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J&K HC Stays Circular On New Stamp Duty

The High Court today stayed the circular of Inspector General of Registration (IGR) J&K, Jammu directing all the Registrars and sub-registrars to charge stamp duty as per new rates for registration of land documents.

The circular came to be challenged by one Shabnam Nazir submitting that she had executed a sale deed on 22.12.2020 and same was uploaded for its presentation for registration before Sub-Registrar on 28.12.2020 and the date of registration was given by the office of Sub-Registrar as 4.1.2021.

She averred before the Court that on 3.12.2020 a notification was issued by District Collector, chairman District Valuation Board, Srinagar mentioning therein that the market rate of the land at district Srinagar has been revised from January 2021.

She is aggrieved of the impugned circular on the ground that her document came up for registration before the concerned Sub-Registrar and she was asked to affix stamp duty in terms of the revised market rates.

Petitioner counsel Nissar Ahmad Bhat contended before the court that the date of the execution of the document determines the rate at which stamp duty has to be affixed on the document and not the date on which, the document is actually registered by the Sub-Registrar as such the revised rates and thereafter affixing of new stamp duty does not apply on the petitioner.

Advocate Nissar submitted that since the IGR has directed to all Registrars and Sub-Registrars for charging of stamp duty as per new fixed rates and her document has not been registered by the concerned registrar. He argued that the IGR has no jurisdiction under Registration Act to issue such kind of circular in respect of charging of stamp duty.
Justice Sanjay Dhar while issuing notice to Commissioner/ Secretary Revenue, Financial Commissioner (Revenue), District Collector Valuation Board Srinagar, Inspector General of Registration J&K, Jammu/Srinagar, District Registrar Srinagar and Sub-Registrar East/West/North and South Srinagar directed for filing of their objections to the plea of the petitioner-Nazir.

Court, in the meantime, directed the impugned Circular issued by IGR J&K is stayed and asked the concerned Sub-Registrar to consider the document (Sale Deed) in question presented by the Petitioner-Nazir for its Registration subject to fulfilling all other requirement of law and rules.

Court directed the document of the petitioner be admitted to registration without insisting her in payment of stamp duty on revised rates with the condition for filing of undertaking by her that in case she fails in the petition, she shall make good the deficiency of stamp duty.

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