported that tenant verification is mandatory in Goa. The Kashmir Monitor adds that Kashmiri migrants in Goa must also submit a "'Stranger Roll'" at the nearest police station (3 Apr. 2012). The Kashmir Monitor also says that, for migrants, police record information, obtain photographs, and send the details to police in the migrant's state of origin for verification (3 Apr. 2012). The Times of India reports that tenant verification drives in the city of Colonelganj [Uttar Pradesh] resulted in finding criminals in rental accommodations, and stated that the Colonelganj police are considering making tenant verification drives mandatory (11 July 2011).
The Andhra Pradesh police indicate that landlords in Hyderabad City should complete several steps for tenant verification, including opening a "tenant register" to submit tenant information and photographs, obtaining pay-slips from the tenant's workplace to ensure that they work there, providing the local police station with the tenant's information, monitoring the tenant's activities, making surprise visits to the tenant, and conducting a thorough verification of tenants that come from areas known for "terror" and criminal activity (Andhra Pradesh n.d.).
Sources report on tenant registration in several cities, including: Allahabad [Uttar Pradesh] (The Times of India 13 Mar. 2009), Chandigarh [Haryana and Punjab] (Chandigarh n.d.), Chennai [Tamil Nadu] (Chennai n.d.b), Hyderabad City [Andhra Pradesh] (Andhra Pradesh n.d.), and Ranchi [Jharkhand] (The Pioneer 16 Sept. 2009). However, in 2009, the Pioneer indicated that 90 percent of the landlords in Ranchi had not submitted tenant verification (16 Sept. 2009). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
2. Police Verification of Tenant Information
The VFF legal representative said that there are "no written procedures" pertaining to how police verify information, but stated that she "presumes" that information is cross-referenced with lists of wanted persons (24 Apr. 2013). She added that in some cases, such as if someone is on a "wanted" list, the police may visit the tenant's former home to do a background check, although this is "not a regular practice" (VFF 24 Apr. 2013). The CPA Director indicated that records are "checked and cross-checked," "[o]nly in cases of serious incidents of crime, more particularly in cases of terrorism, drug peddling and any such similar crime" (15 Apr. 2012). Corroborating or further information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
According to the VFF legal representative, when a citizen moves, in order to obtain a passport, voter's card or ration card, the police must verify the person's new address (24 Apr. 2013). She said that, in some cases, this may include a police visit to the person's home (24 Apr. 2013).
3. Consequences of Not Registering Tenants
In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Associate Director of the India Studies Program who is also an Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University that has researched the Indian police indicated that the "tenant registration system varies - largely it is non-existent in most cities and states" (25 April 2013). The VFF legal representative stated that "a lot" of landlords do not register their tenants, and added that compliance to tenant registration varies from state to state (24 Apr. 2013). She also said that the legal requirement to register tenants "may be stringently applied" in some states, such as Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Punjab and Tamil Nadu (24 Apr. 2013). The VFF legal representative also said that landlords "may" be held criminally liable for not registering their tenants, but also said that some landlords bribe police to avoid criminal charges (24 Apr. 2013). According to the CPA Director, tenant registration in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata "is a legal requirement, but voluntary. There are no penal consequences if someone does not register his/her tenants" (15 Apr. 2013). However, on 30 December 2008, the Hindustan Times reported that a landlord in Delhi was arrested for "failing to submit tenant verification forms despite repeated warnings," and the case was registered under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Also in 2008, the Hindu reported that Delhi police "initiated legal action" against a landlord who failed to submit a tenant verification of a tenant who was later charged with drug possession (21 May 2008). On 28 July 2008, the Hindustan Times reported that five landlords in south Delhi were arrested for not verifying their tenants, and although they were released on bail the same day, the cases were going to go to a city magistrate. Further information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
On 13 July 2011, the Times of India reported that Mumbai police submitted a report to the district magistrate indicating that a landlord whose tenant is accused of being a shooter in a gang "violated the collector's orders" by not submitting a tenant verification form. On 16 July 2009, the Times of India reported that police officers in Goa were "instructed to take action" against landlords who do not comply with tenant verification. In 2011, the Times of India also reported that, in Jaipur, "the police are now empowered to take action against errant landlords" for not registering their tenants with the police (10 July 2011). Further information on consequences of not registering tenants could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
4. Tenant Verification Services
EasyRenting, an online portal about property, indicates that it conducts police registration and tenant verification (20 Mar. 2013). According to a press release by AuthBridge, a background verification company, a product called "IndiaVerify," which is an "online verification service," can be used by individuals in India (AuthBridge 12 Oct. 2012). IndiaVerify specializes in "marriage partner verification, tenant verification, driver verification and domestic help verification" (ibid.). Further information on tenant verification services could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Andhra Pradesh. N.d. Andhra Pradesh Police. "Tenant Verification." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
Associate Director, India Studies Program, Indiana University. 25 April 2013. Correspondence to the Research Directorate.
AuthBridge. 12 October 2012. "IndiaVerify to Offer Matrimonial Verification Service to Individuals." (Factiva)
Centre for Public Affairs (CPA), Uttar Pradesh. 16 April 2013. Correspondence to the Research Directorate.
_____. 15 April 2013. Correspondence to the Research Directorate.
_____. N.d. [Accessed 22 Apr. 2013]
Chandigarh. N.d. Chandigarh Police. "Tenant Verification/Information Form." [Accessed 3 May 2013]
Chennai. N.d.a. Chennai Police. "Order Under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
_____. N.d.b. Chennai Police. "Format for Information on Tenants." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
Deccan Herald [Bangalore]. 10 February 2013. "Travails of Tenants." (Factiva)
Delhi. N.d. Delhi Police. "Delhi Police Set Up." [Accessed 11 Apr. 2013]
EasyRenting. 20 March 2013. "EasyRenting Now Comes with Value Property Related Tips." [Accessed 15 Apr. 2013]
The Hindu [Chennai]. 26 March 2012. "No Substitute to Good Policing." (Factiva)
_____. 14 March 2012. Vasudha Venugopal. "Other Cities Saw Mixed Results." (Factiva)
_____. 3 January 2010. "New Initiatives by Police Yielded Results: Commissioner." (Factiva)
_____. 21 May 2008. "Drugs Seized; 2 Nigerians Held." (Factiva)
Hindustan Times [New Delhi]. 30 December 2008. "Police Intensify Tenant Verification, 1 Held." (Factiva)
_____. 28 July 2008. "After Terror Weekend, Spotlight on Tenants." (Factiva)
Hyderabad. N.d. Hyderabad Police. "Format for Information of Tenants." [Accessed 17 Apr. 2013]
India. 1974. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No. 2 of 1974). [Accessed 17 Apr. 2013]
_____. 1860. The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Act No. 45 of 1860). [Accessed 18 Apr. 2013]
Kashmir Monitor [Srinagar]. 3 April 2012. "'No Discrimination Against Kashmiris.'" (Factiva)
Kolkata. N.d.a. Kolkata Police. "Resident Tenants Profile Form." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
_____. N.d.b. Kolkata Police. "Security Advisory to the Citizens." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
_____. N.d.c. Kolkata Police. "Downloads." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
The Pioneer [New Delhi]. 16 September 2009. "90% Landlords in Ranchi Fail to Report About Tenants." (Factiva)
_____. 25 September 2008. "Bangladeshis to Be Blamed for Rising Crime: IG." (Factiva)
Punjab. N.d.a. Punjab Police. "Punjab Right to Service Act 2011." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
_____. N.d.b. Punjab Police. "Community Policing." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
Tamil Nadu. N.d. Tamil Nadu Police. "Application Form for Information on Tenants." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
_____The Times of India. 13 August 2011. Dwaipayan Ghosh. "Pak National Posing as Afghan Arrested." (Factiva)
_____. 13 August 2011. Dwaipayan Ghosh. "Pak National Posing as Afghan Arrested." (Factiva)
_____. 15 July 2011. Dwaipayan Ghosh. "Delhi Cops Ready 5-point Plan, Scan Internet for Clues." (Factiva)
_____. 13 July 2011. "Rahman Case: Building Owner Summoned." (Factiva)
_____. 11 July 2011. Kapil Dixit. "Criminal Living in Rented House Shock City Police." (Factiva)
_____. 10 July 2011. "Tenant Verification to Become Stricter." (Factiva)
_____. 16 July 2009. Preetu Nair. "INSAS Rifles to Give Police More Fire Power." (Factiva)
_____. 13 March 2009. "Tenant Verification Drive Re-launched." (Factiva)
Uttar Pradesh. N.d. Uttar Pradesh Police. "Forms for Download." [Accessed 16 Apr. 2013]
Voices for Freedom (VFF) Asia. 24 April 2013. Telephone interview with a legal researcher.
_____. N.d.a. "Profile." [Accessed 1 May 2013]
_____. N.d.b. "Programs." [Accessed 1 May 2013]
West Bengal. N.d. Criminal Investigation Department. "The House You're Letting Out Could Become a Home for Criminals." [Accessed 17 Apr. 2013]
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Attempts to contact the following individuals and representatives of organizations were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response: Advocate and Notary; Asian Human Rights Commission; Associate Director of India Studies Program at Indiana University; Canada - High Commission of Canada in India; Director of India Initiative at the Center on the Global Legal Profession; Human Rights Advocate at the Supreme Court and the Punjab and Haryana High Court; India - Directorate of Coordination Police Wireless, High Commission of India in Ottawa, Ministry of Home Affairs; Khaitan and Co. Advocates; Lawyer in New Delhi; National Human Rights Commission; Police - Andhra Pradesh, Bangalore City, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh; Professor of Law at the American University. The following individuals could not provide information for this Response: Chairman of the Centre for Multilevel Federalism, representative of SWAYAM, Political Science Professor at the University of California.
Internet sites, including: ecoi.net; India - Press Information Bureau; Karnataka State - Police; Official Website of Lucknow; United Nations - Refworld; United States Department of State.