1. The first question arising in this reference is whether the Indian Stamp Act of 1899 applies to the Agency tracts. The Act itself purports to apply to the whole of British India and there is no doubt that 'British India' includes the Agency tracts of Vizagapatam District. See Section 3(7) of the General Clauses Act (X of 1897). The argument before the Additional District Judge of the Agency seems to be that, because there was no notification under the Scheduled Districts Act (XIV of 1874), Section 3, therefore, the Stamp Act does not apply to the Agency tracts. But this argument seems to rest on a misunderstanding of the object and scope of the Scheduled Districts Act of 1874. The object of that Act was to remove doubts regarding the applicability of Acts of the Indian Legislatures prior to that date and they were sought to be removed generally by the Laws Local Extent Act and secondly, by notifications either under Section 3(a) or 3(b) of the Act, either declaring certain Acts to be in force or declaring certain Acts not to be in force. But the Scheduled Districts Act does not apply to Acts of the Indian Legislature passed after that Act which are very clear as to the local extent. The practice since 1874 has been for an Act to say that the Act applies to the whole of British India or it applies to the whole of British India excluding the Scheduled Districts, as the case may be. There are examples of several Acts in which the Acts are said to apply to the whole of British India excepting the Scheduled Districts, for example, the Specific Relief Act, 1877 and the Provincial Insolvency Act. In the case of the Stamp Act it extends to the whole of British India and there is no doubt as to its applicability to the Agency tracts. The decision in Chakrapani v. Varahalammta I.L.R. (1894) M. 227 also makes this point clear.
2. The second question arising in this reference is what is the stamp duty payable on the award before us. The Stamp Act, Section 2(15) defines an instrument of partition as including an award directing a partition.
3. The award, therefore, in this case is governed by Article 45 in the Schedule to the Stamp Act. The duty payable according to the second column of that Article is the stamp duty as on a bond for the amount of the value of a separated share or shares of the property. Then a note explains that the largest share remaining after the property is partitioned shall be deemed to be that from which the other shares are separated. Here the whole property dealt with by the award is divided into four shares, one of the shares being in the proportion of two to each of the other three shares. The largest share after the property is partitioned is this share which is double the value of the other shares. The value of the property being Rs. 80,000, the value of two-fifths of it which is the property from which the others' shares are deemed to be separated is Rs. 32,000 and the stamp duty payable on the award is as on a bond for Rs. 48,000, which is the value of the separated shares. Under Article 15 the duty for a bond of Rs. 48,000 is Rs. 240. This, we hold, is the proper stamp duty payable on the award. Having regard to the uncertainty existing as to the law applicable to the Agency tracts, we do not think this is a proper case in which the penalty ought to be levied. The Court having acted upon this document, it is enough in the interests of justice to require the claimant who is relying on the award to pay the stamp duty itself and to give effect to the document if the document is otherwise found valid. We make no order as to costs.