Read Order: Gurnam Singh v. Bant Singh & Ors

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 10, 2021: The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Punjab government after a petitioner challenged an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that dismissed his plea in a property case on the ground that registration is necessary for affecting oral exchange of property in the rural areas in Punjab.

In his special leave petition, the counsel for the petitioner relied upon the judgement of the Division Bench of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana reported as Sardara Singh And Anr. vs. Harbhajan Singh And Ors. as well as a Single Bench judgment of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana reported as Paramjit Singh vs. Ratti Ram to contend that oral exchange is permissible in rural areas in the State of Punjab and that registration is not necessary for affecting such oral exchange.

The Apex Court issued notice on the Special Leave Petition as well as on the prayer for interim relief, returnable within six weeks.

During the High Court proceedings, the petitioner contended that the provision of Section 54 of Punjab’s Transfer of Property Act, made applicable by virtue of what is stipulated in Section 118, is not applicable to rural areas The counsel contended that even as per the circular dated 18.9.1989 issued by the Department of Revenue of the Government of Punjab, registration of any exchange of an immovable property, in such areas, is also not compulsory.

Deciding the matter Gurnam Singh And Another v. Bant Singh And Others on March 13, 2020, the bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh ruled, “As regards the aforesaid contention, I find myself unable to agree with learned counsel, in view of the fact that though he is absolutely correct in saying that Section 118 of the T.P. Act not being applicable to the rural areas of the State of Punjab even today, therefore, compulsory registration of an exchange of immovable property (even of a value of more than Rs. 100/-) would not be compulsory, yet, what obviously cannot be ignored, in the opinion of this court, is that Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908, does not carve out any exception as regards compulsory registration of a document the subject matter of which is an immovable property of a value of more than Rs 100.”

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