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

The registration act, 1908, got enacted to provide a mechanism for registering documents to make aware of the 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.

It also aims to prevent fraud and tile deception scams related to properties. The registration of documents seeks to perpetuate the documents which will 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 those documents which need to be registered. These documents are:-

  • Documents or records of gift deed of immovable property for its transfer without any consideration (It is compulsory to register these deeds)
  • The documents that create, assign, or limit a person’s interest in the immovable property have to value above one hundred rupees. It is compulsory to register such a document that creates an interest in immovable property in present or in future having a value above one hundred rupees.
  • Documents related to the leasing of immovable property yearly or against yearly rent as per the registration act 1908.
  • The 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 one hundred rupees and above in an immovable property

Scope of section 17 of Registration Act

Section 17 of the Registration Act applies to:-

All the documents or instruments specified under 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 registration of the 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 needs to be registered for transfer or division of title of a property.

Essentials of section 17 Of Registration Act

Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act deals with disputes relating 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, it can be derived that a debenture that seeks to create, declare or limit any right, title or interest to or in immovable property would get covered by section 17 sub-section (1) of the Indian Registration Act 1908.

When does a document need registration?

Some documents need to be registered to make it an instrument of legal value. Some documents mentioned in section 17 of the registration act are compulsorily registrable. And the ones mentioned in section 18 of the registration act are registrable optionally.

A document needs registration to avoid a property dispute or conflict. It also prevents any form of scam related to immovable property or forging of documents.

There are some frauds and scam related to immovable property which needs to get avoided by registering a document:-

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

These types of frauds need to get prevented by registering a document so that if fraud or scam gets done, the affected party can go to 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 the documents except a Will have to get presented for registration. It must get done within four months from the date of its execution.

If more than one person executes a document at different times, that document must get presented for re-registration. It must get done within four months from the date of each execution, as mentioned in Section 24 of the registration Act.

Due to 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. In that case, it will get accepted for registration after paying ten 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 is always needed to be registered to avoid any mishappenings.

If a document is not registered anyhow, as per section 49 of the registration act of 1929

  • 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 further.
  • A non-registered document will not confer any power to adopt on any person.
  • A non-registered document cannot get considered as evidence in the court of law or at any other place for a dispute arising out of such a document.


Registration of a document is always mandatory, which always cost 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. So, further, that document cannot be made admissible as a piece of evidence anywhere.

In simple words, a registered document will act as a guard to protect 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 get questioned further.


State the difference between stamp duty and registration charges?

Stamp duty is the charges levied by the government on legal documents like deeds under the Indian stamp act, while registration charges get paid to the government for keeping the document as a public record under the registration act.

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

Suraj lamps & industries Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Haryana AIR 2012 SC 206.

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

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 get prescribed?

Section 23A.

Constitutional law