1. In this case, I am of opinion that the document in question is an agreement and not a conveyance.
2. The document in question has been somewhat loosely described in the reference to us as a hire-purchase agreement. In order to ascertain what the real effect of the document is, we must, of course, look at the terms of the document; and, I am bound to say that when I heard the document read by the learned Advocate-General the thought that came to my mind was that the point was not arguable. Therefore, I was not at all surprised to hear the learned Advocate-General say, as one would expect him to say under such circumstances, that in his opinion the point was not arguable. Even apart from the decisions in Helby v. Mathews (1895) App. Cas. 471 : 61 L.J. Q.B. 465 : 11 R. 232 : 72 L.T. 841 : 43 W. R. 561 : 60 J. P. 20, which has been cited to us, it is obvious upon the face of the document in question that it is an agreement and nothing more than an agreement. Further than that, it is not even an agreement to purchase but simply an agreement to hire the machinery in question, with an option on the part of the Hirer to purchase.
3. Under those circumstances, in my judgment, the answer which must be given to this reference is that the document in question is an agreement within the meaning of Article 5, clause (c), of Schedule I to the Indian Stamp Act, and is, therefore, liable to a stamp duty of eight annas.
4. I agree.
5. I agree.