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Time And Place Of Registration Under Registration Act: Section-23 And 28

While buying or selling of the property, for many years people tend to skip a fundamental but crucial aspect i.e. Registration of legal documents. As people are not familiar with the concept of Registration they don't understand its importance in Law which can cause issues for them.

It is imperative for the people to get themselves familiarized with the notion of Registration and what is entails so as to safeguard themselves from any Property Disputes. Registration is recording the matters of a document with an authorized or recognized officer (Registering officer) and preserving the copies of the original document.

In India, the registration related activities are governed by the Registration Act, 1908 The Registration Act, 1908 was set up with the purpose of ensuring registration of documents and that all the important information related to deal regarding land or other immovable property. Having a document registered can add more authenticity to that of the document. So, in this presentation let's discuss about place and time of registration of documents. Before that let's discuss some basic concepts in the Registration Act, 1908.

Objectives of the Registration Act, 1908

The objectives of the Registration Act, 1908 are:

  • Registration of a document ensures proper preservation and record of such document.
  • Documents which are required to be registered act as valid evidence in a court of law.
  • Registered documents assist in the prevention of fraud.
  • Registration Act gives people information regarding legal rights and obligations arising or affecting a particular property.
  • Registration Act, unlike the Transfer of Property Act, strikes only at documents and not at transaction. In the same way, the act does not require that every transaction affecting immovable property should be carried out only through a registered instrument.
  • The purpose of Registration Act is to give information to people who may deal with property, as to the nature and extent of the rights which persons have affecting the property.
  • To give solemnity of form and legal importance to certain classes of documents by directing that they shall be registered.
  • In the case of Narendra v. Damal Basini[1], the object of the act was to bring together provisions relating to registration, which were scattered in several acts and to incorporate them in one act.

Registration of every document is not necessary but doing so affirms the authenticity and helps in avoiding legal process. Many people are not familiar with the concept of registration and hence, do not understand its importance in eyes of law. It is crucial to be familiarized with registration and what it includes to avoid disputes. There are two kinds of registration according to The Registration Act, 1908 namely "Mandatory Registration" and "Optional Registration" which have been explained below.

Why registration of documents is important:

The Registration Act, 1908 was implemented to provide discipline and public notice concerning transactions in relation to immovable property.
  • The Act provides for mandatory registration of certain documents to protect them from any type of fraud.
  • It acts as a valid proof and aids a person in taking a legal action during any dispute.
  • It ensures transparency in deals.
  • It's easier to find out if there's any impediment or ongoing litigation with regard to a property if the document is registered.

Documents which should be registered:

According to section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908, documents whose registration is compulsory are the following:Legal Instruments

1. Instruments of the Gift of Immovable Property

In case a donor dies before registration of the gift, the document may be presented for registration after his death, and after registration, it will have the same effect as it would have been registered in his lifetime. The deed of gift becomes effective as on the date of registration.

2. Other Non-Testamentary Instruments (Other Than Instruments of the Gift of Immovable Property)

Non-testamentary document is a document:
  • That is intended to be operative immediately,
  • Which operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish and will provide any right, title, or interest whether in present or future,
  • Has a minimum value of one hundred rupees.

3. Non-Testamentary Instruments That Recognise the Receipt or Payment

This clause demands the registration of an acknowledgement in the form of a receipt, but not an acknowledgement of the fact that a transaction has occurred.
  • It must be a consideration receipt.
  • It must appear to be an acknowledgement of payment or other compensation for the creation, declaration, transfer, limitation, or extinction of an interest in immovable property worth Rs. 100 or more. For example, the receipt must be linked to the creation of a right. The mere acknowledgement of payment is not required to be recorded.

4. Leases of Immovable Property

The lease which requires registration are mentioned below:
  • If it is yearly.
  • If it is for a term exceeding one year.
  • If it reserves a yearly rent.
Any other lease apart from these does not require any registration irrespective of its price or value.

5. Decree or Order of Court

A transfer of a court decree or order, or any award, when such decree, order, or award creates, declares, or otherwise affects any interest in immovable property worth Rs. 100 or more must be registered.

Document which need not to be registered:
Although section 17 of the Registration Act has made registration of certain documents compulsory, section 18 specifies certain documents, registration for which is optional. They are:
  • Instruments worth less than one hundred rupees.
  • Instruments that acknowledge the receipt or payment of any consideration on account of the creation, declaration, or assignment.
  • Leases of immovable property for less than one year and leases exempted under section 17.
  • Instruments transferring or assigning a court's decree or order, or an award, when the decree, order, or award functions to create, declare, or establish something.
  • Grant, limit or extinguish any right, title or interest to or in immovable property, whether vested or contingent, of a value less than one hundred rupees, whether now or in the future.
  • Instruments (other than wills) that create, declare, assign, limit, or terminate any right, title, or interest in the movable property.
  • Wills
  • Other documents not required by section 17 to be registered.

Place of Registration:

Section 28 of the Registration Act provides that documents affecting immovable property are mentioned under sections 17(1) and (2) and sections 17(1)(a)(b)(c) and (cc)(d) and (e), section 17(2).

Such documents shall be brought for registration within the office of a Sub-Registrar in whose sub-district the whole or some of the relevant property is located.

Even any additional documentation may be presented for registration in the office of the Sub-Registrar in whose sub-district the document was executed or in the office of any other Sub-Registrar under the State Government.

In any city comprising a presidency town (Bombay, Madras, Calcutta) or in Delhi, a document relating to property situated anywhere in India may be registered (section 30 of the Registration Act). Delhi was added by Amendment Act 45 of 1969. Section 31 allows for registration at the executors' domicile if it is necessary due to extraordinary circumstances.

In Nainsukhdas vs Gowardhandas[2] If a document is signed outside of India, it must be registered in India to be valid.

Limitation Period of Registering a Document:

According to Section 23 of The Registration Act, 1908, all documents except a will have to be presented for registration within 4 months from the date of execution. If a document is executed by several persons at different times then that document has to be presented for registration and re-registration within 4 months from the date of each execution (Section 24 of The Registration Act, 1908).

If due to any urgency or unavoidable accident, any executed document or a copy of decree or order is not presented within 4 months but it is presented after its expiry will be accepted for registration provided that 10 times the amount of registration fees is paid and delay in presentation does not exceed 4 months.

Application for such a step has to be made to Sub-Registrar who will forward such application to the Registrar to whom he is a subordinate (Section 25 of The Registration Act, 1908). If a document is executed outside India by any or all of the parties and is presented after expiry 4 months then it will be accepted for registration provided that it was executed and presented for registration within 4 months after its arrival to India (Section 26 of The Registration Act, 1908).

In the case Raj Kumar vs Tarapa[3], it was held that delay caused by the action of the court will be disregarded.

Benefits of Registering Documents:

The benefits of Registration of documents are:
  • Registration of a document gives a more transparent deal.
  • Even if a registered document is lost or damaged, the registration records prove the authenticity of the document.
  • A document stating that a Power of Attorney has been revoked should also be registered so that there is no misuse after revocation.
  • Easy access also helps in finding the owner who has the title and right to the property and whether there is any case against him or an existing liability before someone decides to buy it.
  • Registration also prevents forgeries or fraud in transactions specifically in tax, stamp duty etc.
  • Even though some documents are registered on an optional basis, it is still advised to register them as this will prove the authenticity of the document and set aside any doubts arising because of it.
In this presentation we saw Registration act its Objects, Registration, what needs to be compulsorily registered and need not be registered, Place of registration and Time for presentation. As we already said registration has many benefits and advantages.

Registration of documents is mandatory to prevent any property dispute. The necessary documents must be properly registered by following the procedure mentioned under this Act otherwise it may become invalid.

It also provides for a proper administration in the court system within a definite time frame. Therefore, it can be seen that registration of a document is of utmost importance and must be done as soon as possible otherwise it would lead to long years of legal battle which is costly and time consuming.

  1. (1896) Cal
  2. AIR 1948 Nag. 110
  3. AIR 1987 SC

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Ram Eswar Dharmaraj
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