A two-judge Bench of Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice Hrishikesh Roy has held that registration of documents is always subject to the adjudication of rights of the parties by a competent Civil Court.

Senior Advocate Mr. K.V. Viswanathan appeared for the Appellants, Senior Advocate Mr. V. Chitambresh appeared for Respondents 1 to 4, Senior Advocate Ms. Anitha Shenoy appeared for Respondent 8, Advocate Mr. C.K. Sasi appeared for the State during the proceedings before the Court.

An appeal was preferred before the Supreme Court assailing the order of the Madras High Court which had allowed the appeal of Respondents 1 to 5 and the order of the Single Judge was set aside. The Single Judge had held that once the sale deed was executed, the land stood transferred to the Appellants and unless there was a consent of the Appellants, no cancellation deed could be registered.

The Division Bench of the High Court had held that the civil suit filed by Respondents 1 to 4 for declaration and cancellation of the sale deed was pending adjudication before the 3rd Additional Subordinate Court, Coimbatore, hence Single Judge could not have entertained petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

In this case, after the selling of the land by Respondents 1 to 4 they prepared a cancellation deed and got it registered. After registration, Respondents 1 to 4 filed a civil suit and sought to declare the sale deed executed in favor of the Appellants as illegal, void, and non est. Land of 0.25 cents was transferred in favor of Respondent 8 by Respondents 1 to 4 subsequent to the registration of the cancellation deed.

The Appellants had challenged the cancellation deed and alleged interference with possession of the land before the High Court. The Appellants had contended that once the sale was effected by way of a registered sale deed, Respondents could not have canceled the sale deed unilaterally and gotten it registered. The Single Judge of the High Court had allowed the Writ Petition while the Division Bench reversed the decision and dismissed the Writ Petition.

The Appellants contended before the Supreme Court that registration of a cancellation deed was not recognized under the Registration Act and if such unilateral cancellation deeds were allowed to be registered, it would cause grave prejudice and injustice to bona fide purchasers.

Further, it was argued that there was no delay and laches on the part of the Appellants to approach the High Court.

The Apex court observed, "As the appellants have already filed a written statement in the civil suit in O.S. No.142 of 2008, and contesting the same, we are not inclined to examine the validity and effect of such cancellation deed, at this stage, by interfering with the impugned order of the High Court."

"The suit in O.S. No.142 of 2008 on the file of IIIrd Additional Subordinate Court, Coimbatore is pending on the same subject, we are not inclined to interfere with the impugned order and examine the validity of cancellation deed. As we are of the view that the rights of the parties will be subject to adjudication in Civil Suit in O.S. No.142 of 2008, it is not necessary to delve in detail to various contentions advanced by the learned counsels on both sides," the Bench opined.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the appeal with a direction that the pending suit must be disposed of within a period of one year by the 3rd Additional Subordinate Court.

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