HC suggests Tamil Nadu to amend Registration Act
Chennai, Feb 13 : The Madras High Court has suggested the Tamil Nadu government to amend Registration Act to prevent duplication in land registration process.
The court, yesterday held that cancellation of a sale deed, executed by mutual consent by all parties, if presented for registration, the registering officer was bound to register the document provided other requirements like Section 32-A of the Registration Act.
Justice S Nagamuthu has allowed the petition moved by G D Subramaniam, seeking to quash a deed of cancellation of sale dated September 2007 executed unilaterally.
P Shanmugham was the original owner of a valuable immovable property in Chennai. Subramaniam purchased the property for Rs 14 lakh from Shanmugham through the latter’s power of attorney, B Dillibabu, in July 2006.
The sale deed was registered by the Sub-Registrar, Konnur, Sidco Nagar, Villivakkam. The petitioner said he was in possession of the property.
Subsequently, Mr Dillibabu entered into an agreement with his brother B Vasu, agreeing to sell the property to him and got the document registered in the same Sub-Registrar’s office.
He also executed a cancellation deed nullifying the sale of the property to Subramaniam without his knowledge and got it registered.
Following, Subramaniam sought the quashing of the cancellation deed.
The petitioner contended that the unilateral cancellation of the sale deed was void under law. Shanmugam, Dillibabu and Vasu in their counter said though the sale deed was registered, possession was never handed over to Subramaniam. Since the petitioner did not keep his promise to pay the sale consideration, the cancellation deed was executed.
In his detailed 34-page order, Justice Nagamuthu observed that there were several complaints in police stations in Tamil Nadu alleging that unscrupulous sellers and land grabbers have been indulged in nullifying valid sale by executing cancellation deeds unilaterally and getting the same registered in an ingenious way.
It was a fraud.
Because of this, real owners had to approach civil courts to fight for justice. Such suits, in normal course, took years to conclude.
Neither the government nor the courts could turn a deaf ear to this alarming situation.
A sale was essentially an executed contract whereby the seller had transferred his title and declared that by means of the execution of the sale deed for lawful consideration, the purchaser had become the property owner. Thus, it was bi-lateral. No such contract could be cancelled unilaterally by one party, unless such a right had been reserved in the contract itself. It was now too well settled that a cancellation deed executed unilaterally by one party to the contract was illegal.
The Judge concluded that a writ petition challenging registration of a unilaterally executed cancellation deed was maintainable under Article 226 of the Constitution. The Registering Officer should refuse to register a cancellation deed unilaterally executed and without complying with Section 32 A of the Registration Act.
He quashed the impugned cancellation deed and directed Shanmugam, Dillibabu and Vasu to pay Rs 10,000 as costs to Subramaniam
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