Document management

Document management and engineering is a computer system or set of computer programs used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents.

Document management systems have some overlap with

Content Management Systems

Enterprise Content Management Systems

Digital Asset Management

Document imaging

Workflow systems

Records Management systems


Easement can be transferred when dominant heritage is also transferred otherwise mere easement cannot be transferred

  • The principle of promissory estoppel is applicable to administrative law and not between the private parties.
  • Mis-interpretation or misconstruction of document on which claim of a party is based amounts to substantial question of law and such error can be corrected in Second Appeal
  • The Madras High Court in the case of Ramakrishna Doss Chandrathna Doss Vs. P. Kesavalu Chetty and Others, held whether a document dealing with immovable property acquires registration or not, depends on whether the document in question constitutes the bargain between the parties or it is merely the record of an already completed transaction.


Difference between seizing of a document and impounding a document.

A seizure is made at a particular moment when a person or authority takes into his possession some property which was earlier not in his possession. Thus, seizure is done at a particular moment of time. However, if after seizing of a property or document the said property or document is retained for some period of time, then such retention amounts to impounding of the property/or document. In the Law Lexicon by P. Ramanatha Aiyar (2nd Edition), the word impound has been defined to mean to take possession of a document or thing for being held in custody in accordance with law. Thus, the word impounding really means retention of possession of a good or a document which has been seized.

Hence, while the police may have power to seize a passport under Section 102 Cr.P.C. if it is permissible within the authority given under Section 102 of Cr.P.C., it does not have power to retain or impound the same, because that can only be done by the passport authority under Section 10(3) of the Passports Act. Hence, if the police seizes a passport (which it has power to do under Section 102 Cr.P.C.), thereafter the police must send it along with a letter to the passport authority clearly stating that the seized passport deserves to be impounded for one of the reasons mentioned in Section 10(3) of the Act. It is thereafter the passport authority to decide whether to impound the passport or not. Since impounding of a passport has civil consequences, the passport authority must give an opportunity of hearing to the person concerned before impounding his passport. It is well settled that any order which has civil consequences must be passed after giving opportunity of hearing to a party vide State of Orissa Vs. Binapani Dei [Air 1967 SC 1269].

Sub-section (3)(e) of Section 10 [Passport Act] of the Act provides for impounding of a passport if proceedings in respect of an offence alleged to have been committed by the holder of the passport or travel document are pending before a criminal court in India. Thus, the Passport Authority has the power to impound the passport under the Act. Section 102 of Cr.P.C. gives powers to the police officer to seize any property which may be alleged or suspected to have been stolen or which may be found under circumstances which create suspicion of the commission of any offence. Sub-section (5) of Section 165 of Cr.P.C. provides that the copies of record made under sub-section (1) or sub-section (3) shall forthwith be sent to the nearest Magistrate empowered to take cognizance to the offence whereas Section 104 of Cr.P.C. authorizes the court to impound any document or thing produced before it under the Code. Section 165 of Cr.P.C. does not speak about the passport which has been searched and seized as in the present case. It does not speak about the documents found in search, but copies of the records prepared under sub-section (1) and sub-section (3). Impound means to keep in custody of the law. There must be some distinct action which will show that documents or things have been impounded. According to the Oxford Dictionary impound means to take legal or formal possession. In the present case, the passport of the appellant is in possession of CBI right from the date it has been seized by the CBI. When we read Section 104 of Cr.P.C. and Section 10 of the Act together, under Cr.P.C., the Court is empowered to impound any document or thing produced before it whereas the Act speaks specifically of impounding of the passport.

The primary rule of construction of a document

Indian Law Encyclopedia

The primary rule of construction of a document is the intention of the executants, which must be found in the words used in the document. The question is not what may be supposed to have been intended, but what has been said. We need to carry on the exercise of construction or interpretation of the document only if the document is ambiguous, or its meaning is uncertain. If the language used in the document is unambiguous and the meaning is clear, evidently, that is what is meant by the executants of the document. Contemporary events and circumstances surrounding the execution of the document are not relevant in such situations.

Lord Hale in King v. Meling (1 Vent. At p. 231), in construing a testamentary disposition as well as a settlement, pointed out that the prime governing principle is the “law of instrument” i.e. the intention of the testator is “the law of the instrument”. Lord Wilmot, C.J. in Doe Long v. Laming (2 Burr. At pp. 11-12) described the intention of the testator as the “pole star” and is also described as the “nectar of the instrument. In Re Stone, Baker v. Stone [(1895) 2 Ch. 196 at p. 200] the Master of the Rolls said as follows: “When I see an intention clearly expressed in a Will, and find no rule of law opposed to giving effect to it, I disregard previous cases.” Coleridge, J. in Shore v. Wilson [9 Cl. & F. 355, at p. 525] held as follows:
“The intention to be sought is the intention which is expressed in the instrument, not the intention which the maker of the instrument may have had in his mind. It is unquestionable that the object of all expositions of written instruments must be to ascertain the expressed meaning or intention of the writer; the expressed meaning being equivalent to the intention … It is not allowable …. To adduce any evidence however strong, to prove an unexpressed intention, varying from that which the words used import. This may be open, no doubt, to the remark that although we profess to be explaining the intention of the writer, we may be led in many cases to decide contrary to what can scarcely be doubted to have been the intention, rejecting evidence which may be more satisfactory in the particular instance to prove it. The answer is, that the interpreters have to deal with the written expression of the writer’s intention, and courts of law to carry into effect what he has written, not what it may be surmised, on however probable grounds, that he intended only to have written.”

 In Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th Edn., Vol.50, p.239, it is stated:
“408. Leading principle of construction.- The only principle of construction which is applicable without qualification to all wills and overrides every other rule of construction, is that the testator’s intention is collected from a consideration of the whole will taken in connection with any evidence properly admissible, and the meaning of the will and of every part of it is determined according to that intention.”

Underhill and Strahan in Interpretation of Wills and Settlements (1900 Edn.), while construing a will held that “the intention to be sought is the intention which is expressed in the instrument not the intention which the maker of the instrument may have had in his mind. It is unquestionable that the object of all expositions of written instruments must be to ascertain the expressed meaning or intention of the writer; the expressed meaning being equivalent to the intention……….”

Theobald on Wills (17th Edn. 2010) examined at length the characteristics of testamentary instruments. Chapter 15 of that book deals with the General Principles of Construction. Referring to Lindley L.J. in Musther, Re (1889) 43 Ch.D. 569 at p.572, the author stated that the first rule of will construction is that every will is different and that prior cases are of little assistance. Referring to Sammut v. Manzxi [2009] 1 W.T.L.R. 1834, the author notices that the Privy Council had approved the approach of considering wording of the will first without initial reference to authority, and commented that “little assistance in construing a will is likely to be gained by consideration of how other judges have interpreted similar wording in other cases.

Supreme  Court in A. Sreenivasa Pai and Anr. v. Saraswathi Ammal alias G. Kamala Bai (1985) 4 SCC 85 held that in construing a document, whether in English or in any Indian language, the fundamental rule to be adopted is to ascertain the intention adopted from the words employed in it. Reference may also be made to the judgment of the Privy Council in Rajendra Prasad Bose and Anr. v. Gopal Prasad Sen AIR 1930 PC 242 and C. Cheriathan v. P. Narayanan Embranthiri and Ors. (2009) 2 SCC 673.

What is Composite Document

Indian Law Encyclopedia

A composite document is severable and in part clearly testamentary, such part may take effect as a Will and other part if it has the characteristics of a settlement and that part will take effect in that way. A document which operates to dispose of properly in praesenti in respect of few items of the properties is a settlement and in future in respect of few other items after the deeds of the executants, it is a testamentary disposition. That one part of the document has effect during the lifetime of the executant i.e. the gift and the other part disposing the property after the death of the executant is a Will. Reference may be made in this connection to the judgment of this Court in Rev. Fr. M.S. Poulose v. Varghese and Others. (1995) Supp 2 SCC 294.

In a composite document, which has the characteristics of a Will as well as a gift, it may be necessary to have that document registered otherwise that part of the document which has the effect of a gift cannot be given effect to. Therefore, it is not unusual to register a composite document which has the characteristics of a gift as well as a Will. Consequently, the mere registration of document cannot have any determining effect in arriving at a  conclusion that it is not a Will. The document which may serve as evidence of the gift, falls within the sweep of Section 17 of the  Registration Act. Where an instrument evidences creation,  declaration, assignment, limitation or extinction of any present or  future right, title or interest in immovable property or where any  instrument acknowledges the receipt of payment of consideration  on account of creation, declaration, assignment, limitation or  extinction of such right, title or interest, in those cases alone the  instrument or receipt would be compulsorily registrable under Section 17(1) (b) or (c) of the Registration Act. A ‘Will’ need not necessarily be registered. But the fact of registration of a ‘Will’ will not render the document a settlement.