PUNJAB COMMISSION FOR REGULARIZATION OF IRREGULAR HOUSING SCHEMES
ACT, 2021

ACT XXXIII OF 2021

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An Act to make provisions for establishment of a Commission of regulation of irregular housing schemes.

[Gazette of Punjab, Extraordinary, 4th October, 2021]

No. PAP/Legis-2(114)/2021/2642.–The Punjab Commission for Regularization of Irregular Housing Scheme Bill, 2021, having been passed by the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab on September 30, 2021, and assented to by the Governor of the Punjab on October 01, 2021, is hereby published as an Act of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.

It is expedient to establish a Commission to examine the matters of private housing schemes and land sub-divisions which are being developed or have been developed in an irregular manner without the approval of the competent authority and to provide for their regularization to alleviate the grievances of the affectees of such schemes and land-sub-divisions.

Be it enacted by Provincial Assembly of the Punjab as follow:–

  1. Short title, extent, commencement and exemption.–(1) This Act may be cited as the Punjab Commission for Regularization of Irregular Housing Schemes Act 2021.

(2) This Act extends to whole of the Punjab other than the areas notified as cantonments under the Cantonments Act, 1924 (II of 1924), or the Cantonments Ordinance, 2002 (CXXXVII of 2002), and such other areas under possession and direct control of the Armed Forces of Pakistan that may be notified by the Government for this purpose.

(3)      This Act shall come into force at once.

(4) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, exempt any area from any or all of the provisions of this Act.

  1. Definitions.–(1) In this Act:

(a)      “applicable laws”‎ includes‎ the‎ following‎ laws‎ and‎ the‎ rules‎ and‎ regulations made thereunder:

(i)       Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 (XIII of 2019);

(ii)      Lahore Development Authority Act, 1975 (XXX of 1975);

(iii)     Punjab Development of Cities Act, 1976 (XIX of 1976);

(iv)     Cooperative Societies Act 1925 (VII of 1925); and

(v)      Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency Ordinance, 2002 (LXXVIII of 2002);

(b)      “Chairperson”‎means‎ the ‎Chairperson‎ of ‎the‎ Commission;

(c)      “Commission” ‎means ‎the ‎Commission ‎constituted‎ under ‎this ‎Act;

(d)      “competent ‎authority” ‎means ‎the ‎relevant ‎authority ‎empowered ‎to‎ approve a private housing scheme under the applicable laws;

(e)      “Government”‎means‎Government of the Punjab;

(f)       “Government‎agency”‎includes:

(i)       a department, bureau, section, commission, board, office or unit of the Government;

(ii)      a local government; and

(iii)     a development authority or any other public authority, company or corporation owned or controlled by the Government or a local government;

(g)      “irregular ‎housing‎ scheme” ‎means ‎a ‎private ‎housing scheme or a land sub-division or a built-up area which has been developed or a part of which is being developed or sold without approval of the competent authority or in violation of the approved layout plan or the applicable laws or with the approval of the authority not competent to approve the housing scheme;

(h)      “member”‎ means‎ a‎ member‎ of‎ the‎ Commission‎ and‎ includes‎ the‎ Chairperson;

(i)       “residents ‎welfare ‎association” ‎means‎ a ‎society ‎or ‎an ‎association‎ of owners or allottees of an irregular housing scheme or a built-up area registered under any law for the time being in force;

(j)       “regularization”‎ means approval of an irregular housing scheme by the Commission; and

(k)      “sponsor”‎ means‎ a‎ firm,‎ company,‎ cooperative‎ society,‎ residents‎ welfare association, owner of a land or a scheme or any other person who has developed a scheme wholly or partly or is developing the scheme with or without approval under the applicable laws.

(2)      The words, terms or expressions used but not defined in this Act shall have the same meaning as provided in the applicable laws.

  1. Establishment of Commission.–(1) The Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, establish a Commission for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2)      The Commission shall stand dissolved upon expiry of one year of promulgation of the Punjab Commission for Regularization of Irregular Housing Schemes Ordinance 2021 (XVII of 2021) unless the Government, by notification in the official Gazette, extends its term for a further period of one year.

  1. Composition.–(1) The Commission shall comprise the following:
(a) A retired Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan or of a High Court in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court; Chairperson
(b) a town planner having at least twenty years experience and accreditation from national or international professional bodies; Member
(c) a civil engineer having at least twenty years experience and accreditation from national or international professional bodies; Member
(d) an environmental expert having at least twenty years experience; Member
(e) a legal expert having at least twenty years experience in the applicable laws; and Member
(f) any other expert of the relevant profession from public or private sector. Co-opted by the Commission

(2)      Subject to sub-section (1), the Government shall nominate the members.

(3)      The Local Government and Community Development Department of the Government shall provide secretarial and logistic support to the Commission.

(4)      The Government shall provide requisite funds for proper functioning of the Commission.

(5)      The Commission shall frame its regulations to conduct its business.

(6) Chief Minister, Punjab shall appoint a Registrar of the Commission from amongst the officers of the Local Government, and Community Development Department of the Government not below basic scale 19, to perform such duties as may be assigned by the Commission.

(7) The Commission may hire any professional or expert on such fee as the Commission may determine for carrying out any of its functions under this Act.

(8) The members and the Registrar of the Commission shall receive such honorarium as may be determined by the Chief Minister.

  1. Functions and powers.–(1) The Commission shall have the powers to:

(a)      impose fine upon sponsors under this Act;

(b)      recommend disciplinary action against the officers and officials responsible for establishment of irregular housing schemes;

(c)      regularize any non-conforming land use on which irregular housing scheme exists;

(d)      decide all such cases which do not fall under the applicable laws; and

(e)      recommend amendments in the applicable laws and the rules.

(2) In exercise of its functions, the Commission may:

(a)      call for record of any land from the relevant Government agency;

(b)      summon any officer of the relevant Government agency to produce requisite record, information and provide assistance; and

(c)      summon the owners or developers of irregular housing schemes, or the persons having interest therein, or any other persons required for the purpose of disposal of the matter under consideration.

(3) In the discharge of its functions under this Act, the Commission shall have the powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (V of 1908).

(4) All proceedings of the Commission shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meanings of section 193 and section 228 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898).

(5) The Commission shall decide each application preferably not later than ninety days from the date of initiation of proceedings.

  1. Responsibility of local governments and development authorities.–A local government or a development authority, as the case may be, shall be responsible to:

(a)      provide secretarial support to the Commission;

(b)      prepare and submit data bank of irregular housing schemes falling within its territorial jurisdiction to the Commission through representative of the local government or the development authority concerned;

(c)      provide record of irregular housing schemes including all documents and lay-out plans, approved or unapproved, either under process or not in process with the concerned local government or a development authority, and in case record of an irregular housing scheme is not available with a local government or a development authority, the local government or the development authority shall obtain the record from the developers of such scheme for onward submission to the Commission; and

(d)      provide any other information required by the Commission.

  1. Data bank.–The data bank shall contain the following information:

(a)      name of the housing scheme;

(b)      name and Computerized National Identity Card number of the developer or the sponsor;

(c)      complete description of the housing scheme comprising area, layout and ownership of land parcel on which the irregular housing scheme has been developed or a part of which has been developed or is being developed by moving an application for preliminary planning permission or sanction of the housing scheme;

(d)      date of commencement of physical development of the irregular housing scheme;

(e)      complete details of violations committed during development of the housing scheme including violation of layout plan, if approved by a local government or a development or any other authority concerned;

(f)       categorization of irregular housing schemes according to nature of violations; and

(g)      any other ancillary information.

  1. Submission of applications.–(1) A sponsor or a residents welfare association, where the sponsor has absconded or has failed to take remedy under this Act or a person having ownership or interest in the housing scheme shall be eligible to submit an application to the Commission for regularization of an irregular housing scheme existing prior to the date of the commencement of this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), the following persons may also submit an application before the Commission for regularization of an irregular housing scheme existing prior to the date of the commencement of this Act:

(a)      who has submitted an application to any authority for preliminary planning permission for a land owned or purchased; or

(b)      who has submitted an application for approval of a housing scheme before the competent authority, or

(c)      against whom any action has been taken by the any authority;

(d)      to whom a notice has been served in respect of any violation under any of the applicable laws; or

(e)      who is running irregular housing scheme or a built-up area.

  1. Regularization and fines.–(1) The Commission may, after affording opportunity of being heard to the applicant and the concerned local government or, as the case may be, the concerned development authority, regularize an irregular housing scheme, subject to payment of such fine as may be imposed under this Act to be paid within such time as may be specified by the Commission.

(2) In case of non-payment of fine within the stipulated time, the order of regularization shall cease to have its effect on the expiry of such time.

(3) The fine in case of the following violations shall be imposed as under:

Sr. No Type of Violation Fine
1. Non-conforming land use Two percent of the residential value as per applicable valuation table
2. Missing parks or open spaces Two times of the value of deficient land as per residential value in applicable valuation table
3. Missing graveyard Two times of the value of deficient land as per residential value in applicable valuation table or provide alternate land within a radius up to 5 kilometers from the irregular housing scheme
4. Public buildings Three times of the value of deficient land as per applicable residential valuation table.
5. Access road width is less than the required planning standard Access road abutting the irregular housing scheme shall be widened as per the required planning standards. In case of non-availability of land, as determined by the Commission, three times of the value of deficient land as per applicable residential valuation table
6. Internal road width is less than the prescribed standards. Two times of the value of deficient land as per applicable residential valuation table.

(4) The amount of fine collected under this Act shall be deposited into the account of the concerned local government or the concerned development authority, as the case may be.

  1. Indemnity.–The members shall be indemnified from any act done, function performed or power exercised in good faith under this Act.
  2. Jurisdiction of courts barred.–No court shall take cognizance of any matter covered under the provisions of this Act.
  3. Power to make rules.–The Government may make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
  4. Power to frame regulations.–The Commission may frame regulations for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
  5. Overriding effect.–The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force.
  6. Repeal.The Punjab Commission for Regularization of Irregular Housing Schemes Ordinance 2021 (XVII of 2021) is hereby repealed.
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