The Registration Act, 1908 serves the purpose of proper recording and registration of documents/instruments, which give them more authenticity. Registration means recording of the contents of a document with a Registering Officer and preservation of copies of original document. Documents are registered for the purpose of conservation of evidence, assurance of title, publicity of documents and prevention of fraud.
Object of Registration Act
The object of Registration and inter-alia Registration Act is elaborately discussed by Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of Suraj Lamp and Industries Pvt. Ltd. versus State of Haryana and Another AIR 2012 SC 206, as under:
“The Registration Act, 1908, was enacted with the intention of providing orderliness, discipline and public notice in regard to transactions relating to immovable property and protection from fraud and forgery of documents of transfer.”
Registration of Document
The documents registrable under the Act fall under three categories.
In the first category, documents relating to transactions which according to the substantive law, can be affected only by registered documents. In order for a transaction to be valid must be effected by a registered instrument only. What it provides is that when there is a written instrument evidencing a transaction, it must, in certain cases, be registered. Under section 17 of the Registration Act, the compulsorily registrable documents are given.
In the second category, certain transactions can be effected without writing, i.e. partitions, releases, settlements etc. But, if the transaction is evidenced by a writing and relates to immovable property, the Registration Act steps in and clauses (b) and (c) of Section 17(1) of said Act require registration of such documents, subject to the exception specified in sub-section 2 of that section. If an authority to adopt is conferred in writing, other than a Will, it is also required to be registered vide section 17(3).
In the third category, it is open to the parties, if they so choose, to get certain documents registered at their option and this is permitted by section 18. ‘Will’ need not be registered but it is open to the parties to get it registered under the third category.
Under the Registration Act, the following documents are compulsorily registrable.
- Instruments of gift of immovable property.
- Other non-testamentary instruments which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish, whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards, to or in immovable property.
- Non-testamentary instruments which acknowledge the receipt or payment of any consideration on account of the creation, declaration, assignment, limitation or extinction of any such right, title or interest.
- Leases of immovable property from year to year, or for any term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent.
- Non-testamentary instruments transferring or assigning any decree or order of a Court or any award when such decree or order or award purports or operates to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish, whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards, to or in immovable property.
Limitation for registration of a document
Limitation for registration of a document under Section 23 of the Act, subject to certain exceptions, any document other than a Will has to be presented for registration within four months from the date of its execution. The term ‘execution’ means signing of the agreement.
Section 17 deals with documents of which registration is compulsory. Whereas, sub-Section (2) of section 17 provides a dozen of exceptions to clause (b) and (c) of section 17(1).
Section 18 of Registration Act pertains to documents of which registration is optional. Word ‘may’ is used in textual of section 18.
The Registration Act strikes only at documents, and not at transactions. All that it enacts is that when a document is employed to effectuate any of the transaction specified in s.17 of the Registration Act, such document must be registered.
The Indian Lawyer