Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Registration of documents of immovable properties is compulsory according to Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 and Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. However, there are certain circumstances under which the registering authority can refuse registration of documents. Both the Indian Registration Act, 1908 and the Karnataka Registration Rules, 1965, provide for refusal to register the documents under certain circumstances. The refusal could be on the ground of jurisdiction of the sub-registrar or for non-compliance of rules and procedure. Some of the grounds on which there could be a refusal by the sub-registrar to register a document are listed below:

1.The document is in a language not understood by the registering officer, or a language not commonly used in the district: and translated version of the same is not produced along with the document.

2.The document has corrections, alterations, erasures, interlineations blanks, which are not attested by the executants.

3.The description of the property is insufficient to identify and the document is not accompanied by a copy of the map, plan as required by the relevant provisions.

4.The document is presented after prescribed time limit.

5.The document is presented by a person who has no right to present it.

6.The executants or their authorized representative, assigns, agents did not attend  to registration within the prescribed time.

7.The sub-registrar is not satisfied as to the identity of the person appearing before him as executants or he is not identified to the satisfaction of the sub-registrar.

8.The date of execution is not mentioned in the document or correct date is not possible to be ascertained or the date of execution is altered making it impossible to ascertain.

9.The Sub-registrar is not satisfied as to the right of person appearing as agent or representative or assignee.

10.The execution is not admitted by person said to have executed or his agent.

11.The person supposed to have executed the document is a minor, idiot, lunatic, not competent to contract.

12.In case where the executants is dead and the execution by such deceased person is denied by his representative or assignee.

13.In case of more than one representative of the deceased and when some of them admit the execution and others deny the execution, it will be treated as refusal and registration may be refused.

14.The death of the person who is supposed to have executed is not conclusively proved when the document is presented by his representatives or assignees.

15.The sub-registrar is not satisfied as to the fact of execution of Will presented after the death of the testator or donor.

16.The prescribed fee, penalty under any other law in force for time being has not been paid.

If the refusal is on grounds other than denial of execution, the Sub-registrar is required to endorse the document “Registration refused” and also record his reasons in prescribed books. The person executing the document or any person claiming under such document may request the sub-registrar to provide him a copy of the reasons for refusal, which shall be furnished without unnecessary delay and no fee shall be charged. In this connection, Section 71(1) of the Indian Registration Act is relevant and is reproduced below:
71 (1). Every Sub-registrar refusing to register a document, except on the ground that the property to which it relates is not situated within his sub district, shall make an order of refusal and record his reasons for such order in his book No.2 and endorse the words Registration refused on the document and on application made by any person executing or claiming under the document shall without payment and unnecessary delay give him a copy of the reasons so recorded. When a document is refused to be registered and endorsed accordingly, the recourse open to the aggrieved person is to file an appeal to higher authorities and orders thereon obtained.

Appeal to The Registrar [Sec.72]:
When the registration of a document is refused on grounds other than want of jurisdiction or on denial of execution, the aggrieved party may appeal in writing to Registrar of the District or Officer in charge, District Registrars office, along with a copy of refusal order and the document.  The appeal may be presented by the appellant himself or agent or through his advocate. The appeal shall be preferred within 30 days from the date of refusal order. If the document is in possession of some other person, other than appellant and requires time to present such documents the registrar will grant time.

Further, in cases where the sub-registrar is satisfied that the executants is deliberately keeping away to avoid registration or has gone to a distant place and not likely to return within prescribed time to admit registration, the sub-registrar may refuse to register the document treating the absence of the executants  as denial of  execution the persons claiming under such document or their agents may appeal in writing to the registrar within 30 days of the order of refusal supported by a copy of the reasons for refusal and the document along with verification of the statements made in the appeal. as is done in the case of plaints. In the case of denial of execution, only the claimant under such document or his agents shall appeal and the application shall be duly verified. In other cases the appeal may be filed by the executants or claimant or his agent. In the case of refusal to register the Will after the death of the testator by the sub-registrar, the appeal can be filed by the executor of the will before the Registrar.

Enquiry  of  the  Registrar:
The Registrar will cause enquiry as to the execution of the document, compliance of the requirement under the various laws, payment of appropriate stamp duty etc. The Registrar may waive the requirement of enclosing a copy of the reasons for refusal to register a document by sub-registrar along with the appeal or application and decide the matter on merits either agreeing with the decision of the Sub-registrar or by reversing the decision of the sub-registrar. However, in respect of appeals filed on the grounds of insufficient details to identify the properties, Registrar has no authority to call for further description of the property.

On being ordered by the Registrar for registration of the document in reversal of the order of the sub registrar, such document are required to be presented for registration within 30 days of such order. Upon such presentation of document for registration, the concerned sub registrar shall proceed to register such document. The registration of such document shall be operative from the date on which it was first presented for registration and refused and not from the date of actual registration.

Appeal  against  the  order  of  the Registrar:
The Registrar shall record his reasons for refusal and furnish a copy of such reasons to the appellant. There lies an appeal against the decision of the Registrar to the Civil Court within whose limits the Registering Authority's office is located. Such an appeal is to be filed within 30 days of the Order of refusal by the Registrar.

Opposed  to  public  policy:
In addition to the above, registration of a document could be refused on the ground of opposed to the public policy. The Government of Karnataka Act No.55 of 1976 has inserted section 22-A in the Registration Act, 1908 where under the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that the registration of any document or class of documents is opposed to public  policy  which is effective from 23.10.1976. Similarly, the Government of Karnataka has promulgated Karnataka Ordinance No.3 of 2006 which has come into force w.e.f. 11th December, 2006, imposing a ban on the transfer of agricultural lands for non-agricultural purposes without getting such lands converted or without obtaining prior approval of the competent authority.

The ordinance notifies eight types of offences and the punishment thereon in this regard. According to the ordinance, any sale transaction in contravention of the ordinance would attract imprisonment for three years and fine of Rs.10, 000/- upon such contravener. Similar punishment would attract the public servant entrusted with the responsibility of maintenance of records on his failure to report to the competent authority or to initiate action against unlawful conversion of revenue land for non- agricultural purpose. As the ordinance is not explicit on many counts, there is a lot of confusion in the minds of the public as well as the Sub Registrars particularly with regard to the identification of a fake land conversion order from the original, obtaining land conversion certificates in respect of property of several decades old but situate within the jurisdiction of BMO and CMC., etc. This has given leverage for the sub-registrars to further harass the already gullible public.

It is high time that the Government clarifies its ordinance No.3 of 2006 thread-bear with illustrations wherever necessary so as to put the system functional in an orderly way and also save the public from the unnecessary harassment.


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