SALE BY AUCTION
3. The Collector may recover land revenue in the manner hereinafter provided.
—(1) Notwithstanding anything repugnant in any title, every annual rent, subject to subsection (2), shall be due and payable on 1st January in any year, and any such rent if not sooner paid shall become an arrear on 1st April in the year in respect of which it is due, and any other form of land revenue shall become an arrear on the fifteenth day after service of notice substantially in the form in Schedule A by the Collector on the person liable to pay it, demanding payment thereof.
(2) Rent in respect of the year in which any land is alienated shall be calculated proportionately from the date of alienation to the end of the year and is payable on or before the date of alienation.
(3) When land is held by co-proprietors they are jointly and severally liable to pay the rent reserved.
(4) Every person liable to pay an arrear shall be a defaulter.
—(1) Upon any sum payable becoming an arrear the Collector shall, subject to subsection (2), use reasonable diligence in causing to be served on the proprietor of the land affected a notice of sale substantially in the form in Schedule B.
(2) Such a notice shall be served in the manner prescribed in Part III: Provided that —
it shall not be necessary to serve a notice of sale on any proprietor of any land who is not resident in the district in which the land is situate; and
where a proprietor who would otherwise be served with a notice of sale is dead or cannot be found the Collector may at his discretion direct a notice of sale to be served on any adult relative of that proprietor who is resident in the district.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or in any rules made thereunder or in any other provision of law whatsoever, no failure to serve or irregularity in serving any notice of sale under this Act or any rules made thereunder shall invalidate any sale of land had under the provisions of this Act or give rise to any cause of action against the Government or any officer thereof by reason of the failure or irregularity, but any such failure or irregularity shall be considered by the Commissioner of Lands in dealing with any case of which he takes cognizance under section 19.
—(1) The Collector shall from time to time cause to be posted at his office and in such other place or places of public resort as he may in his discretion select a notice of sale substantially in the form in Schedule C specifying any land in respect of which an arrear is due and notifying that the land will be sold by auction for the recovery of the arrear together with fees due and costs at and on a specified place, time and date, such date being not less than 3 calendar months after the date of the first posting of the notice in each case.
(2) Every notice of sale shall be published in the Gazette on a date not less than 4 weeks prior to the date of the sale.
(3) The Collector may also, in his discretion, advertise in one or more newspapers any such sale, and any expenses incurred in so doing shall be included in the costs of the sale.
—(1) Subject to this section, any land so specified shall, at the place and time and on the day notified, or on any other day to which the Collector may postpone the sale, be put to public auction by or in the presence of the Collector at an upset price sufficient to cover the arrear due in respect thereof together with fees due and costs and shall be sold to the highest bidder.
(2) The Collector may, if he sees fit, postpone any sale notified under section 6 and may in his discretion notify the date, time and place of any postponed sale in such manner as may to him seem fit.
8. If any person tenders to the Collector at any time previous to a sale the amount of the arrear due in respect of any land together with fees due and costs, the Collector shall upon receipt thereof desist from the sale of the land.
9. Sales shall ordinarily be held by the Collector at the office of the Authority: Provided that it shall be competent for the Collector to direct that a sale shall be held at some other place.
10. The person who is declared the purchaser of any land at any such public auction shall be required to deposit in cash immediately 25% on the amount of his bid, and in default of such deposit the land shall forthwith be put up again for sale.
11. The balance of the purchase money shall be made good by the purchaser on or before the expiry of 3 months after the date on which the sale of the land bought by him took place.
12. A sale shall become final and conclusive on the expiry of 3 months from the date thereof unless —
the purchaser has failed to pay the balance of the purchase money as provided by section 11;
the sale has prior to the date of such expiry been annulled by the court by order served on the Collector on or before that date;
the sale has prior to the date of such expiry been annulled by the Commissioner of Lands under section 19; or
there has prior to the date of such expiry been served on the Collector an order of court extending the period on the expiry of which the sale will become final and conclusive or directing that the sale shall not become final and conclusive until the further order of the court.
—(1) In default of payment of the balance within the prescribed period, the deposit shall be forfeited to the State, the land shall be resold and the defaulting purchaser shall forfeit all claim to the land or to any part of the sum, if any, for which it may subsequently be sold.
—(1) The purchaser at a sale held under this Act shall, when the sale has become final and conclusive, be deemed to have acquired the right offered for sale free from all encumbrances created over it and from all subordinate interests derived from it, except such as are expressly reserved by the Collector at the time of the auction.
(2) Such acquisition shall be evidenced by a conveyance substantially in the form in Schedule D.
(3) The Collector shall notify by advertisement in the Gazette substantially in the form in Schedule E the result of the auction, the conveyance (if any) to the purchaser of the right offered for sale, and the cancellation (if any) of the original grant or lease, and of all leases, encumbrances or other interests derived from that grant or lease, except such as were reserved by the Collector at the time of the auction.
(4) In the event of such a conveyance, the Collector shall forthwith cause registration to be made under the Registration of Deeds Act [Cap. 269]. Such registration shall be free of any fee or stamp duty.
(5) Any person who knowingly and with fraudulent intent offers for sale, transfers or mortgages, or otherwise deals with any such lease, grant, encumbrance, right or interest, which has so become cancelled, shall be deemed to have attempted to commit or to have committed, as the case may be, the offence defined in section 415 of the Penal Code [Cap. 224].
15. All costs of any proceeding under this Act for the recovery of arrears may be recovered as if they formed part of the arrears.
—(1) Subject to section 7, if at any sale under this Act there is no bid sufficient to cover the amount due for the arrear together with fees and costs due the Collector shall record the fact in a book to be called the Rent Auction Sale Book, and upon such record being made the land shall revert to and vest in the State and all right, title and interest of the defaulter or any person claiming under him shall cease.
(2) In the event of such reversion, the fact shall be advertised in the Gazette as provided in section 14(3).
(3) The Collector shall also cause appropriate entries to be made in the registers kept under the Registration of Deeds Act.
17. The proceeds of any sale under this Act shall be applied in the first place in satisfaction of the arrear together with fees and costs due and in the event of there being any surplus remaining the Collector shall if he is satisfied as to the right of any person claiming the surplus pay the amount thereof to that person, and if he is not so satisfied shall hold the amount in trust for the person who may ultimately succeed in due course of law in establishing his title thereto:
Provided that it shall be lawful for the Collector in his discretion to apply any such surplus or part thereof to the payment of any arrear together with fees and costs due in respect of any other land belonging to the same owner within Singapore and thereupon to take action as if a tender had been made under section 8.
—(1) If any person interested in land in respect of which a notice of sale has been issued under section 6 disputes the propriety of that notice, he may apply to the High Court to stay the proceedings, and the Court after hearing the Collector and making such inquiry as may be necessary shall make such order as it thinks fit.
(2) The Court’s order shall be final.
—(1) The Commissioner of Lands may at any time before a sale under this Part has become final and conclusive upon proof to his satisfaction that the sale was had contrary to the provisions of this Part and that material irregularities occurred or that any proprietor or other person will suffer excessive hardship by reason of the sale, annul the sale by order in writing: Provided that no such order shall be made (or if made shall be cancelled) after the date of institution of proceedings in court for the annulment of the sale.
(2) When a sale is annulled by the Commissioner under subsection (1) the purchase money or deposit paid by the purchaser shall be refunded by the Government with interest at the rate of 6% per annum and the purchaser shall have no further claim to compensation.
20. Subject to section 21, if any person interested disputes the validity of a sale under this Act, he may within 3 months of the date of the sale apply to the High Court to annul the sale, and the Court after hearing the Collector and making such inquiry as may be necessary shall make such order as it thinks fit.
—(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Limitation Act [Cap. 163] no suit under section 20 for annulling a sale under this Act shall be maintained if it is instituted after the expiry of the period stated in that section except in the case of fraud to which the purchaser is proved to be a party:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall affect the title of any owner, mortgagee or lessee who has taken bona fide for valuable consideration from the purchaser, or of any persons claiming under that owner, mortgagee or lessee.
(2) No suit for damages against the State or against any officer thereof in respect of any sale had under this Act shall be maintained if it is instituted after the expiry of 3 months after the date of the sale except in the case of actual fraud to which any officer of the State employed in or about the sale is proved to be a party or unless it is proved that the sum for the recovery of which the sale was had was not in fact an arrear at the date of the sale.
—(1) Subject to section 21, no sale had under this Act shall be annulled by the court nor shall any such sale give ground for any action for damages against the Government or any officer thereof except only upon the grounds of its having been made contrary to the provisions of this Act and then only upon proof that the plaintiff has sustained substantial injury by reason of the irregularity complained of, and no Collector selling land for the recovery of an arrear shall be deemed a trespasser nor shall the sale be deemed wrongful by reason of any such irregularity in the procedure but the defaulter shall be entitled to recover as special damages for the irregularity the difference between the price actually obtained and the price which, in the opinion of the court, would have been obtained at the Collector’s sale if there had been no irregularity and no more.
(2) If any sale under this Act is annulled by the court, the purchase money or deposit paid by the purchaser shall be refunded by the Government with interest at the rate of 6% per annum, and the purchaser shall have no further claim for compensation.
23. No claim to rebate or remission or deferment of payment of rent, unless the same has been allowed by the written authority of the Commissioner of Lands and no private demand or cause of action whatever held or supposed to be held against the Government by any defaulter shall bar or render void or voidable a sale under this Part, nor shall the plea that money belonging to the defaulter and sufficient to pay the arrear of rent due was in the Collector’s hands bar or render void or voidable such a sale unless that money stands in the defaulter’s name alone and without dispute and unless after application in due time made by the defaulter the Collector has neglected or refused on insufficient grounds to transfer it in payment of the arrear of rent due.