The Delhi High Court today has issued notice to the Centre and Delhi Government on a plea seeking directions to formulate a policy for adoption of E-registration of all the documents at the Sub-Registrar office in NCT of Delhi, in order to ease the process of registration of document during COVID19 pandemic.
A division bench headed by the Chief Justice and Justice Prateek Jalan has issued notice to the Centre and Delhi Government along with several other respondents and fixed the next date of hearing as July 23.
The petition has been filed by D. C. Tuteja through Advocate Gaurav Bahl, submitted before the Court that one of the aspects which has affected the society during the Lockdown and due to COVID-19 restrictions is the documentation and registration of the Property, Land and various other rights which emanate therefrom and inter-personal documents such as the power of attorney, Relinquishment deeds, adoption deeds, Will, lease Deeds, Sale Deeds, Agreement to sell, Mortgage deeds amongst others.
The plea said, “it seeks indulgence of this Court to direct the Respondents to formulate policy and bring in line the E-registration of the Documents, which shall avoid the unnecessary rush at the Sub-Regsitrar’s office, the ease of registration of the documentation, the effective manner of registrations and also avoid any red-tapeism or any manner of corruption which may have been existing at the Sub-registrar office.”
It said that there are about 22 sub-registrar offices as per the Delhi government website, where the property documentation is carried out, and according to the petitioner’s experience at least 300 people come to each of these offices for the purpose of registration.
According to the plea, these registrations require at least two parties, accompanied by at least two witnesses and at times there are more parties, therefore increasing the number of persons visiting these offices is huge.
“The Physical presence of the parties can always be done virtually by making the Sub-Registrar equipped with the Virtual portals which would allow the parties to be virtually present before the Sub-registrar and save the time, money, energy and also the spread of COVID,” said the plea.
“The said Practice would also reduce the footfall at the Sub-Registrar’s office which can become the breeding ground for spread of COVID-19 or any other such disease in future,” it further added.
The petitioner submitted that the Secret Documents such as Will can still continue to be Registered with personal presence, however, a mechanism may also be made for ensuring the Registration of the Will may also be done Virtually.
The plea alleged, “that the Corruption at the Sub-Registrar level is also on the rise as the innocent Citizens are harassed at the hands of the Sub-Registrar’s office without being aware of their rights and that the SubRegistrar can only have limited powers.”
-India Legal Bureau