1. Stamping of the contracts: To be used as valid evidence, any instrument must be stamped. However, non-stamping cannot lead to rejection of the plaint. An instrument not duly stamped is incapable of being used as evidence until it is stamped. If a document is not duly stamped, the courts can act on it only after deficit duty and penalty is paid and the defect is cured. In a very recent judgment, the constitution bench of Hon’ble Supreme court has brought the Arbitration Agreements also in the ambit of Stamping by ruling that an arbitration clause is not enforceable by law if it is not stamped or insufficiently stamped. As per Section 2(11) of the Indian Stamp Act, a document is said to be stamped properly if the amount of the stamp has been paid and the stamp has been affixed as an impression stamp or an adhesive stamp. Section 3 of the Indian Stamp Act outlines the documents that required to be stamp. The Schedule 1 of Indian Stamp Act outlines and names the nature of documents for which stamp duty is to be paid. The Indian Stamp Act is a comprehensive Act, outlining the stamping procedures, penalties in default, references and revisions and allowances for stamps in certain cases.
  2. Registrations of the documents: For some of the agreements, the registration of documents is mandatory. For property documents, Transfer of Property Act, 1882 provides for the registration of property documents. Whereas, Registration Act, 1908 provides the machinery for registration of those documents. If the documents are not registered, the transfer is void. Any written instrument of the type specified in the Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908, and other instruments may be registered under the Registration Act, 1908. If a document required by Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 is not registered, it will not affect any immoveable property, nor will it be received as the evidence of the transaction effecting that property. Under the Registration Act, 1908, it can be received in evidence to show existence of contract in the suit of Specific Performance or as evidence of any collateral transaction not required to be affected by a registered instrument. Courts rely on the registered documents in the suits of Specific Performance. Only registered documents can be received as evidence. The unregistered documents cannot be received as the evidence of the transaction but can be admitted as evidence for other purposes. Such unregistered documents can be used to prove the fact of the transaction but not the contents; they cannot be used to prove any important terms. Unregistered documents can be used to:
    1. To prove the facts of possession
    2. To show that the transferee is in possession.
    3. The date when the possession of the transferee began.
    4. The date of termination of possession
    5. The nature of the possession
    6. As evidence of collateral transaction
    7. To show the payment of the earnest money
    8. As an acknowledgement of the liability
    9. To show the state of mind of an executant who alleges undue influence or fraud.





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