Indian Registration Act- Adding Value to the Documents

We deal with a variety of transactions and paperwork throughout our lives. Some of these records and transactions are extremely important to the government and us. Keeping a record of such transactions would be difficult if no system was in place to regulate them. As a result, the state decided to introduce a registration process to keep track of all the registration processes and the paperwork.

The practice of registering documentation with an appointed officer and keeping it on file as a public record is known as registration.

Indian Registration Act came into force to ensure paperwork certification and preserve all crucial data on transactions involving property or other immovable property. Getting paperwork registered could increase the document’s authenticity. So, let us learn more about the registration and the act which governs it in detail.

What is Registration?

The procedure of recording a document with a delegated officer and keeping it as an official record is known as registration.

So, the purpose of the Indian Registration Act is to integrate the legal provisions of registration and specify the registration procedure. It specifies the documents needed for registration. It also specifies a time limit for presenting and registering the document and making provisions for proper and timely demonstration of the document.

Goals of Indian Registration Act

Indian Registration Act 1908 exists to achieve the following goals:

  • The registration of documents ensures its adequate retention and recording.
  • Documents to be registered serves as legitimate evidence in legal proceedings of law.
  • The use of registered documents aids in the prevention and detection of fraud.
  • The Registration Act informs people about legal rights and duties emanating from or impacting a specific property.

Importance of Registration of Documents

Indian Registration Act highlights the following importance of registration of documents:

  • A registered document protects the property from fraud and misappropriation.
  • Registration can also get used as legitimate court evidence.
  • Registration informs the public that might deal with a property about the scope and nature of people’s rights over that property.

Certain essential documents, mandatory to be registered, are covered under section 17 of Registration Act 1908.

Mandatory Registrations under the Indian Registration Act

Section 17 of the registration Act characterises the document that must be registered.

Here are a few examples:

  • Gift instrument of immovable property.
  • Non-testamentary instruments purporting to create, assign, declare, or extinguish any interest in any immovable property worth Rs. 100 or more, or by recognising receipt or payment of any consideration for the assignment, creation, declaration, or limitation of any right, title, or interest.
  • Lease of immovable property exceeding one year or rent paid annually.
  • Contracts executed on or after the commencement of this act for the transfer of immovable property against a consideration amount under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

Documents that don’t require registration

All documents not covered by Section 17 of the Registration Act of 1908 is not mandatorily required to be registered, such as wills or instruments relating to movable property.

The documents not covered under section 17 of the registration act can be registered on an optional basis.

Section 18 of the Indian Registration Act describes the documents that need optional registration. These are:

  • Decree or order of court containing an immovable property appropriated to be less than Rs. 100
  • Lease of an immovable property which is in force under the period of one year
  • Non-testamentary instruments purport to create, assign, declare, or extinguish any interest in an immovable property
  • Any instrument acknowledging the receipt or any payment on creation, declaration, assignment, extinction, limitation or extinction of any such right, title or interest
  • Wills
  • Any other document that is not required to be registered under Section 17

The Implications of Registration

Sections 47 and 48 of the Indian Registration Act describe document registration consequences. As a result of registration, the following effects occur:

  • As per Section 47, a registered document would be effective from the moment it would have been effective if there had been no provision or procedure for registration.
  • Section 48 states that any non-testamentary document duly registered under this Act and relating to any movable or immovable property will take precedence over any oral document relating to such a document unless the delivery of possession accompanies the agreement.

The Ramifications of Non-Registration

Section 49 of the Indian Registration Act specifies the consequences of failing to register obligatory documents. The consequences are as follows:

  • The failure to register an adoption deed does not confer the right to adopt.
  • A document that is obligatory to be registered but is not registered could not establish any right, duty, or liability over immovable property. That document would effectively get rendered obsolete.
  • When a document is not registered, it cannot influence an immovable property that the document contains. It cannot be accepted as evidence of any type of transaction that affects such property.

Time period for document registration

Indian Registration Act specifies a time limit for presenting a document for registration. It states:

  • A document considered necessary to be registered must get registered within four months of its successful implementation.
  • Act’s Section 24 states that if a single document gets implemented by one or more persons on different dates, the document must have been provided for registration within four months of the date of each execution.
  • When a document is implemented beyond India’s territorial jurisdiction, it should get registered in India.

These limits are mandatory, but if there is a delay on the part of the court in the registration or re-registration of a document, these limits are ignored.

Distinction between Stamp Duty and Registration Charges

Stamp duty is a tax levied on legal documents such as sale deeds, gift deeds, conveyance deeds, and mortgage deeds issued under the Indian Stamp Act. In contrast, registration fees get paid to the state to keep the document on file.

Authorised person to present documents for registration

According to Section 32 of the Indian Registration Act, the document may get registered by any of the following individuals:

  • A person executing or claiming under the copy of decree or order of a court
  • Such a person’s assignee
  • Agent of such person duly authorised by power of attorney according to Section 33, which gives agent power to register documents

Registration of Will under Indian Registration Act

Section 18 of the Indian Registration Act makes it optional to register a will. Section 40 of the Act specifies the registration procedure as follows:

  • It must get signed by the testator, the person making the Will, or his authorised executor if he is not present
  • The signature on the will should appear to get intended to give effect to the Will
  • The testator must ratify the will in the presence of two witnesses (other than the beneficiaries of a Will)
  • The witnesses must also attest the will

Prescribed Fee under Indian Registration Act

Fees are due upon presentation of the document, according to Section 80 of the Act. The rate varies by state and is different for each document.

When should the document be registered?

According to Section 23 of the Indian Registration Act, all documents must be presented for registration within four months from the date of its execution. This condition does not apply to a will.

If more than one person executes a document at different times, it must be presented and re-registered within four months of the date of each execution, according to Section 24 of the Act.

Any executed document or a copy of a decree or order not presented within four months and is presented after its expiry will be accepted for registration if ten times the registration fees are paid and the delay in presentation does not exceed four months.

Registration of society and its requirements

A society is a class of people who consolidate to govern and act cooperatively for a common good. Societies are typically formed to advance charitable activities such as sports, music, culture, religion, art, education, and so on.

The Society Registration Act governs society registration in India, establishing specific procedures for society registration and operation. This act was enacted to supplement the legal requirements for society registration to advance literature, fine arts, science or disseminate awareness for numerous purposes. Some states have also approved the Society Registration Act of 1860, either without or with minor amendments.

The Goal of Society Registration

A society can be formed to advance fine arts, science, or literature, disseminate purposeful knowledge, or charitable purposes of political education. As per section 20 of the society registration act 1860, A society registration can be done for the following reasons:-

  • Fine arts promotion
  • Political education is getting disseminated
  • Donation of charitable assistance
  • Science and literature promotion
  • Military orphan funds are established
  • The maintenance or establishment of public galleries and public museums
  • The promotion and distribution of useful knowledge
  • The maintenance or establishment of libraries
  • Natural and historical articles collections
  • Combination of mechanical and philosophical inventions and instruments

Registration of Society in India

In India, society must get registered, and a group of seven or more people can form a society. Apart from citizens of India, companies, foreigners, and other certified societies can also apply for the society’s Memorandum of Association.

Society, like Partnership firms, could either be unregistered or registered. However, only registered societies can withstand consigned properties and/or have an ensemble filed against or by the society.

State governments are in-charge of society registration. As a result, the application for society registration must be made to the concerned authority under the state under whose jurisdiction the society’s registered office is located.

Property Registry

When a property gets sold through one person to another, the transaction must be formally recognised by registration at the sub-office registrar’s after certain dues, such as stamp duty, have been paid. It is referred to as property registry.

Laws governing property registration

The Indian Registration Act of 1908 contains the law governing document registration. This law requires the registration of relevant documentation to preserve evidence, prevent fraud, and ensure the title.

Is property registration required?

The purchase of high-value residential units and plots is one of many property-related transactions that require mandatory registration. The transactions done for the value of more than Rs 100 concerning the sale of an immovable property needs to be registered mandatorily, according to Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act.

It effectively means that all sales of immovable property must be registered, as no immovable property can get purchased for less than Rs 100. The same rule applies to property gifts as well. Even if the donor receives no monetary compensation in exchange for the property, the gift deed should be registered to ensure its legal validity.

Furthermore, all lease transactions for more than 12 months must be registered.

When a party to a transaction cannot come to the sub-office, the registrar’s sub-registrar may delegate any of its officers to accept the documents for registration at the person’s residence. The term "immovable property" refers to land, buildings, and any rights to these properties.


The Indian Registration Act plays a positive role in establishing the evidentiary value of a document. It also demonstrates and emphasises the significance of document registration. A registered document is considered more credible than the usual unregistered one.

The fact is that the non-registration of a document does not declare it to be a forged document, but its credibility is in doubt. So, it’s better that whether it is any sort of document, it should be adequately registered, ultimately giving effect to that document.


What does section 5 of the registration act deal with?

Section 5 of the Indian Registration act deals with districts and sub-districts.

Which section deals with the absence of a sub-registrar or the vacancy in his office?

Section 12 deals with the absence of a sub-registrar.

When did the Indian Registration Act come into force?

The Indian Registration Act came into force on 01st January 1909.

Which section deals with the absence of the registrar or the vacancy in his office?

Section 10 deals with the absence of the registrar.

What does section 7 of the registration act deal with?

Section 7 of the Indian Registration Act deals with the office of registrar and sub-registrar.

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