15 July 2019


Judgments

High Court of Chhattisgarh

Sudhanshu Shekhar Shukla Vs. Meenakshi Trivedi and Ors.

MANU/CG/0084/2018

12.04.2018

Civil

Instruments not duly stamped is inadmissible in evidence and cannot be acted upon

The present petition is against the order whereby the application filed under Section 35 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 raising objection about the admissibility of a document tendered during the evidence, was dismissed. Learned Court below by impugned order recorded that, if the consent letter/relinquishment deed is exhibited no bar operates to mark it as exhibit and mere marking of the exhibit, the same would not be admissible in the evidence and whether it is registered or not, the admissibility of the same would be decided at the time of final hearing of the case. The issue, therefore, falls for consideration that whether the document dated 20th June, 1996 i.e. the deed of relinquishment is admissible in evidence or not for want of proper stamp duty and registration.

The impugned order would show that, at the initial stage, when the document dated 20th June, 1996 was tendered for evidence, the same was objected on the ground that, it is not properly stamped and registered. Section 17 (1) (b) of the Registration Act, 1908 mandates that any document which has the effect of creating and taking away the rights in respect of an immovable property must be registered and Section 49 of the Act imposes bar on the admissibility of an unregistered document and deals with the documents which are required to be registered under Section 17 of the Act. The said proposition is laid down in Yellapu Uma Maheshwari and others v. Buddha Jagadheeswara Rao and others. Likewise Section 35 of the Stamp Act provides that instruments not duly stamped is inadmissible in evidence and cannot be acted upon.

Admittedly, in present case, the document sought to be exhibited is not registered and the objection has been raised that, the proper stamp duty has not been paid. The Supreme Court in Bipin Shantilal Panchal v. State of Gujarat laid down that, whenever an objection is raised during the evidence regarding the admissibility of the document, the Court can make note of such objection and mark the objected document tentatively as an exhibit in the case but at the same time, it was laid down that, if the objection relates to the deficiency of stamp duty of a document, the Court has to decide the objection before proceeding further. Therefore, in the instant case, admittedly the objection about the admissibility of document has been raised with respect to the payment of stamp duty under Section 35 of the Act. Hence, the preposition of Bipin Shantilal Panchal is read together with the law laid down in Yellapu Uma Maheswari v. Buddha Jagadheeswararao to the effect that, the document would be inadmissible in evidence for want of proper stamp duty and registration. The Court has held that, in such circumstances the instrument is not admissible in evidence even for collateral purpose until the same is impounded.

Therefore, in the instant case, the objection having been raised under Section 35 of the Stamp Act with respect to the admissibility of the document about the payment of stamp duty, not deciding the said objection by the trial Court is against the settled principles as laid down by the Supreme Court. Consequently the order cannot be allowed to sustain and accordingly, the same is set aside. In the result, the application filed by the petitioner under Section 35 of the Indian Stamp Act is allowed. The trial Court is directed to decide the admissibility of the document sought to be exhibited by the Plaintiff.

Relevant

Yellapu Uma Maheshwari and others v. Buddha Jagadheeswara Rao and others MANU/SC/1141/2015
: (2015) 16 SCC 787, Bipin Shantilal Panchal vs. State of Gujarat and Anr. MANU/SC/1529/2001

Tags : Document Admissibility Registration

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