Section 22-A of Registration Act, 1908

Empowers Government to Refuse Registration of Unapproved Plots

The Background

Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908, deals with the Compulsory Registration of properties. In later sections of the Act, the grounds on which the Registration could be refused were detailed.However, till recently, Unapproved Plots couldn’t be refused registration on any grounds.

The Madras High Court Steps in

The issue came to the notice of the Madras High Court in the course of the hearing on the PIL seeking Ban on Unapproved Plots and Layouts.The Tamilnadu Government took the position that there is no provision that allows the refusal of Registration of a Document.

Earlier though, the Tamilnadu Government has replaced the then existing Clause Sec 22 A of the Registration Act,1908, with a new Clause 22(A) in the year 2009, enabling the Registering Authority to Refuse Registration of documents of Unapproved Plots and Layouts.However, the Government has not put the Act into force by proper Notifications. The strong position taken by the Madras High Court in this matter, forced the Government to Notify Sec 22 A of the Act on 20th Oct 2016.

The New Section 22-A Reads as under:

“ 22-A. Refusal to register certain documents .—Notwithstanding anything contained
in this Act, the registering officer shall refuse to register any of the following documents,
namely:—
(1) instrument relating to the transfer of immovable properties by way of sale, gift,
mortgage, exchange or lease,—
(i) belonging to the State Government or the local authority or Chennai
Metropolitan Development Authority established under section 9-A of the Tamil Nadu
Town and Country Planning Act, 1971;
(ii) belonging to, or given or endowed for the purpose of, any religious institution
to which the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959
is applicable;
(iii) donated for Bhoodan Yagna and vested in the Tamil Nadu State Bhoodan
Yagna Board established under section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Bhoodan Yagna Act, 1958; or (iv) of Wakfs which are under the superintendence of the Tamil Nadu Wakf
Board established under the Wakf Act, 1995,
unless a sanction in this regard issued by the competent authority as provided under the
relevant Act or in the absence of any such authority, an authority so authorised by the State
Government for this purpose, is produced before the registering officer;
(2) instrument relating to the transfer of ownership of lands converted as house sites
without the permission for development of such land from planning authority concerned:
Provided that the house sites without such permission may be registered if it is
shown that the same house site has been previously registered as house site.
Explanation I.—For the purpose of this section ‘local authority’ means,—
(i) any Municipal Corporation constituted under any law for the time being
in force; or
(ii) a Municipal Council constituted under the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities
Act, 1920 ; or
(iii) a Panchayat Union Council or a Village Panchayat constituted under the
Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act, 1994 ; or
(iv) any other Municipal Corporation, that may be constituted under any law for
the time being in force.
Explanation II.—For the purpose of this section ‘planning authority’ means the
authority constituted under section 11 of, and includes the Chennai Metropolitan
Development Authority established under section 9-A of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country
Planning Act, 1971;
(3) instrument relating to cancellation of sale deeds without the consent of the person claiming under the said sale deed.”.

This step, that is the Notification of Sec-22 A on Oct 20, 2016, is an important milestone in the ongoing efforts to streamline Regularisation  of Unapproved Layouts and Plots 

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