The spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown/curfew has posed certain issues for Notaries Public when complying with and adhering to their duties in terms of the Notaries Ordinance and the Registration of Documents Ordinance.
In order to address these issues faced by Notaries Public, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and the Registrar General’s Department has provided Notaries Public with following relief measures.
Submission of Duplicates:
Duplicates of the Instruments attested by Notaries Public during the months of February, March and April 2020 along with the respective Monthly Lists are to be submitted within one month from the lifting of curfew and resuming of the functions at the land registries.
(Official confirmation via Letter dated 22nd April 2020 from the Registrar General’s Department)
Payment of Stamp Duty
Arrangements are being made by BASL to seek an extension from the Registrar General’s Department to enable payment of Stamp Duty on Instruments executed during lockdown without any penalties.
Registration of Instruments
- Arrangements are being made by BASL to seek an extension from the Registrar General’s Department to enable submission of Instruments for registration, which required registration within a stipulated time.
- One day service for registration of Instruments has been temporary halted until further notice (Official confirmation via Letter dated 20th April 2020 from the Registrar General’s Department)
- Instruments executed under the Registration of Titles Act to be tendered for registration upon resumption of office by the Land Registries (Official confirmation via Letter dated 03rd April 2020 from the Registrar General’s Department)
- Steps are being taken by the Registrar General’s Department to attend to the registration of mortgage bonds relating to essential services provided consequent upon the pandemic (Official confirmation via Letter dated 30th March 2020 from the Registrar General’s Department)