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Sharawan Kumar Pandey v. Smt. Somwati Tewari & Another - CIVIL REVISION No. - 345 of 2007 [2007] RD-AH 14870 (1 September 2007)

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Civil Revision No.345 of 2007

Sharawan Kumar Pandey................................... Defendant/Revisionist


Smt. Somwati Tewari........................................Plaintiff/Opposite Party


Hon.Tarun Agarwala, J.

The plaintiff filed a suit for rent and ejectment of the opposite party. The basis of the suit was the lease-deed dated 20.4.1999. The defendant raised an objection that the lease-deed could not be read in evidence nor could it be taken on record inasmuch as the document was insufficiently stamped and was required to be impounded. The objection of the defendant was rejected, against which, a civil revision was filed before the High Court, which was allowed by a judgment dated 1.11.2004. The Court directed the trial court to take necessary steps for impounding the instrument. Based on the direction of the High Court, the trial court, by an order dated 5.4.2004, impounded the instrument and directed the plaintiff to pay the requisite stamp duty. Subsequently, by another order dated 29.10.2005, the trial court remitted the document to the Collector for imposition of deficiency of the stamp duty and penalty, if any. The Collector, after examining the matter passed an order determining the deficiency of the stamp duty and also imposed a penalty. The defendant, being aggrieved by the order of the Collector, filed an appeal under Section 56 of the Stamp Act which was also dismissed by judgment dated 27.12.2006. The plaintiff paid the requisite amount and the document was remitted back to the trial court.

After the passing of the order of the Commissioner, the defendant filed an application 138-C to recall the order of the court dated 29.10.2005 and further filed another application 139-C to de-exhibit the lease deed on the ground that the document was insufficiently stamped. Both the applications was rejected by the impugned order, against which the defendant has filed the present revision.

Heard Sri A.K. Tiwari, the learned counsel for the applicant and Sri M.M. Agrawal, the learned counsel appearing for the plaintiff-opposite party.

The learned counsel for the applicant submitted that the court below could not have remitted the matter to the Collector for determination of the penalty and deficiency of the stamp duty. The learned counsel submitted that the High Court directed the trial court to impound the certificate and pass an order on the imposition of stamp duty and penalty. Consequently, the trial court could not have remitted the matter to the Collector. The learned counsel further submitted that once a document had been admitted in evidence, then the Collector had no power to consider the question of penalty or deficiency of stamp duty and it was only the Court which admitted the document which had the power to impose the deficiency of stamp duty, etc. In support of his submission, the learned counsel for the revisionist placed reliance upon a decision of a Full Bench of M.P.High Court in Balkrishna Bihari Lal vs. Board of Revenue M.P. And others, AIR 1970 (MP) 74, in which it was held that the Collector did not acquire any jurisdiction once a document was admitted in evidence and that the instrument could only be sent to the Collector under Section 38(2) of the Stamp Act only when it was impounded under Section 33 and was not admitted in evidence.

In my view, the submission of the learned counsel for the applicant is bereft of merit. The applications 138-C and 139-C are nothing but an abuse of the process of the Court. Once the direction of the trial court was complied by the Collector, which was challenged by the defendant in an appeal under Section 56 of the Stamp Act and which was also dismissed, it was no longer open to the defendant to question the order of the trial court dated 29.10.2005. In any case, the order dated 29.10.2005 is perfectly correct and valid and is not against the directions given by the High Court in its the judgment dated 1.11.2004. The High Court only directed the trial court to take necessary steps for impounding the instrument and did not direct the trial court to adjudicate upon the deficiency of stamp duty or to send a certificate to the Collector for the recovery of the amount. Therefore, there is nothing on record to suggest that the instrument in question, namely, the lease-deed was admitted in evidence by the trial court. Consequently, the trial court was justified in remitting the instrument to the Collector for the purpose of adjudication on the deficiency of stamp duty and penalty, if any. In the present case, the trial court had rightly sent the instrument to the Collector under Section 38(2) of the Act for necessary adjudication on the deficiency of stamp duty. The Collector passed an order under Section 40 of the Act which was affirmed in the appeal filed by the defendant under Section 56 of the Act.

In view of the aforesaid, this Court does not find any error in the impugned order. The revision fails and is dismissed summarily.




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