1. The petitioner is an advocate of the Travancore-Cochin High Court. He seeks to be enrolled as an advocate of this High Court. The only question in this application is whether he is liable to pay the stamp duty under item 25 of the Indian Stamp Act as amended in Madras which runs as follows :
'Entry as an Advocate, Vakil or attorney on the roll of any High Court under the Indian Bar Council Act, 1926, or in exercise of powers conferred on such Court by Letters Patent or by the Legal Practitioners Act, 1884--(a) in the case of an Advocateor vakil :
Six hundred and twenty-fiverupeesin the case of an attorney : Threehundred and twenty-fiverupees, eight annas.'
There is an exemption to this provision which runs as follows :
'Entry of an advocate, vakil or attorney on the roll of any High Court, when he has previously been enrolled in a High Court.' Item 25 of the Act as amended corresponds to item 30 of the main Act.
2. The petitioner contends that as he had been previously enrolled in the High Court of Travancore-Cochin, he is entitled to the benefit of the exemption. He relies upon the definition of 'High Court' in the Constitution, Article 368(14), which would comprise the Travancore-Cochin High Court, and also to Rule 1(2), Madras Bar Councils Rules as amended in February 1951 in, accordance with the definition in Article 366(14) of the Constitution.
3. In our opinion,, this contention is founded on a fallacy. The right to the benefit of the exemption can only arise in cases where the original entry itself would be applicable. This fact carries with it the implication that the enrolment referred to in the exemption is an enrolment which is similar to the class of enrolments referred to in the main provision itself.
4. There is another way of looking at the same thing. Though the expression 'High Court' in item 25 is general it is obvious that the 'High Court' referred to therein is a High Court within the territory to which the Stamp Act applies. That this is so is clear from the observations of Leach C. J. delivering the judgment of the Full Bench in --'In re Krishnaswami' : AIR1942Mad455 (A), namely, 'The term 'High Court' of course must be deemed to be a High Court established in British India.' The learned-Chief Justice was evidently referring to the fact that the Indian Stamp Act applied to the whole of British India, at the time when the judgment in question was delivered. The decision of the Full Bench is also authority for the position that the material date for deciding whether a person, is entitled to the benefit of the exemption or not' is the date of his previous enrolment. In this case, it is admitted that the Indian Stamp Act is not in force in the State of Travancore-Cochin. A person entered on the rolls of that High Court was therefore under no obligation to pay the stamp duty under the entry in the Indian Stamp Act. He will therefore not be a person, who has been previously enrolled in a High Court within the meaning of that expression in the exemption. Reference may be made in this connection to the definition of 'High Court' in the General Clauses Act, Section 3(25) defines High Court thus :
''High Court' used with reference to civil proceedings, shall mean the highest civil Court of appeal not including the Supreme Court in the part of India in which the Act or Regulation containing the expression operates.'
Whether this definition directly applies or not,we are quite, clear that the principle underlying this definition applies. Otherwise itwould mean logically that even if a personhas been enrolled in a High Court in anyState in the world he would be entitled tothe benefit of the exemption above mentioned.
5. We therefore hold, that the petitioner isnot entitled to be exempted from payment of thenecessary stamp duty under item 25 of theIndian Stamp Act as amended in Madras. Theapplication is dismissed.