PEDAPUDI ALFRED JOHNSON JEYAKARAN JESUDASAN Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
LAWS(APH)-2022-3-43
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on March 21,2022

Pedapudi Alfred Johnson Jeyakaran Jesudasan Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Respondents




JUDGEMENT

- (1.) The challenge in this writ petition is to the proceedings of the District Registrar (East), Pantakaluva Road, Vijayawada /3rd respondent vide letter in E1/1930/2021 dtd. 21/12/2021 whereunder he refused to receive the GPA dtd. 10/2/2020 executed by writ petitioner's sister Pedapudi Deena Pricsilla, resident of Canada in favour of the writ petitioner authorizing him to act as her GPA to sell her residential apartment situated in JD Residency, D.No.48-4-2, Ashoka Gardens, Gunadala, Vijayawada on the ground that the GPA was executed on 10/2/2020, notarized on 11/2/2020 and the same was received in India on 6/3/2020 and presented before 3rd respondent on 21/12/2021 i.e., more than three months after the document was received in India for validation purpose, in violation of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (for short, 'the Stamp Act'). Thus, in essence the document was refused on the ground that the GPA was presented after expiry of the limitation period of three months as envisaged in Sec. 18. Hence, the writ petition.
(2.) Heard the arguments of Sri B.V.S. Chalapathi Rao, learned counsel for petitioner, and learned Assistant Government Pleader for Revenue representing the respondents.
(3.) Learned counsel for the petitioner would submit that the GPA was received by the petitioner in the sealed cover to his permanent address in Madipakkam, Chennai on 6/3/2020 and as per Sec. 18 of the Stamp Act he had time of three months for producing for validation before the registering authority and in the meanwhile, COVID-19 pandemic started and consequently lockdown was imposed throughout the country including Tamilnadu as well as Andhra Pradesh and therefore, he could not move out. In those circumstances, he could able to produce the GPA for validation on 16/12/2021. Learned counsel would emphasize that but for the restrictions of the movements of the citizens due to lockdown, he would have presented the GPA before the respondents 3 and 4 in time and in the entire episode, there was no negligence or default much less willful default on his part. Learned counsel argued that the 3rd respondent ought to have considered those aspects and received the GPA for validation considering that the lockdown was imposed by the Central and State Governments while exercising the power under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the provisions of the said act will have overriding effect on all other laws or instruments which are inconsistent with the said Act. He would seek to argue that since three months period for validation of GPA was expired during the lockdown period, the 3rd respondent ought to have considered the said aspect and validated the GPA. (a) Secondly he argued that in the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Miscellaneous Application No.665/2021 in SMW (C) No.3/2020 extended the period of limitation for suits, appeals, applications or proceedings from 15/3/2020 till 2/10/2021 and made it clear that consequently if any balance period of limitation remaining as on 15/3/2020, shall be available with effect from 3/10/2021 and notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation of 90 days from 3/10/2021. Therefore, the limitation period in this case which commenced on 7/3/2020 i.e., on the next day of receiving the GPA in India, would be available to him after 3/10/2021 also. In expatiation, he would submit that out of three months limitation period, only 9 days i.e., in between 7/3/2020 and 15/3/2020 were expired and remaining 2 months and 16 days were available to him. This period will be available to him from 3/10/2021. However, in view of the direction of the Supreme Court, the flat period of 90 days will be available to him from 3/10/2021. In that view, the GPA presented by him on 16/12/2021 should have been considered as within time and validated by 3rd respondent. Finally he argued that even assuming that the 3rd respondent did not wish to extend the limitation, he ought to have impounded the document and collected stamp duty penalty as per law. He thus prayed to allow the writ petition. ;


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