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Primer on non-judicial stamp papers

K. Krishnamurthi

PLEASE clarify as to the validity period of Non-judicial stamp papers used for the execution of various agreements. What is the relevance in calling them so?

Murali Manohar

  • The Indian Stamp Act, an old enactment still in force, stipulates that no document can be executed without payment of stamp duty. The stamp duty payable is contained in the schedule to the Act. There are amendments made by certain States as well.

  • The stamp duty to the instruments has to be paid in the shape of stamps or stamp papers or impressed stamps.

    What is an impressed stamp?

    Impressed stamps include labels fixed and impressed by a proper officer of the revenue department taluk treasury, and also stamps embossed or engraved on stamp paper.

    For example, a receipt for payment of Rs 500 and above has to be stamped with a revenue stamp of the value of Rs 1. If the stamp is not affixed, the receipt cannot be marked as evidence unless it is impounded by payment of penalties which is 10 times the stamp duty payable.

    With reference to the query, any stamp paper not used for judicial purposes is a non-judicial stamp paper. Stamp duty is payable for judicial and non-judicial purposes. Stamps used in courts, say, for petitions, are called court fee stamps. Lower denominations of court fee stamps and certain higher denominations will be in the form of labels with printed inscriptions, `Court fee'. These are known as adhesive stamps. Adhesive stamps are available for share transaction with inscription share, and for notorial act, called `nortorial'.

    Who prints non-judicial and court fee stamps?

    The Central government prints all varieties of stamps, and supplies to the States, according to their requirements. Stamp duty is revenue for the Government. Non-judicial stamps in the shape of labels and in the shape of stamp papers are available in various denominations. But stamp papers are available for Rs 10 to Rs 10,0000. Normally, people prefer stamp papers while registering documents.

    What one can do when sufficient non-judicial stamps are not available?

    While registering any document, if sufficient stamp papers are not available, registering officers are empowered to receive cash. Before signing the document, it can be handed over to the officer at the taluk treasury with the amount for the value of stamp, and the officer will then affix the `non-judicial' stamps.

    How to purchase non-judicial stamps?

    The stamp papers can be purchased from the officer appointed to sell stamps at the taluk treasury.

    One has to fill up a chellan showing the requirement and pay the cash at the counter.

    The money received will be noted down in a register and after the stamp is made ready, the purchaser will be given the papers.

    The stamp paper will contain the date of purchase, the name of purchaser, and so on.

    (To be continued.)

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