1. Plaintiff was in possession from 1872 to 1880 under an optionally registerable, but unregistered, conveyance from first and second defendants. In 1879 they conveyed to third defendant. His conveyance was registered. He then dispossessed the plaintiff.
2. The case Tirumala v. Lakshmi I.L.R. 2 Mad. 147 and a case in which judgment was delivered by the Chief Justice and myself on the 17th ultimo [Nallappa Goundan v. Ibram Sahib I.L.R. 5 Mad. 73 are decisive on the question involved in this case.
3. In the latter case we referred to Fuzludeen Khan v. Fakir Mahomed Khan I.L.R. 5 Cal. 336 in which it was held that the first sale was, according to the intention of the Legislature, subject to the risk of the title of the vendee being displaced by a subsequent innocent purchaser without notice whose conveyance was duly registered, and we only dissented from the view taken that notice in the subsequent purchaser would affect the question of the ineffectiveness of a prior unregistered deed when opposed by a subsequent registered one.
4. The rule no doubt) must operate hardly, especially in cases in which the holder of the prior unregistered conveyance has had (as it is alleged plaintiff had in the present case) possession for several years under the conveyance which, by the terms of Section 18* of the Registration Act, he was informed that it was optional with him to register.
5. We must, however, carry out the plain terms of the law whatever hardship it may work in practice. To hold the view taken by the District Judge would be to refuse to give effect to the intention of the Legislature as unmis-takeably declared in the Act.
6. We must reverse the decree of the District Judge and restore that of the District Munsif with costs throughout.
Muttusami Ayyar, J.
7. I concur.
* Documents of which registration is optional.
[Section 18 : Any of the documents next hereinafter mentioned may be registered under this Act (that is to say)--
(a) Instruments (other than instruments of gift and wills) which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish, whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of a value less than one hundred rupees, to or in immoveable property.
(b) Instruments acknowledging the receipt or payment of any consideration on account of the creation, declaration, assignment, limitation or extinction of any such right, title or interest.
(c) Leases of immoveable property for any term not exceeding one year, and leases exempted under Section 17.
(d) Instruments (other than wills) which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish any right, title or interest to or in moveable property.
(f) All other documents not required by Section 17 to be registered.]