Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. The appellant was the plaintiff in a suit filed on the Original Side of this Court against her husband, her two sons, and her grandson for possession of a house known as No. 9, Dewan Ramiengar Road, Vepery, Madras. She claimed that the house was her absolute property. The defence was that the house was built in part by monies belonging to the defendants and that they had an interest in it. During the pendency of the suit the husband died and subsequently the parties agreed to a compromise decree being passed. The agreement which was entered into comprised disputes 'relating to other matters. The terms agreed upon were embodied in a document and the sons filed an application asking for formal leave to compromise the suit and for a decree in the terms of the compromise so far as it related to the suit property. It was necessary for the Court to give formal leave as the grandson was a minor. Notice of this application was served upon the appellant, who resisted it. Before the filing of this suit the appellant was living in the house with the defendants. The filing a the suit led to great bitterness and the appellant went to reside elsewhere. She asked the Court to refuse to record the compromise on the ground that it was a condition precedent to the agreement that she should be taken back into the family. Holding that there was no such condition and that the suit had been compromised on the terms set out in the document filed in Court, Wadsworth, J., passed a decree in accordance with the agreement. The appellant asks that the compromise decree be set aside for the reason she advanced before the/learned Judge.
2. It is conceded by the appellant's learned advocate, that on the evidence as it stands on the record the learned Judge's finding cannot be questioned. He says, however, that the admission of the agreement was wrong because it required registration and not having been registered the document cannot be put in evidence. Section 17(1)(b) of the Indian Registration Act requires registration of a non-testamentary instrument which purports or operates to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish whether in present or in future any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, in immovable property of the value of Rs. 103 and upwards. The contention is that the agreement on which the respondents moved for a decree is in law a document which falls within Section 17(1)(b) and therefore cannot be received in evidence as the provisions of Section 49 stand in the way.
3. The document must be read as a whole and in the light of the surrounding circumstances and when this is done it is manifest that it does not fall within the purview of Section 17(1)(b). As I have indicated, there were other disputes besides the dispute which led to the filing of the suit. These disputes related inter alia to two other houses and the parties met to settle all their differences. The terms of settlement having been agreed upon they were put in writing in order that there should be no dispute with regard to them. The document is headed with the cause title of the suit and the document says that it was the intention of the parties that the terms of the compromise should be embodied in a decree of the Court. Clause (k) reads as follows:
This compromise shall be filed in this High Court, each party shall bear his or their own costs a report shall be made to the effect that the matter of this suit has been settled (out of Court) and a compromise decree shall be obtained in terms of this compromise.
4. There can be no doubt that the document in question was not intended to declare the rights of the parties in the immovable properties, but those rights were to be declared in a decree of the Court. Clause (k) leaves no other conclusion open. A memorandum of agreement, which this document is, requires registration if the parties intend it to be a declaration of rights and it is so worded, but a memorandum drawn up for the purpose of obtaining another document to declare rights - in this case the decree - does not require registration. Section 17(2)(b) of the Registration Act expressly exempts from registration a document not itself creating, declaring, assigning, limiting or extinguishing any right, title or interest of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards to or in immovable property, but merely creating a right to obtain another document which will when executed, create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish an] such right, title or interest. And a decree or order of a Court does not require to be registered except a decree or order ex pressed to be made on a compromise and comprising immovable property other than that which is the subject-matter of the suit or proceeding. In this case the compromise decree was registered and the Registration Act was therefore complied with The learned Judge rightly admitted this document in evidence and it shows conclusively that there is no substance in the appellant's case.
5. The appeal will be dismissed with costs.