Need to review National Land Code

MANY, owners of landed properties would be concerned after reading the article "Only the original title must count" by P.K. Nathan of JohorBaru (NST Sept 1). I believe the case reported is an unprecedented one, which, according to Nathan, "has opened the floodgates" for would-be criminals to follow suit.

The decisions of the High Court and the Federal Court could not be faulted if the replacement copies of documents of title were issued in accordance with Sections 175 (A) to (F) of the National Land Code (NLG). Though the documents were applied for by an impersonator, her real identity was only discovered much later after issuance of the replacement documents.

In this case the court had found Adorna to be the bona fide purchaser and had deemed the transaction legal. The guilty party is the impersonator of BB and not Adorna.

However, the article by Nathan does not mention what other actions the real BB had taken besides the court case against Adorna.

In the first place, procuring:documents fraudulently is a serious criminal offence. Has BB reported the matter to the police and whether the latter had carried out all necessary investigations and taken appropriate action against the impersonator?

BB can also institute legal proceedings against the Registrar of Land Titles if there is any evidence of negligence in the issuance of the replacement documents of title.

The lawyer handling the application of the duplicate title should also be investigated for any negligence on his part.

If the case against Adorna was to be the last resort after BB had exhausted all other avenues, then all owners of landed properties are in for a very worryinig time.

In view of the Federal Council's ruling there is a need for the authorities to review the NLC and plug all loopholes in it to protect the public interest. Otherwise, like BB, anyone with a landed property can easily fall victim to such daylight robbery of his land. 2008