Decided on December 05,1977

The Chief Controlling Revenue Authority, Madras Appellant
P.A. Muthukumar Respondents


Ramaprasada Rao, J. - (1.) THE question involved in this reference made by the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority, Board of Revenue, Madras is as follows : - "Whether in the circumstances and facts of the case, the document dated 2 -7 -1973 (Document No. 26 of 1973) of Sub Registrar Office, Kavandapadi, Erode, executed by the respondent in favour of his father P.N. Appaji Gounder herein styled as a document of trust should be treated as a settlement deed as defined under Section. 2(24) of the Act attracting stamp duty under Art. 58 of Schedule I of the Indian Stamp Act." or in the alternative, we add, whether the deed under reference is chargeable under Art. 64, Schedule I of the Indian Stamp Act.
(2.) IT is common ground that the deed has been duly stamped under Art. 64 of Schedule 1 -B (sic) (1?) of the Stamp Act. Before considering the question posed to us, it is necessary to understand the recitals in the deed. It is common ground that the respondent and his two brothers and their father partitioned the family properties pursuant to a compromise decree passed in O. S. No. 230 of 1970 on the file of the Court of the Sub -ordinate Judge, Erode. It is the case of the respondent that subsequent to the said partition. Consequent upon an oral partition between himself and his minor son, they were enjoying their respective shares separately. In this perspective, the respondent caused to execute the deed in question on 2 -7 -1973, styling it as a private trust deed and appointed his father, P.N. Appaji Gounder as the trustee to carry out certain directions of his specifically enumerated therein. We find (a) that the trustee so nominated under the Will is to pay off certain debts of the author of the trust and administer the property so as to preserve it, without wasting it, (b) that the trustee could improve the property and preserve the same till the lifetime of the author, for the estate then available to be taken over by his heirs and that (c) the trustee should pay a monthly allowance of Rs. 200/ - to the author of the deed during his lifetime. Apart from the above specific objectives of the trust, we do not find any disclosure of the intention of the purpose for which the deed in question was executed by the respondent. We however find inbuilt in the deed itself two reasons as to why the author of the trust executed this deed. Firstly he would say that any attempt at retaining the property himself might lead to dissipation of the same during his lifetime and secondly he had not the requisite experience or inclination to carry on agricultural operations so as to improve or ever preserve the property.
(3.) IT is sin the above background the instrument in question came to light. When the Sub Registrar of Kavandapadi, Erode was asked to register this document, he felt a doubt whether it would be a bare declaration of trust as it is styled or whether it would by reason of some recitals therein be interpreted and accepted only as a deed of settlement within the meaning of Sec. 2(24)(b) of the Indian Stamp Act, chargeable under Art. 55 of Schedule 1 -B (sic) (1?) of the Act.;

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