Transfer of Property Act

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be called the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

Commencement.—It shall come into force on the first day of July, 1882.

Extent.1[It extends2 in the first instance to the whole of India except 3[the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States or in the States of] Bombay, Punjab and Delhi.]

4[But this Act or any part thereof may by notification in the Official Gazette be extended to the whole or any part of the 5[said territories] by the 6[State Government] concerned.]

7[And any 6[State Government] may 8[***] from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, exempt, either retrospectively or prospectively, any part of the territories administered by such State Government from all or any of the following provisions, namely:—

Section 54, paragraph 2 and sections 3, 59, 107 and 123.]

9[Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing part of this section, section 54, paragraphs 2 and 3, and sections 59, 107 and 123 shall not extend or be extended to any district or tract of country for the time being excluded from the operation of the Indian Registration Act, 10[1908], (16 of 1908), under the power conferred by the first section of that Act or otherwise.]


1. Subs. by the A.O. 1950, for the original third paragraph.

2. The application of this Act was barred in the Naga Hills District, including the Mokokchang Sub-Division, the Dibrugarh Frontier Tract, the North Cachar Hills, the Garo Hills, the Khasea and Jaintia Hills and the Mikir Hills Tract, by notification under sec. 2 of the Assam Frontier Tracts Regulation, 1880 (2 of 1880).

The Act has been declared to be in force in Panth Piploda by the Panth Piploda Laws Regulation, 1929 (1 of 1929), sec. 2, and continued in force, with modifications, in the territory transferred to Delhi Province by the Delhi Laws Act, 1915 (7 of 1915), sec. 3 and Sch. III. It has also been partially extended to Berar by the Berar Laws Act, 1941 (4 of 1941).

The Act has been extended with effect from 1st January, 1893, to the whole of the territories, other than the Scheduled Districts, under the administration of the Govt. of Bombay. Sections 54, 107 and 123 have been extended from 6th May, 1925 to all Municipalities in the Punjab and to all notified areas declared and notified under sec. 241 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 (Pun. Act 3 of 1911), see Punjab Gazette, Extra., 1925, p. 27.

These sections and section 129 have been extended to certain areas in Delhi Province, see Notifications No. 198/38-III, dated 30th May, 1939, Gazette of India, 1939, Pt. I, p. 918, and No. 61/40-Judl., dated 16th November, 1940, Gazette of India, 1940, Pt. I, p. 1639, respectively.

The Act has been extended to Manipur by the Union Territories (Laws) Amendment Act, 1956 (68 of 1956).

It has been rep. as to Government Grants by the Government Grants Act, 1895 (15 of 1895) and rep. or modified to the extent necessary to give effect to the provisions of the Madras City Tenants Protection Act, 1921 (Madras 3 of 1921) in the City of Madras; see sec. 13 of that Act.

It has been amended in Bombay by Bombay Act 14 of 1939, and in Uttar Pradesh by Uttar Pradesh Act 24 of 1954. It has been extended to Pondicherry by Act 26 of 1968, sec. 3, Sch., Part I.

3. Subs. by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order, 1956, for “Part B States”.

4. Subs. by the A.O. 1937, for the original paragraph.

5. Subs. by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 2) Order, 1956, for “said States”.

6. Subs. by A.O. 1950, for “Provincial Government”.

7. Subs. by Act 3 of 1885, sec. 1, for the original paragraph.

8. The words “with the previous sanction of the Governor General in Council” omitted by Act 38 of 1920, sec. 2 and Sch. I.

9. Added by Act 3 of 1885, sec. 2 (with retrospective effect). Section 54, paras 2 and 3 and sections 59, 107 and 123 extend to every cantonment—see section 287 of the Cantonment Act, 1924(2 of 1924).

10. Subs. by Act 20 of 1929, sec. 2, for “1877”.

Section 2. Repeal of Acts

Saving of certain enactments, incidents, rights, liabilities, etc.—In the territories to which this Act extends for the time being the enactments specified in the Schedule hereto annexed shall be repealed to the extent therein mentioned. But nothing herein contained shall be deemed to affect—

(a) the provisions of any enactment not hereby expressly repealed;

(b) any terms or incidents of any contract or constitution of property which are consistent with the provisions of this Act, and are allowed by the law for the time being in force;

(c) any right or liability arising out of a legal relation constituted before this Act comes into force, or any relief in respect of any such right or liability; or

(d) save as provided by section 57 and Chapter IV of this Act, any transfer by operation of law or by, or in execution of, a decree or order of a Court of competent jurisdiction,

and nothing in the second Chapter of this Act shall be deemed to affect any rule of 1[***] Muhammadan 2[***] law.


1. Added by Act 3 of 1885, sec. 2 (with retrospective effect). Section 54, paras 2 and 3 and sections 59, 107 and 123 extend to every cantonment—see section 287 of the Cantonment Act, 1924(2 of 1924).

2. Subs. by Act 20 of 1929, sec. 2, for “1877”.

Section 3. Interpretation clause

In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context,—

“immoveable property” does not include standing timber, growing crops or grass;

‘‘instrument” means a non-testamentary instrument;

1[“attested”, in relation to an instrument, means and shall be deemed always to have meant attested by two or more witnesses each of whom has seen the executant sign or affix his mark to the instrument, or has seen some other person sign the instrument in the presence and by the direction of the executant, or has received from the executant a personal acknowledgement of his signature or mark, or of the signature of such other person, and each of whom has signed the instrument in the presence of the executant; but it shall not be necessary that more than one of such witnesses shall have been present at the same time, and no particular form of attestation shall be necessary;]

“registered” means registered in 2[3[any part of the territories] to which this Act extends] under the law4 for the time being in force regulating the registration of documents;

“attached to the earth” means—

(a) rooted in the earth, as in the case of trees and shrubs;

(b) imbedded in the earth, as in the case of walls or buildings; or

(c) attached to what is so imbedded for the permanent beneficial enjoyment of that to which it is attached;

5[“actionable claim” means a claim to any debt, other than a debt secured by mortgage of immoveable property or by hypothecation or pledge of moveable property, or to any beneficial interest in moveable property not in the possession, either actual or constructive, of the claimant, which the Civil Courts recognise as affording grounds for relief, whether such debt or beneficial interest be existent, accruing, conditional or contingent;]

6[“a person is said to have notice” of a fact when he actually knows that fact, or when, but for wilful abstention from an enquiry or search which he ought to have made, or gross negligence, he would have known it.

Explanation I.—Where any transaction relating to immoveable property is required by law to be and has been effected by a registered instrument, any person acquiring such property or any part of, or share or interest in, such property shall be deemed to have notice of such instrument as from the date of registration or, where the property is not all situated in one sub-district, or where the registered instrument has been registered under sub-section (2) of section 30 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), from the earliest date on which any memorandum of such registered instrument has been filed by any Sub-Registrar within whose sub-district any part of the property which is being acquired, or of the property wherein a share or interest is being acquired, is situated:]

Provided that—

(1) the instrument has been registered and its registration completed in the manner prescribed by the Indian Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), and the rules made thereunder,

(2) the instrument or memorandum has been duly entered or filed, as the case may be, in books kept under section 51 of that Act, and

(3) the particulars regarding the transaction to which the instrument relates