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Circular that gave rise to real estate malpractices withdrawn
The Times of India  |  November 14, 2017

Yogesh Kabirdoss Chennai

Six years after bestowing sweeping powers on district registrars to annul the registration of immovable properties on fraudulent grounds that allegedly led to malpractices, the state government has clipped their wings. The registration department withdrew the controversial circular that usurped the powers of civil courts in declaring a document relating to property registrations null and void.


The circular issued in November 2011 allowed district registrars to cancel documents that were registered fraudulently. However, in a recent circular dated October 20, 2017, the inspector general of registration said that the reference in the previous circular is "not tenable and implementable" as it has not been backed by an act, rule or a government order. "Hence, the circular No. 67 dated 3-11-2011 is now withdrawn with immediate effect," the official said in the circular.


The deeds that would be covered under the circular involves transfer of immovable property such as gift, settlement, exchange or creating charge over the property including mortgage or power of attorney.


Former additional inspector general (stamps and registration), A Arumuga Nainar said registrars do not have powers to cancel any registrations with regard to properties under the Registration Act, 1908. "In fact, the circular was misused and led to the cancellation of several hundred documents pertaining to immovable properties on fraudulent grounds, after it came into effect," he said. Though circular 67 was stayed by the Madras high court within a few months of its implementation, the cancelled documents still remain void, he added. "The government should take necessary steps to declare that the cancellations were invalid," Nainar added.


When contacted, sources from the registration department said the circular was withdrawn in the wake of a Supreme Court order last year, which clarified that the authority to cancel registered document lies only with civil courts.


"District registrars have been directed to enumerate the number of documents that were cancelled based on circular 67," a registration official told TOI.