1. This case has reference to a security bond taken by a Village Court under Section 53 of the Madras Village Courts Act (I of 1889). The question raised is what stamp this document should bear. At present the document bears no stamp at all. When the Village Court was asked why this document was taken without any stamp they replied that in their opinion the document fell within Article 6 of the Court Fees Act and that as Government had exempted the Court-fees payable under the Court Fees Act in Village Courts this document required no stamp at all. This opinion does not seem to be correct. Article 6 of Schedule II to the Court Fees Act, as amended, applies only to bail bonds and other instruments of obligation under the Criminal Procedure Code or under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. Now this bond cannot be treated as a bond under the Civil Procedure Code, for the Code does not apply to the Village Courts at all That has been so ruled by a bench of this Court in Sankaran Nair v. Alchuthan ILR (1923) Pat 829. It follows therefore that to decide the stamp that this document should bear we must look to the Stamp Act. It falls under Article 46 of Schedule I-A of the Madras Stamp Act as amended which speaks of
Security bonds or mortgage deeds executed by way of security for the due execution of an office, or to account for money or other property received by virtue thereof.
2. The further words need not be quoted. Here the security bond was executed for property received and which the executors undertook to return or to pay Rs. 40 instead. Under Article 46 this document should have borne the same duty as a Bottomry Bond for the amount secured and the proper stamp seems to be 6 annas. This is our answer to the reference. The document would be admissible in evidence all the same if the stamp duty and the penalty is paid. Apparently when exempting from Court-fees all documents filed in the Village Courts an omission was made as regards this particular document. If this is so, it will always be open to the Government to put it right by the necessary notification. As the law at present stands we are of opinion as above stated that the document should have borne a 6 annas stamp.