The stamp and registration department has no power to cancel a sale or conveyance deed that has been registered following the prescribed rules, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has ruled.
“The Registration Act (1907) does not deal with unilateral cancellation of a sale deed. The Act does not confer any power to the registrar to cancel a document which had been registered as per the Act,” said the 3-judge Bench, comprising Justice SS Sundar, Justice GR Swaminathan and Justice R Vijyakumar.
“The registrar has no power to accept the deed of cancellation to nullify the deed of conveyance made earlier, when the deed of conveyance has already been acted upon by the transferee,” it added while referring to several previous judgments passed by the apex court in cases pertaining to the same issue.
The HC also said that an aggrieved party in such cases can file a writ petition to challenge or nullify a registered sale deed since approaching a civil court is not required. However, a duly executed sale deed can be cancelled by a civil court at the request of the seller under Section 31 of the Special Relief Act.
Section 31 states that a cancellation may be ordered when “any person against whom a written instrument is void or voidable, and who has reasonable apprehension that such instrument, if left outstanding, may cause him serious injury, may sue to have it adjudged void or voidable. The court may, in its discretion, so adjudge it and order it to be delivered up and cancelled”.
The HC, however, added that gift deeds and settlement deeds can be cancelled if they fall under the scope of Section 126 of the Transfer of Property Act. Section 126 lays the terms and conditions for revocation of a gift deed.
None of the above mentioned principles are applicable on cancellation of power of attorney or wills since those are revocable and not coupled with interest, the HC added.