Registering a property means recording the ownership of the property and other transactions related to it in a public record.
Ancestral property is a one in which a person has a share which accrues to him by birth. If a person is entitled to get a share in the ancestral property, he cannot be excluded from it. A father cannot exclude his son from the ancestral property although he can gift his self acquired property to anyone.
Ancestral property can not be divided or gifted or transferred, excluding the descendants/legal heirs having right to it.
For registering ancestral property, share and title of each family member must be clear. The property is partitioned and transferred in the name of each descendant as per the share. The partition deed is registered, which confirms the ownership of the share.
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Illegal registration can occur in numerous ways. Some of the most often used methods are:
- Forgery – Signatures are forged, or fake documents are prepared
- Impersonation- Someone else appears before the Registering Authorities as Owner
- Misuse of POA – People give power of attorney to family members for effecting transactions on their behalf. POA can be misused. POA has to be very specific and clear.
- Misrepresentation/Suppression of facts
NRIs are easy targets for illegal registration as:
- They are not present in India physically for every transaction related to their property
- Regular inspection of the property is not conducted.
- Family members are generally given POA who misuse the same
Illegal Registration: The way out
The first step is the cancellation of illegal registration. It is advisable to get legal advice on the issue as cancellation requires careful analysis of the documents and filing an appropriate lawsuit in a civil court.
After cancellation, the next step is mutation. It is essential to update the municipal records or land records so that the name of the owner is reflected correctly in public records.
A police complaint can be filed for cheating and fraud.
A complaint also lies to the Revenue Authorities or concerned local bodies (Sub Registrar) bringing to their notice the illegal registration and requesting for cancellation of illegal registration.
Corruption in the office of registration is also a significant issue which leads to illegal registration of property. A criminal complaint can be filed with the police against the erring official.
How to cancel a registered document:
Once a document is registered, it is cancelled by filing a suit for cancellation in Civil Court.
The court satisfies itself regarding the illegality in the document. Cancellation is not ordered at the whims and fancies of the party seeking it. The element of fraud, misrepresentation etc. which renders the document illegal must be present. There must be reasonable chances that if the document is not corrected, it will result in harm to the party.
The suit can be filed within three years from the date of knowledge of the fact of the document being illegal.
The court sends a copy of the decree passed in the lawsuit to the Registering Authorities which record the fact of cancellation of the registered documents in the record and correct the record.
Registering Authority is not empowered to cancel the registered document. The cancellation deed is also registered.