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Maharashtra Stamp Act: Stamp duty refund

There is a provision in the Maharashtra Stamp Act for the refund of stamp duty in certain cases; for example where a property transaction intended is not completed. This is, provided the application for refund is made within the prescribed timeframe. Some of the provisions for refund of stamp duty are briefly given below.

Section 47 of the Act makes allowance for impressed stamps spoiled in certain cases, which are as follows:

(a) The stamp on any paper inadvertently and undesignedly spoiled, obliterated or by error in writing or other means rendered unfit for the purpose intended before any instrument written thereon is executed.

(b) The stamp on any document, which is written, but which is not signed or executed by any party thereto.

Further, under section 47, allowance for impressed stamps spoiled can be made if the stamp used for an instrument is executed by any party in the following cases:

(i) Which has been afterwards found by the party to be absolutely void in law from the beginning.
(ii) Which has been afterwards found by the court, to be absolutely void from the beginning under section 31 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963.
(iii) Which has been afterwards found unfit, by reason of any error or mistake therein, for the purpose originally intended.
(iv) By reason of the death of any person by whom it is necessary that it should be executed, or of the refusal of any such person to execute the same.
(v) For want of execution thereof by some material party, and his inability or refusal to sign the same.
(vi) By reason of the refusal of any person to act under the same, or to advance any money intended to be thereby secured, or by the refusal or non-acceptance of any office thereby granted, totally fails of the intended purpose.
(vii) Becomes useless in consequence of the transaction intended to be thereby effected by some other instrument between the same parties and bearing a stamp of not less value.
(viii) Is deficient in value and the transaction intended to be thereby effected had been affected by some other instrument between the same parties and bearing a stamp of not less value.
(ix) Is inadvertently and undesignedly spoiled, and in lieu whereof another instrument made between the same parties and for the same purpose is executed and duly stamped. However, there are certain exceptions to the above in case certain legal proceedings have been commenced.

The application for relief under section 47 can be made within six months of the date of the instrument in cases mentioned in (vi) above. Provided where an agreement to sell immovable property is presented for registration and if the seller refuses to deliver possession of the immovable property, the application for refund may be made within two years of the date of instrument or where such agreement is cancelled by a registered cancellation deed on the grounds of dispute regarding the premises concerned, inadequate finance, financial dispute in terms of agreed consideration or afterwards found to be illegal construction or suppression of any material fact, the application may be made within two years from the date of such registered cancellation deed.

Further, in the case when for unavoidable circumstances any instrument for which another instrument has been substituted cannot be given up to be cancelled, the application may be made within six months after the date of the execution of the substituted instrument. For any other case falling under section 47, the application should be made within six months from the date of purchase of stamp.

It is also provided in the Act that when any person is possessed of a stamp or stamps which have not been spoiled or rendered unfit or useless for the purpose intended but the person has no immediate use for the same, then in such an event the person can apply for refund of the amount paid which shall be given after deducting there from such amount as may be prescribed. However, the person will have to prove that such stamp or stamps were purchased with a bonafide intention to use them and that the application for such refund is made within six months from the date of the purchase of the stamps. Similarly, provisions are there for refund in case of misused stamps and in case of printed forms no longer required by corporations.

Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Pune