2. The petitioner has given a representation to the second respondent on 31.07.2017. According to him, on account of the insistence on online registration, the number of documents being registered has comedown drastically from 100 to 4 per day. The public are being put to great inconvenience. This is because in the website market value guideline register, there are several wrong entries. In the manually maintained register, the valuation is given differently from what is shown in the website register. Since online registration alone is permitted, the registrants have to mention only the valuation indicated in the website register and pay the stamp duty accordingly. The writ petitioner has enclosed materials in the typed set of papers to demonstrate his contention that there are serious discrepancies in the entries in the matter of guideline value in the register maintained in SRO and in the website. Secondly, the registrants are asked to create the index. Index creation is the statutory function of the registration department and this task cannot be fastened on the registrants. Even though, with much fan fare e-governance has been introduced in the registration department, the staff have not been sufficiently or suitably trained to implement the project. Therefore, the petitioner would pray that till the defects that have been pointed out are rectified, the respondents must be restrained from implementing the scheme of online registration of documents.
3. The respondents have filed a detailed counter affidavit. The respondents have fairly conceded that the SRO, Sivakasi had inadvertently misconstrued the direction issued by the I.G. of Registration. Instead of informing the public that registration will also be done online, the said official had inadvertently worded the notice as if registration will be done only online. The second respondent has clarified that implementation of online registration from 01.08.2017 is only in pilot run.
4. The Registration Act, 1908 is a consolidating enactment relating to the registration of documents. The purpose served by this Statute is well known. It enables the general public to find out whether any particular piece of property with which they may be concerned has been made the subject matter of some obligation. The purpose of the Act is also to prevent fraud. It will be impossible to have any transaction relating to immovable property in any manner like transfer, gift or lease or mortgage without a system of registration of documents. (State of H.P. V. Shivali Agro Poly Products – (2004) 8 SCC 556).
5. Part XI-A was introduced into the Act by Act 50 of 2000 with effect from 25.07.2000. Section 70 B enables the State Government to direct that in any office specified by it, the process of registration of any category or categories of documents may be completed and copying done with the help of the electronic devices like computers, scanners and compact disks and copies preserved on such devices and retrieved when required. Therefore, there is enough and more statutory backing for the efforts taken by the second respondent to introduce e-registration procedure.