Registration Act 1908: Key Provisions You Need to Know

by  Adv. Abhijeet Sawant  




4 mins


All You Need To Know About Registration Act 1908: A Comprehensive Guide

The Registration Act 1908 lays out the rules and regulations regarding the registration of documents. The Registration Act 1908 has specific provisions regarding the establishment that is allowed to register documents, namely the Registrar and Sub-Registrars, the deeds that must be registered, such as sales deeds, when they are to be registered, where they are to be registered, and many other intricacies.

While the Registration Act 1908 lays out very specific provisions regarding many aspects of registration, the fees that are required to be paid for the registration of documents differ from State to State.

The registration fees for each document for each State are available on the respective State’s website, although it may be simpler to consult a lawyer online to find out more about these fees.

Parts I and II of the Registration Act 1908

Part I of the Registration Act 1908 lays out the preliminary information necessary to understand the Act. This consists of procedural information, such as the extent of its applicability, and information on how certain terms are defined for the purposes of the Act.

  • Most notably, as Section 2(6A) of the Act states, the Registration Act 1908 defines India as “the territory of India excluding the state of Jammu and Kashmir”. After the repealing of Article 370 of the Constitution, this provision has become redundant.
  • Section 2 defines important terms such as “immovable property”, “movable property”, “lease”, and “representative”.
  • Part II of the Registration Act 1908 is entitled “of the Registration-establishment.” This part contains provisions regarding the establishment that is competent to perform the process of registration of documents.
  • Firstly, through Section 3 of the Registration Act 1908, a provision is created for the appointment of an Inspector-General of Registration by each State Government. The person appointed to this post is allowed to hold other Government offices as well.
  • Section 6 of the Registration Act 1908 provides for the appointment of Registrars and Sub-Registrars, who are responsible for managing several districts.

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Part III of the Registration Act 1908

Part III of the Registration Act 1908 contains the provisions regarding the documents that are to be registered, documents that can be registered, and conditions under which a document submitted for registration may be rejected.

  • Section 17 of the Registration Act 1908 is one of its most important provisions, as it enlists the documents that must compulsorily be registered. These documents are:
  •  Gift deeds related to immovable property.
  • Non-testamentary instruments that:
  • Are related to the creation, assignment, declaration, or extinguishment of any interest in any immovable property worth more than Rs. 100.
  • Acknowledge receipt or payment of any consideration for the creation, assignment, declaration, or limitation of any right, title, or interest.
  • Leases of immovable property for a period exceeding one year or for leases on a yearly basis.
  • Contracts for the transfer of immovable property, with “immovable property” relying on the definition given in Section 53(A) of the Transfer of Property Act of 1882, are executed on or after the inception of the Registration and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2001.
  • Section 18 of the Registration Act 1908 discusses those documents that do not have to be registered but for which registration is still allowed to provide the documents with additional legal authenticity.
  • Section 18 of the Registration Act 1908 enlists many individual documents, such as adoption deeds, wills, and leases for less than a year, but clause F of this section makes a provision for “all other documents not required by Section 17 to be registered”.
  • This provision in Section 18(F) of the Registration Act 1908 means that any document can be registered as long as its registration is not explicitly prohibited by any other law in force or any other provision of the Registration Act 1908.
  • Section 19 of the Registration Act 1908 gives the registering officer the discretionary power to refuse to register documents that are not in a language that they understand unless they are accompanied by a true translation into a language commonly used in the district and also by a true copy.
  • Section 20 of the Registration Act 1908 vests the registering officer with similar power to refuse to register documents with interlineations, blanks, erasures, or alterations.

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Part IV and V of the Registration Act 1908

The provisions regarding the time of the registration are given within Part IV of the Registration Act 1908. Meanwhile, Part V provides insight into where the documents are to be registered.

  • Section 23 states that no document other than a will can be registered more than four months after the date of its execution.
  • Section 23(A) contemplates a situation where a person became aware that they were not duly empowered to have the document registered when they did. Such a person would have a four-month period for re-registration of the document, starting from the day they became aware that they were not duly empowered to have the document registered.
  • According to Section 24, if there are multiple people executing the document multiple times, such a document may be presented for registration and re-registration within four months of the date of each execution.
  • Section 25 provides that a fine of no more than ten times the amount to be paid for registration may be imposed on a document that was not registered within the prescribed time frame.
  • As a continuation of Section 23, Section 27 provides that a will may be presented for registration or deposited at any time.
  • Section 28 states that in cases of a document involving land, the document must be registered in the office of a Sub-Registrar within whose jurisdiction either the entirety of the land or a part of it falls.
  • Section 29 provides that a document not involving land may be registered either in the office of a Sub-Registrar within whose jurisdiction the execution of the document fell or in the office of a Sub-Registrar within the same State whom all parties agree to go to for the registration.

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The Registration Act 1908 contains non-exhaustive provisions for the registration of different documents, such as sales deeds, wills, and adoption deeds. However, as amendments and new legislation are passed very frequently, it may be necessary to talk to a lawyer online to properly understand the current state of the laws regarding the document you would like to get registered.

Registering a property involves many legal intricacies that require a trained eye to avoid any issues that may interfere with the process of registering the title. Talk to a lawyer for assistance in drafting deeds and selling property.

Adv. Abhijeet Sawant

Adv. Abhijeet Sawant


4.7 | 120+ User Reviews

Abhijeet Sawant is an advocate who has been offering ethical and professional legal consultancy and advisory services with a focus on achieving desired outcomes. With 7 years of independent practice, He possesses significant expertise in handling legal cases. Abhijeet completed his degree from the University of Mumbai and has been practising law independently ever since.

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