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J.H.V. Sugar Corporation Ltd. Vs. Chief Controlling Revenue Authority, U.P. at Allahabad and Others - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberC.M.W.P. No. 124 of 2001
Judge
Reported in2001(2)AWC1170; (2001)2UPLBEC1140
Acts Indian Stamp Act, 1899 - Sections 13, 14, 26, 31. 33, 35, 37, 38(2), 40(1), (2), (4), (5), 41, 42(1), 45(2), 47A(1), (4), 57A, 56(1), 59, 60 and 61; Constitution of India - Article 226; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 125 to 128 and 145 to 148; Uttar Pradesh Act, 1992; Indian Registration Act, 1908
AppellantJ.H.V. Sugar Corporation Ltd.
RespondentChief Controlling Revenue Authority, U.P. at Allahabad and Others
Appellant AdvocateTarun Varma and ;G.N. Varma, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateS.C. Bharatji Agarwal and ;Surya Prakash Keserwant, Advs.
Excerpt:
civil - maintainability of revision application - sections 33, 38, 40, 47a and 56(1) of indian stamp act, 1899 - collector is entrusted with the duty to see that revenue evasion is not being caused resulting in substantial loss to the state - re-determination of market value of property subject matter of sale deed executed under section 47a is subject to the direct control of the chief controlling revenue authority - thus order passed by collector under section 47a of indian stamp act, 1899 is subject to revision under section 56(1) of the same act - if the collector responsible for determination of market value fails to discharge the duty or acts on extraneous circumstances the government have a right to challenge his order and revision would be maintainable under section 56(1) of indian.....o.p. garg, j.1. the crucial question which arises for determination in the present writ petition is whether a revision application at the instance of state of u. p. against an order passed by the collector of the district under the provisions of chapter iv of the indian stamps act (act no. 2 of 1899) (hereinafter referred to as 'the act') is maintainable before the chief controlling revenue authority exercising the powers under section 56(1) of the act. this moot point has cropped up in the following circumstances.2. the petitioner m/s. j.h.v. sugar corporation ltd. having its registered office at calcutta purchased a sugar mill from m/s. oswal foods ltd. sugar division, jamui kalan through its director-mukesh jain. the sale deed was executed in favour of the petitioner on 24.3.1999. this.....
Judgment:

O.P. Garg, J.

1. The crucial question which arises for determination in the present writ petition is whether a revision application at the instance of State of U. P. against an order passed by the Collector of the district under the provisions of Chapter IV of the Indian Stamps Act (Act No. 2 of 1899) (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') is maintainable before the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority exercising the powers under Section 56(1) of the Act. This moot point has cropped up in the following circumstances.

2. The petitioner M/s. J.H.V. Sugar Corporation Ltd. having its registered office at Calcutta purchased a sugar mill from M/s. Oswal Foods Ltd. Sugar Division, Jamui Kalan through its director-Mukesh Jain. The sale deed was executed in favour of the petitioner on 24.3.1999. This sale deed covered the open land admeasuring 12617.12 Sq. metres of village Jamui Kalan and16303.0204 sq. metres of residential and constructed portion of village Gadaura. The valuation for the purposes of payment of stamp duty of the entire property sold in favour of the petitioner was arrived at by the Collector Maharajganj at Rs. 7,71,35,775. Stamp duty of Rs. 61.70.862 was found payable on the deed of transfer. The Collector by order dated 11.9.2000 (Annexure-1 to the writ petition) found that there was deficiency in the payment of the stamp duty to the extent of Rs. 9.03,377 as the petitioner had only paid stamp duty amounting to Rs. 52,67,685. This determination was made by the District Magistrate on a reference dated 1.5.1999 (Annexure S.C.A.-1) having been made by the Sub-Registrar Nichlaul under Section 47A(1) read with Sections 33 and 47A (4) of the Act. Dissatisfied with and aggrieved by the order passed by the Collector, Maharajganj, the State of U. P. has filed a revision application (Revision No. 90 of 2000-2001) before the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority respondent No. 1 under the provisions of Section 56(1) of the Act. The stand taken by the State is that the valuation of the property purchased by the petitioner for the purpose of payment of stamp duty comes to Rs. 87,19,30,847.50. The petitioner took certain pleas with regard to the summoning or filing of the original sale deeds and also faintly suggested that the revision was not maintainable as the order passed by the Collector was final and pursuant to which the deficiency in the stamp duty has been made good. The Chief Controlling Revenue Authority by order dated 22.12.2000 observed that the various applications had been moved by the petitioner with a view to gain time and consequently fixed 3.1.2001 for hearing of the revision application on merits so that the petitioner may have reasonable opportunity of canvassing its point of view. Without waiting for the final outcome of the revision application, the petitioner has rushed to this Court to invoke its extraordinary Jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India taking the plea that the revisionapplication pending before the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority was not legally maintainable and consequently, the entire exercise is futile. A feeble suggestion has also come to be made that the order passed by the Collector, who is one of the functionaries of the State of U. P. could not be challenged by the State itself by filing a revision.

3. A short counter-affidavit has been filed on behalf of the State.

4. Heard Sri G.N. Varma, learned Senior Advocate assisted by Sri Tarun Varma, learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri Bharatji Agarwal, learned Senior Advocate assisted by Sri Surya Prakash Keserwani for the State of U. P. and other respondents.

5. At the threshold, a note of caution may be sounded that since the revision application is pending before the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority-respondent No. 1, this Court would refrain from making any observation touching the merits of the case, lest it may be prejudicial to either of the parties. This decision is, therefore, being confined only with regard to the entertainability and maintainability of the revision application under Section 56(1) of the Act against the order dated 11.9.2000 (Annexure-1 to the writ petition) passed by the Collector, Maharajganj.

6. Sri G.N. Varma, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner made a reference to the provisions of Sections 33, 38 and 40 of the Act. They run as follows :

'33. Examination and impounding of instruments.--(1) Every person having by law or consent of parties authority to receive evidence, and every person in charge of a public office, except an officer of Police, before whom any instrument, chargeable, in his opinion, with duty, is produced or comes in the performance of his functions, shall, if it appears to him that such instrument is not duly stamped, impound the same.

(2) For that purpose, every such person shall examine every instrument so chargeable and so produced or coming before him, in order to ascertain whether it is stamped with a stamp of the value and, description required by the law in force in (India) when such instrument was executed or first executed :

Provided that-

(a) nothing herein contained shall be deemed to require any Magistrate or Judge of a Criminal Court to examine or impound, if he does not think fit so to do, any instrument coming before him in the course of any proceeding other than a proceeding under Sections 125 to 128 and Sections 145 to 148 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 1973.

(b) in the case of a Judge of High Court, the duty of examining and impounding any instrument under this Section may be delegated to such officer as the Court appoints in this behalf.

(3) For the purposes of this Section the State Government may in cases of doubt, determine what offices shall be deemed to be public offices, and who shall be deemed to be persons in charge of public offices.

(4) Where deficiency in stamp duty paid is noticed from the copy of any instrument, the Collector may suo motu or on a reference from any Court or from the Commissioner of Stamps or an Additional Commissioner of Stamps or a Deputy Commissioner of Stamps or an Assistant Commissioner of Stamps or any officer authorized by the Board of Revenue in that behalf, call for the original instrument for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the adequacy of the duty paidthereon, and the instrument so produced before the Collector shall be deemed to have been produced or come before him in the performance of his functions.

(5) In case the instrument is not produced within the period specified by the Collector, he may require payment of deficit stamp duty, if any, together with penalty under Section 40 on the copy of the instrument :

Provided that no action under sub-section (4) or sub-section (5) shall be taken after a period of four years from the date of execution of the instrument.

38. Instruments impounded, how dealt with.--(1) When the person impounding an instrument under Section 33 has by law or consent of parties authority to receive evidence and admits such instrument in evidence upon payment of a penalty as provided by Section 35 or of duty as provided by Section 37, he shall send to the Collector an authenticated copy of such instrument, together with a certificate in writing, stating the amount of duty and penalty levied in respect thereof, and shall send such amount to the Collector, or to such person as he may appoint in this behalf.

(2) In every other case, the person so impounding an instrument shall send it in original to the Collector.

40. Collector's pouter to stamp instruments impounded.--(1) When the Collector impounds any instrument under Section 33, or receives any instrument sent to him under Section 38, sub-section (2), not being a receipt or a bill of exchange or promissory note, he shall adopt the following procedure :

(a) If he is of opinion that such instrument is duly stamped or is not chargeable with duty, he shall certify byendorsement thereon that it is duly stamped, or that it is not so chargeable, as thecase may be ;

(b) if he is of opinion that such instrument is chargeable with duly and is not duly stamped, he shall require the payment of proper duty or the amount required to make up the same, together with a penalty of five rupees or, if he thinks fit an amount not exceeding ten times the amount of the proper duty or of the deficient portion thereof, whether such amount exceeds of falls short of five rupees :

Provided that, when such instrument has been impounded only because it has been written in contravention of Section 13 or Section 14, the Collector may, if he thinks fit, remit the whole penalty prescribed by this Section.

(2) Every certificate under Clause (a) of sub-section (1) shall for the purposes of this Act, be conclusive evidence of the matters stated therein.

(3) Where an instrument has been sent to the Collector under Section 38, sub-section (2), the Collector shall, when the has dealt with it as provided by this Section return it to the impounding officer.'

On the strength of the above provisions contained in Chapter IV of the Act, it was urged that the order passed by the Collector Maharajganj was final and conclusive and beyond the pale of challenge. To fortify his submission. Sri Varma placed reliance on a celebrated decision of a Full Bench of this Court in a stamp reference by the Board of Revenue in 1917 ILR Vol. XL 128. In that case, it was held that if a Collector has taken action under Section 40, sub-section (1) (b) of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, and having received the deficient duty and the penalty imposed, has certified under sub-section (1) (a) that the instrument before him is duly'stamped', the effect of sub-section (2) is that the jurisdiction of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority to refer to the High Court, under Section 57 of the Act, the question whether such instrument is in fact sufficiently 'stamped' or not is ousted. I have perused the decision, aforesaid. There can be no quarrel with the proposition of law that under subsection (2) of Section 40, the certificate is for the purpose of the Act conclusive evidence of the matter stated therein. If a case before the Collector has been fully decided, there does not appear to be room for any further disposal in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 59. As regards Section 42(1) of the Act, Sri G.N. Varma placed reliance on the decision of a Division Bench of Rajasthan High Court in Senamal v. State of Rajasthan and others , wherein it was held that as soon as certificate under Section 42(1) has been issued, the matter is concluded so far as the Sub-Registrar, who made the reference, is concerned. He has thereafter to register the instrument. It is true that the word 'may' appears before the words 'be registered'. But it is unthinkable that the intention was that after the Collector had come to a decision under Section 42(1), the Sub-Registrar should question that decision by refusing to register the document. The word 'may' in this context has the same force as 'shall'. It was further observed that there is no provision anywhere in the Act for cancellation of his order by the Collector once it has been passed under Section 40(1)(a) or (b) of the Act. I have waded through this decision and find that there is a specific clarificatory observation that if the executive authorities are dissatisfied with the order of Collector, their remedy is by way of revision application to the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority under Section 56(1) of the Act.

7. A reference was also made to the decision of a Full Bench of Hyderabad High Court in Jai Narayan and others u. Yasin Khan and others AIR 1955 Hyd 17. In that case, a Division Bench of the High Court ofAndhra Pradesh not only impounded an insufficiently stamped document produced before it in appeal, but assessed the amount of penalty and sent it to the Collector for realising the amount. The argument before the Full Bench was that the High Court could only impound the document and determine its nature but could not assess the penalty. The Full Bench found sufficient force in that argument. It was held that the judgment relating to the assessment of penalty was not warranted by the provisions of the Act 11 was observed that it is clear from Sections 33, 35. 38 and 40 that it is the Collector alone who has the power to assess the penalty, though it is true that the Court or any other officer having the authority by law may impound the document but after impounding the same, the Court or the officer has to send the original document to the Collector under Section 38, clause (2) and, it is only then that the Collector can adopt the procedure laid down in Section 40. Again a reference was made to a Full Bench decision of Andhra Pradesh High Court in Manganti Suryanarayana v. Board of Revenue. Government of Andhra Pradesh : AIR1976AP150 , in which the majority view was that the power or authority of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority to refund the excess payment of stamp duty is circumscribed in the statute itself. Hence, the Board of Revenue is not empowered to order refund under Section 45 in every case where excess payment of stamp duly or penalty has been paid by a party. The Board must be satisfied that stamp duty in excess of that which is legally chargeable has been charged and paid under Section 35 or Section 40 in order to invoke its power to grant refund of the excess amount, otherwise not. The Legislature did not intend a case for voluntary or mistaken payment of stamp duty to fall under sub-section (2) to Section 45. The Chief Controlling Revenue Authority, which is the Board of Revenue, in the State of Andhra Pradesh, it was further observed, was not, therefore, competent to direct refund of the excess stamp duty paid voluntarily orunder a mistaken impression of law by the party at the time of registration of the document ; nor had the Board of Revenue inherent Jurisdiction to order refund of the excess stamp duty. The Board of Revenue is only the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority which is an Administrative Tribunal empowered to act and function as a quasi judicial authority in the exercise of its powers under Sections 56 and 57 of the Act, but not a Court having inherent jurisdiction. The powers of the Board to refund any excess stamp duly are circumscribed by the very statute. The Board cannot travel beyond the limitations provided under the Act. The two other decisions referred to by Sri Varma are Jaidaval Shanti Kumar and another v. Gajadhar and others and Chaturbhujdas and another v. State of Madhya Pradesh and others : AIR1975MP209 . In both these decisions, power of the Board to make reference to High Court under Section 57 has come to be canvassed. A passing reference was made by Sri Varma to the decision of the Bombay High Court in Usuf Dadabhai v. Chand Mahomed AIR 1926 Bom 51, in which it was held that the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority cannot refer an abstract question when there is no pending case before it. It can refer a case only when under Section 57 there is a case pending before it which is to be disposed of by it on receipt of High Court's judgment. The last three decisions referred to by Sri Varma relate to a reference which is required to be made by Chief Controlling Revenue Authority to the High Court under Section 57 of the Act. Reference to these decisions is unnecessary and wide off the mark.

8. A complete answer to the submissions made by Sri Varma is furnished by the various decisions relied upon by Sri Bharatji Agarwal, with reference to the provisions of Section 56, contained in Chapter VI of the Act, which reads as follows :

'56. Control of, and statement of case to. Chief Controlling Revenue Authority .--(1) The powers exercisable by a Collectorunder Chapter IV and Chapter V and under Clause (a) of the first proviso to Section 26 shall in all cases be subject to the control of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority.

(2) If any Collector, acting under -Section 31. Section 40 or Section 41, feels doubts as to the amount of duty with which any instrument is chargeable, he may draw up a statement of the case, and refer it, with his own opinion thereon, for the decision of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority.

(3) Such authority shall consider the case and send a copy of its decision to the Collector, who shall proceed to assess and charge the duty (if any) in conformity with such decision,'

9. There is no dispute about the fact that powers of the Collector which he exercises under the provisions contained in Chapter IV and V and under Clause (a) of the first proviso to Section 26 are subject to the ultimate control of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority as envisaged under sub-section (1) of Section 56. This provision came to be canvassed for interpretation before the Apex Court as well as this Court. As mentioned above, the Collector. Maharajganj has passed the impugned order which has been assailed in the revision application by the Slate on a reference having been made under Section 47A of the Act. For the sake of clarity, it would be worthwhile to quote the provisions of Section 47A as made applicable to the State of U. P. by U. P. Act No. 11 of 1992 w.e.f. 1.11.1991 :

'47A. Instruments of conveyance, etc., if undervalued, how to be dealt with.--(1) if the market value of any property which is the subject of any instrument on which duty is chargeable on the market value of the property as set forth in such instrument is less than even the minimum value determined inaccordance with any rules made under this Act, the registering officer appointed under the Indian Registration Act. 1908 shall refer the same to the Collector for determination of the market value of such property and the proper duty payable thereon.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), if such registering officer while registering any instrument on which duly is chargeable on the market value of the property has reason to believe that the market value of the property which is the subject of such instrument, has not been truly set forth in the instrument, he may, after registering such instrument refer the same to the Collector for determination of the market value of such property and the proper duly payable thereon.

(3) On receipt of a reference under sub-section (1) of subsection (2), the Collector shall, after giving the parties a reasonable opportunity of being heard and after holding an inquiry in such manner as may be prescribed by Rules made under this Act, determine the market value of the property which is the subject of the instrument and the duty as aforesaid. The difference, if any, in the amount of duty shall be payable by the person liable to pay the duty.

(4) The Collector may, suo motu, or on a reference from any Court or from the Commissioner of Stamps or an Additional Commissioner of Stamps or a Deputy Commissioner of Stamps or an Assistant Commissioner of Stamps or any officer authorised by the Board of Revenue in that behalf inspector of Stamps. Uttar Pradesh, within four years from the date of registrationof any instrument on which duty is chargeable on the market value of the property not already referred to him under sub-section (1) or subsection (2), call for and examine the instrument for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the correctness of the market value of the property which is the subject of such instrument and duty payable thereon, and if after such examination he has reason to believe that the market value of such property has not been truly set forth in the instrument, he may determine the market value of such property and the duty payable thereon in accordance with the procedure provided for in subsection (3). The difference, if any, in the amount of duty, shall be payable by the person liable to pay the duty.'

The question as to what stamp duty is chargeable on a particular instrument has to be decided in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Section 47A of the Act. The order passed under Section 47A is amenable to revisional jurisdiction conferred on the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority under Section 56(1) of the Act. This aspect of the matter came to be considered by the Apex Court in Trudeshwar Dayal and another v. Maheshwar Dayal and others : AIR1990SC485 , in which the scope of the revisional jurisdiction under Section 56 of the Act was laid down. In that case, the appellants Trudeshwar Dayal and another moved the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority under Section 56 of the Act. The Chief Controlling Revenue Authority, in exercise of its revisional power set aside the impugned order of the Collector, infer alia, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. The decision of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority was challenged before this Court by filing a writ petition. The matter was remanded to the Collector to decide the case afresh in the light of the observations made by this Court. This Court, in fact, haddoubted the power of Chief Controlling Revenue Authority to entertain appellants' application under Section 56 of the Act. Against the order of remand passed by this Court in Trudeshwar Dayal and another : AIR1989All206 filed an appeal. It was urged before Hon'ble the Supreme Court that there cannot be any doubt about the power of Chief Controlling Revenue Authority to correct an erroneous order of the Collector. Emphasis was laid on the language of Section 56 suggesting its wide application. The Apex Court was in agreement with the learned counsel for the appellants and observed thus :

'..... The learnedcounsel was also right in arguing that the authority is not only vested with Jurisdiction but has the duty to quash an order passed by the Collector purporting to be under Chapter IV and V of the Act by exercising power beyond his jurisdiction. To hold otherwise will lead to an absurd situation where a subordinate authority makes an order beyond its jurisdiction which will have to be suffered on account of its unassailability before a higher authority. This Court in Janardhan Reddy v. State of Hyderabad : [1951]2SCR344 , after referring to a number of decisions observed that it is well-settled that if a Court acts without jurisdiction, its decision can be challenged in the same way as it would have been challenged if ft had acted with jurisdiction, i.e., an appeal would He to the Court to which it would lie if its order was with jurisdiction. We, therefore, agree with the appellants that the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority had full power to interfere with the Collector's order, provided it was found to be erroneous. Their difficulty, however, is that we do not find any defect in the Collector directing to take steps for the realization of the stamp duty.'

From this decision of the Apex Court, it follows that the power exercised bythe Collector under Section 47A of the Act as applicable in Uttar Pradesh is subject to revision. An erroneous order or an order beyond jurisdiction passed by the Collector can always be corrected by the revisional authority, i.e., Chief Controlling Revenue Authority under Section 56(1) of the Act. The ratio of the decision in Trudeshwar Dayal and another (supra) is that under Section 56 the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority has full powers to interfere with the Collector's order, provided it is found to be erroneous. On the strength of the above decision of the Apex Court, a Division Bench of this Court has observed in Jai Bhagwan Das and another V. State of U. P. and others. 1991 RD 425 (HC) that for conferring revisional Jurisdiction in sub-section (1) of Section 56, the key word is 'control'. Since any action taken under Chapter IV is subject to or conditional upon the control of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority, any power exercised by the Collector under Chapter IV shall be subject to the revisional or supervisory jurisdiction of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority. In another decision M/s. Orai Oil Chemicals Put. Ltd. and another v. State of U. P. and others : AIR1997All92 , it was contended before this Court that Section 56 of the Act does not confer power of revision on Chief Controlling Revenue Authority and that no revision is maintainable when the Collector exercised power under Section 47A having held that the document is correctly stamped. This contention did not find favour with the Court, which observed as follows :

'Under the Stamp Act, the High Court is also given power to examine the chargeability of duty of any instrument under Section 60 while by reason of Section 57 the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority may also make a reference to the High Court. The Court has been given Judicial power by virtue of Section 61 of the said Act. Thus, we see that the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority is not powerless to examine or revise the decision of the Collector. Though on adifferent reason, I affirm the view of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority with regard to the maintainability of the case before him ..........................'

10. The expression 'control' encompasses within its ambit the supervisory jurisdiction vested in the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority. The said authority cannot shut its eyes when the facts are brought before it that by certain machinations, manipulations or otherwise, evasion of revenue has taken place thereby causing substantial loss to the State. As has been held in Jagdish Narain v. Chief Controlling Revenue Authority and others : AIR1994All371 , the sole object of the Act is to increase revenue and its provisions must be construed as having in view only the protection of revenue. Although the provisions contained in the Act impose pecuniary burdens and the Act is a fiscal enactment, yet considering the implications involved therein, its provisions must be given a construction which prevents undue hardship to the subject. It was further observed that this fact cannot be lost sight of that in a taxing statute, there is no room for any intendment or prescription or balancing of equities yet it has to be kept in mind that in the proceedings under Section 47A of the Act. Stamp Authorities who are only concerned with the collection of fiscal duty stand authorised and in fact called upon to re-determine the correct market value of the subject-matter of the 'Instruments' referred to therein in which the market value appears to have been incorrectly set forth. The entire exercise to be undertaken under the aforesaid provision appears to be with the objective to neutralise the effect of under-valuation of the property with a view to evading stamp duty.

11. The submission made by Sri Varma, learned Senior Advocate on behalf of the petitioner that the order passed by the Collector is conclusive and final in view of the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 40 of the Act does not go too far. What subsection (2) of Section 40 envisages isthat every certificate issued under Clause (a) of sub-section (1) shall, for the purposes of the Act, be, conclusive evidence of the matter stated therein. The collusiveness provided by the said provision to the certificate issued by the Collector has, no relevance or bearing on the determination of the market value of the property for purposes of computing the stamp duty. From the scheme of the Sections, contained in Chapter IV of the Act, it would be apparent that the question as to what duty is chargeable on the instrument has to be decided in accordance with the procedure prescribed under Section 47A of the Act (as applicable to the State of Uttar Pradesh). The re-determination of the correctness of the market value of the property which was the subject-matter of the sale deed or an instrument in respect of the vacant land or the plant and machineries as well as residential constructions executed in favour of the petitioner under Section 47A of the Act is subject to the direct control of the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority by virtue of the provisions of Section 56(1) of the Act. It cannot be pleaded; canvassed, argued or determined that the order of the Collector passed under Section 47A of the Act enjoys total immunity even though it may be erroneous or may be the outcome of some extraneous circumstances. I have no hesitation in recording the finding that the order passed by the Collector under Section 47A of the Act. as applicable to the State of U. P. is subject to the revision under Section 56(1) of the Act.

12. A short and swift reference to another submission raised on behalf of the petitioner about the maintainability of the revision application may also be made. It is stated that the State of U. P. cannot challenge the order passed by its subordinate functionary. True it is that the District Magistrate is an officer subordinate functionary. He works directly under the control of the State Government with a hierarchy of a number of other officers over him. This fact, however, cannot be ignored that the Collectoracts in different capacities. While exercising the power under Section 47A of the Act, he acts as quasi-Judicial authority as has been held in Jagdish Narain's case (supra) ; M/s. Orai Oil Chemicals Put. Ltd. and another's case (supra) ; and A m a Stores represented by its partner M.T.M. Abubacker v. Collector of Madras and another : AIR1970Mad148 . The State of U. P. is the party to the proceedings under Section 47A of the Act before the Collector. He (the Collector) records his finding with regard to the determination of the market value of the property which is the subject-matter of the instrument and the question of stamp duty payable thereon after taking into consideration the rival contentions of the parties including the State of U. P. The State of U. P. has a right to lead evidence before the Collector and after determination and adjudication, according to the parameters laid down under Section 47A of the Act, the Collector records his reasons and arrives at a conclusion. The Collector acts as a quasi-judicial authority. The State of U. P. may be an aggrieved party on account of the erroneous exercise of the jurisdiction by the Collector or for variety or other circumstances. The State is interested in getting the revenue by recovering the stamp duty as provided by law. If the Collector has failed in the discharge of his duly faithfully or has acted on certain extraneous circumstances and. In any case, his findings are, per se erroneous resulting in loss of revenue to the State and confers undue advantage on the beneficiaries under the instrument, the State certainly has a right to challenge his order before the authority which is vested with the power to exercise control over the Collector.

13. There is yet another aspect of the matter. The impugned order dated 22.12.2000 and other orders passed by the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority are purely of interlocutory nature and since no final orders have yet been passed in the pending revision application, it would be highly inappropriate to intervene in the matter by exercisingextraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution ofIndia.

14. In the conspectus of above facts, there can be no doubt about the fact that an order passed by the Collector under Section 47A of the Act, as applicable to the State of U. P. is subject to revision under Section 56(1) of the Act before the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority. The controversy raised by the petitioner about the maintainability of the revision application has been pressed into service with a view to procrastinate and delay its disposal. The controversy about the maintainability of the revision application cannot be sustained. The writ petition being without any merits or substance is liable to be dismissed.

15. In the result, the writ petition fails and is dismissed without any order as to costs.


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