1. These revisions are by the respective defendants in suits based on promissory notes. They have been referred to a Divisional Bench by Tare, J. sitting as Single Judge. This departure from the established practice of getting such revision cases heard in Single Bench is due to the existence of the Single Bench ruling in Birdichand v. Akbar, Civil Revision No. 11 of 1968, decided at Indore on 6-3-1969 (Madh Pra), in which the defendant-debtor's objection was upheld to the effect that the adhesive revenue stamp on the pronote in that suit bore the word 'Bharat', and did not carry any indication that it had been issued by the State Government. As Tare, J. did not agree with this view he considered it necessary that the question should be answered by a Divisional Bench. As a matter of fact at about the same time as the making of this reference on 17-7-1970 the State Government had issued a notification, 'that all revenue stamps used on such instruments and bearing the words 'India' or 'Bharat' should be deemed to have been issued by the State Government.
2. In both the cases we are dealing with the mechanics of affixing stamps to pro-notes. But there are some differences in detail.
3. In the case out of which Civil Revision No. 274 of 1970 arises the pro-note for a loan of Rs. 250/- was stamped with an adhesive stamp valued at 10 n. p. on which the words 'India' in English and 'Bharat' in Hindi appear. The defendant objected that this instrument had been improperly stamped because the stamp used on it had not been issued by the State Government of Madhya Pradesh or as for that matter the erstwhile State of Madhya Bharat. because under Rule 3 of the M.P. Stamp Rules 1942 as it now stands, a stamp issued by the erstwhile State of Madhya Bharat would be treated as equivalent in all respects to the stamp issued by the State of Madhya Pradesh. The defendant having raised this objection and invited the Court to reject the pro-note and accordingly dismiss the suit on this preliminary point, the trial Court heard the parties and dismissed the objection and held that the instrument had been properly stamped. The defendant has accordingly come up in revision from that order repeating this argument.
4. A mere perusal of the amendment to the M. P. Stamp Rules by notification dated 26th June 1970 and published in the State Gazette dated 10th July, 1970 is sufficient answer. Whether or not this position was justified before the making of this amendment, after it there is no substance in this contention because a stamp marked 'India' Or 'Bharat' would in all respects be deemed to have been issued by the State Government This is sufficient to dismiss Civil Revision No. 274 of 1970. As the other points in controversy in that suit have not been disposed of by the trial Court the case goes back for disposal on merits.
5. The position in the case from which Civil Revision No. 361 of 1970 arises is that the pro-note for Rs. 4,000/- has been marked with a one-rupee adhesive stamp issued by Madhya Bharat. Incidentally, under Article 49 (a) (iii) a stamp for 25 n.p. would have sufficed and the parties have quite unnecessarily put a stamp of higher value. The objection raised by the defendant in the lower Court was that whereas the rules require that it should be an impressed stamp the use of an adhesive stamp though of the appropriate value is improper and the document should be rejected as having been improperly stamped. In this Court another ground is sought to be added, namely, the rules framed by the State Government in this regard are ultra vires Section 10 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899.
6. The argument that the rules are ultra vires is altogether unacceptable because Section 10 provides that the stamping should be governed by what the Act provides, and where it is silent, 'by the rules framed by the State Government'. The applicant's argument seems to be that under the Constitution the making and sale of such stamps lying in the field of the executive power of the Union any rule-making power given to the State Government would be ultra vires. It is difficult to agree. Stated this way, it is not that the rules are ultra vires of Section 10, but Section 10 is ultra vires of the Constitution. When the Central Legislature has itself provided that the State Government can make rules in this regard there is nothing more to be said. Actually the Indian Stamp Act is 'existing law'. There is accordingly nothing more to be said on this point.
7. The use of the erstwhile Madhya Bharat stamp in the State of Madhya Pradesh is justified by Rule 3 made by the State Government. As for the use of the adhesive stamp we find it permitted by Rule 13 (f) this being an instrument that has to be stamped in accordance with Article 49 (a) (iii) in Schedule I, to the Indian Stamp Act Accordingly this application is also without any force. The trial Court has addressed itself only to the preliminary issue though some remarks have been made in the judgment regarding the merits. They should of course be ignored while the trial Court examines the merits in a formal manner. This case is also sent back to the trial Court for disposal on merits.
8. Both the revision applications are dismissed and it is further ordered that the applicants in each of them shall pay the costs to the respective non-applicants. However, there will be no order for pleaders' fee as the arguments have been purely nominal.