Sarjoo Prasad, C.J.
1. This application is for revision of an order dated 5th February, 1959, passed by Shri Pearey Mohan, Civil Judge, Sojat, in civil ease No. 52 of 1957 pending before him. The said suit has been instituted by the plaintiffs opposite parties Nos. 1 and 2 on the basis of a promissory note dated 11th July, 1956. The plea taken by the defendant-petitioner was that the promissory note is inadmissible under Section 35 of the Stamp Act as not being duly stamped. The learned Civil Judge has overruled the plea, and hence the application to this Court on the ground that the Court below has acted illegally and with material irregularity in admitting the document in evidence.
2. It is argued by the learned counsel for the petitioner that : (1) the promissory note was insufficiently stamped at the time of its execution inasmuch as there appear to have been only two one anna stamps affixed on the document at the time, the other two stamps having been subsequently affixed thereon; and (2) the stamps affixed on the document were not of appropriate description.
3. So far as the first point is concerned, the learned Judge on an examination of the document has clearly come to the conclusion that all the four stamps on the document were there at the time of its execution, and the suggestion that the stamps on the left side must have been affixed at a laterstage was not well-founded. In the written statement no such definite plea was taken that two of the stamps on the document were subsequently affixed, and no evidence was led on the point by the defendant.
An examination of the document shows that there are four revenue stamps of one anna each affixed on the document. The first part of the defendant's signature appears to be on the stamps on the right side, but the stamps on the left side have been cancelled by putting cross marks upon them. The manner in which the stamps were affixed clearly goes to show that they must have been affixed at the same time, and having examined the document myself, I have no reason to doubt the correctness of the finding of the learned Judge on the point.
The finding is one of fact, which cannot be challenged in revision. The suggestion that the cancellation of the stamps on the left side by putting marks on the document in a different ink does not also appear to be correct, as held by the learned Judge: It is true that there is no signature on the stamps on the left side, and that merely cross marks have been put on those stamps; but in the eye of law even that would amount to cancellation of the stamps in question. Section 12 of the Stamp Act of course requires that whoever executes any instrument on any paper bearing an adhesive stamp shall, at the time of its execution, cancel the same so that it could not be used again.
The omission to cancel any stamp may result In the document being taken to be unstamped to that extent; but the question whether or not a particular document has been effectively cancelled is a question purely of fact to be decided on an examination of the stamp in each particular case, and it has been he'd in several cases that the drawing of two lines crossing each other across the face of the stamp is an effectual cancellation. The learned Judge, therefore, rightly held that all the four stamps were affixed there at the time of the execution of the document, and that they had been duly cancelled. It cannot, therefore, be held that the document was unstamped on that account.
4. It is next contended that the stamps used on the document are not the stamps of the description contemplated by the law, and as such the document should not be held to be duly stamped. The argument on this ground is two-fold. It is contended that under the Rajasthan Stamp Rules, which came into force on the 23rd of April, 1955, the stamps used on the document should have the word 'Rajasthan' or the letters 'Raj' super-imposed on them. The stamps on the present instrument not being so super-imposed, could not be recognised for purposes of the Stamp law.
Secondly, it is argued that in the absence of anything to show that a stamp of Four Annas denomination was not available, revenue stamps of one anna each should not have been used on the document. In my opinion, none of these contentions are worthy of acceptance. Section 2(11) of the Stamp Act defines what is meant by 'duly stamped' as applied to an instrument. It meansthat the instrument should bear an adhesive or impressed scamp of not less than the proper amount, and that such stamp should be affixed or used in. accordance with the law for the time being in force in the State in question.
Section 10 provides that all duties with which any instruments are chargeable shall be paid, and that such payment shall be indicated on such instruments by means of stamps according to the provisions contained) in the Act or when no such provision is applicable thereto, according to the rules framed by the collecting Government The rules so framed may regulate, in the case of each kind of instrument, the description of stamps which may be used, and in the case of instruments stamped with impressed stamps, the number of stamps which may be used.
Rule 3 of the Rajasthan Stamp Rules, 1955, provides that all duties with which any instrument is chargeable shall be paid, and such payment shall be indicated on such instrument, by means of stamps issued by the Government for the purposes of the Act and these Rules; and the Explanation to the Rule says that a stamp of the Central Government or of the Government of any covenanting State shall be deemed to have been super-imposed with the word 'Rajasthan' or with the letters 'Raj' when used on any such instrument. Rule 4 of the Rules further provides that:
'(1) There shall be two kinds of stamps for indicating the payment of duty with which instruments are chargeable, namely :-
(i) impressed stamps super-imposed with the word 'Rajasthan'; and
(ii) adhesive stamps super-imposed with the word 'Rajasthan' or with the Letters 'Raj'.
(2) No impressed or adhesive stamp which is not super-imposed as aforesaid shall be used in Rajasthan, after the commencement of these Rules, to indicate the payment of duty chargeable on any instrument.'
The contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the promissory note in this case having been executed after the Rules came in force, under Rule 4 no other adhesive stamp could be used, and as such the stamps indicated on this instrument could not be recognised in law as being duly stamped. Mr. M. M. Vyas for the opposite party contends that the revenue stamps used on the document are Central Government revenue stamps, and, therefore, by virtue of the Explanation to Rule 3. It must be deemed that the word 'Rajasthan'' or the letters 'Raj' had been super-imposed on these stamps. Rule 4 must be read subject to this Explanation under Rule 3.
In my opinion, there is great force in this contention. The words 'shall be deemed to have been super-imposed' with reference to stamp of the Central Government or the Government of any covenanting State do go to show that even if these words are not actually super-imposed on the stamps, they would be so taken to have been super-imposed. An exception appears to have been made in the case of Revenue Stamps of the Central Government or the Government of any covenanting State; otherwise any stamps not so super-imposed as aforesaidshall not be used in Rajasthan after the commencement of the Rules in order to indicate the duty chargeable on any instrument.
5. The petitioner further contends that under Rule 18 it is contemplated that the adhesive stamps used to denote duty shall be the requisite number of stamps bearing the words 'Four Annas' or 'Two Annas' or 'One Anna' and inscribed for use for revenue, and in this case unless there was something to show that the stamp of the necessary denomination of Four Annas was not in circulation at the time, it was not permissible to utilise the One Anna stamps for the purpose.
The answer to the contention in the first place is that no evidence has been gone into on the point, and, therefore, it cannot be assumed that a stamp of 'Four Annas' denomination was available at the time, and, therefore, the stamps of 'One Anna' denomination could not be used. But quite apart from that, the contention of the learned counsel for the plaintiffs-opposite party in the alternative is that Rule 59 itself provides that when an instrument bears a stamp of proper amount, but of improper description, the Collector may, on payment of the duty with which the instrument is chargeable, certify by endorsement that it is duly stamped. The Rule has been framed within the provisions of Section 37 of the Stamp Act.
That section provides that the collecting Government may make rules providing that, where an instrument bears a stamp of sufficient amount but of improper description, it may, on payment of the duty with which the same is chargeable, be certified to be duly stained, and any instrument so certified shall then be deemed to have been duly stamped as from the date of its execution. The counsel for the petitioner contends that the Collector could have no jurisdiction to certify the document in the present case as being dully stamped, because under Section 32 of the Act, it is definitely provided that nothing in the section shall authorise the Collector to endorse any promissory rote when brought to him after the drawing or execution thereof on paper not duly stamped.
Section 32, in my opinion, does not limit the operation of Section 37. Section 32 applies only to cases where an instrument is brought to the Collector under Section 31 for adjudication as to proper duty pay-able in respect of that instrument. In such a case, where the promissory note has already been, executed on paper not duly stamped, the Collector could not act under Section 32 of the Act; but that would not debar the Collector from endorsing an instrument as being duly stamped where the instrument bears stamp of sufficient amount, but the only defect is that the stamp is of improper description.
In such cases rules may be framed by the Collecting Government for certifying such instrument as being duly stamped on payment of the duty with which the instrument is chargeable. Rule 59 of the present Rules does provide for such a case. The object of the Stamp Act is not to exclude evidence or to enable parties to raise objections on technical grounds; but the main object of the Act is fiscal in order to obtain revenue for the Government.
Where, therefore, the duty payable in respect of an instrument is four annas, and the duty has been paid to the Government by the purchase of Government stamps of that amount, though not of the actual description or denomination, the instrument could be held to be duly stamped if the proper duty has been paid and the remedial provision of Section 37 would apply to such cases. The decision of the Full Bench of the Madras High Court in J. J. Martis v. Cuthbert D'Souza, AIR 1932 Mad 390 is a decision in point, and was with reference to a promissory note. So also is the decision in Tukaram v. Sonaji, 10 Ind Cas 702 (Nag). Herd it cannot be even argued that the stamps used were of improper description.
They are revenue stamps as required by the Stamp Law, but the only defect suggested is that there should have been one stamp of 'Four Annas' denomination, and not four stamps of 'One Anna' denomination. Since there is nothing to show that at the time these stamps were purchased stamp of 'Four Annas' denomination was available, I find it difficult to hold that the petitioner could not utilise those One Anna stamps for the purpose of execution of the promissory note in question, and it cannot be held in the circumstances that the document was not duly stamped.
6. The application must, therefore, fail, and is rejected with costs. Hearing Fee Rs. 50/-.