Section 17 of Registration Act: Documents requiring registration for legal compliance

The Registration Act, 1908, was enacted to provide a mechanism for registering documents to make people aware of legal rights and obligations concerning property disputes.

Registration is the process of recording a document by an assigned officer and keeping it as a public record.

The act aims to prevent fraud and tile deception scams related to properties. The registration of documents seeks to perpetuate documents that prove to be of legal importance.

The registration of documents aids in the prevention against the encroachment of property or trespassing of private properties.

The registration act is the backbone for the documents concerning it as evidence and title.

Section 17 of the Registration Act deals with the documents which are mandatory to be registered.

Section 17 of the Registration Act

Section 17 of the registration act 1908 aims to list all documents that should be registered:

  • Documents or records of gift deed of immovable property for its transfer without any consideration (These deeds should be compulsorily registered)
  • The documents that create, assign, or limit a person’s interest in the immovable property have to be valued at more than 100 rupees. A document that creates an interest in immovable property in present or in future having a value above 100 Rs should be registered.
  • Documents related to the leasing of immovable property yearly or against yearly rent as per the registration act 1908.
  • Documents acknowledging the receipt or payment of any registration needs to be registered.
  • The documents transferring or assigning any decree or order of a court or an arbitral award when such order, decree, or award create a title or interest of 100 Rs and above in an immovable property.

Scope of Section 17 of the Registration Act

Section 17 of the Registration Act applies to the following:

All documents or instruments specified under Section 17 of the act.

If the terms and conditions of the document render it registered mandatorily, it cannot be brought outside the purview of section 17 by stating that it does not require a property stated in section 21.

The documents constituting a contract are compulsory to be registered and should comply with all the acts’ procedures that would secure the registration of documents. A decree or order of a court or an arbitral award concerning a property requires registration.

The settlement deed of immovable property between two parties also should be registered for the transfer or division of title of a property.

Essentials of Section 17 Of the Registration Act

Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act deals with disputes related to a charge created by a debenture on immovable property existing at the date of the creation of the charge and was in the company’s ownership at that date.

Therefore, a debenture that seeks to create, declare, or limit any right, title, or interest to or in immovable property is covered by Section 17 sub-section (1) of the Indian Registration Act 1908.

When should a document be registered?

Documents should be registered when they are an instrument of legal value. Some documents mentioned in Section 17 of the registration act are compulsorily registrable. Documents mentioned in Section 18 of the registration act are registrable optionally.

A document should be registered to avoid a property dispute or conflict. The document also prevents any form of scam related to immovable property or forging of documents.

The following frauds and scam related to immovable property can be avoided by registering a document:

  • Title deception
  • Delaying possession
  • Dealing without authorization
  • Encroachment
  • Selling property to multiple buyers
  • Assured returns

These types of frauds can be prevented by registering a document so that in case of fraud or scams, the affected party can approach a court of law to seek the enforcement or registered instrument.

The registration of documents establishes transparency in dealing. It also illustrates or makes it easy to determine if any pending dispute persists regarding the concerned property.

According to Section 23 of the Act, all documents except a Will should be presented for registration. The registration should be done within 4 months from the date of its execution.

If more than one person executes a document at different times, then that document should be presented for re-registration. Re-registration should be done within 4 months from the date of each execution, as mentioned in Section 24 of the registration act.

Because of any unavoidable circumstances, any executed document or a copy of decree or order is not presented within four months and presented after the expiry of the prescribed period, then it is accepted for registration after paying 10 times the amount of prescribed registration fees and delay in the presentation should not exceed the specified period of 4 months.

Effects of non-registration of documents

A document should always be registered to avoid any mishappenings.

If a document is not registered as per Section 49 of the Registration Act of 1929, then it may lead to following repercussions:

  • A non-registered document affects the validity of ownership of a property.
  • A document that needs to be registered, if not registered within the specified time, will not be valid.
  • A non-registered document will not confer any power to adopt on any person.
  • A non-registered document cannot be considered evidence in the court of law or at any other place for a dispute arising out of such a document.


Document registration is always mandatory and costs a reasonable prescribed fee as per the registration act and stamp duty. If the rules and procedure of Section 17 of the registration act are not followed at the time of registration, it may render the document invalid and ineffective. Therefore, the document cannot be made admissible as a piece of evidence anywhere.

In simple words, a registered document will act as a safeguard of immovable property from any form of encroachment or acquiring property by title deception. An original owner of a property should always have registered documents to prevent loss and enforce his rights in a court of law in a registered time frame.

The registration act illustrates the mandate and optional criteria for registering a document, and its authenticity cannot be questioned.


State the difference between stamp duty and registration charges?

Stamp duty is the charge levied by the government on legal documents such as deeds under the Indian Stamp Act, whereas registration charges are paid to the government for keeping the document as a public record under the registration act.

In which case did the apex court mention that a transfer of immovable property is valid only by registered conveyance deed and not a transfer by will is invalid?

In the case of Suraj lamps & industries Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Haryana AIR 2012 SC 206, the apex court stated this intention.

In which case did the apex court observe that a written document related to family settlement can be used as corroborative evidence for explaining the parties’ conduct?

This observation was made in Thualsidhara v. Narayanappa & Ors. Civil appeal no. 784 of 2010.

Under which section of the registration act, the provision for re-registration of certain documents are prescribed?

In Section 23A, the provisions of re-registration of certain documents are prescribed.

Constitutional law