Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court today
turned down a writ petition filed by Team Anna member Shanti
Bhushan challenging an order of Assistant Stamp Commissioner
here which held him guilty of evading stamp duty to the tune
of about Rs 1.35 crore on a property here.
Justice Arun Tandon passed the order adding that Bhushan
could seek "statutory remedy" by approaching the Registrar
(Stamps) as per the provisions of Stamp Act.
The Assistant Stamp Commissioner had, on January 06, held
Bhushan guilty of evading stamp duty in purchase of property
spread over 7,818 square metres of land in the posh Civil
Lines locality of the city.
The former Union Minister was asked to pay the outstanding
amount with a monthly interest of 1.5 per cent with effect
from November 29, 2010 besides being slapped with a fine of
more than Rs 27 lakh.
He was directed to pay the amount within one month,
failing which the department could initiate further action.
Shanti Bhushan, who is also a veteran lawyer, used to stay
in a bungalow situated on the land till the 1970s when he
moved to New Delhi.
He, however, did not give up the possession of the
property and remained involved in a protracted litigation with
the landlord before purchasing the land through an "agreement
to sell" in November, 2010.
It was claimed by the department for stamp and
registration that the lawyer had shown purchase of the
property for a paltry sum which enabled him to understate its
value on which the stamp duty payable was calculated and Rs
46,700 was paid.
A notice was issued to Bhushan in February, 2011 for
alleged evasion of stamp duty to the tune of nearly Rs 1.35
However, Bhushan has been maintaining that there was no
evasion of stamp duty on his part.