Collector of Stamps erred in not Adverting to Sale Value approved by Charity Commissioner in case of Trust’s Sale Deed: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]

Collector of Stamps erred in not Adverting to Sale Value approved by Charity Commissioner in case of Trust’s Sale Deed: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]

Collector of Stamps - Stamp Duty - Bombay High Court - GST - Taxscan

The High Court of Bombay, while setting aside the order passed by the Collector of Stamps and held that the Collector of Stamps committed a manifest error in not at all adverting to the fact that the Charity Commissioner had determined the value of the trust property by following requisite process to ensure the best value, and determining the market value of the trust property on the sole premise that there was a vast difference in the value determined by the Deputy Director, Town Planning and the value at which the Charity Commissioner accorded sanction for sale.

The petitioner, M/s. Crystal Construction Company purchased the trust property from A. H. Wadia Trust, which is a Public Charitable Trust. When the Charity Commissioner allowed the prospective purchasers to intervene in the proceedings. Ultimately, by order the Charity Commissioner directed a fresh auction to get the best value for the trust property.

In the auction the petitioner offered the highest price of Rs.2,10,00,000/-. Thereupon, the Charity Commissioner, by the order was persuaded to accord sanction to the trust to sell the trust property on ‘as is where is’ and ‘as it is where it is’ basis to the petitioner for the consideration of Rs.2,10,00,000/-.

The petitioner submitted an unexecuted conveyance for adjudication to the Collector of Stamps (respondent authority) for the determination of the stamp-duty on the Deed of Conveyance. The  Collector of Stamps obtained a report about the market value of the trust property from Deputy Director, Town Planning, Mumbai. The respondent based on the report of the Deputy Director, Town Planning, passed an interim order and assessed the market value of the trust property at Rs.30,55,58,000/-. By a final order the respondent determined the market value of the trust property at Rs.30,55,88,000/- and adjudicated the stamp-duty at Rs.1,52,77,900/- and called upon the petitioner to pay the deficit stamp- duty of Rs.1,42,77,900/-.

The petitioner asserted that the authorities committed error in not adhering to the provisions contained in Rules 4 to 6 of the Maharashtra Stamp Rules, 1995. The fact that the value of the trust property was determined by the learned Charity Commissioner post an exercise of fetching the highest price for the trust property has been completely lost sight of.

The Single Judge bench of Justice N.J. Jamadar while setting aside the order passed by the Collector of Stamps and held that the Collector of Stamps committed a manifest error in not at all adverting to the fact that the Charity Commissioner had determined the value of the trust property by following requisite process to ensure the best value, and determining the market value of the trust property on the sole premise that there was a vast difference in the value determined by the Deputy Director, Town Planning and the value at which the Charity Commissioner accorded sanction for sale.

The court remitted back the matter to the Collector of Stamps for fresh adjudication after providing an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and in the light of the observations made by the Court.

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