MANNI SINGH Vs. STATE OF U.P. AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
State of U.P. and others
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D.D. Seth, J. -
(1.)This is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution and arises out of the following circumstances.
(2.)The Distt. Board Banda, now Antarim Zila Parishad, let out by public auction tolls of Rajapur Ghat public ferry to the Petitioner for five years from 1.10.1954 to 30.9.1959 on an yearly rent of Rs. 20,600/ -. On 1.5.1956 the Distt, Board asked the Petitioner to pay Rs. 1,236/ as value of the stamp duty under the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (Act II of 1899) (hereinafter called the Act). This duty was to be fixed to the deed of lease which. Was to be executed by the State Govt. The Petitioner protested against the demand, thereupon, the Distt. Board threatened the Petitioner with proceedings for realisation of the amount arrears of land revenue and also with prosecution. The Petitioner then made an application to the Collector under Sec. 31 of the Act for adjudication of proper stamp duty leviable on the rent of lease. As required by Sec. 31(2) of the Act the Petitioner also filed an abstract of the instrument on a plain water marked paper under his signature. The Collector determined the stamp duty as Rs. 504/ -. On the receipt of the notice of this adjudication^ the Collector the Petitioner paid the sum of Rs. 504/ - in general stamps to the Distt. Board. These stamps were attached to the form of the deed of lease which had already been submitted by the Petitioner. The Distt. Board, on receipt of the deed of lease from the Commissioner Jhansi Division did not hand it over to the Petitioner but kept it with it and subsequently sent the same to the Board of Revenue at Allahabad. It is stated in paragraph 4 of the petition that neither the Distt. Magistrate, Banda nor the Board of Revenue at Allahabad issued any notice to the Petitioner and he, therefore, never knew that any proceedings were going on in regard to the stamp duty payable on the deed of lease before the Board of Revenue. The Petitioner also could not know that the deed of lease had been sent to the Board of Revenue. On l5.12.1959, the Junior Secretary, Board of Revenue, sent a letter to the Collector of Banda informing him that the deed of lease was deficiently stamped by Rs. 1,968/ -and that this amount may be recovered immediately from the lessee and the document be certified thereafter. A copy of this letter was sent to the Antarim Zila Parishad, Banda which had come into existence by that time. The Antarim Zila Parishad, thereupon, by a letter dt. 22.1.1961, demanded the sum of Rs. 1,968/ - from the Petitioner as deficiency of stamp duty on the deed of lease. The Petitioner denied his liability to pay this amount. The Collector of Banda, who is also the President of the Antarim Zila Parishad, then sent an order to the Tahsildar Banda to realise Rs. 1,968/ - from the Petitioner as arrears of land revenue and in pursuance of that order the Qurk Amin was directed to realise the amount. The Petitioner, therefore, by means of this petition, challenges the direction of the Board of Revenue contained in the letter of the Junior Secretary dt. 15.12.1959 and prays that the same be quashed. It is also prayed that orders may be issued restraining the opposite parties from taking any proceedings for the recovery of Rs. 1,968/ - or any other sum as deficiency of stamp duty from the Petitioner.
(3.)Two counter affidavits have been filed by Nirbho Saran, Stamp Clerk, Collectorate, Banda and Shyam Sunder, Head clerk, PWD Section, Antarim Zila Parishad, Banda. The Petitioner has filed his rejoinder affidavits.
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