Decided on January 17,1972



- (1.) only question involved in this revision petition is whether the document in question is a lease within the meaning of Section 2, clause (16) of the Indian Stamp Act. What happened in the case was that in an action, the respondent took the contract for collection of toll from the Panchayat Samithi for a period of six months commencing from 1.10.1967 and ending with 31.3.1968. He executed, in pursuance of the said auction, a document on 9.10.1967 thereby agreeing to abide by certain terms including the payment of the amount. As the defendant was in arrears, the Panchayat Samithi instituted a suit for recovery of the arrears due from the defendant. An objection is now taken that the document which the defendant executed in favour of the Panchayat Samithi is a lease within the meaning of Section 2, Clause (16) of the Act and that therefore it requires stamp duty under Schedule I, Article 35 (c), on the basis that it is a bond. The trial court accepted the objection raised by the office and directed the plaintiff to pay the fixed stamp together with penalty thereon. It is this order that is now challenged in this revision petition.
(2.) Clause (16) of Section 2 of the Act which relates to " lease" reads as under. "Lease" means a lease of immovable property and included also. (a) a patta (b) a Kabuliyat or other undertaking not being a counter-part of a lease, to cultivate, occupy or pay or deliver rent for immovable property. (c) any instrument by which tolls of any description are let. (d) any writing on an application for lease intending to signify that the application was granted." Even a casual reading of this definition of " lease" indicates that any instrument by which tolls of any description are let comes within the definition of the term " lease". What is therefore is to be seen is whether the document in question is an instrument by which tolls of the description given in the said document are let. In so far as the question of letting tolls is concerned there is no dispute between the parties. When once that is admitted that by and under the document tolls are let, then it would have been an instrument by which tolls of the appropriate description are let and as a result such instrument can be a lease within the meaning of clause (16) of section 2 of the act. To consider whether it is a lease or an agreement would be beside the point obviously because clause (c) is widely worded by saying any instrument which relates to the letting of tolls would be a lease within the meaning of that term. It can hardly be doubted that the present deed is an instrument by and under which the collection of tolls is let. I am therefore satisfied that the conclusion of the lower court was right and finding no reason to interfere with it, although I have reached that conclusion through a different note.
(3.) The revision petition is therefore dismissed with costs.;

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