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Amendments to the Registration Act, 1908 tabled before Parliament

The Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2013

I.              Salient Features

The key amendments proposed are:

  • At present Book 4, i.e. the ˜Miscellaneous Register™ -which contains details of all registered documents (except Wills) -is not open for access by the general public. This Book 4 is proposed to be made open to inspection by the public to ensure greater transparency.
  • Currently, in the Act, only the documents relating to the adoption of a son are required to be registered. To ensure gender equity documents relating to the adoption of daughters will be added to the clause.
  • Registration will now be allowed anywhere in a given State or Union Territory. This is being done keeping in mind the convenience of the people, transparencyand also to help promote the electronic registration of documents.
  • As the computerization of land records is making rapid strides across the Country, it is desirable that the electronic registration of the documents is facilitated as it will ensure greater transparency also. The Act is proposed to be amended accordingly.
  • Documents such as Power of Attorney™s, Developers/Promoters Agreements and any other Agreements relating to the sale or development of immovable property now need to be mandatorily registered. This is being done with an intention to minimize cases of document forgery.
  • At present the Sub-Registrar™s Office has no power to refuse registration of documents. This allows unauthorized individuals to get false registrations done. Accordingly a new section 18A is proposed to be inserted to provide for prohibition of registration of certain types of properties (such as those belonging to charitable institutions and the Government).
  • Section 28 of the Registration Act, 1908 provides that if any person has immovable properties in more than one State, then he can register documents relating to their transfer in any of these States. Unscrupulous elements have abused this provision and they have registered their properties in the States with the lower registration fee and stamp duty. This causes a loss to the State where the property is actually situated. This section is proposed to be omitted

Relationship with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill 2012

  • One of the key features of the new ˜Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill 2012™ is the greatly enhanced amount of compensation that is guaranteed to displaced families.
  • However to calculate this amount, the formula relies on the current market values in place i.e. the registered value. Registered values are notoriously opaque and often out dated. If registration is made mandatory (and hence frequent) AND if it can be vetted/reviewed by members of the general public then there will emerge over time, accuracy in the reporting of land rates particularly in rural areas.
  • Furthermore because of the unprofessional and ad hoc way in which they are recorded, land titles are often subject to dispute. These new amendments to the Registration Act will ensure greater accuracy in helping identify/determine beneficiaries (through clear titles).

Tags: AmendmentBillConstitutional amendmentLand registrationPower of attorneyRegistration ActUnited Stateswill

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