Sunday, 20 September 2015

Whether registration of copy of decree or order of court is permissible under registration Act?

But the main question for consideration is whether the Registration Act authorises the registration of a certified copy of a document when the original is lost or not produced by the party when called upon to do so by the registering authority. There is no express provision in that Act authorising the registration of a copy of a document. The only exception is as regards copies of decrees or orders of court for which special provisions have been made in the proviso toSection 23 and Sub-section (5) of Section 34. Copy of decree has also been referred to inSection 58(1). Hence, when the Registration Act expressly provides for the registration of a copy of a decree or order of a court and does not make such a provision as regards a certified copy of a private document such as a deed of sale, there seems to be no authority for registration of such a certified copy.1
Patna High Court
Sadhu Singh vs Ramawadh Singh And Ors. on 27 April, 1966
Equivalent citations: AIR 1966 Pat 369

Bench: R Narasimham, A Ahmad


1. This is an application under Arts. 226 and 227 of the Constitution to quash the order, dated the 14th September 1964, passed by the District Sub-Registrar of Arrah. setting aside the order of the Sub-Registrar of Jagdishpur, dated the 6th December 1962, and directing the registration of the certified copy of a sale-deed, dated the 22nd August 1962, alleged to have been executed by the petitioner and opposite parties 3 to 5 in favour of opposite parties 1 and 2.
2. The material facts are as follows. The petitioner and opposite parties 3 to 5 are cousins and are joint owners of 1.13 acres of land in villages Dumri and Mahraja situated within the jurisdiction of the Sub-Registry office of Jagdishpur in the district of Shahabad. It was alleged that these persons agreed to sell the aforesaid land for Rs. 2,300 to opposite parties 1 and 2, and in pursuance of the agreement a sale-deed was also executed on the 22nd August 1962. As regards the payment of the consideration money, it was agreed that a sum of Rs. 1,340 would be paid before the Sub-Registrar at the time of exchange of receipts after registration and the balance of Rs. 960 would be paid by opposite parties 1 and 2 to some of the rehandars in respect of the land.
In pursuance of this agreement the sale-deed after due execution was presented at Jagdishpur Sub-registry office on the 25th August, 1962, by Rambadan Singh, opposite party No. 3. But the registration was held up due to the failure on the part of the petitioner to appear before the Sub-registrar and admit the due execution of the same. The Sub-registrar kept the document with him for nearly four months and ultimately on the 26th December, 1962, refused to register the same purporting to act under Section 34 of the Registration Act, read with Rule 43 of the Registration Rules. The original document was then returned in the course on 14th January, 1963, to Sudama Singh, opposite party No. 5.
Opposite parties 1 and 2 then filed an appeal before the District Sub-registrar. That officer held that the document was duly executed and that there was no ground for refusal to register the same. But as the original document was not produced before him by opposite party No. 5, though he was duly summoned to produce the same, he directed that a certified copy of the sale-deed should be duly registered. This certified copy had been granted to Sheopujan Singh (opposite party No. 2) by the Sub-registrar on the 9th January, 1963, and it was filed before the District Sub-registrar on the 18th December, 1963. In passing this order he relied on the instruction contained in letter No. 2482, dated the 8th September, 1961, issued by the Inspector General of Registration to all the District Registrars, which is as follows:
"No. 2482, dated 8-94961.To
 The District Registrar of Darbhanga Subject:   Reconstruction of records in case when documents filed under Section 73 of the  Indian   Registration   Act  XVI    of 1908 have been lost. 
 sir, 
 In inviting a reference to your letter No. 860, dated 18-4-1961 on the above subject, I am directed to say that Government have been advised that if the draft of the original deed is available with the party the document can be reconstructed with the help of that draft and of the certified copy of evidence adduced in the case. Obviously the party producing the draft has to adduce evidence also if available. The evidentiary value of the reconstructed document will depend upon the facts of the case.
Yours faithfully, Sd. J. S. Bali, Inspector General of Registration, Bihar.
Memo No. A/RS-1022/61-2482, Patna. the 8 August/September, 1961 Copy with a copy of the District Registrar, Darbhanga's letter No. 860, dated 18-4-1961 forwarded to the District Registrar of all districts except Darbhanga for information and necessary action.
Sd. M. A. Manzoor, 29-8-1961 P. A. to I. G. Registration, Bihar.
3. One of the important grounds taken up in the petition was the lack of jurisdiction on the part of the District Sub-Registrar in hear ing the appeal from the order of the Sub-Registrar of Jagdishpur refusing to register the document. This ground was rightly not pressed before us at the time of hearing. Though the order of the District Sub-registrar is described as an appellate order under Section 72 of the Indian Registration Act, it will strictly come within the scope ofSection 73 of that Act and not of Section 72Section 72 applies only when refusal to register is made on any ground than denial of execution. Here, however, it was denial of execution by some of the alleged executants of the document that was responsible for the Sub-registrar's refusal to register the same. The appropriate section is, therefore, Section 73, and the order of the District Sub-registrar is strictly speaking not an order in appeal but "an order on an application" underSection 73 of the Act, Section 7(2) of the Act authorises the State Government to confer on a District Sub-registrar all the powers of a Registrar except the power to hear an appeal against his own order. Instruction No. 4 in Part I of Chapter IV of the Bihar Registration Manual, Volume II, shows that the power to hear an application under Section 73 of the Act has been delegated to the District Sub-registrars in the State of Bihar, Hence there is no want of jurisdiction in the order of the District Sub-registrar.
4. But the main question for consideration is whether the Registration Act authorises the registration of a certified copy of a document when the original is lost or not produced by the party when called upon to do so by the registering authority. There is no express provision in that Act authorising the registration of a copy of a document. The only exception is as regards copies of decrees or orders of court for which special provisions have been made in the proviso toSection 23 and Sub-section (5) of Section 34. Copy of decree has also been referred to inSection 58(1). Hence, when the Registration Act expressly provides for the registration of a copy of a decree or order of a court and does not make such a provision as regards a certified copy of a private document such as a deed of sale, there seems to be no authority for registration of such a certified copy.
The document that is presented for registration under Section 32 must be the same document of which registration may be refused under Section 71. Similarly, the application under Section 73and the order of the District Sub-registrar under Section 75 must refer to the same document. The only exception is as regards duplicates and other copies of the document produced by the parties. This is specially provided for in Rule 53 of the Registration Rules. The duplicates and triplicates and other copies referred to in that rule must be the exact reproductions of the original and must be filed by the parties and also certified by them to be true and exact copies of the original. A certified copy granted by the Sub-registrar of the document when it was kept in his custody will not obviously come within the scope of the aforesaid rules
5. The learned Sub-registrar's reliance on the circular of the Inspector General of Registration No. 2481, dated the 8th September, 1961 (quoted above), was not justified. That letter refers only to draft of the original document if the original is lost. This draft again must have been prepared by the parties and it may as well come within the scope of Rule 53 referred to already. But a certified copy granted by the Sub-registrar stands on a different footing.
6. It is true that by virtue of Sub-section (5) of Section 57 of the Act a certified copy of the document granted by the Sub-registrar will be "admissible for the purpose of proving the contents of the original document". This will of course be subject to the provisions of the Evidence Actregarding the circumstances under which secondary evidence can be given. But this sub-section of Section 57 cannot be taken as an authority for empowering the registration officer to register a certified copy.
7. For these reasons the petition is allowed and the order of the District Sub-registrar dated the 14th September, 1964, directing the registration of the certified copy of the sale-deed is quashed. There will be no order for costs.
Anwar Ahmad, J.

8. I agree.
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