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Kailash and ors. Vs. Sub-registrar of Assurances, Indore and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Petn. No. 275 of 1983
Judge
Reported inAIR1985MP12
ActsRegistration Act, 1908 - Sections 71; Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976 - Sections 2 and 28; Registration Rules - Rule 19
AppellantKailash and ors.
RespondentSub-registrar of Assurances, Indore and anr.
Appellant AdvocateS.D. Sanghi, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG.S. Solanki, Deputy Govt. Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases Referred(Yeshwantsingh v. Sub
Excerpt:
- - 1, and the resultant harassment of the citizens, who are compelled to seek their remedies in writs from this court, which also unfortunately failed in bringing reparation of illegal denial an otherwise simple matter of registration of documents has been deliberately denied and delayed by raising fanciful objections, not tenable in law and ultimately dragging the petitioners into this yet another inning of petitions which could well have been easily avoided by showing adherence to law and meaningful obedience to the orders passed by this court 3. the common thread which runs in these petitions (m. the petitioners in para 6 of their petition have clearly averred that they had moved an application (annexure-g) at 2.05 p. (2) no registering officer shall accept for registration a.....v.d. gyani, j.1. this order shall also govern the disposal of misc. petition no. 276 of 1983 (ramchandra v. sub-registrar) and misc. p. no. 59/84 (yeshwantsingh v. sub-registrar and ors), as common questions of law are involved in these petitions and their facts are also akin and identical in nature, excepting the names of land-holders, location of their respective lands, different survey numbers, all these three petitions are being decided by a common order.2. long drawn sequence of events commencing with presentation of 93 sale deeds (in m.p. 59 of 84) 20 sale deeds (in m.p. 275/83), 39 sale deeds (in m.p. 276/83) in the months of april-may, 1982 and their refusal for registration either under supposed instructions from collector, indore (as in the case of m.p. no. 275/83) or for want.....
Judgment:

V.D. Gyani, J.

1. This order shall also govern the disposal of Misc. Petition No. 276 of 1983 (Ramchandra v. Sub-Registrar) and Misc. P. No. 59/84 (Yeshwantsingh v. Sub-Registrar and ors), as common questions of law are involved in these petitions and their facts are also akin and identical in nature, excepting the names of land-holders, location of their respective lands, different survey numbers, all these three petitions are being decided by a common order.

2. Long drawn sequence of events commencing with presentation of 93 sale deeds (in M.P. 59 of 84) 20 sale deeds (in M.P. 275/83), 39 sale deeds (in M.P. 276/83) in the months of April-May, 1982 and their refusal for registration either under supposed instructions from Collector, Indore (as in the case of M.P. No. 275/83) or for want of a certificate from the Joint Director, Town and Country Planning (In M.P. No. 59/84), leading to presentation of writ-petitions and directions issued by this Court, constituting facts of these petition, highlight the sordid state of affairs prevailing in the office of the Sub-Registrar, the Res. No. 1, and the resultant harassment of the citizens, who are compelled to seek their remedies in writs from this Court, which also unfortunately failed in bringing reparation of illegal denial An otherwise simple matter of registration of documents has been deliberately denied and delayed by raising fanciful objections, not tenable in law and ultimately dragging the petitioners into this yet another inning of petitions which could well have been easily avoided by showing adherence to law and meaningful obedience to the orders passed by this Court

3. The common thread which runs in these petitions (M.P. No. 275/83, 276/83 and M.P. 59/84) through the facts of these petitions is that the petitioner in this petition holds agricultural land, bearing survey Nos. 328/3 and 329/3, admeasuring 4.29 hectares, in village Palda, tahsil and district Indore and the petitioner in M.P. No. 276/83, hold agricultural land, bearing survey No. 327, admeasuring 4.063 hectares, in village Palda, tehsil and district Indore, as also the petitioner in (M.P. 59/84) holds agricultural land bearing survey Nos. 73/1, 74/1, 75/1 having an area of 5.45 acres survey Nos. 73/2, 74/2 & 75/2, having an area of 5.48 acres and survey Nos. 73/3,74/3 and 75/3, having an area of 5.49 acres, in village Lasudia Mori, tahsil and district Indore. Sale deeds have been duly executed in respect of different parcels of lands in favour of respecting purchasers. When the documents were presented before the Sub-Registrar (Res. No. 1) for registration, they met with a blatant refusal and it is the only question, whether such a refusal by the Sub-Registrar is tenable in law. The petitioners have challenged these refusals as arbitrary, capricious and illegal based on extraneous considerations and have prayed for a writ quashing the orders and seeking a Mandamus directing the Sub-Registrar to register the documents presented by them for registration.

4. The undisputed facts are that the lands held by the petitioners are owned by them in Bhumiswami rights. The petitioner's case is that these lands are agricultural lands and are recorded as such in the revenue records. They are under actual cultivation and are reserved for agricultural, purpose in the Indore Development Plan (popularly known as Master Plan.) The petitioners have also filed a certificate from the Tahsildar, Indore, to the effect that the lands in question are in actual cultivation and are being used for agricultural purposes. They have filed the Annexures-A, B and C, the Khasra entries of the lands for the years 1974-75 to 1982-83.

5. The respondent Sub-Registrar in his return dated 13-7-83 has disputed the fact that the land in question is agricultural in nature and has further disputed that it is reserved for agricultural purposes in the Indore Development Plan (the Master Plan). It has been admitted by the respondent that the petitioners have executed certain sale deeds in favour of different purchasers pertaining to different parcels or portions of the said land. It has also been admitted that one such sale deed Dt- 24-3-1982, executed in favour of one Saraswatibai of Indore, was submitted for registration before him along with the certificate, Annexure A, issued by the Tahsildar, certifying the land to be agricultural land under actual cultivation. It is also not disputed that the respondent made an endorsement on the document to the effect 'Panjivan se Aswikar' However, the respondent adds that he had recorded his reasons for such refusal in his book No. 2, which has been filed as Annexure-J, to the petition. This refusal vide Annexure-J, is based on the following reasons:

(a) the land is in urban agglomeration, reserved for a purpose other than agriculture.

(b) the land in question is covered by Section 2(q) of the Urban Land, Ceiling and Regulation Act, 1974;

(c) Sections 26 and 28 of the aforesaid Act have not been complied with;

And, in view of non-compliance of these regulations registration of the document was refused as hit by Section 28 of the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulations Act.

6. It is pertinent to note here that none of these reasons were advanced at the time of earlier refusal for registration of these documents. Now these reasons, as mentioned above, have been assigned by Res. No. 1 only after-directions from this Court were issued to him in M.P. No. 399/82. Dt. 29-10-82 and in M.P. No. 429/82. Dt. 24-11-82, directing him to register or refuse to register the sale deeds in accordance with law after hearing the parties in that behalf. As stated above, the present set of petitions is by way of a second innings. The respondent, Sub-Registrar, had on an earlier occasion refused registration of the documents on a flimsy ground that in accordance with a letter dated 1-5-1982. received from the Indore Development Authority, the land in question was to be included in Scheme No. 72 of the said Authority; while in case of other petitioners (in M.P. Nos. 476/83 and 59/84). the refusal was based on insistance of a certificate from the Competent Authority under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulations Act

7. The petitioners have averred that no opportunity of hearing, as directed by this Court had been given to them by the Sub-Registrar. Although this fact has been controverted by the respondent, but as it appears from the documents on record, we have no hesitation in holding that no such opportunity of hearing was given by the respondent and the refusal recorded by him after giving an opportunity of hearing is merely a lip-service to the orders of this Court, referred to above. It is evident from Annexure-H, that the endorsement 'Panjiyan so Aswikar was made by the respondent on the receipt issued soon after presentation of the document and having made this endorsement he has proceeded to pass the order of refusal (Annexure-J). The petitioners had submitted an application on 14-12-1982 (Annexure-G) whereby seeking information about the ground or grounds on which the refusal. if intended, was to be based. However, there is nothing on record to suggest that the respondent had apprised the petitioners of any such ground. The petitioners in para 6 of their petition have clearly averred that they had moved an application (Annexure-G) at 2.05 P.M. and the respondent forthwith returned the same with the endorsement 'Panjiyan se Aswikar' without disclosing the ground for not registering the document and affording any opportunity of hearing or making any representation, as directed by this Court and desired by the petitioners in their application, Annexure-G. Order, Annexure-J, does not even remotely indicate that it has been passed after giving any opportunity of hearing for which the petitioners had, as a matter of abundant caution, moved an application (Annexure-G). Although it is averred by the respondent that the order Annexure-J, was passed after hearing the petitioners, but we are not persuaded to believe that it was so passed. There is absolutely no indication that any opportunity of hearing, as directed by this Court, was ever given to the petitioners. Had it been so. the order, Annexure-J, would not have been silent on this point.

8. Opportunity of hearing is not an empty formality. It has to be an opportunity in the real sense. But. we are constrained to observe that the respondent has not even followed that formality, much less affording a real opportunity of being heard to the petitioners. The averments contained in paragraph 6 of the petition have not been specifically traversed by the respondent with particular reference to the time of presentation and forthwith refusal and returning the application. Annexure-G. The directions of this^Court are not in the least followed by the respondent who. as is evident from the record, either acted or was determined to act in a biased manner. The registration or refusal to register is a quasi-judicial function. It is not expected of any public authority to act in the manner the respondent did, more so in face of this Court's directions.

9. Another common feature of these petitions is that on returns being filed by the respondents, an Annexure (Annexure-R/1), purporting to be a letter from the Joint Director, Town and Country planning, addressed to the District Registrar in reply to his letter No. 179, dated 18-5-82 was also filed showing therein that the survey Nos. 327, 328, 329, situated in village Palda, are reserved for Agro-based Industries in the Master Plan. The petitioners thereupon amended their petitions stating that the lands in question are reserved for agricultural purposes in the Master Plan and the certificate, Annexure-R/1, is false and not in conformity with the Indore Development Plan (Master Plan), as published in the M.P. Govt. Gazette, dated 21-3-1975. The joint Director. Town and Country Planning, Indore, was also added as a respondent' to the petition. But it is surprising that the Joint Director has not come out with a return nor respondent No. 1 has chosen to controvert the petitioners' averment as contained in paragraph 3A of the petition which was purposefully brought about by an amendment in view of Annexure-R/1. It cannot be gainsaid that the respondents were quite aware of the specific allegation about the falsity of the statement contained in Annexure-R/1, yet they have chosen to remain silent on this point In such circumstances the only unescapable conclusion is that the averment made by the petitioners has got to be accepted Shri Sanghi learned counsel for the petitioners has invited our attention to Himanshu Dhar Singh v. Addl. Registrar AIR 1962 All 439 and Ramkishan v. State 1964 Jab LJ 452 : (1964(2) Cri LJ 619).

10. Before proceeding to examine the grounds of refusal, as contained in Annexure-J, and further added and improved upon in the return, it would be worthwhile to examine the statutory duty cast on the respondent in the matter of registration of documents. Section 71 of the Registration Act which deals with reasons for refusal to register the document is as under:

'Section 71. (1) Every Sub-Registrar refusing to register a document except on the ground that the property to which it relates is not situate 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.

(2) No registering officer shall accept for registration a document so endorsed unless and until under the provisions hereinafter contained the document is directed to be registered.'

11. The duty of the Sub-Registrar is to furnish a copy of the refusal order without payment and unnecessary delay. But to our surprise, we find that he has collected an amount of Rs. 4.50ps for supplying a certified copy of the order of refusal passed by him under this Section, which in fact he was duty bound to furnish to the petitioners without any payment. Mere reading of this Section would show that the refusal has to be based on legal grounds and not on extraneous considerations, as is evident from Annexure-D, where a reference had been made by the respondent to Scheme No. 72 of the Indore Development Authority and the directions of the Additional Collector, regarding refusal of such registration. These extraneous considerations have no place in discharge of statutory duties, more so, in taking decisions of quasi-judicial nature. The duty cast on the respondent, Sub-Registrar is that when a document complete in all respects is presented for registration, it is his bounden duty to accept and register the same. If there be any legal flaw, it is incumbent on him to comply with the provisions of Section 71 of the Registration Act and pass an order of refusal recording his reasons in his Book No. 2. A mere refusal to accept a document for registration is dereliction of duty and disobedience of the mandatory provisions of law.

12. Coming now to the grounds of refusal by the respondent No. I. we find that some of the grounds, not referred or even indicated in the order, Annexure-J. have been raised in the return filed by the respondents. Grounds, as contained in Annexure-J, on which refusal to register the document is based are reproduced below:

(a) the land is in urban agglomeration, reserved for a purpose other than agriculture;

(b) the land in question is covered by Section 2(o) of the Urban Land (Ceiling And Regulation) Act, 1976;

(c) Sections 26 and 28 of the aforesaid Act have not been complied with.

In view of non-compliance of these, registration of the document is refused, as hit by Section 28 of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act.

In addition to grounds stated above the following grounds have also been taken in the returns:

(a) the survey numbers of the lands in dispute can be treated as agricultural land if the condition laid down in Section 2(o), read with the Explanation-C, thereto of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, is fulfilled;

(b) the sale deed presented for registration did not contain a recital to the effect that the said land is not included in the Master Plan or that the same is being used exclusively for agricultural purposes;

(c) Yet another ground which emerges from the appellate order dated 16-11-1983 (Annexure-H) in M.P. No. 59/84, is that the refusal was justified in view of Section 84(2) of the Registration Act

13. Since we are dealing with the question of grounds of refusal, we would also take into consideration the grounds of refusal for registration of document in the case of Yeshwantsingh & Ors. (M. P. No. 50 of 1984) :

'BHUMI KA KRISHI KE UPYOG ME LAYE JANE BABAD ULLEKH HAL PARANTU IS BHUMI KO URBAN CELLING ACT KI DHARA 2(O) KE SPASTIKARAN KE ANSH (C) KE ANUSAR INDORE KE MASTER PLAN ME KRISHI SE BHINNA ASHAYA KE LIYE VINISDISTA TO NAHI KIYA GAYA HAI YEH USME NAHI LIKHA GAYA HAL SAMBANDHIT TRUTI KE KARAN PRASTUTKARTA SHRI YESHWANTSINGH PITA CHANDAR-SINGH KO PANJIYAN KANDIKA 266 KE ANTARGAT PURTI HETU VAPIS KIYA HAI. ATAH PURTI KAR Dt 43-83 KO YA USKE PURVA PRASTUT KARE'

In this case the refusal was in exercise of the powers conferred by para 266 of the Registration Manual The petitioner in this case had also preferred an appeal under Section 72 of the Registration Act and the grounds which emerge from the appellate order (Annexure-H, in M.P. 59/84) are:

(a) that the document in question does not contain a recital to the effect that the land is not covered by Section 2(o), proviso-C of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976;

(b) the land is vacant land within the meaning of Section 26 of the said Act and the executant, the petitioner had not filed a copy of the notice and its acknowledgement, as comtemplated by Section 28 of the said Act;

(c) the Collector, Indore, in exercise of his powers had issued executive instructions to the Sub-Registrar for not registering any document in respect of the lands in question and it was in pursuance to these instructions that the Sub-Registrar refused registration;

(d) there was no recital in the document to the effect that no objection or permission from the Government Authority under the Land Ceiling Act has been obtained:

(e) that the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act Provides that the registering authority should see to it that the document contained a recital to the effect that the land in question is agricultural land and is not covered by any bar under the Land Ceiling Act:

(f) that it was incumbent upon the executant-petitioner that he should have incorporated the recitals in the document itself as desired and insisted for by the Sub-Registrar;

(g) that the Sub-Registrar was justified in returning the document under Section 84(2) of the Registration Act.

14. As none of these grounds were either present or advanced at the time of earlier refusal, these grounds have been purposefully recapitulated and reproduced for the reason that the respondent may not seek shelter behind any such ground in refusing registration of a document. These grounds are more imaginary than real. We have already held that the respondent had not afforded any opportunity of hearing to the petitioners and had it been so, one would have legitimately expected some discussion about them in the orders passed by the respondent No. 1. The petitioners had sought information about the nature of grounds on which refusal of registration was either intended or based. But the painful truth, which emerges out of the averments and the documents placed on record is that none of the petitioners was apprised or informed of any of these grounds so as to enable him to meet them or to make his submissions in that behalf. An opportunity of hearing presupposes fairness, which is the first essential of any function, or discharge of duty expected of any public servant. We are constrained to note that the respondent No. 1 herein, has shown callous disregard to the directions of this Court (Annexure-E). The fact that such a direction is required, is by itself sufficient to indicate that the respondent has shown a very weak or low level of regard for the mandate of law.

15. Taking first the refusal to register the document on the ground that it did not contain a particular recital as insisted by the respondent, we pointedly called upon the learned Deputy Government Advocate appearing for the respondents to Show to us any provision of law, rule or regulation, which enjoins the petitioners to incorporate such a recital, as insisted by the respondent No. 1. He was at pains to point out any'such direction or regulation. It is the duty of the Sub-Registrar to register the document in accordance with Section 71 of the Registration Act, when presented, and when the duty is to be discharged in accordance with law, it necessarily excludes extraneous considerations, such as instructions or directions having no foundation in law and no public authority while so acting would introduce its own fanciful notions in the matter.

16. The appellate order in the case of Yeshwantsingh (M. P. No. 59/84) makes a reference to certain executive instructions issued by the Collector, Indore in pursuance to which the Sub-Registrar had refused registration of the document. Firstly, no such instructions have been placed on record, even assuming them to be so, the Registration Act does not confer any such power on the Collector, of any district to iss.ue any such instructions prohibiting the registration of documents. The respondent No. 1 while purporting to act in the discharge of his statutory duties has to exclude such instructions, which have no foundation in law. We are, therefore, constrained to hold that the respondent No. 1, while refusing to register the document on the basis of some! instructions from the Additional Collector, was certainly not acting in accordance with law. There could be no executive instructions contrary to law nor can such instructions have any overriding effect on; the statutory provisions of law. It is painful to note that in fact of this Court's direction the appellate order dated 25-2-1983 (in M.P.. No. 59/84) should seek justification for refusal to register the document on the, basis of such direction from the Additional! Collector.

17. The other point, which needs consideration, is the power exercisable by the Sub-Registrar under Para 266 of the Registration Manual, as referred to in the appellate order dated 25-2-1983, in the case of Yeshwantsingh (M. P. 59/84). Before considering this aspect of the matter, let it be made clear that the registration manual is merely a compilation of rules and executive instructions and para 266 is not even a rule, having any statutory sanction or validity. However, we proceed to consider the justification sought to be derived by the respondents from Para 266, which is reproduced herein under :

'Para 266. A document which may be defective in any other particulars, other than those mentioned in rule 19, the rectification of, or addition to, which in the opinion of the R. O. is necessary, may be returned for amendment, correction or supply of omission.'

Now, Rule 19 of the said Manual enumerates the conditions, in which a document may be returned for amendment, correction or supply of omissions. The fact that para 266 of the Manual has been invoked to justify refusal from registration itself does to show that there was no such defect, as enumerated in Rule 19 of the Manual, in the document or documents presented for registration. Para 266 contemplated defectiveness in particulars other than those mentioned in Rule 19. It does not provide for any such fanciful objections as are raised by the respondent in his order, Annexure-J, as also in the return. Para 266 merely refers to particulars other than those enumerated in Rule 19. The area of operation of Para 266 is confined to particulars other than those enumerated in Rule 19. It cannot be construed in a manner so as to provide a handle to refuse registration. A glance at the ground raised in the order and in the return for justifying refusal would go to show that they are essentially interpretative in nature and, therefore, outside the purview of Para 266, which is not an all-embracing provision. It confines to particulars and particulars alone.

18. The appellate order referred to above contains yet another reference to Section 84(2) of the Registration Act, advanced as a justification, for insistence by the respondent No. 1 to get certain recitals incorporated in the document itself. A mere reading of the Section would show that the true import and meaning of the Section has been misconceived by the respondents. Section 84 occurs in Part XIV of the Registration Act, which is captioned as 'Of Penalties'. This part contains in all four Sections. Section 81 related to penalty for incorrectly endorsing copying, translating or registering documents with intent to injure. Section 82 related to penalty for making false statements, delivering false copies or translations, false personation and abetment and Section 83, related to commencement of prosecutions by the registering officer.

19. While Section 83 gives a discretion to the registering officer to commence prosecutions in respect of the offences enumerated in Sections 81 and 82 and it is in this context that Section 84(2) enjoins every person to furnish information to the registering officer. It is no body's case that the respondent No. 1 was contemplating any such prosecution. Thus, it would be seen that invoking the aid of Section 84(2) for justifying the persistent obduracy of the respondent No. 1 for getting incorporated certain recitals in the document is wholly misconceived and out of place.

20. Coming to the respondents objection regarding applicability of Sections 26 and 28 of the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, on going through the return filed by the respondent we find that although the provisions of the Ceiling Act have been reproduced in extenso, but no attempt has been made to show that the land in question is one, which is converted under the Indore Development Plan (Master Plan) for a purpose other than agriculture. On the other hand, the petitioners have categorically averred that the lands in question have been reserved for agriculture purposes and shown as such in the Indore Development plan (the Master Plan). To our surprise the respondent No. 2, who has issued a certificate, which is vague and denounced as false by the petitioners has not chosen to file any return of counter-affidavit. In such circumstances, Annexure-R/1, loses its credibility and, therefore, cannot be acted upon. The petitioners amended their petition after Annexure-R/1 was filed by the respondents and incorporated an amendment adding paragraph 3(a) to the petition, which is reproduced below :

'3(a). That the respondent No. 2's alleged certificate Annexure-R/1, is false and not in conformity with the Indore Development Plan (Master plan) as published in the Gazette dated 21-3-1975.'

This specific averment made by the petitioners has not been traversed by the respondents, who have chosen to remain quiet on this point.'

20-A. The petitioners in their application (I. A. No. 3344 of 1963), dated 24-11-1983, have narrated the facts and circumstances in which this amendment reproduced above was deemed necessary. In face of this application, silence on the part of the respondents in not suitably amending their return and not placing the material before the Court is not only surprising but also renders their contention baseless. A mere reading of Annexure-J, the order passed by respondent No. 1 would show that even while passing the order he was not sure about the position of the lands in question. The respondent has referred to the document submitted to him for registration-Annexure-F. It is titled as 'KRISHI BHUMI KA BIKRAY PATRA'. It also contains all the necessary particulars of the land under the heading 'VIKRAYADHIN BHUMI' Condition No. 3 enumerated as, such under the heading 'SHARTEN' in the said document contains a statement to the effect:

^^;g fd fo;k/khu Hkweh f'k Hkwfe gSAjktLo vfHkys[kksa esa Hkh mDr Hkwfe f'k gsrw vafdr gSA okLro esa HkhHkwfe f'k dk;Z esa yh tk jgh gSA orZeku fo; Hkh 'kh gsrw fd;k tkjgk gSA fo;kf/ku Hkwfe uxj lhek ckgj fLFkr f'k Hkwfe gksus ls uxjh;Hkwfe lhek ,oa O;OLFkkiu vf/kfu;e ds izko/kkuksa ls eqDr gS rFkk uxj rFkkxzke funs'k vf/kfu;e ds izHkko{ks= ds ckgj gksus ls mDr fo/ks;d] rnkarxZr ?kksf'kr]bUnkSj fodkl ;kstuk ekLVj Iyku rFkk rnkUrxZr xfBr bUnkSj fodkl izkf/kdkjh ds{ks=kf/kdkj ls ckgj ,oa eqDr gSaA**

The reason assigned by the respondent that it was not clear from the document whether the land was reserved in the Master plan for purposes other than agriculture clearly appears to be a futile attempt at distortion of facts. The document contains all the necessary details and information required to be furnished but a biased mind as that of the respondent No. i has failed to see the same.

21. Ordinarily, the Registrar is bound to act upon the recitals contained in the document and we do not see any such reason which could have been reasonably advanced for refusal of registration of a document, (Annexure-F).

22. Refusal for registration has been sought to be justified in view of the provisions of the Ceiling Act. The first objection is that the land is covered by the Indore Development plan. But the mere fact that the land has been included in the Indore Development plan by itself is no ground for refusing the registration. Having held that the land is reserved for agricultural purposes under the Indore Development Plan, the other objections raised by the respondents are superfluous. The objections regarding applicability of the provisions of the Ceiling Act, are dealt with together. Section 28 of the said Act reads :

'S. 28. Regulation of registration of documents in certain cases.--Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, where any document required to be registered under the provisions of Clauses (a) to (e) of Sub-section (1) of Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 (16 Of 1908) purports to transfer by way of sale, mortgage, gift, lease or otherwise any land or any building (including any portion thereof),--

(a) in the case of any transfer referred to in sec tion 26, no registering officer appointed under that Act shall registerany such document unless the transferor produces before such registering officer evidence to show that he has given notice of the intended transfer to the competent authority under that section and, where such transfer is by way of sale, the period of sixtydays referred to in Sub-section (2) of that section has elapsed;

(b) In the case of any transfer referred to in Section 27, no registering officer appointed under that Act shall register any such document unless the transferor produces before such registering officer the permission in writing of the competent authority for such transfer or satisfied registering officer that the period of sixty days referred to in Sub-section (4) of that section has elapsed.'

A mere reading of this section would indicate that a transferor is not required to produce any 'no objection' certificate from the competent authority, as was insisted by the respondent No. 1 Shri Sanghi, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners has submitted that this sort of 'no objection' certificate to be obtained from the competent authority is a mis-conception and misnomer and it would be a fallacy to expect any such production of a certificate before a sale deed could be registered. According to him all that this section lays down is the production of evidence to show that a notice, as contemplated by Section 28 had been given. Section 26 lays down that in case of such a notice the competent authority shall have the first option to purchase such land on behalf of the State Govt. at a price calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act and if such option has not been exercised within a period of 60 days from the date of receipt of the notice, it shall be presumed that the competent authority has no intention to purchase such land and it shall be lawful in such an event to have such person to transfer the land to whomsoever he liked.

23. This takes us to the question, whereby any such notice was necessary. Shri Solanki, Dy. Government Advocate, appearing for the respondents invited our attention to Section 2(o)(c) and argued that in view of this provision it would be incumbent on the petitioners to comply with the requirements of Section 26; otherwise bar under Section 28 would operate. Section 2(o)(c) is reproduced hereinbelow :

'S 2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(o) 'urban land, means,--

(i) any land situated within the limits of an urban agglomeration and referred to as such in the master plan, or

(ii) in a case where there is no master plan, or where the master plan does not refer to any land as urban land, any land within the limits of an urban agglomeration and situated in any area included within the local limits of a municipality (by whatever name called), a notified area committee, a town area committee, a city and town committee, a small town committee, a cantonment board or a panchayat; but does not include any such land which is mainly used for the purpose of agriculture.

Explanation --

(a) .....

(b) .....

(c) Notwithstanding anything contained in Clause (b) of this explanation, land shall not be deemed to be mainly used for the purpose of agriculture if the land has been specified in the master plan for a purpose other than agriculture;'

All that it lays down is that a land shall not be deemed to be mainly used for the purpose of agriculture if the land has been specified in the Master plan for a purpose other than the agriculture. In order to attract diis provision, it was the duty of the respondents to place before the Court such material to prove that the land in question has been specified in the Master Plan for a purpose other than agriculture. It is only then that this provision would be attracted. As has been held by us the land in question is not specified for a purpose other than agriculture, we see no substance in this argument advanced on behalf of the respondents.

24. It incidentally takes us to the definition of 'vacant land' as given in the Ceiling Act. There is no dispute about the fact that the land is agriculture land and is being used as such. The petitioners have filed Khasra entries, Annexures-B and C, showing standing crops on the lands in question as also a certificate, Annexure-A, issued by the Tahsildar, Indore, certifying that it has been continuously used for agriculture. The petitioners have themselves averred that the land is situated within five kilometers from the peripheri of the Corporation limits of Indore city and as such, it is in urban agglomeration. But this by itself would not attract Section 26 and Section 28 of the Act, so as to justify refusal from registration of a document in respect of any suit land.

25. The petitioners in M.P. No. 59 of 1984 (Yeshwantsingh v. Sub-Registrar) first presented the sale deed for registration on 25-2-82 and and produced a certificate dated 14-5-81 from the Joint Director, Town and Country Planning, Indore, showing the land to be agriculture and reserved as such in the Development plan. Yet the respondents declined to accept the said document for registration on the pretext that the certificate from the Joint Director was more than a year old and called upon the petitioners to file a fresh certificate and it has not been disputed by the respondents that the petitioners did file fresh certificates from the Joint Director, being Annexures, D,D/1 and D/2. What surprises us most is the fact that the filing of these certificates has been repeatedly denounced as 'meaningless' in the return filed by the respondent. On 25-2-1982 when the 'document was first presented for registration before the respondent No. 1, he declined on the pretext that the certificate dated 14-5-81 was more than a year old, i.e. only 11 days more. On 17-2-1983 when it was again submitted with fresh certificate from the Joint Director, Country and Town Planning, the same has been denounced as meaningless. Reason and logic have been outraged by the respondent No. 1 Shri Chaphekar, learned counsel for the petitioners has submitted that the respondent No. 1, while refusing registeration, acted in callous disregard of this Court's direction in M.P. No. 429/82. There is no reason or rhyme behind such refusal and the grounds which have been sought to be advanced justifying such refusal are absolutely baseless. Learned Deputy Govt. Advocate appearing for the respondents has very frankly conceded before us that he would not be in a position to legally justify the grounds of refusal except on the basis that the provisions of (he Ceiling Act. are attracted. But in view of the undisputed position that the land in question is specified as agricultura under the Indore Development Plan, we see no substance in this argument.

26. Before parting with the cases, we feel constrained to record our strong disapproval of the conduct of the respondent No. 1 the Sub-Registrar, in refusing registration of the document submitted to him, and that too in face of this court's mandate. The conduct, if not contumacious is certainly indecorous and stinks of mala fides and smacks of malice in the discharge of his duties.

27. In view of the reasons aforesaid, we quash the order dated 14-12-1982 (Annexure-J), passed by respondent No. 1, the Sub-Registrar in Misc. Petition Nos. 275/83 and 176/83, and order dated 14-3-1983 (Annexure-F passed by the respondent No. 1, the Sub-Registrar and the appellate order dated 16-11-1983 (Annexure-H), passed by the respondent No. 2 in M.P. No. 59 of 1984, and direct the respondent No. 1, the Sub-Registrar to register the documents on being presented before him for registeration. Normally, we would not have issued such a direction, but in view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of these cases, the petitioners having sought a mandamus on an earlier occasion from this Court, which was sought to be defeated by ingenuously raising flimsy objections, each one of which has been found to be baseless, by us, we make this specific direction to the respondent No. 1, the Sub-Registrar to register the documents on being presented for registration before him.

28. The petitions succeed and are allowed. The respondents shall bear costs of these petitions, counsel's fee Rs. 500/-, if certified. The outstanding amount of the security deposit, if any, after verification, be refunded to the petitioners. A copy of this order be sent to the Inspector General of Registration, M.P. for informations as also to State Govt.


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