The Delhi High Court on Wednesday has issued notice to Delhi Government on a plea seeking an urgent intervention and direction for protection of the legal rights of senior citizens and persons of vulnerable group, suffering from co-morbidities and pregnant women, enabling them to get their testamentary and non- testamentary documents registered, in sub- registrar office or at private residence.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Gaurav Gambhir who has highlighted the ambiguity among several Sub-Registrar offices in Delhi over acceptance of documents executed by Senior Citizens and other vulnerable persons due to advisory for limited movement of such persons.
The petitioner has referred to his own experience where he stated that after the announcement of relaxations of the lockdown from May 18 and upon assurance by the staff of the E Registrar to resume full operations from 3rd June 2020, the Petitioner took appointment for registration of Will in the name of the Petitioner’s Client. However, on appearance the registration of Will was verbally refused by Registrar on the vague and preposterous grounds, that registration would take 10-15 minutes meeting and discussion with Sub-Registrar in person, which will violate rules of social distancing and may lead to COVID-19 contraction to either side.
The petitioner thereafter filed a Representation dated 04.06.2020 with Respondents, highlighting the above issues with the request to make suitable arrangement across all Sub-Registrar offices in Delhi to facilitate smooth Will registration process in wake of COVID-19 Pandemic, however no response was received by the petitioner.
The petitioner has thus prayed for a direction
- to comply with the provisions of Registration Act, 1908 and refrain from Verbal refusal to register Wills and other documents;
- to offer special facility and assistance to protect the rights of Senior Citizens and other vulnerable persons;
- to Frame standard Operating Procedure and issue guidelines and policy in respect of Home Presentation as enumerated under Sec.31 of Registration Act, 1908 and;
- to abolish the archaic procedures and to adopt suitable mechanism in its day to day working for registration of Documents through Digital or other means to avoid contamination as a preparedness to Covid19 like situations.
The bench has listed the matter for next hearing on July 14.
-India Legal Bureau
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