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Unregistered document

(Querist) 19 October 2017 This query is : Resolved 
An unregistered family documents can be used as a collateral evidence. Can i request my respected advocates to furnish some citations of the superior courts on the subject ?
Advocate Bhartesh goyal (Expert) 19 October 2017
We don't provide formats and citations.
Ms.Usha Kapoor (Expert) 20 October 2017
Admissibility of Unregistered Document
Importance of Registration

Registration of a document gives publicity and public exposure to documents thereby preventing forgeries and frauds in regard to transactions and execution of documents. It gives solemnity of form and perpetuates documents which are of legal importance or relevance by recording them, where people may see the record and enquire and ascertain what the particulars are.[1]

Registration Act, 1908

In India, Registration Act, 1908, (the “Act”) was enacted with the object of providing orderliness, discipline and public notice in regard to transactions relating to immovable property and protection from fraud and forgery of documents of transfer. Section 17 of the Act, therefore, requires compulsory registration of certain types of documents and provides for consequences of non-registration. The scope of Section 17 covers any document (other than testamentary instruments) 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 of the value of Rs. 100 and upwards to or in immovable property. Notably, Section 49 of the same Act provides that no document required by Section 17 to be registered shall, affect any immovable property comprised therein or received as evidence of any transaction, unless it has been registered. Section 49 bars the reception in evidence of a document of transfer which is required to be registered under Section 17 of the Registration Act or under the Transfer of Property Act, but is not registered.[2]

Admissibility of Unregistered Document

It is well settled that an unregistered document cannot be received in evidence of any transaction covered by registered document.[3] However, such unregistered document can be used as an evidence of collateral purpose, as provided in the proviso to Section 49 of the Registration Act.[4] The aforesaid law in based on the premise that such document maybe required in evidence to prove the factum of a transaction, though not of its content.[5] Furthermore, such an exception does not apply unless the transaction has been reduced to a document form.[6] There is plethora of cases which has firmly laid down that under the proviso to Section 49 of the Act, an unregistered document can also be admitted into evidence for a collateral fact/collateral purpose[7]. However, in order to admit such document even for collateral purpose, the document so tendered must be duly stamped or should comply with the requirements of Section 35 of the Stamp Act, without which, such document cannot be received in evidence unless duty and penalty are paid under Section 35 of the Stamp Act.[8] In G. Balakishtiah vs. B. Ranga Reddy[9], it was held that unregistered lease deed can be admissible in evidence for proving appellant’s (who was owner of the land in dispute) title to the leased property. Similarly in Hemanta Kumari Debi v. Midnapur Zamindari Co.[10], Privy Council had held that the admission of title in the unregistered lease deeds can be admissible as evidence. More recently in Shibani Basu v. Sandip Ray[11], Supreme Court held that non-registration of a rent note did not debar use of a document that was to be compulsorily registered, for collateral purposes
N.K.Assumi (Expert) 20 October 2017
Well advised by the expert Mrs.Usha Kapoor.
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 20 October 2017
citation / decided cases / Judgment / reference cases / ruling/ not provided
Dr J C Vashista (Expert) 20 October 2017
I endorse the expert advise of Mr. Rajendra K Goyal.
Bhaskaran Advocate (Expert) 02 March 2018
Unregistered document if stamp paper duty has to be paid, only after paying that it can be allowed as evidence for collateral purpose otherwise strictly it cannot be taken for collateral purpose also. If after that registration takes place then it can be marked for evidence.


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