Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has held that it is “illegal” to remove the name of an advocate from the Register of Notaries without considering genuine reasons stated by him for the delay in filing his renewal application.

Allowing a writ petition by a lawyer, Justice R.S. Ramanathan said that the authorities ought to have adopted a liberal approach by considering the health reasons adduced for submitting the renewal application belatedly.

The Judge pointed out that the Supreme Court had already held that the authorities should not take a pedantic approach while exercising their powers to relax while condoning the delay under Rule 8B of the Notaries Rules, 1956.

According to M.A. Mohammed Ibrahim, he was practicing as a notary since February 10, 1997. His Certificate of Practice was renewed every five years and the last renewal made on February 10, 2003 expired last year.

As per the Notaries Act, the Certificate could be renewed three months prior to the expiry date on payment of prescribed fee. However, the petitioner did not renew it on time claiming that he was suffering from jaundice and under medication.

His application filed after a delay of 157 days was rejected by the Law Secretary on March 18, 2008 and hence the writ petition.