A registered sale deed where the full consideration is paid would operate from the date of its execution: Supreme Court

Case title: Kanwar Raj Singh vs Gejo

Case no.: Civil Appeal No. 9098 of 2023

Decided on: 02.01.2024

Quorum: Hon’ble Justice Abhay S. Oka, Hon’ble Justice Pankaj Mithal



The current appeal stems from a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The appellant sued for a declaration. She sought a declaration of ownership over the land measuring 71 kanals 8 marlas (“suit property”), citing the executed and registered sale deed. According to the case of the original plaintiff, Smt. Gejo, the first defendant made an interpolation in the sale deed before it was registered, adding that only one-third of a share measuring 23 kanals and 8 marlas was sold. The first defendant contested the suit, claiming that what was sold was the area of 23 kanals and 8 marlas, which was his one-third share of the suit property.

The trial court ruled in favour of the suit. On appeal to the District Court, the Additional District Judge granted the appeal and determined that the correction in the sale deed was genuine and not fraudulent. The plaintiff sought a second appeal before the High Court. The appeal was allowed by the impugned judgement, and the Trial Court’s decree was restored.


Can a compulsorily registerable document, once registered under the Registration Act, operate from a date prior to its registration?


According to Section 47 of The Registration Act of 1908, a registered document is effective from the time it would have begun to operate if no registration was required. Thus, when a compulsorily registerable document is registered in accordance with the Registration Act, it can begin to operate on a date prior to its registration. The date of the operation will vary depending on the nature of the transaction.

Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act of 1984 defines a sale. A sale is a transfer of ownership in exchange for a price paid or promised, or a partial payment and partial promise.

Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act requires that all sale deeds for property worth more than Rs. 100/- be registered. Thus, a vendor-executed sale deed becomes an instrument of sale only after it is registered.


The learned counsel contended that the sale took effect on the date the sale deed was registered, not the date it was executed. He contended that the sale deed conveys the same information as the registered sale deed. He claimed that even the agreement for sale signed prior to the execution of the sale deed refers to the sale of a third of the first defendant’s share, not the entire property.

The counsel relied on a Constitution Bench decision in the case of Ram Saran Lall v. Domini Kuer and contended that, under the said decision, the sale was completed when the sale deed was registered, and thus the description of the property recorded in the registered sale deed will prevail.


The court ruled that the consideration was paid in full on the date the sale deed was executed. The sale deed was registered with an interpolation concerning the description/area of the property sold. The first defendant admitted that the interpolation occurred after the execution but before the registration. According to Section 47 of the Registration Act, a registered sale deed in which the entire consideration is paid becomes effective on the date of execution. As a result, the original sale deed will be effective. Therefore, the court concluded that the high court’s decision was correct and dismissed the appeal.


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Written by – Surya Venkata Sujith


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