Land registering authority should release documents: HC

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Chennai, May 16 (UNI) The Madras High Court has ruled that is the duty of the registering authority to release the documents after land registration.

Justice P Jyothimani yesterday ordered that authorities registering land documents have no right to detain the papers when they refer the transaction for revaluation under Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act.

While referring the sale to the district Collector for determination of the market value, the sub-registrars do not release the documents even after registration.

While passing orders on a batch of writ petitions against detention of land documents the judge said after registration it is the duty of the registering authority to release the document. A combined reading of the relevant portions of the Indian Stamp Act and the Registration Act and the rules framed there under, apart from the Tamil Nadu Stamp [Prevention of Undervaluation of Instruments] Rules 1968, makes it abundantly clear that after registration of a document, the registering authority has no power to retain the document.

If documents are released before the actual value of the property is determined, what will happen to the differential stamp duty and how can the interests of innocent land buyers be protected, the government counsel argued.

Justice Jyothimani said, affixing a seal stating that '47-A proceedings are pending' would be a sufficient safeguard.

As the jurisdictional registrar also makes corresponding entries, they will get reflected in the encumbrance certificate. Releasing the documents with these entries would protect the interests of the government and prospective purchasers.

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