Registration of documents especially sale deeds are paramount to certify the authenticity of the document. The presence of the parties along with witnesses affirms to the fact that the document registered is real and legally enforceable. However, in the case of Kusum Lata Vs. State of UP the question of cancellation of a registered sale deed is permitted on account of fraud or impersonation was put forth before a Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court for adjudication. The following questions were put forth before the Full Bench comprising of Justice Govind Mathur, Justice Ram Surat Ram (Maurya) and Justice Jayant, by the order of the Chief Justice due to the diverngent views of two Division Benches, as follows:

(a). Whether after a sale deed has been registered, the Assistant Registrar has any authority of law to cancel the registered sale deed under the provisions of the Registration Act, 1908 even if allegation of impersonation/fraud are made?

(b). Whether the allegations of fraud are essentially, an allegation of fact which need examination of oral or documentary evidence and can be adjudicated on the basis of evidence to be led by the parties before competent civil court?

The Bench, whilst referring to the judgments passed in Satya Pal Anand Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and others, (2016) 10 SCC 761 and Yanalla Malleswari Vs. Ananthalu Sayamma AIR 2007 (AP) 57 highlighted on the findings of the Apex Court as follows:

“The Apex Court held that the registering authority could not decide whether the document which was executed by a person who had title as was recited in the given instrument. The authority, as such, was not expected to decide the title/right of the parties to the agreement nor was expected to examine the document to ascertain whether the same was legal and permissible in law or undertake any analysis thereof. If the document registered by the registering authority was illegal or if there was any irregularity then the course to question that was by invoking appropriate proceedings before a Civil Court.”

Therefore, the Full Bench concluded that a sale deed registered cannot be cancelled or set aside by registering authority or by any authority invoking administrative powers, if the registration is questioned even on the count of impersonation/ fraud.

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Judgment: Kusum Lata Versus State of Uttar Pradesh