The real purpose of the Registration Act, 1908 (the Act) is to provide a method of public registration of documents so as to give information to people regarding legal rights and obligations arising or affecting a particular property, and to perpetuate documents which may afterwards be of legal importance, and to secure every person dealing with any property against fraud. The scheme of the Act is to consolidate the law relating to registration.
Registration lends inviolability and importance to certain types of documents. At the time of registration, it is very essential to see that the officer is duly competent to register a document and that the document is not presented to unqualified or a wrong registration circle, as otherwise such registration would be of no use or validity. If the language in the document is not understood by the registering officer, he shall refuse to register the document. Also, no non-testamentary deed relating to immovable property would be accepted for registration, unless it contains a description of such property sufficient to identify the same.
If an instrument is compulsorily registrable, it should be presented for registration before an officer who is competent to register such document which can be read under Section 17 of the Act. However, in case of an instrument which is not compulsorily registrable, it is complete without registration.
At this juncture, it is very essential to refer Section 18 of the Act, 1908 which deals with “Documents of which registration is optional”.
Section 18 of the Registration Act, 1908- Documents of which registration is optional
Any of the following documents may be registered under this Act, namely:
(a) instruments (other than instruments of gift and wills) which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish, whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of a value less then one hundred rupees, to or in immovable property;
(b) instruments acknowledging the receipt or payment of any consideration on account of the creation, declaration, assignment, limitation or extinction of any such right, title or interest;
(c) leases of immovable property for any term not exceeding one year, and leases exempted under Section 17;
(cc) instruments transferring or assigning any decree or order of a Court or any award when such decree or order or award purports or operates to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish, whether in present or in future, any right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of a value less than one hundred rupees, to or in immovable property;]
(d) instruments (other than wills) which purport or operate to create, declare, assign, limit or extinguish any right, title or interest to or in movable property;
(e) wills; and
(f) all other documents not required by Section 17 to be registered.