ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY CANNOT CANCEL REGISTERED DOCUMENT

The Hon'ble Supreme Court held that no administrative authority can cancelled registered dacument....

 NO AUTHORITY CAN CANCEL REGISTERED DEED

The Supreme Court in Satya Pal Anand vs. State of M.P, has held that once the document is registered, it is not open to any authority, under the Registration Act, 1908, to cancel the registration. In the instant case, an application was moved by a person before the Sub-Registrar (Registration) calling upon him to cancel the registration of extinguishment deed executed by the Society cancelling an allotment of plot. Aggrieved by rejection of his application, on the ground that Sub Registrar has no jurisdiction to cancel the registration of a registered document in question, he approached Inspector General (Registration), but in vain. The high court, on his writ petition, held that, since the Registering Officer registered the document presented to him for registration, his function is exhausted and he would then become functus officio and no power to impound the document under Section 33 of the Act. This decision by the high court was assailed before the apex court. The apex court bench comprising Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Gopala Gowda gave divergent opinion and a reference was made to a larger bench on the issue “whether in absence of any specific Rule in the State of Madhya Pradesh, the general principle laid down in the case of Thota Ganga Laxmi & Anr. Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh & Ors. would be applicable?” The three-judge bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice A.M.Khanwilkar observed: “No provision in the State of Madhya Pradesh enactment or the Rules framed under Section 69 of the Act of 1908 has been brought to our notice which is similar to the provision in Rule 26(k)(i) of the Andhra Pradesh Registration Rules framed in exercise of power under Section 69 of the Act of 1908. That being a procedural matter must be expressly provided in the Act or the Rules applicable to the concerned State. In absence of such an express provision, the registration of Extinguishment Deed in question cannot be labelled as fraudulent or nullity in law.” The court also held that once the document is registered, it is not open to any authority, under the Act of 1908, to cancel the registration and the remedy of appeal provided under the Act of 1908, in Part XII, in particular Section 72, is limited to the inaction or refusal by the Registering Officer to register a document. The bench also held that power conferred on the Registrar by virtue of Section 68 cannot be invoked to cancel the registration of documents already registered. The court also observed that, there is no express provision in the Registration Act or Rules framed by the State of Madhya Pradesh nor any circular issued by the competent authority of the State of Madhya Pradesh to the effect that the extinguishment deed should bear the signatures of both the vendor and the purchaser and both must be present before the Registering Officer when the document is presented for registration. “Absent such an express provision, insistence of presence of both parties to the documents by the Registering Officer, may be a matter of prudence. It cannot undermine the procedure prescribed for registration postulated in the Act of 1908,” the bench said dismissing the appeals.