1. The question referred to us under Section 57 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, is:--
'Whether Article 45 of Sch. 1 to the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 requires that standing crops should be separately valued in assessing the instrument of partition of as-sessed lands for stamp duty.'
The facts are extremely simple. The respondent and his father effected a partition of their landed properties on 14th August 1963. The document was stamped with Rs. 13-50. At the time of its registration objection was taken to the proper stamp duty. The executants of the document were required to assess also the value of the standing tea crops on the land and additional duty to be paid thereon.
2. There is no dispute that duty chargeable in case of a partition instrument under Article 45 is the same duty as a bond and the amount of duty is quantified with reference to the amount of the value of the separated share or shares of the property. There is a proviso to this Article which provides the mode of quantifying the duty if the property divided is land held on Revenue settlement for a period not exceeding thirty days and paying the full assessment. In that case the charge will be calculated on the value calculated at not more than twenty five times the annual Revenue charged on the land.
3. The question referred to us itself regards the property, the subject-matter of partition, as 'assessed lands.' The simple question, therefore, is whether the land in the context of partition and of Article 45, includes standing crops. We have not the slightest doubt that it does. The expression 'land' carries with it all the fixtures thereto like trees, plants, crops and the like. We are not on the question whether the property is to be regarded as tea estate to be valued as such. We answer the question against the Revenue with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 250.