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Stamp paper

Stamped paper is an often-piece of paper which holds a pre-printed that. The use of stamped paper in the American colonies was so unpopular that it has been credited with sowing the seeds of the American Revolution.

The stamp paper relates to a foolscap paper which carries a pre-printed revenue stamp. Stamp papers are not a form of postal letterhead. It has been widely used to acquire tolls on documents requiring stampings, such as leases, receipts, agreements, and many other court documents. The papers comprise of the pre-printed stamp and are traded blank. They are available at lawyer’s offices, post offices, and courts according to their local regulations. The parties write their legal business on the paper and place it before the court.

There are three kinds of Stamp Paper, namely:
• Judicial – used for legal and court work
• Non-judicial – used for registration of documents, insurance policies,etc.
• Revenue stamp.

Judicial Stamp Paper:
Another name of Judicial stamp paper is court fee stamp paper. The general use of these papers is made in legal purpose or court cases. They are used for payment of court fees to resist cash transactions. Only after successful payment of fees a case is admitted in the court.

Non-Judicial Stamp Paper:
The general use of non-judicial stamp paper is made for the execution of documents like sale deed, power of attorney, affidavits, rent agreement, transfer of property like building, mortgage, land, or other relevant agreements. In India the value of non-judicial stamp papers at present is Rs. 100, Rs. 500, Rs. 1000, Rs. 5000, Rs. 10000, Rs. 15000, Rs. 20000, Rs. 25000 and Rs. 75000 respectively.
It is advised to purchase stamp papers from approved legal stamp vendors by Government. Stamp Duty is paid under the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 with respect to Non-Judicial stamp paper.

Revenue Stamps
In revenue stamp, in the entire State, the transaction of Rs. 5000 or more of the revenue stamps are signed, and the document has to be executed. The revenue stamp of Rs.1 has been made available. Thus, it is mandatory to use stamp paper for creating the enforceable document; stamps shall be used of specific value as per the guidelines in the Stamp Act.

E- Stamping
Considering the present situation and increments in online work government has sanctioned new way of the stamp i.e. called e-stamping. In this way, the extensive system of stamp paper/franking is now replaced by an E-stamping system. Still, the stamp paper is in use; nevertheless, electronic arrangements are being created to reduce the risk of fraud.
This is computer-based and is considered as a secured way of paying non-judicial stamp duty to the government.

Stamping is currently used in the below-mentioned states, i.e. Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, etc.And is also available in some union territories.
Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL) is now promoting financial institutions and insurance majors. It is known for its security, extensive network, integrity, and technology. It is the only Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) authorized by the Government of India. The CRA is accountable for the registration of users, overall E-Stamping application maintenance, and operation. CRA will appoint Authorised Collection Centre’s who issue certificates to the clients at their counters.

Benefits of E-Stamp
• Can be acquired instantly.
• The authenticity of the E-Stamp certificate can be verified.
• Certificate has a Unique Identification Number.
• The specific denomination is not needed.
• Anyone on the recommended site can check the e-stamp certificate.

Applicable Laws
• Indian Stamp Act,1899
• Bombay Stamp Act,1958
• Court Fee Act,1870

Amendment
The finance ministry is planning amendments to the over a century-old Indian Stamps Act. Thepapers may soon come with only one-year validity. The validity period is being proposed to address the issue of forgery. Besides, electronic payment of stamp duty may be allowed under the new Bill.Officials said the objective behind specifying an expiry date for the use of the stamp paper was to deter its misuse, as many people bought backdated papers to stake their claim on properties in the future when no such deal would have actually happened on that date.

“On festivals like Diwali and Dhanteras, people buy stamp papers and use these in the future to create backdated documents. There is no way to find when the deal actually happened or whether a deceased person actually signed the paper or not,” said a finance ministry official.

Regardless, concerns have been lifted by a section in the government that prescribing a validity period would not stop frauds, as it would still give a person a one-year window.For instance, if somebody buys a stamp paper in April 2014, it will be valid till March 2015. If somebody wants to forge documents, he can keep them in his possession for many years, say till 2020, and show the deal on the paper between April 2014 and March 2015.

Stamp papers are widely used to collect taxes on documents that require stamping, such as leases, agreements, receipts, or court documents. While many states have their own Stamp Duty Acts, some have adopted the Indian Stamps Act. Once amendments are made to the Indian Stamps Act, 1899, states will be free to decide whether they would like to adopt the model Act or continue with their own Act.

Section 54 of the Act provides that a person possessing a stamp paper for which he has no immediate use can seek refund of the value by surrendering it to the collector within six months of purchasing it. This validity is only for the purpose of seeking refund of unused stamp paper and not for using it.

A Supreme Court judgment in 2008 had clarified there was no impediment for a stamp paper, purchased more than six months prior to the proposed date of execution, being used for a document.
The finance ministry is also considering various other changes to the Indian Stamps Act, with major ones including amendments pertaining to a uniform stamp duty on stock market transactions across the states, against the current practice of multiple rates. Stamp duty may be collected by stock exchanges from the seller and then passed on to the states where the seller is based.

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