Stamp duty cannot be charged in retrospect on resale of old flats: HC.

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In a judgment that offers far-reaching relief to prospective sellers and buyers of old properties in Mumbai where stamp duty is steep now, Bombay high court held stamp duty authorities cannot levy tax on old “historically concluded transactions”. 

“Stamp is attracted by the instrument (sale deed), not the underlying transaction…,” said Justice Gautam Patel in an order on December 13. 

The HC passed the order in a matter where a spacious flat on Napean Sea Road in south Mumbai was sold in an auction. 

A day after the HC issued notice to the registrar’s office, it was registered on November 30. 

The HC had, on December 6, issued notice to the stamp authorities. G Shah, counsel for defendants, and Ajay Panicker, counsel for the plaintiff, had questioned if acceptance of documents now meant the authorities no longer required old documents to be stamped. 

There was no clear response from the stamp office on provisions which would justify stamping antecedent documents, observed the HC. 

The HC said, “…the entire approach seems prima facie to be entirely incorrect.” 
(Times of India)

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