Sub registrar in vigilance custody, but 66 land deeds registered in his office

Probe report states that the documents had been registered without the registering officer seeing or identifying the parties – in violation of the Registration Act, 1908.
Investigations have revealed that 66 documents were allegedly marked to a Zirakpur naib tehsildar for registration with his signature on the day of his arrest.(Shutterstock)
Investigations have revealed that 66 documents were allegedly marked to a Zirakpur naib tehsildar for registration with his signature on the day of his arrest.(Shutterstock)
Updated on Nov 10, 2020 10:21 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHillary Victor, Mohali

In startling findings, a departmental inquiry report against Zirakpur naib tehsildar (sub registrar) Varinder Pal Singh Dhoot has revealed that 66 land deeds were registered under his name on November 2, when he was not present in office in the morning. It was also the day on which he was arrested by the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) for his involvement in a scam involving 1,295 acres of shamlat land in Mohali’s Seonk village.

Tehsildar Sukhpinder Kaur and assistant commissioner Manish Rana conducted the probe on the orders of district magistrate Girish Dayalan and submitted the report to the district magistrate on Tuesday.

First registry at 1.45 pm, arrest at 2.30 pm

Investigations revealed that 66 documents were allegedly marked to Dhoot for registration with his signature on the day of his arrest.The first registry was done at 1:45 pm and the last one around 6 pm with photographs of the applicants without that of Dhoot – exempted anyway due to Covid-19.

Dhoot’s final signatures were required on the documents even as the other parties and witnesses had signed on the papers.

The report stated that, on November 2, Dhoot was in Hoshiarpur and later in Chandigarh before being arrested at around 2.30 pm.

Dhoot was not present at the time of the registration of documents, the report said. It was also clear that the documents had been registered without the registering officer seeing or identifying the parties – in violation of the Registration Act, 1908.

It was believed that the registry clerk and five other employees had earlier written in a statement that Dhoot was present in office till 12:30 pm and the registries were marked by him. The documents were registered on his directions with the understanding that he would return to finally sign off the papers.

The statement was later withdrawn when call details records (CDRs) were presented to the party concerned. Some parties that had their documents registered on November 2, when contacted on phone, said they did not meet Dhoot at any point of time.

When asked to comment on the matter, Dayalan said, “we will hold a departmental inquiry against registry clerk and other related officials for concealing the facts, following which action will be initiated.”

What the Registration Act states

According to the Act, no document can be registered unless the persons executing such document, or their representatives... appear before the registering officer within the time allowed for presentation under sections 23, 24, 25 and 26. The registering officer may, in order to satisfy himself that the persons appearing before him are the persons they represent themselves to be, or for any other purpose contemplated by this Act, can examine any one present in his office.

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Monday, December 06, 2021