Skip to content


imam Bandi Bibi Vs. Udit Upadhia and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1902)ILR24All402
Appellantimam Bandi Bibi
RespondentUdit Upadhia and anr.
Excerpt:
act no. iii of 1877 (indian registration act), section 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 - registration--refusal by sub-registrar to register on the ground of denial of execution--application to registrar to order registration not made within the prescribed time--suit in civil court to compel registration barred. - - iii of 1877. the application was clearly made two days beyond the time limited by that section, and the registrar therefore summarily rejected it. 3. now it seems to me that the decision of the learned district judge is entirely wrong, and that he failed to comprehend the question he had to decide. i cannot believe the legislature intended that the limitation period of thirty days might be disregarded, and that the rejection of an application presented under section 73, say, 20 years.....burkitt, j.1. the facts in the case out of which this appeal has arisen are as follows:the plaintiff asserts that the defendants-appellants sold to her certain immovable property and executed a formal conveyance of the same to her; that when the conveyance was presented for registration, the defendants-appellants denied execution, whereupon the sub-registrar refused, to register it. this was on november 15th, 1900. the next incident in the case is that the plaintiff respondent on december 17th, 1900, made an application to the registrar under the provisions of section 73 of the registration act, no. iii of 1877. the application was clearly made two days beyond the time limited by that section, and the registrar therefore summarily rejected it. the present suit was then instituted.....
Judgment:

Burkitt, J.

1. The facts in the case out of which this appeal has arisen are as follows:

The plaintiff asserts that the defendants-appellants sold to her certain immovable property and executed a formal conveyance of the same to her; that when the conveyance was presented for registration, the defendants-appellants denied execution, whereupon the Sub-Registrar refused, to register it. This was on November 15th, 1900. The next incident in the case is that the plaintiff respondent on December 17th, 1900, made an application to the Registrar under the provisions of Section 73 of the Registration Act, No. III of 1877. The application was clearly made two days beyond the time limited by that section, and the Registrar therefore summarily rejected it. The present suit was then instituted underline permission given by Section 77 of the Act. The plaintiff respondent prays for a declaration of her right to have the conveyance mentioned above registered.

2. The Muusif held that the suit was not maintainable. On appeal the District Judge of Azamgarh reversed the decision of the Munsif and remanded the record to the first Court under Section 562 of the Code of Civil Procedure to be decided on the merits. Hence this appeal.

3. Now it seems to me that the decision of the learned District Judge is entirely wrong, and that he failed to comprehend the question he had to decide. That question was--had the Munsif decided rightly or not in holding that this suit would not lie? There was no question of limitation raised in the suit. Admittedly the suit was within time.

4. The District Registrar of Deeds is not a Court nor a judicial officer. He is simply a public official performing certain functions under the Registration Act. Vide Sub-section 2 of Section 195, and Section 483 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Limitation Act, No. XV of 1877, being (as described in the preamble) an Act to 'amend the law relating to the limitation of suits, appeals, and certain applications to Courts' cannot possibly apply to a District Registrar in the discharge of his functions under the Registration Act. When, therefore, the learned Judge, wrongly applying certain sections of the Limitation Act to the proceedings before the Registrar under Section 73 of the Registration Act took it on himself to decide that the application made to the Registrar under Section 73 of the Registration Act 'was within time,' he decided a question which, I think, does not arise in the case, and he decided it wrongly. In my opinion the decision of the Munsif is correct, and I have come to that opinion for much the same reasons as those given by him.

5. I am of opinion that the right of suit given by Section 77 of the Registration Act arises only when the Registrar, on an application complying with all the provisions of the second and third paragraphs of Section 73 of the Act having been presented to him, has upheld the order of the Sub-Registrar, and has refused to direct the document to be registered. One of the conditions precedent to the presentation and admission of an application under Section 73 of the Act, as laid down in the second paragraph of that section, is that the application must be made within thirty days from the date of the order of refusal by the Sub-Registrar. Now this period of thirty days is one which I must presume was intentionally inserted in this section by the Legislature, with the object, most probably, of procuring a speedy settlement of the question as to whether a particular document was or was not to be registered. It is a provision which, I presume, the Legislature intended to be obeyed, and not to be disregarded. I cannot believe the Legislature intended that the limitation period of thirty days might be disregarded, and that the rejection of an application presented under Section 73, say, 20 years after the refusal by the Sub-Registrar, would give a right of suit under Section 77. When then an application purporting to be an application under Section 73 of the Act is presented to the Registrar after the expiration of the thirty days limited by that section, such an application is not, in my opinion, an application which could be entertained under that section, and the summary rejection of such an application, on the ground that it was put in beyond time (as happened in the present case) cannot be considered to be a refusal under Section 76 of the Act to order the document to be registered within the meaning of the opening words of Section 77 of the Act, so as to give a right of suit under Section 77. It is in my opinion, immaterial that in most cases a suit so instituted would probably fail. The question we have to decide is not whether such a suit might be successful, but whether it could be entertained. It is absolutely immaterial that delay in applying under Section 73, was only two days (as here) or two years or twenty years. In support of my opinion I would refer to Section 74 of the Act, on which Sections 75 and 76 depend. The section provides that 'in such case' the Registrar is to proceed to make certain inquiries, and on the result of those inquiries, to decide whether he will direct the document to be registered, or whether he will refuse to pass such order. Now to nay mind the words 'in such case' in Section 74 are most important. They govern Section 74 and the following sections, and in my opinion import into Section 74 all the provisions of Section 73, and clearly imply that it is only when an application, purporting to have been presented under Section 73, complies with all the conditions required by that section, that action is to be taken under Section 74 and the two following sections. Clearly, in my opinion, when an application is summarily rejected as being in violation of the conditions required by Section 73 that rejection cannot be considered a refusal to direct registration under Section 76 so as to give a right of suit under Section 77 of the Act. The words 'refuses to order the document to be registered under Section 76' imply, in my opinion, that the document must have been presented in time under Section 73, and that after inquiry the Registrar has refused to direct it to be registered. I hold, therefore, that there has been no 'refusal' to direct registration, in this case under Section 76, the Registrar not having applied his mind to the question as to whether the document ought to be registered, but having simply thrown out (as he was bound to do) a petition which purported to be an application under Section 73, but which, being presented after the prescribed period had expired, was not an application complying with the requirements of that section and could not be entertained.

6. With Section 72 we have no concern in this case.

7. Finally, I would point out that right of suit given by Section 77 of the Act is a right consequential on a refusal under Section 76, which refusal is based on the inquiry directed by Section 74 and if there be no such refusal (as iii the present case), no right to sue accrues under Section 77. But the contention for the respondent in this appeal is, that though no inquiry could have been made in the present case under Section 74 (as a matter of fact no inquiry was made), and consequently there could have been no refusal to direct registration under Section 76, nevertheless the rejection of the time-barred petition gives a right to institute the suit provided for in Section 77 of the Act. I am unable to adopt that contention, and as to the argument that the rule I have laid down might have a disastrous effect on a party who had neglected to apply within the thirty days, I think it unnecessary to say more than 'vigilantibus non dormientibus jura subveniunt.' In short, my position is that as the application did not comply with the requirements of Section 73, there could not have been (and there was not) any inquiry under Section 74, nor a refusal under Section 76, and consequently no right of suit under Section 77 of the Registration Act.

8. In support of the opinion I have expressed above I would cite the case of Edun v. Mahomed Siddik (1882) I.L.R. 9 Calc. 150. That case is in every way on all fours with the present case. In it the Sub-Registrar had refused to register a document on January 31st, and on April 8th an application, purporting to be one under Section 73, was made to Registrar, who rejected it because it was presented too late. A suit was then brought under Section 77 of the Act to compel registration. The Munsif dismissed the suit, and the Judge (as here) having reversed that decision, the High Court in second appeal affirmed the decision of the Munsif and set aside that of the District Judge. The Munsif had held that a Civil Court could not direct the registration of an instrument of which registration had been refused, and as to which the person complaining of non-registration had not presented an application under Section 73 to the Registrar 'in time' and held that 'the suit was barred, inasmuch as the application under Section 73 was not presented within thirty days after the Sub-Registrar had refused registration.' A Division Bench of the High Court, consisting of the Officiating Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Norris, after holding that, independently of Section 77 of the Registration Act, such a suit would not lie, proceeded as follows:

In this case the plaintiffs cannot succeed under Section 77 of the Act, because they did not comply with the conditions precedent to the maintenance of a suit under that section.' Then as to the argument that those conditions were complied with when an application was made to the Registrar complaining of the Sub-Registrar's refusal to register the learned Judges say: 'this argument is not valid; the application referred to was not made within the time allowed by the Act. Under these circumstances we are of opinion that it cannot be said that the plaintiffs have complied with the conditions precedent for the maintenance of a suit under Section 77.

9. In the course of their judgment the learned Judges cited with approval the judgment of the Full Bench of this Court in the case of Bhagwan Singh v. Khuda Bakhsh (1881) I.L.R. 3 All. 397. That case is not exactly on all fours with the present case, for in it the plaintiff did not make any application to the Registrar under Section 73 of the Registration Act, but instituted a suit to compel registration without taking any steps under that section. The Full Bench, while regretting to find themselves constrained by the plain language of the law to admit the validity of the objection raised to the maintenance of the suit, observed that unfortunately for the plaintiff he has failed to satisfy all the conditions precedent to the bringing of such a suit by omitting to make the application to the Registrar provided by Section 73.' And again, 'the suit mentioned in Section 77 may be instituted where the Registrar refuses to order the document to be registered, and in having failed to fulfil all the necessary preliminaries the plaintiff has put it out of the power of the Civil Court to give him the relief he asks. To decree the prayer of this plaint in terms would be to direct a public officer to do that which he is specifically and plainly told not to do.' This case is no doubt one in which no application had been made under Section 73, but from the language used by the Full Bench, it is to my mind perfectly clear that the learned Judges would not have held that an application made to the Registrar under Section 73 two days or two years or twenty years after the expiration of thirty days from the date of the Sub-Registrar's refusal to register satisfied 'all the conditions precedent' to the bringing of a suit under Section 77, or was a fulfilment of 'all the necessary preliminaries.' That, however, is the contention on behalf of the respondent, namely, that the rejection by the Registrar of an application made to him after the period of thirty days prescribed by Section 73 had expired--an application which the Registrar was bound by law to reject summarily and could not entertain--amounted to a 'refusal to direct registration' within the meaning of Sections 76 and 77 of the Registration Act, and gave the applicant a right to institute the suit provided by Section 77 of the Act.

10. The last case which I would cite is that of Kunhimmu v. Vijyathamma (1884) I.L.R. 7 Mad. 535 which also is exactly on all fours with the present case, the application under Section 73 not having been made till after the period of thirty days had expired. A Divisional Bench of the High Court, consisting of the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Ayyar, cited with approval the rulings in the two cases mentioned above, and observed that the plaintiff had not complied with the directions of the Act, as he had not preserved an application under Section 73 within the thirty days, 'and when after the lapse of the thirty days the application was presented to him the Registrar properly refused to receive it.' And again: 'It is only when an application has been made to the Registrar in time and, after inquiry, registration has been again refused that a Civil Court is competent under Section 77 to order registration.' The case of Ram Ghulam v. Chotey Lal (1878) I.L.R. 2 All. 46 has, in my opinion, no bearing on the present case, inasmuch as in it no steps of any kind were taken under the Registration Act by the plaintiff to compel registration of the document which the defendant had refused to register.

11. In my opinion the authorities I have just cited fully support the opinion I expressed at an earlier portion of this judgment, and I hold that as the plaintiff did not present an application to the Registrar under Section 73 of the Registration Act within the limitation period prescribed by that section, no right to sue accrued to her tinder Section 77 of the Act. For the above reasons I am of opinion that the decision of the lower appellate Court is wrong and should be set aside.

12. I have gone at great length into the question mooted in this appeal because, as I have the misfortune to differ from the opinion entertained by the learned Chief Justice, I think that out of respect to him and with great deference to his opinion I should fully set out my reasons for holding the opinion I entertain on that question.

13. I would allow this appeal, and, setting aside the remand order of the lower appellate Court, I would dismiss the plaintiff-respondent's appeal to that Court, and would restore with costs in all three Courts the decree of the Munsif dismissing plaintiff's suit.

[The Chief Justice, however, taking a different view of the case, the appeal was re-heard under Section 575 of the Code of Civil Procedure before a Bench consisting of the Chief Justice, and Burkitt and Aikman, JJ.]

Aikman, J.

14. This appeal arises out of a suit purporting to be brought under the provisions of Section 77 of the Indian Registration Act, 1877, to obtain a decree for the registration of a document.

15. The plaintiff's case is that by a sale-deed dated the 19th of October, 1900, the defendants conveyed to her certain landed property for a sum of Rs. 499-10-2, of which amount all but Rs. 200 was paid to them.

16. The sale-deed, being a document which by the provisions of law is compulsorily registerable, was presented for registration at the office of the Sub-Registrar by the plaintiff's general attorney oil the 13th of November, 1900. The defendants being sent for denied execution of the sale-deed. The Sub-Registrar, therefore, adopted the only course open to him, that is, he refused to register the document, and, as required by Section 71 of the Registration Act, endorsed it with the words 'registration refused,' The order of refusal was passed on the 15th of November, 1900. On the 19th of November the plaintiff applied for a copy of the reasons for the order of refusal, and obtained it on the same day. There is, of course, no appeal against a Sub-Registrar's refusal to register on the ground of denial of execution, as the Sub-Registrar has no alternative and must refuse. But by Section 73 of the Act a right is given to apply to the Registrar in order to establish a right to have the document registered. The section provides that the application must be presented, 'within thirty days after the making of the order for refusal.'

17. In the present instance the period of thirty days thus allowed expired on Saturday, the 15th of December, 1900. It was not until Monday, the 17th of December, that the application was presented. Section 26 of the Act provides that whenever a registration office is closed on the last day of any period provided in the Act for the presentation of any document, such last day shall, for the purposes of the Act, be deemed to be the day on which the office re-opens. Had the last of the thirty days fallen on the Sunday, this section might be held to apply, and the application to have been in time. But as it was, the application was a day too late, and the Registrar adopted the only course open to him, that is, he rejected it.

18. The Registrar's order rejecting the application was passed on the 19th of December, 1900. Within thirty days of the making of that order the plaintiff, on the 14th of January, 1901, instituted, in the Court of the Munsif, the suit out of which this appeal arises. The defendants filed a written statement denying that they had ever executed any sale-deed in the plaintiff's favour or received any consideration money from her. They further pleaded that the suit was not maintainable, inasmuch as the plaintiff had not made the application to the Registrar within the period allowed by law. The Munsif sustained this objection, and, holding that the suit did not lie, dismissed it with costs.

19. The plaintiff appealed, contending, in the first place, that the application to the Registrar was within time, inasmuch as she was entitled to deduct the time spent in obtaining a copy of the Sub-Registrar's reasons for refusing to register, as well as Sunday the 16th of December; and in the next place, that whether her application to the Registrar was within the period allowed by law or beyond it, the Civil Court was in either event competent to pass a decree directing registration.

20. The learned District Judge sustained the first of these pleas, and, holding that the application to the Registrar was within time, set aside the Munsif s decree, and remanded the case under the provisions of Section 562 of the Code of Civil Procedure for disposal on the merits.

21. Against this order of remand the defendants have preferred the present appeal.

22. It is contended on their behalf that the Limitation Act does not apply to proceedings under the Registration Act. As my brother Burkitt has shown, that contention is one which must be sustained, and the ground upon which the learned Judge of the Court below set aside the decree of the Munsif cannot be supported. As pointed out in an earlier portion of this judgment, the plaintiff might have been entitled under Section 26 of the Registration Act to have the Sunday allowed her, had the period of thirty days prescribed by Section 73 of the Act expired on the Sunday. But it did not, and the Legislature has not seen fit to embody in the Registration Act any provision similar to that contained in the second paragraph of Section 12 of the Limitation Act. The plaintiff was therefore not entitled to have excluded in the computation of the thirty days the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the Sub-Registrar's reasons for refusing to register. Unless she was entitled to this, her application to the Registrar was beyond time. It must therefore be held that her application to the Registrar was rightly rejected as time-barred.

23. The Learned Counsel for the respondent, however, supports the order of the lower appellate Court by arguing that the order of the Registrar rejecting the plaintiffs application is equivalent to a refusal under Clause (b) of Section 76 of the Registration Act, to direct the registration of the document, and that therefore the plaintiff has a right of suit under Section 77 of the Act.

24. Since the decision of a Full Bench of this Court in the case of Bhagwan Singh v. Khuda Bakhsh (1881) I.L.R. 3 All. 397 which has been approved of by other High Courts, and the correctness of which has never been doubted, it must be taken as settled law that when a registering officer has refused to register a document on the ground of denial of execution no Civil Court can pass a decree directing registration unless and until the person propounding the document has applied to the Registrar under Section 73 of the Act in order to establish his right to have the document registered. The contention of the Learned Counsel for the respondent amounts to this, that although, in order to have a right of suit under Section 77, a person must make an application to the Registrar under Section 73, he may disregard the provisions contained in the latter section in regard to the time within which such application must be made, and choose his own time for putting in his application--a time it may be years after the date on which registration was refused.

25. When the application thus presented beyond time has been, as it inevitably must be, rejected, a sufficient foundation has, according to the Learned Counsel's contention, been laid for the suit referred to in Section 77.

26. In my judgment this contention cannot be sustained. In the first place, all the rulings are against it.

27. In the case of Edun v. Mahomed Siddik (1882) I.L.R. 9 Calc. 150 which dealt with the same question as is now under consideration, the learned Judges, Mitter and Norris, JJ., approving of and following the decision of this Court in the case mentioned above, held that a person omitting to make an application to the Registrar as provided by Section 73 within the time provided by that section, cannot be said to have complied with the conditions precedent to a suit under Section 77.

28. The case of Edun v. Mahomed Siddik was followed by Cunningham and Maclean, JJ., in Lakhimoni v. Akroomoni (1883) I.L.R. 9 Calc. 851 the learned Judges observing that 'unless the requirements of the Act have been complied with no cause of action arises under Section 77.' One of the requirements of the Act is an application within thirty days after the making of the order of refusal.

29. In the case of Shama Charan Das v. Joyenoolah (1885) I.L.R. 11 Calc. 750 Wilson and Beverley, JJ., after a consideration of Section 71 and the following sections of the Registration Act, observe as follows: 'Now it seems pretty clear on the face of those sections that what is required in order to maintain a suit under Section 77 is, that the procedure laid down in those sections shall be followed, that is to say, that there must be a refusal to register by the Sub-Registrar, an appeal within due time to the Registrar, a refusal by the Registrar, and a suit filed in the Civil Court within time.' The learned Judges refer in support of their view to the Full Bench decision of this Court in I.L.R. 3 Allahabad, and to the cases of Edun v. Mahomed Siddik and Lakhimoni Choudhrain v. Akroomoni Choudhrain which I have cited above.

30. The question which we have to decide was also before the Madras High Court in the case Kunhimmu v. Viyyathamma (1884) I.L.R. 7 Mad. 535 a case which was on all fours with the present. The learned Judges, Turner, C.J. and Muttusami Ayyar, J., citing with approval the decision in Edun v. Mahomed Siddik and the Full Bench decision of this Court, held that the plaintiff's suit could not be maintained, observing: 'It is only when an application has been made to the Registrar in time, and when after inquiry registration has been again refused, that a Civil Court is competent under Section 77 to order registration.'

31. The case of Bhagwan Singh v. Khuda Bakhsh (1881) I.L.R. 3 All. 397 differs in one important respect from the present case. There, after the Sub-Registrar's refusal to register the document, the plaintiff went direct to the Civil Court without, in the first instance, making any application to the Registrar, This has to be borne in mind in considering the effect of the Full Bench decision. Still there are passages in the judgment which, in my opinion, tell against the respondent's contention. For instance, the Court observes: 'The plaintiff's suit...asks for the relief that would be prayed in a suit regularly brought in accordance with the terms of Section 77 of the Registration Act. But unfortunately for him he has failed to satisfy all the conditions precedent to the bringing of such a suit by omitting to make the application to the Registrar provided for by Section 73.' Now it appears to me that an application to the Registrar after the expiry of the thirty days allowed by the section is not 'the application provided for by Section 73,' Later on the Court observes: 'In having failed to fulfil all the necessary preliminaries the plaintiff has put it out of the power of the Civil Court to give him the relief he asks.'

32. One of the necessary preliminaries here referred to is an application to the Registrar within the time allowed by law.

33. In my opinion a careful perusal of Sections 73, 74, 75, 76 and 77 will show that they all hang together and relate one to the other.

34. Section 73 provides that when a Sub-Registrar has refused to register a document on the ground of denial of execution any person claiming under the document may, within thirty days after the order of refusal, apply to the Registrar in order to establish his right to have the document registered.

35. Under Section 74 a Registrar, when an application of this kind is presented, has to enquire, as soon as conveniently may be, into two things-

(a) whether the document has been executed, and

(b) whether the requirements of the law have been complied with on the part of the applicant or person presenting the document for registration so as to entitle the document to registration.

36. I concur with my brother Burkitt in thinking that the words 'In such case,' with which Section 74 opens, are equivalent to Baying, 'When, under the last preceding section, an application has been presented to the Registrar within thirty days after the making of the order of refusal.'

37. In the absence of such an application, i.e. of an application presented within due time, the Registrar has, in a case like the present, no jurisdiction to make any inquiry whatever: he must reject the application in limine. If the interpretation now put on the words 'in such case' be correct, it follows that the inquiry under Section 74(b) cannot refer to an inquiry whether the application was filed within time, but to an inquiry whether all the requirements of the law as to the presentation of the document sought to be registered have been complied with. This view derives some support from the fact that the Registrar has to make an inquiry under Section 74(b) in cases where there has been no application under Section 73, e.g., where the document is presented in the first instance to the Registrar himself for registration.

38. Section 75 relates to the result of the inquiry under Section 74--an inquiry which, as has been held, can only take place on the presentation within time of an application.

39. It follows from this that the refusal of the Registrar referred to in Section 76 is a refusal upon an inquiry which pre-supposes the presentation of an application within time.

40. From the opening words of Section 77 the conclusion necessarily follows that to create a right of suit-in the Civil Court there must have been a refusal to order registration following upon an inquiry held upon an application presented within time.

41. I will now endeavour to show that any other interpretation than that now put upon Section 73 and the following sections of the Act would defeat one of the two main ends which the registration law has in view. The first of these is to check the fabrication and forgery of documents. This end the Act endeavours to secure by providing for the identification, in presence of a responsible officer, of the person on whose admission of execution the document is registered, and by prescribing heavy penalties for false personation and false identification before a registering officer. The second main end which the Act has in view is to afford, as far as possible, security of title to persons who take transfers of immovable property either by sale or mortgage. This end the Act endeavours to attain, first, by providing in Section 17 for the compulsory registration of documents, and next, by enacting in Section 49 that no document required by Section 17 to be registered shall affect any immovable property comprised therein, or be received as evidence of any transaction affecting such property, unless it has been registered in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

42. An instrument affecting immovable property is upon registration copied into a book in the registration office, which book is open to inspection by the public on payment of a small fee. Thus a person who contemplates purchasing or lending money upon immovable property of any kind can, by a search in the registration office, easily ascertain whether any and what incumbrances already exist on the property. In order to render this as effective a safeguard as possible the Legislature has taken the greatest pains to secure the decision of questions affecting registration in as short a time as possible. This will appear from an examination of Part XII of the Act.

43. Section 71 provides that when a Sub-Registrar refuses to register he must, without payment and unnecessary delay, give a copy of his reasons on application of any person executing or claiming under the document.

44. Section 72 provides for an appeal in certain cases of refusal. That appeal must be presented to the Registrar 'within thirty days' from the date of the order of refusal; even if the appeal succeeds the appellant will take nothing by it unless he again presents the document for registration 'within thirty days' after the Registrar has made his order directing registration.

45. Section 73 provides for an application to the Registrar when registration has been refused on the ground of denial of execution. That application has to be made 'with thirty days' after the order of refusal.

46. Section 74 provides that when such an application has been presented the Registrar shall proceed to hold an inquiry 'as soon as conveniently may be.' When, on such inquiry, the Registrar orders the document to be registered, this order will not avail the successful applicant unless 'within thirty days'' after it is made the document be duly presented for registration--vide Section 75, second paragraph. Again, when a Registrar dismisses an appeal preferred under Section 72, or refuses an application made under Section 73, the law gives the unsuccessful party a right to sue in the Civil Court for a decree directing registration, provided he institutes his suit 'within thirty days' after the Registrar's order of refusal. And, finally, if he succeeds in obtaining from the Civil Court a decree directing registration, the decree will be waste paper if the document is not presented for registration 'within thirty days' after the passing thereof (Section 77).

47. I have gone through these sections in detail in order to show the pains the Legislature has taken to provide that questions affecting the registration of documents should be disposed of as swiftly as possible.

48. In the case Veeramma v. Abbiah (1893) I.L.R. 18 Mad. 99 Collins, C.J., says: 'It appears to me that it was the intention of the Legislature that questions affecting registration should be as soon as possible decided: to allow a number of years to elapse would be to defeat the intention of the Act.

49. In the same case Muttusami Ayyar, J., says: 'The intention to prescribe a determinate period for registration is of the essence of the Act.'

50. And in the same case Shephard, J., referring to the sections I have cited above, observes: 'It seems clear that the intention of the Legislature was in all these cases alike to reduce to the shortest limits the time within which parties aggrieved by the Sub-Registrar's or Registrar's orders may take action.'

51. The contention of the Learned Counsel for the respondent would quite nullify the object which, as I have shown, the Legislature has taken so much pains to secure, inasmuch as, if he is right, a person in whose favour a document had been executed, and who had been refused registration on denial of execution, might wait for years before applying to the Registrar, and on his application being rejected, as it infallibly would be, might sue in the Civil Court, and perchance obtain from that Court a decree for registration, which might have the effect of unsettling titles and ruining bond fide transferees into whose hands the property had in the meantime passed.

52. For it must always be borne in mind that, though a deed transferring immovable property cannot affect the immovable property comprised therein until it has been registered, yet when registered it takes effect, not from the date of registration, but 'from the time from which it would have commenced to operate if no registration thereof had been required or made,' that is, from the date of execution, unless by the deed itself some other time is provided for its taking effect.

53. I have endeavoured to show that if the plea of the respondent is given effect to, the intentions of the Legislature would be nullified and security of title impaired. Moreover, a wide door would be opened to fraud and collusion of various kinds. It was suggested in the course of the argument that unless the interpretation contended for by the respondent were adopted, injustice might result if, through some mistake of calculation, a Registrar rejected as time-barred an application which was really within time. If such a mistake were made, it would no doubt be promptly brought to the Registrar's notice, and in such a case there would be nothing to prevent him reviewing his order of rejection. In any event the possible injustice which might result from the hypothetical case put would be as nothing compared with the manifold evils which would follow from sustaining the respondent's contention.

54. The result is, that I would allow this appeal with costs, and setting aside with costs the order of the learned District Judge, would restore that of the Court of first instance.

Burkitt, J.

55. I have nothing to add to my former judgment, except that I fully concur in the judgment which has must been delivered by my brother Aikman.

Stanley, C.J.

56. I concur with the judgment which has just been delivered by my brother Aikman. After a careful reconsideration of the different sections of the Registration Act, and a perusal which has been afforded to me of the exhaustive judgment which has just been delivered, I am satisfied that what I considered to be the literal grammatical meaning of the language used to the Act does not convey the real intention of the Legislature. The scope and object of the Act was to enforce registration of deeds, and, as has been pointed out so clearly in the judgment just delivered, to enforce speedy registration. To this I think that sufficient weight was not attached in the arguments which were presented to us, nor in my judgment. The mischief which might result from the acceptance of the view which I originally entertained outweighs, I now think, any hardship which may follow from the construction placed upon the statute by my learned colleagues, and I now think that there are adequate grounds for accepting, as I do, their conclusions.

57. The order of the Court is that the appeal be allowed with costs, that the order of remand be set aside with costs, and that the decree of the Munsif be restored.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //