STATE OF KERALA Vs. ABDULLAKUTTY
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.) The conclusions of the Sub Divisional Magistrate are erroneous; and the order of acquittal passed by him has to be set aside.
(2.) The respondents produced a document for registration before the Sub Registrar claiming that it was a deed of partition. The properties covered by the document were valued at Rs. 33,600/- and stamp duty was also paid on the basis of that valuation. The document was registered. Subsequently, the Sub Registrar felt that the valuation was very low and false; and he obtained sanction from the Collector for prosecuting the respondents. A prosecution was launched under S.60 of the Kerala Stamp Act; and the lower court has acquitted the respondents.
(3.) One of the findings of the Sub Divisional Magistrate is that the document is not a deed of partition as defined under S.2(k) of the Stamp Act. The reasoning is that the document recites that a partition took place already and the document was executed only to evidence that transaction, so that there was no partition under the document. The document was produced by the respondents claiming that it was a deed of partition. The Sub Registrar accepted it as a deed of partition and registered it also. Thereafter, I wonder how the respondents could claim that the document they produced for registration and got registered was not a document of partition but some other document. They have also no definite case now as to what type of document the deed was. Even otherwise, the reasoning of the Sub Divisional Magistrate is not correct. Even if there was already a partition and the document only evidenced the past partition, it is still a deed of partition. Another reasoning of the lower court on the same question is that all the executants mentioned in the document have not signed it, so that it is not a deed of partition. In a prosecution under the Stamp Act only those persons who signed the document and obtained its registration can be prosecuted. The others who did not sign the document cannot be prosecuted or convicted of any offence under the Act. The document produced before the Sub Registrar and registered was a deed of partition; and it could not have changed its character as some of the executants did not sign it. Again, such of the executants who did not sign could have obtained registration if they signed it within the time allowed by law. They could have also executed another document accepting the deed of partition; and if they did so, it cannot be said that the document which was already registered by some of the executants would have then changed its nature and become a deed of partition. Therefore, the document whether it was signed by all the executants or not had the same character from its inception; and the character was that it was a deed of partition.;
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