Gopalan Nambiyar, J.
1. The deed of conveyance executed by the Respondent forconsideration of Rs. 3,500/- was stamped for purpose of stamp duty under Article 21 of the Kerala Stamp Act, on the amount or value of the consideration at the rate specified in the Article. On objection being taken, to the sufficiency of the stamp duty, the Collector held that stamp duty had to be levied on the market-value of the property as assessed by the Tahsildar in his report, viz., Rs. 48,000/-. The Respondent preferred an appeal to the District Court under Section 45-A Clause (4) of the Act. The District Court took the view that the Collector's action was unjustified and his order was unsustainable having regard to the provisions of the Stamp Act, This view of the District Judge has been canvassed in this revision petition.
2. We may usefully extract Articles 21, 22, 29 and 31 of the Stamp Act, which read as follows:
'21. Conveyance as defined by section 2 (d), other than a conveyance specified in No. 22, not being a transfer charged or exempted under No. 55.Five rupees for every Rs- 100 or part thereof of the amount or value of the consideration for such conveyance.22. Conveyance (as defined by section 8 (d), not being a transfer charged or exempted under No. 55 of immovable property situated within the following Municipal Corpora, tions and Municipalities, namely, Trivandrum, Calicut, Cochin, Quilon, Alleppey, Kottayam, Alwaye, Trichur. Palghat, Tellicherry and Cannancre.Seven rupeea fifty paise for every Rs- 100 or part thereof of the amount or value of the consideration for such, conveyance,23 to 28- x x x x .x x29. Exchange of property instalment of :Tha same duty as a conveyance (No. 21 or 22, as the case may be) for a consideration equal to the value of the pro. perty of greater value ae set forth in such instrument.31. Gift - instrument of, not being a settlement or will or transfer.The same duty as a convey ance (No. 21, or 28, as the case may be) for a consideration equal to the value of the pro perty as set forth in the instru ment.
Section 28 of the Act requires that the consideration and all other facts and circumstances affecting the chargeability of any instrument shall be fully and truly set forth therein. And, Section 45-A allows the Collector to determine the correctness of the value or consideration of any instrument within two years from the date of registration. Having regard to the language used in Article 21, viz. stamp duty had to be paid on the amount or value of the consideration for such conveyance, it was not open to the Collector to direct payment of stamp duty on the market value of the property as assessed by the Tahsildar in his report. It might have been open to the Collector to find that the consideration had not been duly and correctly stated as required by Section 28 and to direct an investigation under Section 45-A (2) and to take action accordingly. But as pointed out by Counsel for the Respondent, there was no such case and no action on the basis of the Section was taken. Therefore, the finding of the Collector that stamp duty had to be paid on the market-value was unjustified and was rightly vacated by the District Judge.
3. The learned Advocate General fairly drew our attention to the decision of the Supreme Court in Himalaya House Co. Ltd. v. The Chief Controlling Revenue Authority (MR 1972 SC 899), where the provisions of the Central Stamp Act were consider-ed. In that Act as considered by the Supreme Court, there was no provision which empowered the Revenue to make an independent enquiry of the value of the property conveyed for determining the duty chargeable. Article 23 of that Act corresponds to Article 21 of the Kerala Act The Supreme Court referred to a series of decisions which had taken the view that in order to see whether a document had been sufficiently stamped, the document itself as it stands had to be looked, at And not any collateral facts or circumstances. This view taken by the Courts was endorsed and accepted as correct by the Supreme Court on the principle of stare decisis. Such, being the principle in the absence of appropriate legislative amendment to Article 21 of the Kerala Stamp Act, the view; taken by the learned District Judge is correct We dismiss this revision petition, but without costs.
4. We record our grateful thanks to the learned Advocate General for the assistance offered by him in the hearing of this revision petition.