Shanti Bhushan challenges stamp duty evasion order

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 15:24

Allahabad: Team Anna member and former Union
minister Shanti Bhushan has challenged an order of the
Assistant Stamp Commissioner whereby he had been held guilty
of evading stamp duty to the tune of about Rs 1.35 crore and
deposited a sum of Rs 70 lakh with the office of Chief
Controller, Revenue Authority, for the purpose.

The sum was deposited yesterday on behalf of Bhushan, who
has been maintaining that there had been no evasion of stamp
duty on his part in the purchase of property spread over 7,818
square metres of land in the posh Civil Lines locality of the
city, though the Assistant Stamp Commissioner had on January 6
held him guilty of the same.

The Assistant Stamp Commissioner had asked him to pay the
outstanding amount with a monthly interest of 1.5 per cent
with effect from 29.11.2010 besides imposing 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.

The veteran lawyer thereafter moved the Allahabad High
Court, which on February one turned down his petition stating
that he could seek "statutory remedy" as provided under the
Stamps Act.

According to sources in the office of the Chief
Controller, Revenue Authority, a person appealing an order of
the Assistant Stamp Commissioner for alleged duty of stamp
evasion has to deposit one-third of the total amount payable
before hand.

Bhushan 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 veteran 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
crore.

However, Bhushan has been maintaining that there was no
evasion of stamp duty on his part.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 15:24

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