W.P.(MD).Nos. 6889, 8330, 13297 of 2020, 11674 of 2015
and W.A(MD)No.800 of 2022and C.M.P(MD).No.6797 of 2022
Sasikala Vs The Revenue Divisional Officer
DATE OF ORDER:
HON’BLE JUSTICES S.S. SUNDAR, G.R. SWAMINATHAN AND R. VIJAYAKUMAR, JJ.
Respondent(s): The Revisional Officer
The case was referred to this three-judge bench by the division bench of the High Court in the view of the conflicting judgments. There were many questions of law before the division bench but the reference was made only with regard to the validity of the registration of the cancellation deed.
35. Procedure on admission and denial of execution respectively.-
(1) (a) If all the persons executing the document appear personally before the registering officer and are personally known to him, or if he be otherwise satisfied that they are the persons they represent themselves to be, and if they all admit the execution of the document, or
(b) if in the case of any person appearing by a representative, assign or agent, such representative, assign or agent admits the execution, or
(c) if the person executing the document is dead, and his representative or assign appears before the registering officer and admits the execution, the registering officer shall register the document as directed in sections 58 to 61, inclusive.
(2) The registering officer may, in order to satisfy himself that the persons appearing before him are the persons they represent themselves to be, or for any other purpose contemplated by this Act, examine anyone present in his office.
(3)(a) If any person by whom the document purports to be executed denies its execution, or
(b) if any such person appears to the registering officer to be a minor, an idiot or alunatic, or
(c) if any person by whom the document purports to be executed is dead, and his representative or assign denies its execution, the registering officer shall refuse to register the document as to the person so denying, appearing or dead:
Provided that, where such officer is a Registrar, he shall follow the procedure prescribed in Part XII:
Provided further that the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that any Sub-Registrar named in the notification shall, in respect of documents the execution of which is denied, be deemed to be a Registrar for the purposes of this sub-section and of Part XII.
Transfer of Property Act
126. When gift may be suspended or revoked.—The donor and done may agree that on the happening of any specified event which does not depend on the will of the donor it shall be suspended or revoked; but a gift which the parties agree shall be revocable wholly or in part at the mere well of the donor is void wholly or in part, as the case may be.
A gift also be revoked in any of the cases (save want or failure of consideration) in which, if it were a contract, it might be rescinded.
Save as aforesaid, a gift cannot be revoked.
Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to affect the rights of transferees for consideration without notice.
W.P(MD)No.11674 of 2015
- The petitioner is the daughter of the third respondent. The father executed a settlement deed dated 06.03.2015 in favour of the petitioner and her sister for 55 cents, out of the total extent of 3.38 acres owned by him in Sivagangai District. It was registered as document 625/2015 in the file of the second respondent.
- As per the recitals of the said deed, it was an unconditional deed executed out of love and affection.
- It is stated that the petitioner was given joint patta with her sister and the deed has been acted upon.
- However, the second respondent canceled the said deed. This cancellation deed was registered as Document No. 701/2015 wherein it was stated that the settlor has decided to cancel the settlement deed as it was not necessary and the deed has not been acted upon yet.
- The writ petition was filed seeking quashing of this cancellation deed.
W.P(MD)No.6889 of 2020
- While the above-mentioned writ petition was pending, the RDO, Devakottai(first respondent herein)issued notice to the writ petitioner to hold on an inquiry on the petition filed by the petitioner’s father. After this inquiry, the RDO passed an order dated 28.08.2018 wherein he directed the cancellation of the settlement deed and the cancellation of patta in favor of the petitioner and her sister to restore the revenue records in the name of the second respondent, the father of the writ petitioner.
- The RDO passed the impugned order exercising his power under section 23 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. Against this order, the present writ petition has been filed.
W.P(MD)No.8330 of 2020
- Writ for issuance of Mandamus to declare the cancellation deed dated 07.01.2009executed by the 2nd respondent registered as Document no. 32 of 2009 in the file of the second respondent as null and void.
- It also sought direction to the second respondent to release the deed of partition dated 23.06.2020.
- In this writ, the petitioner is a minor and is represented by her grandmother who is the wife of the third respondent.
- Case of the petitioner is that a registered gift deed was executed by the third respondent on 01.08.1995 in favor of two minor daughters registered as Document 777 of 1995 before 2nd respondent.
- It is clear from the recitals of the settlement deed that it was absolute and executed out of love and affection. Since the daughters were minor, their mother (wife of the third respondent) was appointed as the guardian of the properties.
- The petitioner contends that the settlees are in possession and enjoyment of the property and patta was also issued in the name of minor daughters. Both the daughters were given off in marriage.
- The elder daughter, Ilavarasi died intestate leaving behind her husband and daughter named Prabha Devi (the Petitioner herein)
- The petitioner came to know about the unilateral cancellation deed only when her grandmother approached the sub-registrar (2nd respondent) to get the partition deed dated 23.06.2020 registered as Document 975/2020.
W.P(MD)No.13297 of 2020
- Here, the petitioner is a seventy-year-old man who is living in a pathetic condition devoid of any source of income to sustain him.
- He contends that his son has fraudulently obtained a settlement deed (Document No.941/2018) dated 05.12.2018 in his favor of which he seeks cancellation.
QUESTIONS OF LAW
Whether the Registrar has the power to accept the deed of cancellation to nullify the deed of conveyance made earlier when the deed of conveyance has already been acted upon by the transferee.
Amicus Curiae and two other counsels submitted that various High Courts have considered the Supreme Court’s Judgment in Satya Pal Anand case (2016). But this judgment should not be considered as a precedent in the present case in view of the specific provisions of the Registration Act
- Since there were conflicting judgments on the issue, the court decided to rely on the judgment in the case of Latif Estate Line India Ltd vs Hadeeja Ammal wherein it was held that the deed of unilateral cancellation of a sale is of no effect as the title once vested in the transferee by sale, it cannot be vested back to the transferor by registration and execution of a deed of cancellation even with the consent of the parties.
- With regard to the maintainability of the writ petition in case of unilateral cancellation and registration of such cancellation deed, the Hon’ble court referred to the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Thota Ganga Lakshmi Vs Government of Andhra Pradesh reported in (2010)15 SCC 207 wherein it was held that parties had no need to approach civil court as the cancellation deed is void ab initio and can be ignored altogether.
- While examining the validity of registration of unilateral cancellation of a registered document and sub-registrar’s to register such document, the court analyzed yet another recent judgment of the hon’ble Supreme court in the case of Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited vs. J.P.Velayutham and ors.
- After examining and analysing various statutory provisions and judgments, the court finally relied on Thota Ganga Laxmi and Ors. Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh & Ors. and Latif Estate Line India Ltd., case.
- The court at last held that the registrar does not have the power to accept the cancellation deed to nullify the conveyance deed executed earlier when it has been already acted upon by the conveyor.
The analysis was, however, coupled with many concluding points and conditions: -
- A sale or conveyance deed other than testamentary dispositions which are executed and registered cannot be unilaterally cancelled and such cancellation is wholly void and does not limit, assign or extinguish any right or title in the property.
- Such unilateral cancellation of the sale deed or deed of conveyance cannot be accepted for registration.
- Writ petition to challenge or nullify such registration is maintainable.
- Cancellation or revocation deed in cases of gift or settlement deed is permissible only if circumstances fall under section 126 of the Transfer of Property Act.
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