MERANI RANIBAI ATA Vs. MER KHIMA JAKHRA
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
MERANI RANIBAI ATA
MER KHIMA JAKHRA
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(1.)The question which confronts the Court in this revision by the original plaintiff is as to whether the trial Court rightly held that the instrument executed by the opponents in favour of the petitioner plaintiff was insufficiently stamped and was inadmissible in evidence without payment of the alleged deficit stamp duty of Rs. 113.00 alongwith penalty of Rs. 1130.00.
(2.)The plaintiff is a widow. She has no son. She has only two minor daughters. Her husband died about 12 years back. After the death of her husband the opponents-defendants executed a writing in favour of the plaintiff. By that writing the opponents promised to pay certain sums for the maintenance of the plaintiff and her minor daughters. They also promised to supply her with grains etc. According to the plaintiff the opponents committed a breach of the agreement and failed to honour the obligation undertaken by them. She accordingly instituted a suit claiming the restoration of the lands of her deceased husband which the opponents had taken possession of at the time of the execution of the aforesaid document. At the hearing of the suit the plaintiff tendered in evidence a document executed by the opponents on December 26 1967 in her favour. The opponents contended that the document was not properly stamped. Thereupon the learned Trial Judge passed the impugned order calling upon the petitioner to pay Rs. 113.00 by way of deficit stamp duty and Rs. 1130.00 by way of penalty. He also passed an order impounding the document in question. The petitioner widow has invoked the revisional jurisdiction of this Court under sec. 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure and has questioned the impugned order passed by the learned Trial Judge on July 20 1970 in so far as it is against her.
(3.)The impugned order does not contain any reasons in the sense that the learned Judge has merely translated the document reproduced the relevant provision and has recorded his conclusion that the document in question is of the nature described in sec. 26 and is liable to stamp duty specified therein. It discloses total non-application of mind to ascertain as to whether having regard to the terms and conditions of the document sec. 26 is attracted. Nor has he analysed the provision with the end in view to understand the import thereof. It is a matter of regret that as a result of this superfluous and cavaliar approach made by the learned trial Judge a widow has been unnecessarily kept waiting for justice for more than three years. It is hoped that the learned trial Judge will be more careful in future in dealing with such matters.
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