Decrees must be registered only if verdict has reached finality: HC

Observing that “it is possible for anyone to get a decree from a civil court either by fraud or collusion,” the Madras High Court Bench here has held that it is always necessary that Sub Registrars ask every person who wants to register a decree of civil court to prove that the verdict had become final and that it was not collusive.

Justice S.S. Sundar passed the judgment while dismissing a writ petition to direct a Sub Registrar in Tirunelveli town to register an ex parte civil court decree with respect to certain immovable properties. On verification of revenue records, the judge found that the properties were neither in the name of the petitioner nor the person against whom the civil suit had been filed.

“In such circumstances, registration of the civil court decree will lead to further complication as the same will be shown as an encumbrance in respect of the properties which are the subject matter of the suit.

“The registration of the decree… will cause serious inconvenience or injury to the real owner, who is really a third party to the suit, when he wants to deal with the property. Taking advantage of the registration of a collusive and fraudulent decree, the person who has obtained the decree may also persuade revenue officials for mutation of revenue records and grant of patta,” the judge said.

To protect the interest of true owners of immovable properties, it was absolutely necessary for the registering authority to ensure that a decree or order of a civil court, presented for registration under the Registration Act 1908, reached finality, he added.Though the registering authority had no jurisdiction under the Act to conduct an inquiry into the real character of the decree, it was permissible to require production of minimum documents and an affidavit from the party concerned, he said. The affidavit would help the officer cancel the registration if it was subsequently brought to his notice that the statements made on oath were false, the judge said.

He also directed the High Court Registry to forward a copy of his judgment to the Inspector General of Registration for issuing suitable instructions to his subordinates on the issue of registering decrees or orders of civil court.

Registering authority asked to insist on production of documents and affidavit from the party concerned

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 2:03:58 AM |

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