HC stays circular on revised stamp duty

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High Court has stayed a circular issued by J&K’s Inspector General of Registration whereby all Registrars and Sub-Registrars were asked to charge stamp duty as per new rates from January 1 this year irrespective of the date of filing of the documents with these authorities.

Issuing notice to government on a plea challenging the  circular, a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar  directed it to file objections to it by April 12. The petition has been filed by one ShabnamNazir who has approached the court through advocate Nisar Ahmad Bhat.

The petitioner has challenged the Circular dated 30.12.2020 issued by the Inspector General of Registration, J&K whereby all Registrars and Sub-Registrars have been asked to charge stamp duty as per new rates w.e.f. 01.01.2021, irrespective of the date of uploading of documents onto the NGDRS.

The petitioner contends that she had executed a sale deed on 22.12.2020 and the same was uploaded for its presentation for registration before the Sub-Registrar on 28.12.2020 and the appointed date of the registration was given as 04.01.2021.

In the meantime, vide notification dated 03.12.2020 issued by the District Collector, Chairman District Valuation Board, Srinagar, she said, the market rate of the land at District Srinagar was revised from 01.01.2021.

The petitioner contends that when her document came up for registration before the Sub-Registrar concerned, she was asked to affix stamp duty in terms of the revised market rates though she had affixed the stamp duty in terms of the market rates applicable as on the date of execution of the document.

“The date of the execution of a document determines the rate at which stamp duty has to be affixed on a document and not the date on which, the document is actually registered by the Sub-Registrar,” she said.

In support of his contention advocate Bhat on behalf of the petitioner referred to Section 47 of Registration Act, according to which, he said, a document, irrespective of date of its registration, takes effect from the date of its execution. Inspector General of Registration, he submitted, has no jurisdiction to issue a circular in respect of charging of stamp duties.

Observing that the petition raises important questions of law, the court admitted the same to hearing.

Meanwhile the court stayed the circular issued by the Inspector General of Registration and  directed the authority concerned to consider the document in question presented by the petitioner for its Registration.  “And in case the same fulfills all other requirements of law and rules, the document be admitted to Registration without insisting in payment of stamp duty on revised rates, subject to filing of an undertaking by the petitioner that in case she fails in this petition, she shall make good the deficiency of stamp duty,” court said.