The Hon'ble Sri Justice C.V.Nagarjuna Reddy Writ Petition No.36319 of 2012 Writ Petition No.36335 o”
27. 11.2012 WP.No.36319 of 2012 Sri Gandreddi Chinan Atchi Babu and another...Petitioners The District Collector, Visakhapatnam District and 4 others...Respondents ^Counsel for the petitioners: Sri T.Nagarjuna Reddy !Counsel for the respondents: GP for Revenue : ?Cases referred: --- Common Order: These two Writ Petitions raise identical issues.
Hence, they are heard and disposed of together.
The petitioners filed these Writ Petitions feeling aggrieved by the action of respondent No.4 in not receiving the documents sought to be presented by them for registration based on letter, dated 09-05-2012, addressed by respondent No.3 to the Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), Visakhapatnam, and respondent No.4.
A perusal of the said letter shows that respondent No.3 has taken the stand that Cheemalapalli Village, in which the property in dispute is situated, is an unsettled whole Inam Village; that no settlement records were prepared so far; that the FMB shows that the total area in Survey No.24 is Acs.52-56 cents and subdivided into two subdivisions; that Survey No.24/1 measures Acs.7-75 cents and belongs to SVLN Devastanam and that Survey No.24/2 measures Acs.44.81 cents and classified as poramboke land.
Respondent No.3 further opined that except those two sub-divisions, Survey No.24 does not contain any other sub-division and that GVMC may not approve the building plans in subdivision Nos.24/2, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D1, 3D2, 3E, 3F, 3IB, 3G, 3M1 and 3M2.
Respondent No.4 was also requested not to take up any registrations until further clearance is issued by respondent No.3.
The petitioners have specifically pleaded that the sale transactions in respect of the properties in question have taken place from 1947 onwards.
The details of all these transactions have been given in the affidavit filed in support of the Writ Petition.
The Registration Act, 1908 (for short 'the Act'), is a self contained code.
While providing procedure for registration of the documents, the Act envisages prohibition of registration of certain documents under Section 22-A thereof.
While under Sub-Section (b) of Section 22-A of the Act, registration of documents relating to transfer of property by way of sale, agreement of sale, gift, exchange or lease in respect of any property owned by the State or Central Government, executed by persons other than those statutorily empowered to do so, is prohibited, under Clause (e) thereof, the State Government may, by notification, prohibit registration of documents or class of documents, if the documents or class of documents relating to properties having avowed or accrued interests of Central and State Governments, Educational, Cultural, Religious and Charitable Institutions etc., are presented for registration.
Even though no notification is required prohibiting registration in respect of the properties falling under Clause (b), the revenue officials shall apply their mind to the ownership and title of the Government before communicating the list of the Government properties to the registering authorities.
The Registering Officers, who are independent functionaries, need not religiously follow the instructions of the revenue Officials while exercising their power of registering a document.
Even if any communication is issued by the revenue authority to the effect that a particular property belongs to the Government, the discretion of the registering authority in examining the said claim with reference to the claim of the party seeking registration is not completely scuttled.
It is the obligation of the registering authority to examine the competing claims of the parties and take a decision either to register the document or pass a speaking order under Section 71 of the Act, if he finds reasons for its refusal.
It would be well to remember that registration of a document will not create title in the person in whose favour, the document is registered.
The execution and registration of a document would merely pass the title, which is already vested in the vendor to the purchaser.
If a person conveys the property over which he does not have title, the purchaser will be buying the property at his own risk.
Mere registration would not, in any manner, defeat the rights of the true owner, be it the Government or an individual.
The person, who asserts to be the real owner, can always avail appropriate legal remedy for protecting his rights over the property, despite any number of registered transactions.
In recent times, the instances galore where on mere communication addressed by the revenue authorities, the registering authorities have not even been receiving the documents.
This, in the considered opinion of this Court, is a patently wrong approach on the part of the registering authorities.
As noted above, the communication by the revenue authorities can, at best, be treated as the claim of the Government regarding the ownership of the property.
Such claim does not completely bar the registering authority from receiving the documents for registration while exercising its powers under the Act and it can even overrule such claim in appropriate cases and register the document.
Unless a notification was issued under Clause (e) of Section 22-A of the Act or an Order prohibiting registration has been passed by the competent Court or authority, the discretion of the registering authorities to register the properties in accordance with the provisions of the Act is unhindered.
In the instant case, there are competing claims between the private individuals and the State over the ownership of the subject property.
Admittedly, no notification has been issued under Clause (e) in respect of these properties.
Therefore, respondent No.4 is not precluded from examining the rival claims of the parties and taking appropriate decision thereon.
He is, accordingly, directed to issue notice to the petitioners as well as respondent No.3, receive the documents that may be presented by both the parties and after careful examination of the same, decide as to whether those documents can be registered or not.
In the event, respondent No.4 sees valid reasons for not registering those documents, he shall pass a speaking Order under Section 71 of the Act and communicate the same to the petitioners.
Respondent No.4 shall complete the above-mentioned exercise within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the documents.
If the petitioners feel aggrieved by such Order, they shall be free to avail the remedy of appeal under Section 72 of the Act.
Conversely, if respondent No.4 registers the documents, mere registration would not defeat the rights of the State, if any, over the properties and they are still entitled to initiate appropriate proceedings in accordance with law to recover the same.
Subject to the above directions and observations, the Writ petitions are disposed of.
As a sequel, WPMP.Nos.46130 & 46150 of 2012, filed by the petitioners for interim relief, are disposed of as infructuous.
__________________________ (C.V.Nagarjuna Reddy, J) 26th November, 2012