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Case name and Citation

Mr. Rajeev Nowhar vs Chief Controlling Revenue Authority Maharashtra Case, Pune
LL 2021 SC 569

Key Takeaways

  • The expression “by any other means” in Section 47 of the Maharashtra Stamp Act, 1958 refers to the stamps being unfit and not the purpose.
  • Section 48 applies to cases which are governed by Section 47 of the Act.
  • 6-monthlimitation period under Section 50 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 is to be read to mean six months from the date of the order of the Court.
  • Section 52 will apply only when the applicant has prior knowledge that the stamp paper will not be required for use within the 6 months

Background

  • The appellant had booked a residential apartment. Due to a dispute with the builder, the appellant filed a consumer complaint. NCDRC allowed the complaint, and the appellant decided to get the consideration of refunded with interest. The developer, therefore, issued the cheque to refund the consideration as per the terms.
  • After this, the appellant applied for a refund on the stamp duty of Rs. 8,44,500 to the Collector which was denied on the ground of limitation period of 6 months being lapsed.
  • Hence the present petition.

Observations

  • The Bombay High Court observed that the present application does not fall under any of the classes of cases mentioned in Section 47 of the Maharashtra Stamp Act, 1958.
  • Clarification was given in the third category in the expression “by any other means”. The court observed that this expression refers to the stamps being unfit and not the purpose.
  • It was also explained that Section 48 of the Act applies to cases which are covered under Section 47. And so, period of limitation plays no role here as it not a case of unfit stamps.
  • The court has relied on Committee-GFIL vs Libra Buildtech Private Limited and Others to observe that 6-month limitation period under Section 50 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 is to be read to mean six months from the date of the order of the Court if the transaction could not be fulfilled due to reasons which were not in control of the purchaser.
  • It was also observed that Section 52 would apply only when the applicant has prior knowledge that the stamp paper will not be required for use within the 6 months of the date of purchase.

Order

  • It was held that the present case doesn’t fall under the ambit of Section 47, 50, 52 of the Act and it is due to the delay in the outcome of proceedings at NCDRC and not due to the action of the appellant, the Court allowed the appeal and accept the delay.\
  • It is also held that the appellant is entitled to receive an interest of 6% p.a. from 16th July 2016 until the refund is made.
  • What are your views on the judgement?
  • What do you mean by ‘stamp duty’?

Share your answers in the comments section below.

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