Keeping in view the chronic delays in civil litigation, the Madras High Court recently exercised its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to grant relief to petitioners over whose land fraudulent settlement deeds were found to have been repeatedly registered.
Justice N Anand Venkatesh passed the order after taking critical note that the errant parties had disregarded earlier court orders divesting them of their claim to the disputed land to execute settlement deeds without any semblance of right, which, in turn, were mechanically registered by the registration authorities.
“In a situation like this, expecting the parties to go before the Civil Court every time an illegal document is registered, makes it almost impossible for the real owner of the property to deal with his own property. It is a known factor that proceedings initiated before the Civil Court does not come to an end that quickly and it is a long-drawn journey,” the judge observed.
There was no provision in the Registration Act which enabled the authorities to cancel such a document or such entries in the records, the Court further noted while granting the petitioners relief.
The petitioners pointed out that the fraudulent settlement deed in favour of the defendants continued to be exhibited in the Encumbrance Certificate.
“In a case of this nature, this Court has to necessarily find a way out in exercise of its Jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India,” the Court said.
Justice Venkatesh proceeded to point out that the disputed settlement deed had been executed without any right, title, or authority. Therefore, the same was non est in the eyes of law.
The rights of the petitioners have already been established by earlier court orders, the Judge said, while directing the sub-registrar concerned to reverse the fraudulent entries made by the defendants.
“The petitioners shall present this order for registration before the 3rd respondent and the 3rd respondent shall register the same on payment of the necessary stamp duty and registration fees. By such registration, the earlier entries made in Document Nos. 2637 and 2638 of 2015, will get automatically reversed”, the order stated.