Delhi High Court directs Delhi Government to ensure availability of cloud storage services to Sub-Registrars for preservation of documents

delhi high court

Delhi High Court: In a case wherein, the petition was filed to seek directions to make an inquiry about the missing records of volume 8486 and 8487 of additional book no. 1 of Sub-Registrar-III, which had the records of execution and registration of lands of the Monks Estates (P) Ltd., Petitioner 1 and also to re-construct the missing volumes, Pratibha M. Singh, J.*, directed the Government to ensure that the necessary systems and cloud service was made available to all the Sub-Registrars’ offices so that the documents could be preserved.

In 2005, a large quantum of records had gone missing from the Office of the Sub-Registrar-III (District Central), Delhi. This issue was unearthed before the Court on 10-01-2023, and based on the information available, directions were issued.

The Court opined that on the perusal of the status report issued, no investigation was conducted into the missing documents and records. The said report was only registered as an information report and was a non-cognizable report.

Further, on 27-03-2023, the Court directed the Sub-Registrar to issue certified copies to the petitioner and file a confirmation in that regard before the Court. Subsequently, an affidavit was filed, according to which, the manner in which storage of documents was to be done was through a system called Delhi Online Registration System (‘DORIS’).

The Court opined that the perusal of the affidavit would show that although a system had been designed, it was not clear as to whether the same was fully implemented. The Court directed the Delhi Government to ensure that the necessary systems and cloud service was made available to all the Sub-Registrars’ offices so that the documents could be preserved without such situation as arose in the present case being repeated. The Court made Principal Secretary (Revenue), Government of Delhi to be personally responsible for implementation of DORIS system.

The Court further stated that, the Secretary (Revenue), Government of Delhi should call for a periodic status report in respect of the investigation and if an FIR needed to be registered, the steps be taken within three months. Officials responsible should also be identified and action should be taken. The Court made Principal Secretary (Revenue), personally responsible for giving effect to the directions mentioned.

Accordingly, the petition and all pending applications were disposed of.

[Monk Estates (P) Ltd. v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 SCC OnLine Del 4570, decided on 27-07-2023]

*Judgment by- Justice Pratibha M. Singh

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the Petitioners: Rachna Aggarwal, Advocate;

For the Respondents: Avishkar Singhvi, Vivek Kumar, Naved Ahmed, Nipun Katyal, Advocates; Jitender Kumar, Sub Inspector; Hemlata Pokhriyal, Sub Registrar.

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