Can a doc­u­ment be reg­is­tered in the of­fice of the sub-reg­is­trar?

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Can a doc­u­ment reg­is­tered be­fore in the of­fice of Reg­is­trar or Sub-Reg­is­trar, be can­celled by the Reg­is­trar or Sub-Reg­is­trar af­ter it is reg­is­tered? In the light of Supreme Court’s or­der in the case of Satya Pal Anand v. State of M.P. and Oth­ers( Civil Ap­peal No 6673 of 2014), it is now set­tled law that once a doc­u­ment which is reg­is­tra­ble un­der­the Reg­is­tra­tion Act, 1908 is reg­is­tered by the reg­is­ter­ing author­ity it can­not be can­celled.

In other words, the author­ity be­comes func­tus of­fi­cio and is left with no power to cancel the doc­u­ment.

The brief facts of the case are that the Ap­pel­lant’s mother got a plot al­lot­ted in a Hous­ing Co­op­er­a­tive So­ci­ety which was uni­lat­er­ally can­celled be­cause of vi­o­la­tion of Bye-laws of the So­ci­ety which man­dated rais­ing any con­struc­tion on the plot so al­lot­ted within time.

The same plot was al­lot­ted to someother­per­so­nan­da­com­pro­mise deed was en­tered into where­un­der the Ap­pel­lant re­ceived a con­sid­er­a­tion.

An Ex­tin­guish­ment Deed of the plot was ex­e­cuted and uni­lat­er­ally pre­sented for reg­is­tra­tion by the Hous­ing Co­op­er­a­tive So­ci­ety.

Claim­ing to be ag­grieved by the uni­lat­eral can­cel­la­tion, the Ap­pel­lant went on through the hi­er­ar­chy of courts, firstly ap­proach­ing the of­fice of the Deputy-Reg­is­trar, Co­op­er­a­tive So­ci­eties against the uni­lat­eral reg­is­tra­tion of Ex­tin­guish­ment Deed and prayed for a dec­la­ra­tion that he con­tin­ues to be the owner of the sub­ject plot al­lot­ted bythe So­ci­ety to his mother, hav­ing in­her­ited the same.

The new buy­ers also is­sued no­tice to the Ap­pel­lant ask­ing for re­fund of the con­sid­er­a­tion amount ac­cepted by him in fur­ther­ance of the com­pro­mise deed, but he did not pay any heed to that de­mand.

Dur­ing the pen­dency of the dis­pute, the Ap­pel­lant also moved an ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the Sub-Reg­is­trar ask­ing him­to­can­cel the Ex­tin­guish­men­tDeedand sub­se­quent trans­fer deeds ex­e­cuted in favour of new buy­ers. This ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected by the Sub- Reg­is­trar on two grounds; firstly, a dis­pute was pend­ing be­tween the par­ties with re­gard to same sub­ject mat­ter and se­condly, he had no ju­ris­dic­tion to cancel the reg­is­tra­tion of the doc­u­ment in ques­tion.

For his ju­ris­dic­tion was lim­ited to reg­is­tra­tion of the doc­u­ment when pre­sented by the ex­e­cu­tant be­fore him for that pur­pose.

The Ap­pel­lant then ap­proached the In­spec­tor Gen­eral (Reg­is­tra­tion), the ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected on the ground that pow­ers con­ferred on him were lim­ited to the gen­eral su­per­in­ten­dence of the Reg­is­tra- tion of­fices and mak­ing Rules. The Ap­pel­lant plea un­der Writ Pe­ti­tion in HighCourtofMad­hya Pradesh, was also dis­missed as he had al­ready re­sorted to a rem­edy be­fore ap­pro­pri­ate fo­rum.

The High Court ad­vert­ing to the de­ci­sion in the case of Govt. of U.P. vs Raja Mo­ham­mad Amir Ah­mad Khan, held that since the Reg­is­ter­ing Of­fi­cer reg­is­tered the doc­u­ment pre­sented to him for reg­is­tra­tion, his func­tion is ex­hausted.

He would then be­come func­tus of­fi­cio and no power to im­pound the doc­u­ment un­der Sec­tion 33 of the Reg­is­tra­tion Act.

This de­ci­sion was fur­ther chal­lenged un­der an ap­peal in Supreme Court.

The is­sue that came up be­fore the Hon’ble Supreme Court was whether the Sub-Reg­is­trar has any author­ity to cancel the reg­is­tra­tion of any doc­u­ment in­clud­ing an Ex­tin­guish­ment Deed af­ter it is reg­is­tered?

The Apex Court while an­swer­ing the for­mer ques­tion was of the view that there is no ex­press pro­vi­sion which could em­power the Reg­is­trar to re­call such reg­is­tra­tion.

In ab­sence of any ex­press pro­vi­sion in that be­half, it can­not be as­sumed that sub-reg­is­trar is com­pe­tent to cancel the reg­is­tra­tion of the doc­u­mentsin­ques­tion and same is the case for pow­ers of the In­spec­tor Gen­eral.

ONCE A DOC­U­MENT IS REG­IS­TERED BY THE AUTHOR­ITY, IT CAN­NOT BE CAN­CELLED

GETTY IMAGES

The reg­is­trar may not re­call a reg­is­tered doc­u­ment

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