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Vijay Shankar Somani v. State Of U.P. Thru' Its Secretary (F & R) & Others - WRIT - C No. 29628 of 2003 [2006] RD-AH 1787 (23 January 2006)


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                                                                                       Court No.38

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 29628 of 2003

Vijay Shanker Somani             Vs.           State of U.P. & others

Hon'ble Vineet Saran, J

A sale deed was executed in favour of the petitioner on 29.9.1995, on which requisite stamp duty, as per the existing circle rate had been paid. The petitioner then after a gap of more than five years received a notice dated 26.2.2001 to show cause why the said document be not impounded for being deficiently stamped and penalty be not imposed on the petitioner. The petitioner filed his objections to the said show cause notice. However, by his order dated 7.2.2003, the respondent no. 3 rejected the objections and found the document to be deficiently stamped by over Rs. 13 lacs and imposed a penalty of over Rs. 20 lacs. The petitioner filed an appeal before the Board of Revenue, which has been dismissed by order dated 9.6.2003. Aggrieved by the aforesaid orders dated 7.2.2003 and 9.6.2003 passed by the respondents no. 3 and 2 respectively, the petitioner has filed this writ petition.

I have heard Sri S.D.Kautilya, learned counsel for the petitioner as well as learned Standing Counsel appearing for the respondents. Despite time having been granted to the respondents, no counter affidavit has yet been filed and as such this writ petition is being disposed of at this stage.

The specific case of the petitioner is that it is only under Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 that the Collector could have called for and examined the instrument for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the correctness of the market value of the property and the duty payable thereon. Under Section 47-A (3) the same could have been done only within four years from the date of registration of such instrument on which the duty was to be charged on the market value of the property. The petitioner had raised such specific objections with regard to limitation before the authorities below. Admittedly the sale deed was executed in the year 1995 and the notice was issued for the first time in the year 2001, which was beyond the period of four years. The proviso may confer power to initiate action even after the period of four years and within a period of eight years, but only with the prior permission of the State Government. It is not the case of the respondents that such permission had been obtained from the State Government. Despite the petitioner having taken such a clear objection in his reply to the show cause notice and also in the appeal, the same have not been dealt with in the impugned orders. The authorities have not said anything about the limitation especially when the ground no. 4 of the grounds of appeal specifically raised such an issue. Learned Standing Counsel also could not justify that as to on what basis the notice was issued in the year 2001, after more than  years of the execution of the sale deed nor he could point out any provision of law under which the said notice could have been issued at such a belated stage.

In such view of the matter, as the notice itself was issued to the petitioner after more than four years, which was in clear contravention of the provisions of Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act, no proceedings could have been initiated against the petitioner in pursuance of the said notice. As such, the orders impugned in this writ petition, which had been passed in pursuance of the aforesaid notice, are both liable to be quashed.

Accordingly, this writ petition stands allowed. The impugned order dated 7.2.2002 passed by respondent no. 3, the Assistant Commissioner (Stamps) and the order dated 9.6.2003 passed by the respondent no. 2, the Board of Revenue, U.P., Allahabad respectively  are quashed. There shall be no order as to costs.




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