Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of G.S. Patel and Madhav J. Jamdar, JJ., considered petitions which raised questions about the interpretation of the validity of two circulars issued by the Inspector General of Registration and Controller of Stamps, Maharashtra State dated 23-06-2015 and 30-03-2017.

It was stated that the issue will affect a large number of redevelopment projects across the State because it pertained to the stamp duty that was correctly payable on instruments typical in such projects. In Mumbai, in particular, redevelopment by societies would be affected.

Estimated Stamp duty liability by the petitioners was adjudicated at about Rs 27 lakhs and they were required to deposit 50% of the amount in each matter.

Court stated that,

Subject to that deposit being made by 3rd January 2022 and on the further undertaking, which we accept, to pay the balance if found due by this Court and if the Petitions fail, we permit the Petitioners to proceed with registration of the permanent alternate accommodation agreements in the form proposed. 

Elaborating further, High Court added that, the Sub-Registrar of Assurances and the Collector of Stamps will permit the registration of the documents in question without insisting on payment of the adjudicated stamp duty liability.

Bench held that no registration will be permitted unless and until the deposits are made.

If deposits will not be made by 3-1-2022, interim protection will cease without further reference of the Court and the petitioners will not be entitled to have any of the documents registered.

Sub-Registrar of Assurances and the Collector of the Stamps are directed to act on production of an authenticated copy of the present order.

Court also requests Advocate Samit Shukla, partner at DSK Legal who was present in Court to assist as Amicus, further the Court requested him to brief counsel of his choice and if possible, either Mr Mayur Khanderparkar or Mr Karl Tamboly, each of whom had considerable experience in such matters.

Matter to be listed for final disposal on 3-2-2022. [Adityaraj Builders v. State of Maharashtra, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 5516, decided on 9-12-2021]

Advocates before the Court:

Mr Dharam Sharma i/b Mr Sandeep Waghmare i/b Mr Jayesh Jain, for the Petitioner.

Ms Jyoti Chavan, AGP, for the Respondents-State.

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