(1) This is an application for a writ of mandamus or other appropriate writ directing the Commissioner of Land Revenue, Commercial Taxes and Prohibition and the Board of Revenue, to refer the petitioner's case to this court under S. 57 of the Indian Stamp Act.
(2) The facts are the following. On 12-7-1957, a release deed was executed by the petitioner in favour of his brother, Kavus Nusserwanji Patel and this deed was presented by the petitioner for registration before the Sub-Registrar, Coonoor. The document was registered but after registration a question seas raised as to the sufficiency of the stamp which 1.he document bore. The registration authorities look the view that the document was a conveyance and was therefore liable to be stamped under Art. 19 of Sch. 1-A of the Indian Stamp Act as a conveyance ' while, the petitioner contended that it is only a release deed liable to be stamped under Art. 44 of the same schedule. An application was made by the petitioner for making a reference to the court, but the Chief Controlling Authority, Board of Revenue declined to make a reference. The order of the Board indicates that, for some reasons which I need not go into at present it considered the document to be a conveyance and not a release. The Board ultimately refused to make a reference to this court in the view that a reference was not necessary.
Counsel for the petitioner has brought to my notice the decision of a Bench of this court in Shanmuga v. Board of Revenue, : AIR1955Mad304 , where It was held that In appropriate cases it was open to this court to direct the Revenue Board to make a reference, under S. 57 of the Indian Stamp Act by the issue of a writ of mandamus. That Bench also referred to the ruling of the Supreme Court in Chief Controlling Revenue Authority v. Maharashtra Sugar Mills Ltd. : 1SCR536 . That decision interpreted S. 57 as mot only vesting a power upon the Chief Controlling Authority but also imposing a duty in suitable cases upon that authority To make a reference under S. 57 when called upon by the party who is bound to pay the stamp duty. The guiding principle in a matter like this should be that, unless the matter was very plain and incapable of any argument it would be the duty of the Revenue Board to make a reference when the aggrieved party asked for a reference under S. 57 of the Act. I have read the document and it purports to be between two co-owners who are brother. I do not think I need express any opinion as to the merits of the contention of the petitioner except to say that prima facie this seems to he a case where opinion of this court is necessary, especially in view of the Full Bench decision in Board of Revenue v. Murugesa Mudaliar, : AIR1955Mad641 .
(3) A writ of mandamus will therefore issue directing the Bard of Revenue to make a reference to this court under S. 57 of the Stamp Act. as desired by the petitioner. The reference should be made within three months from this date. Petitioner's costs (advocate's fee Rs. 100) to he paid by the Government-respondent.
(4) Petition allowed