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Registration and stamp act = constitutional validity of the proviso to Section 65(1) of =the pre-condition of payment of fifty percent of the recoverable amount for entertaining a revision petition was arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional. = The learned Single Judge of the High Court and the Division Bench of the High Court have not considered whether the determination of market value and the demand of deficit stamp duty were exorbitant so as to make the remedy by way of revision requiring deposit of 50% of the demand before the revision is entertained ineffective. In Government of Andhra Pradesh and Others vs. P. Laxmi Devi (supra) this Court, while upholding the proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act introduced by Andhra Pradesh Amendment Act 8 of 1998, observed: “29. In our opinion in this situation it is always open to a party to file a writ petition challenging the exorbitant demand made by the registering officer under the proviso to Section 47-A alleging that the determination made is arbitrary and/or based on extraneous considerations, and in that case it is always open to the High Court, if it is satisfied that the allegation is correct, to set aside such exorbitant demand under the

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 Reportable

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL No. 8325 OF 2011 

 (Arising out of SLP (C) NO. 20964 OF 2010)

Smt. Har Devi Asnani ...... Appellant

 Versus

State of Rajasthan & Others ...... Respondents

 WITH

 CIVIL APPEAL No. 8326 OF 2011 

 (Arising out of SLP (C) NO. 17233 OF 2010)

 J U D G M E N T

A. K. PATNAIK, J.

 Leave granted.

2. The appellant purchased Plot No. A-7 situated in the 

 Housing Scheme No.12, Ajmer Road, Jaipur, of 

 Krishna Grah Nirman Sahakari Samiti Limited by a 

 registered Sale Deed dated 16.05.2007 for a 

 consideration of Rs.18 lacs. The Sale Deed was 

 executed on a stamp duty of Rs.1,17,000/-. The Sub-

 Registrar, SR IV, Jaipur, did not accept the valuation 

 made in the Sale Deed and appointed an Inspection 

 2

Officer to inspect the plot purchased by the appellant 

and determined the value of the land at 

Rs.2,58,44,260/-. The Additional Collector (Stamps), 

Jaipur, served a notice under the Rajasthan Stamp 

Act, 1998 (for short `the Act') to the appellant on 

07.07.2008 to appear before him on 19.09.2008 and to 

show-cause why prosecution against the appellant 

should not be initiated for concealing or 

misrepresenting facts relating to the valuation 

mentioned in the Sale Deed resulting in evasion of 

stamp duty. The appellant filed a reply stating therein 

that the plot of land purchased by her under the Sale 

Deed was allotted to her for residential purposes and 

was not meant for commercial use and that the sale 

price was paid entirely by a cheque. The appellant 

also stated in her reply that adjacent to the plot 

purchased by her, Plot Nos.A-3 near Scheme No.12, 

Roop Sagar, had been sold by a registered Sale Deed 

on 16.12.2006 and another Plot No.A-38, near Scheme 

No.12, Roop Sagar, at a price less than the price in the 

Sale Deed dated 16.05.2007 under which she had 

 3

 purchased Plot No.A-7 in Housing Scheme No.12. 

 Along with the reply, the appellant had also furnished 

 copies of the two Sale Deeds of the adjacent Plot 

 Nos.A-3 and A-38 in Scheme No.12. In the reply, the 

 appellant requested the Additional Collector (Stamps) 

 to drop the recovery proceedings. The Additional 

 Collector (Stamps) heard the appellant and in his order 

 dated 20.07.2009 held after considering the Site 

 Inspection Report that the determination made by the 

 Sub-Registrar at Rs. 2,58,44,260/- was correct and 

 that the appellant was liable to pay deficit stamp duty 

 of Rs.15,62,880/-, deficit registration charges of 

 Rs.7,000/- and penalty of Rs.120/- totalling to a sum 

 of Rs.15,70,000/- and accordingly made the demand 

 on the appellant and directed recovery of the same.

3. Aggrieved, the appellant filed SB Civil Writ Petition 

 No.12422 of 2009 before the Rajasthan High Court 

 challenging the order dated 20.07.2009 of the 

 Additional Collector (Stamps), Jaipur. A learned Single 

 Judge of the High Court, however, dismissed the Writ 

 Petition by order dated 21.10.2009 holding that the 

 4

 appellant had a remedy against the order of the 

 Additional Director by way of a revision before the 

 Board of Revenue and as there was an alternative and 

 efficacious remedy available to the appellant, there was 

 no just reason for the appellant to invoke the extra-

 ordinary jurisdiction of the High Court under Articles 

 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India. The 

 appellant then filed D.B. Civil Appeal (Writ) No.1261 of 

 2009 before the Division Bench of the High Court, but 

 by order dated 22.03.2010 the Division Bench of the 

 High Court held that there was no error or illegality 

 apparent on the face of the record in the order dated 

 21.10.2009 passed by the learned Single Judge and 

 that the appeal was devoid of any merit and 

 accordingly dismissed the appeal. Aggrieved, the 

 appellant has filed Civil Appeal arising out of S.L.P. (C) 

 No.17233 of 2010.

4. In the meanwhile, the appellant filed a separate Writ 

 Petition D.B. Civil Writ Petition No.14220 of 2009 in 

 the Rajasthan High Court challenging the 

 constitutional validity of the proviso to Section 65(1) of 

 5

the Rajasthan Stamp Act, 1998 (for short `the Act'), 

which provided that no revision application shall be 

entertained unless it is accompanied by a satisfactory 

proof of the payment of fifty percent of the recoverable 

amount. The ground taken by the appellant in the writ 

petition before the High Court was that unless the 

appellant deposited fifty percent of the total amount of 

Rs.15,70,000/- towards deficit stamp duty, 

registration charges and penalty, the revision petition 

of the appellant would not be entertained and the 

appellant was not in a position to deposit such a huge 

amount as a condition for filing the revision. The 

appellant accordingly contended before the High Court 

that the pre-condition of payment of fifty percent of the 

recoverable amount for entertaining a revision petition 

was arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional. 

The Division Bench of the High Court, however, held in 

its order dated 16.11.2009 that the constitutional 

validity of the proviso to Section 65 (1) of the Act had 

been examined by another Division Bench of the High 

Court in M/s Choksi Heraeus Pvt. Ltd., Udaipur v. 

 6

 State & Ors. [AIR 2008 Rajasthan 61] and the proviso 

 to Section 65 (1) of the Act had been held to be 

 constitutionally valid. The Division Bench relying on 

 the aforesaid decision in M/s Choksi Heraeus Pvt. Ltd., 

 Udaipur v. State & Ors. (supra) dismissed the Writ 

 Petition by order dated 16.11.2009. The appellant has 

 filed the Civil Appeal arising out of S.L.P. (C) No.20964 

 of 2010 against the order dated 16.11.2009 of the 

 Division Bench in D.B. Civil Writ Petition No.14220 of 

 2009.

5. For appreciating the contentions of the learned counsel 

 for the parties, we must refer to Section 65 of the Act. 

 Section 65 of the Act is quoted hereinbelow:

 "65. Revision by the Chief Controlling 

 Revenue Authority

 (1) Any person aggrieved by an order made 

 by the Collector under Chapter IV and V 

 and under clause (a) of the first proviso to 

 section 29 and under section 35 of the Act, 

 may within 90 days from the date of order, 

 apply to the Chief Controlling Revenue 

 Authority for revision of such order:

 Provided that no revision application shall 

 be entertained unless it is accompanied by a 

 satisfactory proof of the payment of fifty 

 percent of the recoverable amount.

 7

 (2) The Chief Controlling Revenue Authority 

 may suo moto or on information received 

 from the registering officer or otherwise call 

 for and examine the record of any case 

 decided in proceeding held by the Collector 

 for the purpose of satisfying himself as to 

 the legality or propriety of the order passed 

 and as to the regularity of the proceedings 

 and pass such order with respect

 thereto as it may think fit:

 Provided that no such order shall be made 

 except after giving the person affected a 

 reasonable opportunity of being heard in the 

 matter."

6. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that 

although sub-section (1) of Section 65 of the Act confers a 

right on a person to file a revision against the order of the 

Collector, the proviso to Section 65(1) of the Act renders this 

right illusory by insisting that the revision application shall 

not be entertained unless it is accompanied by a 

satisfactory proof of the payment of fifty percent of the 

recoverable amount. He submitted that the proviso to 

Section 65(1) of the Act is therefore unreasonable and 

arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and 

should be declared constitutionally invalid. He cited the 

decision of this Court in Mardia Chemical Ltd. and Others 

vs. Union of India and Others [(2004) 4 SCC 311] in which 

 8

the provision requiring pre-deposit of 75% of the demand 

made by the bank or the financial institution in Section 17 

of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets 

and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 has been 

held to be onerous and oppressive rendering the remedy 

illusory and nugatory and constitutionally invalid.

7. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that 

assuming that the proviso to Section 65(1) of the Act is 

constitutionally valid where the valuation adopted by the 

Additional Collector or Collector and the consequent 

demand of additional stamp duty are unreasonable and 

exorbitant, the alternative remedy of revision after deposit of 

50% of the exorbitant demand is not efficacious, and 

affected party should be able to move the High Court under 

Article 226 of the Constitution. In support of this 

submission, he cited the decision of this Court in 

Government of Andhra Pradesh and Others vs. P. Laxmi Devi 

[(2008) 4 SCC 720]

8. Learned counsel for the respondents, on the other 

hand, submitted that a revision or an appeal is a right 

conferred by the statute and the legislature while conferring 

 9

this statutory right can lay down conditions subject to 

which the appeal or revision can be entertained and that 

there is nothing unreasonable or arbitrary in the proviso to 

Section 65(1) of the Act requiring deposit of 50% of the 

recoverable amount before the revision application is 

entertained. He argued that the proviso to Section 65(1) of 

the Act is in no way illusory and is only a provision to 

ensure that the stamp duty demanded is recovered in time 

and is not held up because of the pendency of the revision. 

In support of his submission, learned counsel for the 

respondent relied on the decisions of this Court in The 

Anant Mills Co. Ltd. vs. State of Gujarat and others [(1975) 2 

SCC 175]; Seth Nand Lal and Another vs. State of Haryana 

and Others [1980 (supp) SCC 575]; Vijay Prakash D. Mehta 

and Another vs. Collector of Customs (Preventive), Bombay 

[(1988) 4 SCC 402] and Gujarat Agro Industries Co. Ltd. vs. 

Municipal Corporation of the City of Ahmedabad and Others 

[(1999) 4 SCC 468].

9. Learned counsel for the respondents submitted that 

the decision of this Court in Mardia Chemical Ltd. and 

Others vs. Union of India and Others (supra) declaring the 

 10

provision of Section 17 of the Securitisation and 

Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of 

Security Interest Act, 2002, requiring deposit of 75% of the 

demand as constitutionally invalid does not apply to the 

facts of the present case. He submitted that in Mardia 

Chemical Ltd. and Others (supra) this Court clearly held that 

the amount of deposit of 75% of the demand is at the initial 

proceedings itself when the bank or the financial institution 

makes its demand on the borrower and the requirement of 

deposit of such a heavy amount on the basis of one-sided 

claim of the bank or the financial institution at this stage, 

before the start of the adjudication of the dispute, cannot be 

said to be a reasonable condition. He submitted that in the 

instant case, the first adjudicatory authority is the Collector 

and only after the Collector determines the amount of stamp 

duty payable on the documents, the affected party has a 

right of revision under Section 65(1) of the Act. He further 

submitted that the requirement of 50% of the amount 

determined by the Collector at the stage of filing of the 

revision is therefore not a requirement at the initial stage 

but a requirement at the revisional stage and the decision of 

 11

this Court in Mardia Chemical Ltd. and Others vs. Union of 

India and Others (supra) is distinguishable from the facts of 

the present case.

10. We need not refer to all the decisions cited by the 

learned counsel for the parties because we find that in 

Government of Andhra Pradesh and Others vs. P. Laxmi Devi 

(supra) this Court has examined a similar provision of 

Section 47-A of the Stamp Act, 1899, introduced by the 

Indian Stamp Act (A.P. Amendment Act 8 of 1998). Sub-

section (1) of Section 47-A, introduced by Andhra Pradesh 

Act 8 of 1998 in the Indian Stamp Act, is extracted 

hereinbelow:

 "47-A. Instruments of conveyance, etc. how to 

 be dealt with-(1) Where the registering officer 

 appointed under the Registration Act, 1908, 

 while registering any instrument of 

 conveyance, exchange, gift, partition, 

 settlement, release, agreement relating to 

 construction, development or sale of any 

 immovable property or power of attorney 

 given for sale, development of immovable 

 property, has reason to believe that the 

 market value of the property which is the 

 subject-matter of such instrument has not 

 been truly set forth in the instrument, or that 

 the value arrived at by him as per the 

 guidelines prepared or caused to be prepared 

 by the Government from time to time has not 

 been adopted by the parties, he may keep 

 pending such instrument and refer the 

 12

 matter to the Collector for determination of 

 the market value of the property and the 

 proper duty payable thereon.

 Provided that no reference shall be made by 

 the registering officer unless an amount 

 equal to fifty per cent of the deficit duty 

 arrived at by him is deposited by the party 

 concerned."

Under sub-section (1) of Section 47-A quoted above, a 

reference can be made to the Collector for determination of 

the market value of property and the proper duty payable 

thereon where the registering officer has reason to believe 

that the market value of the property which is the subject-

matter of the instrument has not been truly set forth in the 

instrument, or that the value arrived at by him as per the 

guidelines prepared or caused to be prepared by the 

Government from time to time has not been adopted by the 

parties. The proviso of sub-section (1) of Section 47-A, 

however, states that no such reference shall be made by the 

registering officer unless an amount equal to fifty per cent of 

the deficit duty arrived at by him is deposited by the party 

concerned. This proviso of sub-section (1) of Section 47-A 

was challenged before the Andhra Pradesh High Court by P. 

Laxmi Devi and the Andhra Pradesh High Court held that 

 13

this proviso was arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the 

Constitution and was unconstitutional. The Government of 

Andhra Pradesh, however, filed an appeal by special leave 

before this Court against the judgment of the Andhra 

Pradesh High Court and this Court held in para 18 at page 

735 of [(2008) 4 SCC 720] that there was no violation of 

Articles 14, 19 or any other provision of the Constitution by 

the enactment of Section 47-A as amended by the Andhra 

Pradesh Amendment Act 8 of 1998 and that the amendment 

was only for plugging the loopholes and for quick realisation 

of the stamp duty and was within the power of the State 

Legislature vide Entry 63 of List-II read with Entry 44 of 

List-III of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. While 

coming to the aforesaid conclusions, this Court has relied 

on The Anant Mills Co. Ltd. vs. State of Gujarat and others 

(supra), Vijay Prakash D. Mehta and Another vs. Collector of 

Customs (Preventive), Bombay (supra) and Gujarat Agro 

Industries Co. Ltd. vs. Municipal Corporation of the City of 

Ahmedabad and Others (supra) in which this Court has 

taken a consistent view that the right of appeal or right of 

revision is not an absolute right and it is a statutory right 

 14

which can be circumscribed by the conditions in the grant 

made by the statute. Following this consistent view of this 

Court, we hold that the proviso to Section 65(1) of the Act, 

requiring deposit of 50% of the demand before a revision is 

entertained against the demand is only a condition for the 

grant of the right of revision and the proviso does not render 

the right of revision illusory and is within the legislative 

power of the State legislature.

11. We also find that in the impugned order the High 

Court has relied on an earlier Division Bench judgment of 

the High Court in M/s Choksi Heraeus Pvt. Ltd., Udaipur v. 

State & Ors. (supra) for rejecting the challenge to the proviso 

to Section 65(1) of the Act. We have perused the decision of 

the Division Bench of the High Court in M/s Choksi 

Heraeus Pvt. Ltd., Udaipur v. State & Ors. (supra) and we 

find that the Division Bench has rightly taken the view that 

the decision of this Court in the case of Mardia Chemical 

Ltd. and Others vs. Union of India and Others (supra) is not 

applicable to the challenge to the proviso to Section 65(1) of 

the Act inasmuch as the provision of sub-section (2) of 

Section 17 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of 

 15

Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 

2002, requiring deposit of 75% of the demand related to 

deposit at the stage of first adjudication of the demand and 

was therefore held to be onerous and oppressive, whereas 

the proviso to Section 65(1) of the Act in the present case 

requiring deposit of 50% of the demand is at the stage of 

revision against the order of first adjudication made by the 

Collector and cannot by the same reasoning held to be 

onerous and oppressive. In our considered opinion, 

therefore, the proviso to Section 65(1) of the Act is 

constitutionally valid and we are therefore not inclined to 

interfere with the order dated 16.11.2009 in D.B.CWP 

No.14220 of 2009. The Civil Appeal arising out of S.L.P. (C) 

No.20964 of 2010 is therefore dismissed.

12. We are, however, inclined to interfere with the order 

dated 21.10.2009 of the learned Single Judge of the High 

Court in SB Civil Writ Petition No.1244 of 2009 as well as 

the order dated 22.03.2010 of the Division Bench of the 

High Court in D.B. Civil Appeal (Writ) No.1261 of 2009. The 

learned Single Judge of the High Court and the Division 

Bench of the High Court have taken a view that as the 

 16

appellant has a right of revision under Section 65(1) of the 

Act, the writ petition of the appellant challenging the 

determination of the value of the land at Rs.2,58,44,260/- 

and the demand of additional stamp duty and registration 

charges and penalty totaling to Rs.15,70,000/- could not be 

entertained under Article 226 of the Constitution. The 

learned Single Judge of the High Court and the Division 

Bench of the High Court have not considered whether the 

determination of market value and the demand of deficit 

stamp duty were exorbitant so as to make the remedy by 

way of revision requiring deposit of 50% of the demand 

before the revision is entertained ineffective. In Government 

of Andhra Pradesh and Others vs. P. Laxmi Devi (supra) this 

Court, while upholding the proviso to sub-section (1) of 

Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act introduced by Andhra 

Pradesh Amendment Act 8 of 1998, observed: 

 "29. In our opinion in this situation it is 

 always open to a party to file a writ petition 

 challenging the exorbitant demand made by 

 the registering officer under the proviso to 

 Section 47-A alleging that the determination 

 made is arbitrary and/or based on 

 extraneous considerations, and in that case 

 it is always open to the High Court, if it is 

 satisfied that the allegation is correct, to set 

 aside such exorbitant demand under the 

 17

 proviso to Section 47-A of the Stamp Act by 

 declaring the demand arbitrary. It is well 

 settled that arbitrariness violates Articles 14 

 of the Constitution vide Maneka Gandhi vs. 

 Union of India [(1978) 1 SCC 248]. Hence, 

 the party is not remediless in this 

 situation."

13. In our view, therefore, the learned Single Judge should 

have examined the facts of the present case to find out 

whether the determination of the value of the property 

purchased by the appellant and the demand of additional 

stamp duty made by the appellant by the Additional 

Collector were exorbitant so as to call for interference under 

Article 226 of the Constitution. 

14. We, therefore, allow the appeal arising out of S.L.P. (C) 

No.17233 of 2010, set aside the order passed by the learned 

Single Judge of the High Court in SB Civil Writ Petition 

No.1244 of 2009 and the order passed by the Division 

Bench of the High Court in D.B. Civil Appeal (Writ) No.1261 

of 2009 and remand the writ petition back to the High Court 

for fresh consideration in accordance with law. No costs.

 .............................J.

 (R. V. Raveendran)

 18

 .............................J.

 (A. K. Patnaik)

New Delhi,September 27, 2011. 

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