Decided on April 19,2012



- (1.) HEARD Mr. K. K. Tiwari, Advocate for the petitioners and Mr. Dinesh Gahtori, Standing Counsel for the State of Uttarakhand.
(2.) THE present writ petition has been filed by the petitioners challenging two orders. First order is order dated 5.3.1991 passed by the Deputy Commissioner, Stamp by which it has been held that the instrument of gift deed has been under valued and consequently has directed the petitioner to pay the additional stamp duty. This order dated 5.3.1991 was challenged by the petitioners in revision being Stamp Revision No. 773 of 1993-94. The revision was partly allowed on 20.9.1994 inasmuch as the penalty imposed on the petitioners was set aside but the petitioners were directed to pay Rs.49,630/- as deficiency in stamp duty. In other words, the deficiency was maintained and the petitioner ordered to pay the same. It is these two orders which have been challenged before this Court. Brief facts of the case are that petitioner no. 1 i.e. "Bhartiya Shiksha Samiti" is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. A gift deed was executed in favour of "Bhartiya Shiksha Samiti" by one Smt. Parwati Devi, widow of late Sri Tara Nath Sahon, on 17.8.1982. The total area of gift deed was 18 Acres 11 "Nalis", which is situated in Nainital town. Admittedly, the land is situated within the municipal limits of Nainital and, therefore, it is within the urban area. The matter was referred under Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (from hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') before the higher authority. Consequently, after giving notice to the petitioners, the concerned authority determined that the stamp duty paid in the instrument is much less than what is prescribed. He has passed a reasoned order evaluating the condition of the land, which is within the municipal limits at the rate of Rs.30 per Admittedly, at the relevant time, the circle rate was Rs.30 per for agricultural land. The concerned authority took a view that out of 18 Acres land, 10 Acres land is agricultural land and remaining is non- agricultural. Taking the said view the concerned authority charged Rs.1214498.10 for agricultural land at the rate of Rs.30 per and charged Rs.519087.90 for non-agricultural land at the rate of Rs.15 per and valued the cost of building as Rs.1,00,000/- and thereafter came to the conclusion that the total valuation of the property would be Rs.1833586 (i.e. Rs.1214498.10/- for agricultural land + Rs.519087.90/- for non-agricultural land + Rs.100000/- for building). Therefore, the total stamp duty liable to be paid on the said property was Rs.114625/- out of which the petitioners have already paid stamp duty Rs.64995/-. The concerned authority determined that the petitioners are liable to pay Rs.49630/- as deficiency in stamp fee and penalty of Rs.1370/- i.e. a total of Rs.51,000/-. This order was challenged by the petitioners before the revisional authority. The revisional authority came to the conclusion that no interference is liable to be made, as the order of the concerned authority is a reasoned order, though he waived the penalty. Noticing all aspects of the matters, it is necessary to note here that this controversy has been decided by the authorities on the basis of nature of the instrument. It is an admitted position that both the authorities below have noted that the land is within the municipal limit of Nainital. The Tehsildar's report also shows that the land comprises of two types. One part of the land is suitable for agricultural purposes and some portion is uneven, etc. Further the land has to be valued on the basis of existing price of neighbouring areas. Considering that the land was of different categories, the concession on the various categories of the land was given to the petitioners. Hence, there is no anomaly in the order of the authorities below. The writ petition is therefore liable to be dismissed.
(3.) THERE is another aspect which must be dealt with. This stamp duty is liable to be paid by the petitioners in the year 1982, as the gift deed was of 1982. Since, it has been valued on 5.3.1991 for the first time, the penalty has already been waived by the revisional authority. The deficiency of Rs.49,630/- shall be paid by the petitioners within a period of one month from today to the concerned authority with 5% simple interest on the said amount to be calculated from 5.3.1991. Learned counsel for the petitioners has cited a judgment of Allahabad High Court in Surbhi Hospital (Pvt.) Ltd. Noida v. State of U.P. through Collector, Gautam Budh Nagar and others reported in [2005 (98) RD 423] stating that the order of the Deputy Commissioner is based on conjectures and surmises inasmuch as it has been determined on the basis of classification of the land and on the basis of future use of the land, which according to the above judgment could not be done. The order of the Deputy Commissioner, Stamp in the present case is not purely on the basis of future use of the land but he had considered the entire aspect of the matter while determining the rate. Therefore the above judgment is not applicable to the facts of present case. Regarding the next submission of learned counsel for the petitioners regarding the applicability of Rule 341(i) (e) of the U.P. Stamp Rules, 1942 all that can be said is that this provision too does not help the petitioners. The rate of Rs.15 per sq. mtr., as charged from the petitioner for non agricultural land, cannot be said to be on the higher side. The argument is totally misconceived.;

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