Payment of Stamp duty — Registering Authority not bound by the value of property fixed between parties but has to follow procedure as given in Stamp Act — Held that Registering Authority rightly refused to register the document.
The Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act has nothing to do with levy of stamp duty on instruments. Exemption of collection of stamp duty is provided under the Indian stamp Act, for instance proviso to Section 3 which is already noticed. Government of India, or the state of Government as the case may be in an appropriate case may direct the excess land-holder while granting exemption under Section 20(1) (a) of the Act to dispose of the said excess land to a named society at a particular rate. That condition operates as a restriction against the owner of the land from collecting any rate or price higher than the one fixed under the order of the Government. It has nothing to do with the chageability of the stamp under the Indian Stamp Act. For various reasons a vendor may dispose of his land at much lower rate than the prevailing market rate, may be due to distress, immediate financial necessity or an account of non-availability of purchasers and for a variety of other reasons. In such a situation, it cannot be said that the rate as agreed to between the parties is the market rate. Even assuming that the Government of India granted exemption from payment of stamp duty over and above Rs.20/- per sq. metre, even then the said direction cannot prevail over the provisions of the Indian Stamp Act.
The scope of Section 47-A and Andhra Pradesh Stamp (Prevention of Under-Valuation of Instruments) Rules. 1975(5) ALT 187: 1997 (3) ALD 325 (DB) observed that when the Sub-Registrar has reason to believe that the value of the property is not correctly reflected in the instrument he may keep pending registration of such instrument and refer the matter to the collector for determination of the market-value and for proper stamp duty payable thereon. The division Bench further observed as follows:
“Under sub-section (2) of Section 47-A of the Act, the collector shall , after giving the parties adequate opportunity and after holding an enquiry, determine the market- value of the property and Under sub Section (4) the aggrieved party has got a right to appeal against the order of the collector to the Civil Court. The respondent has thus adequate remedy to agitate before the Collector satisfying him about the true market value. He has also a right of further remedy of appeal before civil Court. Thus , the respondent without availing the adequate alternative remedy, has rushed to his Court. The writ petition was therefore , not maintainable and ought to have been dismissed by the learned single judge.”
The ratio of the Division bench all along governs the field.
Bhagya Lakshmi Co-operative Housing Socity Ltd. vs. Sub-Registrar, 1999 (1) LAC 56 (AP).