Cancellation of instruments is about nullifying a document. If there is a document which is void or voidable due to some reason and any person having reasonable apprehension that the said document is against him and may cause serious injury to him may sue against such document. He can sue to cancel the document. This is called cancellation and is dealt with in Sections 31 to 33 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 of India.
So if a document is void ab initio there is no need to set aside the document. Cancellation is the relief. He may sue to the court to have the document adjudged void.
What are the essential conditions for claiming cancellation?
The plaintiff in a suit for cancellation of a document must satisfy the following conditions:
The instrument is void against the plaintiff.
The instrument is voidable against him.
The instrument can cause injury to him.
The plaintiff is under reasonable apprehension of injury.
The injury is serious to the plaintiff.
This is a discretionary relief. As per Section 32 of the above Act the Court may allow cancellation of a part of the document which injures the plaintiff. The good part may be allowed to stand. Hence it is upon the plaintiff to prove that the document or any part of it injures his rights and therefore it should be cancelled.
If the document has been registered under the Indian Registration Act, the Court shall send the copy of decree to the office of registration.