File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Behind The Paperwork: Understanding The Significance Of The Registration Act Of 1908

The Indian Registration Act deals with registration of documents with a public office. such as the record, which is made public and can be used as evidence in court. law. This paper deals with understanding of the registration act. Its history, how it came into being and the various events that led to a need being felt for drafting of the act.

The hierarchy of the registration department and the establishment of same. It also talks about the various powers and duties of the registration officers. The paper then moves on to talk about the more pressing sections and acts; this includes section 17, which talks about the documents that need to be necessarily registered and the procedure for its registration. Lastly it discusses the various consequences of documents not being registered.

Registry laws relating to registration of documents were to be found in West Bengal Regulation, Bombay Regulation, and Madras Regulation. Later Bombay Regulation Act 1 of 1843 was enacted but it was repealed by Act 19 of 1843 as there were some doubts arose about the true meaning and construction of Act 1 of 1843. In 1864, the Indian Registration Act, 1864, was enacted. This Act came into force on January 1st January, 1865. It was amended by Act 9 of 1865. Act 16 of 1864 was replaced by Act 20 of 1866.

A new enactment, the Indian Registration Act, 1871, was brought into force but it was replaced by the Indian Registration Act, 1877. Act 3 of 1877 was amended by Acts 12 of 1879, 19 of 1883, 7 of 1886, 7 of 1888, and 13 of 1889, 12 of 1891 and 17 of 1899. The need was felt to consolidate the enactments relating to the registration of documents. Accordingly, the Indian A Bill was introduced in the Legislature. The Bill was referred to the Select Committee. After incorporating the recommendations of the Select The the Bill was re-introduced in the Legislature.

This was a pure consolidating, Bill. The provisions relating to the registration of documents were now scattered about in seven enactments. The object of the present Bill is to collect these provisions and incorporate them in one Act. This will make the law more easily ascertainable. It will further clear the statute -book of three entire acts and will enable two more Acts to be entirely removed from it on the coming into force of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and of the Indian Limitation Bill, now before Council.

The Indian Registration The bill, having been passed by the Legislature, received the assent of the Governor-General on December 18, 1908, and it came on the Statute Book as the Indian Registration Act, 1908. Section 2(a) of the Indian Registration (Amendment) Act, 1969, the word "Indian" has been omitted (w.e.f. 26-12-1969) and now it stands as THE REGISTRATION ACT, 1908 (16 of 1908) (Came into force on 1-1-1909).

Registration refers to process of recording or submitting a document with an assigned officer to make it public. Recording the document with the public officer would lead it to be seen as public record and used as evidence, holding legal validity. Registration of document prevents fraud and property misuse. It can serve as legal evidence with high value and help us maintain knowledge about property, the rights regarding the property and the name under which the property is recognized.

The registration act mentions the document that have to be registered compulsorily and the ones that may or may not be registered. The purpose is to provide information to those who deal with property and its transactions. It gives legal importance and the general purpose is to put it on record somewhere, where people can see it and inquire about the particulars and obligations, thus preventing fraud. It is important to note that unlike transfer of property act, the registration act strikes only at documents and not on transactions. All it says is when a document is to be employed or registered under which section of the act, and how it needs to be registered with a specific public office.

Section 15 The Registration Act talks about the stamp of identification or approval. According to this section, every document is affiliated with a certain stamp or seal of the department, which gives it a legal value and the image of a recognized document. Every registrar and sub registrar are given a seal with the name of the office engraved on it. The records of the document being registered are maintained in registrar books. These books, along with the document are all kept in the fire proof boxes provided by the state government to all registrar offices under section 16.

To understand the working and procedure of registration, it is important we understand its hierarchy first.

The Hierarchy, Powers and Procedures of Registry:
As discussed above, the documents need to be registered with public offices; these are the registration offices, and the work of the registry is looked upon by the registering officers. For the same purpose, the state government is designated with the task of dividing the state into districts and subdistricts. Every district has a registrar and subordinate to them are the sub-registrars of the sub districts. These registrars are appointed by the state government, and If the state government deems necessary, sub-registrars for sub-districts, depending upon the size of the district.

The state government also appoints an inspector general of the state, who is the senior most officers, and sometimes to assist him as an inspector of registering officer who is subordinate to inspector general. The powers, duties, and authorities of the inspector general, registrar and sub-registrars are all defined and marked by the state government. Sometimes a registrar can handle the work of one district and sometimes two districts, all at the discretion of the state government. The state government may also allow proper establishments of several registries office under section 14 of this act.

Now sometimes the registrar's seat or office may be vacant; at that time, it is the inspector general, who, on his behalf, requests the judge of district court to work according and under the jurisdiction of the registrar till the said post is occupied. Similarly, in the absence of registrar, he may appoint a certain sub registrar. In the absence of the sub-registrar, any person appointed by the registrar shall take control of the office. This cannot be refused as the registry work is something that cannot be curtailed. Under Sec 13 of the act, all such appointments need to be reported to the state government by the inspector general.

Now under the registration act both registrars, sub-registrars and inspector generals have certain duties to perform and certain authorities guaranteed to them under the act. The registrar offices are required to maintain proper registration books. There are a total of 5 books in serial number, all with its own specific content. Whatever is to be registered needs to be registered according to the content of that book. Whenever the document presented, it needs to be affixed with signature, date, fingerprints, hour and place. Attached to it should be a receipt of the document along with a copy of the same. The registration officers are required to add the content of the book in the indexes.

Section 57 of the act mentions how 'registering officers to allow inspection of certain books, indexes and to give certified copies of the entries. That is to say, registering officers can allow the inspection and copy of book 1 and 2 at the payment of small fees. Books 1 and 2 consist of document related to immovable property and record of refusal to register a document, respectively. Books 3 and 4 can only be allowed to inspect if the one inspecting is related to the entry in question or the executants claiming under the document.

The entire process is to be checked and signed by the registering officers. Under section 58, there should be an endorsement or signature by the individual who takes the copy after inspection. If he refuses to endorse, the officers are subjected to attaching a copy of the refusal.

As discussed Above, the entire state is divided into districts headed by the registrars and sub-districts headed by the sub-registrars. Now every sub-district, the sub-registrar, in matters of non-testamentary document relating to immovable property like land is supposed to register the same under its own office. However, sometimes the land extends to area which does not come under the jurisdiction of a single sub-district but that of adjoining sub-districts with too. In such case, the sub-registrar is required to make a memorandum or certificate and send the same to other sub-registrars subordinate to one registrar under the same district.

Thus, informing the others about the registration of land of their jurisdiction by them. Similarly in case of the land being a part of different district with different registrars, the sub-registrar sends a memorandum or certificate to the other sub-registrars and the same, along with a map to the registrars of another district. Who will then inform about the registration process on its own? subordinate sub registrars and maintain a copy of the same.

Section 68 and 69 talk about the controlling power of the district registrar and Inspector General. Now every sub-registrar is to perform its duty under registrar who acts like a superintendent, he supervises and checks the working of the sub-registrars via orders passed by them. The inspector general, in turn, supervises and regulates the workings and powers of the registrars.

The official gazette mentions the following rules:
  • In registration offices, everything to be saved in electronic form.
  • Specifies which language is to be used in each district.
  • To recognize division of territorial integrity.
  • To regulate amount of fines.
  • The format of memorandum.
  • To regulate manner of instrument and process to register.
  • To declare holidays in registering offices.
  • To regulate proceedings of registrars and sub-registrars.

The inspector general also has the power to wholly or partially remit fines and fees for registration.

What is to be registered?
Registration act imposes serious disqualification for non-compliance of the registration process. Section 17 of the Indian registration act 1908 lays down list of documents that need to be compulsorily registered for them to be seen as legally valid evidence. Section 17 now consists of five clauses along with exceptions.

Section 17(1)(a) says what necessarily needs to registered are "instrument of gifts of immovable property". Section 122 of the transfer of property act defines gift as 'transfer of some existing movable or immovable property made voluntarily without consideration by one person called the donor to another called the done'. Therefore, documents that are regarded as gifts of immovable property need to registered compulsorily.

As understood by the decision of the court in Suraj Prasad vs Nand Kishore Lal on 28 April, 1898, ((1898) ILR 20ALL392) it was a second appeal which arose out of a suit wherein the heir-at-law of Gaya Prasad claimed possession of property late of Gaya Prasad. The defendant set up a deed executed by Gaya Prasad and alleged to be duly registered, which purported to be a deed of gift transferring to the defendant the property in question.

In the first appeal, the court rejected the plea of Suraj Prasad, stating it was indeed a clear gift deed registered by the donor, Gaya Prasad. However, in its second appeal, the court reversed its judgement, upon the finding that no good and valid deed of gift had ever been executed by Gaya Prasad and "completed by the donor, who died before it could be registered." The The District Judge has, by the above decision, held that Section 123 of the Transfer of Property Act means that in order to be valid, a deed of gift of immovable property, it must be registered under the registration act during the life-time of the donor.

Section 17(1)(b) talks about 'non-testamentary documents to operate, create, and declare.' A non-testamentary document is one which is plainly intended to be operative immediately and to be final and irrevocable. That is to say, a document declaring immediate action immediate distribution of rights of property with a value of more than rupees one hundred has to registered under the registration act.

Section 17(1)(c) non-testamentary document that acknowledges the receipt or payment of any consideration of creation, declaration, assignment of the value of rupees hundred or more. Therefore, receipts of consideration need to be registered. Acknowledgments are different from instrument of transactions. If that was not the case, then section 17 (b) mentioned above would have been enough but that's not the case. Such receipts, when registered, can also be used as evidence and are admissible in courts.

Section 17(1)(d) another very important document that needs to be registered is the lease of immovable property. However, the lease requires registration only if it's from year to year or if its term exceeds that of one year, if it reserves yearly rent.

Section 17(1)(e) talks about registration of document which transfer decree or rights of court, that needs to be operated with a value of Rs. 100 or more.

There are certain exceptions to it also. The first mentioned under the said section is a composition deed. That is to say, a deed where in the creditor credits or lends a certain sum of money to the debtor. If the debtor fails to pay the debt, said money, the creditor might ask him to pay back maybe half of it. thinking something is better than nothing. This is called a composition deed or a deed wherein the two parties make a compromise. Such deeds need not be registered. Instruments where you transfer money or share, maybe all, maybe some part of it also does not need to be registered. It also includes decree of the court, any grant of immovable property, instrument of partition and many more.

Apart from documents and instruments that need to be compulsorily registered, there are also documents whose registration is defined as optional under section 18 of the act. Section 18(a) Instruments other than gift to operate that requires immediate action, like declaration of rights to family regarding immovable property whose value is less the rupees hundred can be registered only if the individual wants to. Section 18 (b) documents acknowledging receipts and payments may or may not be registered. Another example of optional registration as mentioned under section 18(c) leases of immovable property who leases is less than one year, these lands can only be agricultural lands.

Other than this, decrees of institution with value of less than one hundred, lease of movable property, and all other documents not required to be compulsorily registered under section 17. It is important to realize that even though the registration of these documents is optional, getting them registered can always prove to be beneficial. In the court of law, importance is given to what as value, and by registering documents, they gain legal validity and justification, thus holding great value and being used as evidence.

Wills are another important document whose registration can be considered an important discussion. In simple terms, Wills refer to a declaration that a person made during his lifetime makes in order to plan the distribution of its assets after his death. Under section 18, the registration of wills is optional. However, as mentioned, The registration of the optional document increases their legal validity and they can be used as evidence in a court of law. So now registration of wills is procedure that is separately mentioned in section 41 to 46.

Under these sections, the officer is entitled to make proper enquiry about the correct people registering and only when the officer is satisfied can the testator or agent deposit the sealed cover in the registration office. The will is then kept in safe custody at only at the death of the depositor shall it be opened in the presence of a registering officer by any person who shall send a application to open it, given that he is enquired about it first. A copy of the will is also to kept by all district judges.

Who can register?
The The Registration Act of 1908, under section 32 to 34, mentions any authorized person shall register the document, be it the owner, the representative or the agent. There is proper proof of identification required with photographs. fingerprints. The person who are exempted from appearance are the person who in jail, person exempted through law and person suffering from bodily deformity under section 38

If document not registered:
As seen above, even if the documents need not be necessarily registered, if they are indeed registered their legal value, and validity increases. The act clearly states that registered documents will always be given priority over oral documents. Non-testamentary, registered documents always have more priority and value. This also holds true in case of documents whose registration may be optional. If the documents are not registered, then it can lead to several issues, for example, when compulsory documents under Section 17 are not registered, then it will not affect any immovable property, The talks about the property will not be valid and have no value if one uses them as evidence.

There are several fines and penalties defined under the registration act, if the required is not done. This is mentioned in section 81 to 85. Every registering officer is appointed for the proper inquiry, registration, copy and translation of the document. If the officers endorse a document, which they are aware, it causes legal injury to a person, it will lead to a penalty, which may include imprisonment of seven years, fine or both. If a person deliberately submits to the officer a false copy of the document, map or any other essential shall be punishable with imprisonment or fine. Moreover, the offense prosecuted in a district or sub district cannot be tried by anyone less than a magistrate of second class.

All in all, the registration act was introduced by the British government to keep an account of properties lands to ensure the smooth functioning of the administration and avoid confusion and chaos. This act is thoroughly justified and fair even today, to avoid any sort of conflicts regarding property disputes. It ensures a proper record is maintained and made public to clearly define the ownership.

  1. The registration act of 1908
  2. Indian Registration Act, 1908 - By J.P.S Sirohi
  3. The Indian Kanon

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly