Read Order: Bikram Singh v. Charanjit Singh

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, April 9, 2022: While dealing with a civil revision petition, the Bench of Justice Alka Sarin of Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that it is trite that the document that is required to be registered and which contains a recital of delivery of possession would also require to be stamped as per the provisions of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, as amended by the State of Punjab.  

The present civil revision under Article 227 of the Constitution of India was preferred challenging the order of the Trial Court whereby the agreement to sell was impounded for want of stamp duty and the petitioner was directed to pay the amount of stamp duty on the agreement to sell plus ten times of the penalty of deficit amount of the stamp duty.  

In this case, the plaintiff-petitioner filed a suit for specific performance of an agreement to sell qua land measuring 25 marlas. In the plaint, it was specifically stated that possession of the suit property was delivered to the plaintiff-petitioner on October 7, 2014, i.e. the date of the execution of the agreement to sell. 

The Trial Court vide impugned its order directed the impounding of the agreement to sell and directed the plaintiff-petitioner to pay the deficit amount of stamp duty on the agreement plus ten times the penalty of the deficit amount of stamp duty. 

The counsel for the plaintiff-petitioner contended that no stamp duty needs to be paid on an agreement to sell in case possession has not been delivered. It was further his contention that it was a mere recital in the agreement to say that possession had been delivered, however, the possession was never delivered to the plaintiff-petitioner.  

The Court observed that in the present case, admittedly, there was a recital in the agreement to sell to the effect that possession was delivered to the plaintiff-petitioner by the defendant-respondent on the date the agreement to sell was executed. Also, the Court noted that there a specific averment was made in the plaint that the possession of the property was delivered to the plaintiff-petitioner in 2014. 

Also, the Court observed from the perusal of the plaint that no alternative prayer was made that the plaintiff-petitioner be delivered possession in case he was not found to be in possession of the suit property. Hence, in this light, the Court opined that the argument of the counsel for the plaintiff-petitioner that he was not in possession of the suit property could not be accepted.

Further, the Court made a reference to Section 35 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (Instruments not duly stamped inadmissible in evidence, etc) and to the Supreme Court in Avinash Kumar Chauhan vs. Vijay Krishna Mishra [2009(1) RCR (Civil) 615], to hold that it is trite that the document that is required to be registered and which contains a recital of delivery of possession would also require to be stamped as per the provisions of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, as amended by the State of Punjab. 

Keeping in view the law laid down, the Court did not find any illegality or infirmity in the order passed by the Trial Court in impounding the agreement to sell and directing the plaintiff-petitioner to pay the deficit amount of stamp duty on the agreement to sell plus ten times of the penalty of the deficit amount of the stamp duty. 

The petition was dismissed. 

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