Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.
1. The Principal Bistrict Munsiff of Trichinopoly has referred under Section 60(1) of the Indian Stamp Act to this Court for decision, the following question:
Where a lessor, acting on an application in writing submitted to him by the lessee embodying all the terms of the tenancy, purports to orally let out his property to the lessee for the stipulated rent on the same conditions as are mentioned in the application, does the application submitted by the lessee to the lessor not constitute a lease liable to stamp duty under Article 30 of Schedule I-A of the Madras Stamp (Amendment) Act, 1922?
As the result of suits filed in the District Munsiff's Court it appeared that the respondent was in the habit of granting oral leases on terms embodied in written applications made by prospective tenants. Whether a stamp duty is required depends upon whether such an application can be held to be a lease. It is quite clear from the definition of 'lease' to be found in Section 2(16) of the Indian Stamp Act 1899, that it cannot.
2. The definition says that 'lease' means a lease of immovable property and includes also (a) a patta, (b) a kabuliyat or other undertaking in writing, not being a counter part of a lease, to cultivate or occupy or pay or deliver rent for immovable property, (c) any instrument by which tolls of any description are let, and (d) any writing on an application for a lease intended to signify that the application is granted.
3. Such an application as we have here does not constitute a lease. It is merely a request to the owner of the property to grant to the applicant a lease on the terms embodied therein. There could be no lease unless the application were followed by a patta or kabuliyat or an indorsement on the application itself signifying that it was granted. Here no patta has been granted, nor is there a kabuliyat, nor has the landlord signified in writing on the application his consent to the application. No doubt this procedure has been adopted in order to evade stamp duty, but there is nothing improper in the procedure and consequently a stamp duty is not payable.
4. The question referred must be answered in the negative.