STATE BANK OF SAURASHTRA Vs. N C K SONS EXPORT
DEBTS RECOVERY APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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Pratibha Upasani, J. -
(1.) THIS Misc. appeal is filed by the appellant/applicant Bank namely State Bank of Saurashtra being aggrieved by order dated 17th February, 2003 passed by the learned Presiding Officer of Debts Recovery Tribunal, Ahmedabad on Exhibit No. R/20 in Original Application No. 65 of 1999. By the impugned order, the learned Presiding Officer partly allowed the application of the defendants/respondents herein, wherein the defendants had prayed that the various documents mentioned in the application be impounded as they were not sufficiently stamped and hence, they were not admissible in evidence unless the applicant-Bank paid stamp duty in terms of Article 6 of Schedule I of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958. The learned Presiding Officer rejected the said contention of the defendants with respect to other documents mentioned in the application but partly allowed the application by observing that document placed at page Nos. 44 to 46 of the paper book was not sufficiently stamped and as such was not admissible in evidence unless the Bank paid stamp duty as per provisions of the Bombay Stamp Act as applicable in the Gujarat State. Document which according to the learned Presiding Officer was liable for payment of deficit stamp duty was memorandum of deposit of title deeds dated 14.6.1995. The Bank however felt aggrieved and has filed the present appeal in this Appellate Tribunal.
(2.) I have heard Mr. Maniyar for the appellant/applicant Bank and Mr. S.S. Panesar for the respondents/original defendants. I have gone through the proceedings and relevant provisions of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 and in my view, there is no infirmity in the impugned order.
Proceedings reveal that the applicant-Bank had granted letter of credit facility of Rs. 30 crores and cash credit (hypothecation) facility of Rs. 10 crores, total amounting Rs. 40 crores and to secure the said credit facilities, the respondent No. 2 firm through its partners i.e. respondent Nos. 4 to 7 had created equitable mortgage of their immovable properties by depositing title deeds for securing total facilities of Rs. 40 crores. Further the applicant Bank had sought for recovery of Rs. 9,10,46,271/- and also sought for realization of that amount by sale of the mortgaged property described in annexure A to the original application. Memorandum of deposit of title deeds which was placed at page No. 44 was executed to secure the total facilities of Rs. 40 crores and copy of the said document had been brought in Ahmedabad in the State of Gujarat. In terms of Article 6 of the Schedule I of the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958 as applicable to the State of Gujarat, Stamp Duty payable on the said document was Rs. 1 lakh, but adhesive stamp of Rs. 50,000/- was affixed at Mumbai and there was a shortfall of the remaining amount.
The respondents/original defendants in their application at Exhibit R/20 contended that the documents mentioned in their application which were relied upon by the applicant-Bank were insufficiently stamped and hence those documents could not be relied upon. With respect to memorandum of deposit of title deeds, with which we are concerned in the present case, it was averred that photo-copy of memorandum of deposit of title deeds dated 14.6.1995 at page No. 44 which was purported to have been executed at Bombay, was not at all stamped. According to the defendants, the applicant ought to have paid the stamp duty as per the provisions of the Bombay Stamp Act as applicable in the State of Gujarat because the document in question was received in the Gujarat State as provided under Section 19 of the Act and thus the applicant Bank had violated the statutory provisions of the Bombay Stamp Act.
(3.) THE applicant-Bank refuted these allegations and submissions made by the defendants by filing affidavit in reply. According to them, property with respect to which the memorandum was executed was situated at Bombay and therefore they had correctly paid stamp duty and they were not obliged to pay any further amount by way of stamp duty just because copy of the said document was produced in Gujarat State before DAT, Ahmedabad. It was prayed by the Bank that the said application of the defendants be rejected.;
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