The Registration act, 1908 deals with the rules and regulation relating to the registration of a legal documents. Registration is the process of recording and safeguarding original copies of a document with a recognized officer along with other necessary information.

Registration of a legal document is considered as one of the most important part of any transaction because with the help of this, one can easily prevent upcoming disputes or problems arising out of those transactions. Documents have a very significant role in our everyday life like legal documents related to property, insurance, loans and contracts, etc. Therefore, the registration of these legal documents becomes important, as it provides transparency and authenticity to the documents. Not only this but also it prevents from any kind of dispute, or fraud and helps in conserving the evidence.

Importance of Registration of Legal Documents

There are certain importance of registration of legal documents as per the Indian Registration Act, 1908 which are as follows:

  • It provides authenticity and validity to a document.
  • The use of registered documents aids in protection from fraud and misappropriation.
  • Registered documents can also be used as legitimate court evidence.
  • It acts as valid proof in a court of law which aids a person in taking legal action during any kind of dispute.
  • Registered legal document ensures transparency in deals.
  • If the legal document is registered, it becomes easier to find out if there’s any kind of dispute or ongoing litigation with regard to a property.
  • The Registration Act informs people about legal rights and duties emanating from or impacting a specific property.
  • When a legal document is registered, it ensures its adequate retention and recording.
  • In case a registered document is lost, its copy can be accessed from, the place where it has been registered.


According to Section 23 of the Registration Act, 1908, all legal documents except for a will, are required to be presented to the proper officer within four months from the date of its execution, for the purpose of registration.

In a case where such presentation of documents is not done within the prescribed period of 4 months an application can be written to the registrar mentioning legitimate reasons for the delay. The registrar on analysing the application may accept the documents for registration with a fine not exceeding ten times the amount of the registration fee.


In certain circumstances, it is required by the law for certain legal documents to be registered. For example, where documents are related to the immovable property the transaction cannot be completed without registration. And the court may declare the transfer of property to be invalid.

In cases related to business contracts, it becomes essential to registration of a legal documents related to the contract.

According to section 17 of Registration Act, 1908 there are certain legal documents that are mandatory to be registered. Some of the essential documents that need to be compulsorily registered are as follows:

  • Documents of gift deed of an immovable property.
  • Non-testamentary documents signifying any claim, operation, declaration, limitation and extinguishment of any right, title or interest in any immovable property worth Rs. 100/- or more.
  • Any non-testamentary instruments that grant receipt or payment of any consideration for the purpose of declaration, creation, limitation, assignment, or termination of any such right, title or interest.
  • Agreement for lease of immovable property which is for a term more than one year.
  • Contracts related to transfer of any immovable property for consideration, as defined under section 53 A of The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 that has been executed on or after the commencement of the act


The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Suraj Lamps & Industries Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Haryana and another, AIR 2012 SC 206, held that for the transfer of an immovable property it is mandatorily required that it is done through a registered deed. The Hon’ble Court further stated that the intention behind the enactment of The Registration Act, 1908, was to provide orderliness, discipline and protection from fraud and forgery of documents of transfer, in regard to transactions relating to immovable property.

  • Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Satya Pal Anand v. State of M.P. & Ors held that when a legal document is registered, in that situation authorities cannot revoke the registration.
  • In the case of Tek Bahadur Bhujil v. Debi Singh Bhujil AIR 1966 SC 292, Supreme court held that in the circumstances where a legal document pertaining to a family arrangement is made in writing, with the intention of using it as a proof then such a document required by the law to be registered.
  • In the case of Narinder Singh Rao v. Avm Mahinder Singh Rao & Ors, Supreme Court held that, a will has to be attested by two witnesses in order to be legitimate and in order to be a lawful property transfer; it must be registered under the Indian Registration Act of 1908.

Know More: Grounds to challenge a will in the court.