The law of registration of documents is contained in the Indian Registration Act. This legislation provides for the record of various materials, to ensure conservation of evidence, prevention of fraud and assurance of title.
As per Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908, all transactions that involve the sale of immovable property for a value exceeding Rs 100, should be registered. This effectively means that all the deals of the sale of immovable property have to be recorded, as no immovable property can be purchased for merely Rs 100. Additionally, all transactions of the gift of immovable property, as well as the lease for a period exceeding 12 months, are also mandatorily required to be registered.
In exceptional cases, when a party to the transaction cannot come to the sub-registrar’s office, the sub-registrar may depute any of its officers to accept the documents for registration, at the residence of such person. The term ‘immovable property’ includes land, buildings and any rights attached to these properties.
The property documents that need to be registered should be submitted to the office of the Sub-Registrar of Assurances within whose jurisdiction the property, which is the subject matter of transfer, is situated. The authorized signatories for the seller and the purchaser, have to be present along with two witnesses, for registration of the documents.
The signatories should carry their proof of identity. The documents that are accepted for this purpose include Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, or any other evidence of identification issued by a government authority. The signatories also have to furnish the power of influence, if they are representing someone else. In case a company is party to the agreement, the person representing the company has to carry adequate documents, like power of attorney/letter of authority, along with a copy of the resolution of the company’s board, authorizing him to carry out the registration.
You need to present the property card to the sub-registrar, along with the original documents and proof of payment of stamp duty. Before registering the documents, the sub-registrar will verify whether adequate stamp duty has been paid for the property, as per the stamp duty ready reckoner. In case there is any deficit in the stamp duty, the registrar will refuse to register the documents.
Documents that have to be mandatorily registered should be presented within four months from the date of their execution, along with the requisite fee. In case the time limit has expired, you can make an application to the sub-registrar for condonation of the delay, within the next four months and the registrar may agree to register such documents, on payment of a fine that may be up to ten times the original registration fee. The registration fee for property documents is 1% of the value of the property, subject to a maximum of Rs 30,000.
Earlier, the documents that were presented for registration would be returned to you after six months. However, with computerization of the offices of the sub-registrar, the materials (bearing the registration number and proof that the documents have been registered by the registrar) are scanned and returned to you on the same day.
Failure to register the purchase agreement for a property could put you at considerable risk. Any document that is mandatorily required to be disclosed but is not registered cannot be admitted as evidence in any court of law.