31. (1) No person who is not a
citizen of India and no company (other than a banking company) which is not
incorporated under any law in force in India shall, except with the previous
general or special permission of the Reserve Bank, acquire or hold or transfer
or dispose of by sale, mortgage, lease, gift, settlement or otherwise any immovable
property situate in India:
Provided that nothing in this sub-section
shall apply to the acquisition or transfer of any such immovable property by
way of lease for a period not exceeding five years.
(2) Any person or company referred
to in sub-section (1) and requiring a special permission under that sub-section
for acquiring, or holding, or transferring, or disposing of, by sale, mortgage,
lease, gift, settlement or otherwise any immovable property situate in India
may make an application to the Reserve Bank in such form and containing such
particulars as may be specified by the Reserve Bank.
(3) On receipt of an application
under sub-section (2), the Reserve Bank may, after making such inquiry as it
deems fit, either grant or refuse to grant the permission applied for: Provided
that no permission shall be refused unless the applicant has been given a reasonable
opportunity for making a representation in the matter: Provided further that
if before the expiry of a period of ninety days from the date on which the application
was received by the Reserve Bank, the Reserve Bank does not communicate to the
applicant that the permission applied for has been refused, it shall be presumed
that the Reserve Bank has granted such permission. Explanation - In computing
the period of ninety days for the purposes of the second proviso, the period,
if any, taken by the Reserve Bank for giving an opportunity to the applicant
for making a representation under the first proviso shall be excluded.
(4) Every person and company referred
to in sub-section (1) holding at the commencement of this Act any immovable
property situate in India shall, before the expiry of a period of ninety days
from such commencement or such further period as the Reserve Bank may allow
in this behalf, make a declaration in such form as may be specified by the Reserve
Bank regarding the immovable property or properties held by such person or company.