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Bano Saiyed Parwaz Vs. Chief Controlling Revenue Authority and Inspector General of Registration and Controller of Stamps and Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 443) - (Supreme Court) (17 May 2024)

Refund of stamp duty should not be denied on mere technicalities



The instant appeal is directed against the judgment and order impugned passed by the High Court whereby the High Court, dismissed the Appellant's demand for refund of Stamp Duty paid towards an un-executed conveyance deed. In effect, the impugned order has upheld the orders of Respondent Nos. 1 and 2 rejecting the aforesaid demand of the Appellant.

The Appellant herein was pursuing her remedies in law and she was not lax in her approach towards seeking refund of the said stamp duty paid by her and she has been denied the same only on the ground of limitation.

The finding returned by the High Court in the impugned order that the Appellant's application for refund dated 22nd October, 2014 is not maintainable in law as it has been filed before the cancellation of the conveyance deed dated 13th November, 2014 is misplaced. While submitting the online application, there was no caution to the Appellant that all of the documents and materials for the satisfaction of the Collector should be filed with the application- either online or hard copy- itself and the finding of the learned Single Judge is contrary to the requirements stipulated by Sections 47 and 48 Maharashtra Stamp Act, 1958, which envisages only the application for relief Under Section 47 of the Act to be made within six months of the date of the instrument which prima facie is appeared to have been done by the Appellant in the present case.

The evidence required and enquiry to be made in terms of Section 47 of the Act is a separate process altogether and apropos circumstances for refund under Section 47(c) [1] and [5] of the Act, evidence is not required to be filed along with the application- either the online application or separately on the same day by way of hard copy.The legal position is settled in Committee-GFIL v. Libra Buildtech Private Limited and Ors. that when the State deals with a citizen, it should not ordinarily rely on technicalities, even though such defences may be open to it.

The case of the Appellant is fit for refund of stamp duty in so far as it is settled law that, the period of expiry of limitation prescribed under any law may bar the remedy but not the right and the Appellant is held entitled to claim the refund of stamp duty amount on the basis of the fact that the Appellant has been pursuing her case as per remedies available to her in law and she should not be denied the said refund merely on technicalities as the case of the Appellant is a just one wherein she had in bonafide paid the stamp duty for registration but fraud was played on her by the Vendor which led to the cancellation of the conveyance deed.

The impugned order as well as orders of Respondent Nos. 1 and 2 are set aside and the State is directed to refund the said stamp duty amount of Rs. 25,34,400 deposited by the Appellant. Appeal allowed


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