V. Ratnam, J.
1. The short question that arises for consideration in this Civil Revision Petition at the instance of the plaintiffs in O.S. No. 2274 of 1981, District Munsif's Court, Tiruchirapalli, is whether the Court below was right in its conclusion that no stamp duty is leviable in respect of the document styled as a deed of release relied upon by the respondent and directing its admission in evidence. The document in question is styled as a surrender of rights under a lease. The recitals therein indicate that the executants have clearly given up and surrendered their tenancy rights with reference to the property appended to the schedule. The market value of the property is stated to be Rs. 20,000/-. Relying upon this, the learned Counsel for the petitioners contends that the document in question would be a release falling under Article 55 of Schedule I and therefore, the document should have been stamped in accordance with Article 55(b) and a stamp duty of at least Rs. 25 should have been paid. On the other hand, the learned Counsel for the respondent contends that the appropriate Article applicable is Article 61, which specifically provides for surrender of lease and as in this case the lease had been executed by a cultivating tenant and that lease was exempted from payment of stamp duty under Section 4-B(2) of the Tamil Nadu Cultivating Tenants' Protection Act, and as such a tenant had subsequently executed the document of surrender of lease, no stamp duty at all is leviable.
2. The document refers to the cultivation of the properties appended to the document by the executants thereof as tenants since, 1964. There is also a reference to the purchase of the property by the respondent to carry on personal cultivation and the acceptance thereof by the executants of the document and the execution of a deed of surrender in accordance therewith giving up or surrendering such tenancy rights as the executants had in those properties. No doubt, in the body of the document, no consideration for the surrender is set out. The market value of the property is stated to be Rs. 20,000/-. On a due consideration of the terms of the document in question, it is clear that the executants of the document have agreed to surrender their rights in the property which was being cultivated by them on lease and such a document would clearly fall under Article 61 as a surrender of lease and not under Article 55 which provides generally for a release.
3. Though the learned Counsel for the respondent would maintain that the original lease deed was exempted from stamp duty and therefore, the surrender of lease, though it falls under Article 61, also does not require to be stamped, it is not possible to accept such a contention. In order to avail the benefit of the exemption from the payment of the stamp duty, under Section 4-B(2) of the. Tamil Nadu Act 25 of 1955 the lease deed should have been executed in triplicate in the prescribed form in accordance with the provisions of Section 4-B(l) of that Act. Only in such cases, the benefit of the exemption would be available. Here, there is absolutely no material to show that the lease was executed in conformity with Section 4-B(l) of the Tamil Nadu Act 25 of 1955, and there is no question of the benefit of the exemption from stamp duty being available to such a lease deed. Therefore, the claim of exemption from payment of stamp duty cannot be countenanced at all.
4. Earlier, it has been found that the document in question is in the nature of a surrender of, lease to which Article 61 of the Indian Stamp Act would apply. The exemption from stamp duty put forth by the respondent having been negatived, the document, undoubtedly, required to be stamped in accordance with Article 61. The mention of the market value of the property at Rs. 20,000/- is not decisive or conclusive, as the rights surrendered under the document cannot be equated to the market value of the property. The non-mention of any consideration for the release would not also enable the respondent to claim that no stamp duty is payable, for the document in question may well fall in this case under Article 61(b) of the Stamp Act requiring the payment of a stamp duty of Rs. 25/-. The Court below had proceeded to admit the document in evidence without payment of stamp duty, as in its view, no stamp duty at all is payable. Since Article 61 has been held to be applicable to the document in question, it would now become necessary for the Court to consider whether the document should be properly stamped under Article 61(a) or Art. 61(b) as the case may be.
5. The learned Counsel for the petitioners also contended that the document requires to be registered and not having been so registered, is inadmissible in evidence. A perusal of the order of the Court below does not indicate that the objection was raised in the form in which it is now pressed before this Court. In inasmuch as the question of the proper stamp duty payable on the document in question has to be decided by the Court below with reference to the applicability of Article 61, it would be open to the petitioners to raise the objection regarding the inadmissibility in evidence of the document in question for want of registration. The order of the Court below is, therefore, set aside and the matter is remitted for fixation of the proper stamp duty and penalty payable under Article 61 of the Indian Stamp Act. The civil revision petition is allowed and the matter is remitted to the Court below for further consideration in the light of the observations in this order. There will be no order as to costs.