N.U. Beg, J.
1. This is a revision application directed against an order of Sri A.S. Srivastava, Civil Judge, Gorakhpur impounding a document under Section 33 of Stamp Act.
2. The applicant was the defendant in a case pending before the said Court. In that case the applicant filed a document. The Inspector of Stamps made a report that the document was insufficiently stamped, as the document embodied an agreement of partnership. This matter was contested by the applicant; and it was argued before the Court on behalf of the applicant that the document was not an agreement of partnership, but that it was merely a record of a past transaction of partnership, which was termed on his behalf as a memorandum of partnership.
The Court went into the arguments of the parties, and decided in favour of the contention advanced on behalf of the Inspector of Stamps. In the alternative, it was argued on behalf of the defendant that the Court could not impound it under Section 33 of the Stamp Act, as the document was not produced before the Court. This contention was also rejected by the trial Court. Dissatisfied with the said order, the applicant has filed this revision application.
3. Having heard the learned counsel for the applicant we are of opinion that there is no substance in this petition. The first contention of the learned counsel is that the document in question did not embody an agreement of partnership. This question related te the interpretation of the document. If the document itself was capable of both the interpretations then it was perfectly within the jurisdiction of the Court to put any interpretation that it considered reasonable on the document in question. This point, therefore, does not raise any question of jurisdiction, and the revision application would not lie on this ground.
4. Learned counsel for the applicant has, however, strenuously argued before us that the Court had no power to impound the document under Section 33 of the Stamp Act, as the document was never produced before the Court. We are of opinion that there is no substance in this contention. The document was voluntarily tendered in Court by the defendant as a part of his evidence. It was not withdrawn by the applicant when the question regarding the insufficiency of stamp on it was raised by the Inspector of Stamps.
On the other hand, the applicant contested the matter, and argued that the stamp affixed thereon was sufficient. The above facts,in our opinion, are enough to constitute 'production' within the meaning of Section 33 of theStamp Act. In such a situation, it is not further necessary that the document should beproved. It might have been otherwise, if theparty had not tendered the document of itsown accord, but had been compelled by theCourt to produce it.
5. Further, Section 33 of the Stamp Act applies not only to cases where a document is produced in Court, but also to cases where the document comes to the notice of the Court in the performance of its functions. In the present case the document having been filed and the question of court-fee having been raised theCourt had to give its decision of the question.In deciding the matter, the Court was performing its functions. The document had, therefore, come to the notice of the Court in the performance of its functions, and the Courtwas competent to impound it.
6. Learned counsel for the applicant relied on the case of Ujjal Singh Sunder Singh v Ahmad Yar Khan, AIR 1936 Lah 985 (A). That case, in our opinion, is distinguishable From the present one. In that case, the plaintiff had merely filed copies of the original documents in the form of transliteration. The matter having been brought to the notice of the Court by the Stamp Examiner, the Court ordered the plaintiff to produce the original documents which were contained in a book, and tore off the relevant pages of the book and impounded the original documents written on those pages.
In the present case, the original document itself was produced before the Court. Further, the original document in the present case was not produced under the order of the Court, but was produced voluntarily. Even after a question with regard to the sufficiency of stamp on the document was raised, the applicant did not withdraw the document. On the other hand, he relied on the document by placing a particular interpretation on it, and argued before the Court that on that interpretation, the document was sufficiently stamped. The Court had, therefore, to apply its mind to the document in the discharge of its functions as ft Court seized of the case in which the document was produced.
7. For the above reasons, we are of opinion that this revision has no force. We, accordingly, dismiss it summarily.