Government of West Bengal
Finance (Taxation) Department
No. 151FT Date: 17.1.94
In exercise of the powers conferred by sections 2,9,10,16,18,37,49,55 and 75 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, (2 of 1899) and by Notification No. C. 63-Stamps/25 dated the 5th March, 1925, issued by the Government of India, Finance Department (Central Revenues) (Stamps), and also in supersession of all previous rules and orders on the subject issued by the Government of Bengal, the Governor is pleased hereby to make the following rules, namely:-
1. Short Title
These rules may be called the West Bengal Stamp Rules, 1994.
In these rules-
(a) “Act” means the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (2 of 1899).
(b) “Section” means a section of the Act
(c) “Schedule” means a schedule of the Act
(d) “Superintendent of Stamps” means the Superintendent of Stamps, Calcutta and any other officer appointed by the Government of West Bengal to perform the functions of a Superintendent of Stamps.
3. Description of Stamps
(1) Except as otherwise provided by the Act or by these rules-
(i) all duties with which any instrument is chargeable shall be paid, and such payment shall be indicated on such instrument, by means of stamps issued by Government for the purposes of the Act, and
(ii) a stamp which by any word or words on the face of it is appropriated to any particular kind of instrument shall not be used for an instrument of any other kind.
(2) There shall be two kinds of stamp for indicating the payment of duty with which instruments are chargeable, namely:
(a) impressed stamps, and
(b) adhesive stamps.
(1) Hundis, other than hundis which may be stamped with an adhesive Stamp under section 11, shall be written on paper as follows, namely:
(a) A hundi payable otherwise than on demand but not at more than one year after date or sight, and for an amount not exceeding rupees thirty thousand in value, shall be written on paper on which a stamp of the proper value bearing the word “hundi” has been engraved or embossed:
Provided that, where a paper with a stamp of the proper value bearing the word “hundi” engraved or embossed thereon is not available, the hundi may, notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rules (2) and (3), be written on blank paper or on paper having a stamp of insufficient value engraved or embossed thereon and may, alongwith the amount of proper duty on the amount required to make up the same, as the case may be, be sent to the proper Officer for affixing and impressing labels thereon in accordance with rule 11.
(b) A hundi for an amount exceeding rupees thirty thousand in value, or payable at more than one year after date or sight, shall be written on paper supplied for sale by the Government, to which a label has been affixed by the Collector of Stamp Revenue, Calcutta, or a Superintendent of Stamps, and impressed by such officer in the manner prescribed by rule 11.
(2) Every sheet of paper on which a hundi is written shall be not less than 21.9 cm. long and 13.0 cm. wide and no plain paper shall be joined thereto.
(3) The provisions of sub-rule (1) of rule 7 shall apply in the case of hundis.
5. Promissory notes and bills of exchange
A promissory note or a bill of exchange shall, except as provided by section 11, or by proviso to clause (a) of sub-rule (1) of rule 4 or rules 13 and 17, be written on paper on which a stamp of the proper value, with or without the word “hundi”, has been engraved or embossed.
6. Other instruments
Every other instrument chargeable with duty shall, except as provided by section 11 or by rules 10,12 and 13, be written on paper on which a stamp of the proper value, not bearing the word “hundi”, has been engraved or embossed.
7. Provision where single sheet of paper is insufficient
(1) Where two or more sheets of paper on which stamps are engraved or embossed are used to make up the amount of duty chargeable in respect of any instrument, a portion of such instrument shall be written on each sheet so used.
(2) Where a single sheet of paper, not being paper bearing an impressed hundi-stamp, is insufficient to admit of the entire instrument being written on the side of the paper which bears the stamp, so much plain paper may be subjoined thereto as may be necessary for the complete writing of such instrument:
Provided that in every such case a substantial part of the instrument shall be written on the sheet which bears the stamp before any part is written on the plain paper subjoined.
8. Proper Officer
The Collector of Stamp Revenue, Calcutta, the Superintendent of Stamps and any Officer appointed in this behalf by the Government of West Bengal are empowered to affix and impress or perforate labels or frank by means of a franking machine and each of them shall be deemed to be the Proper Officer for the purpose of the Act and of these rules.
9. Affixing and impressing of tables by Proper Officer permissible in certain cases
Except as provided in section 11 and rule 12, labels may be affixed and impressed or franked by the Proper Officer in the case of all instruments chargeable with stamp duty under the Act other than the instruments on which the duty is less than fifteen paise when-
(1) they are written in English, Bengali, or any recognised regional language of the state; or
(ii) they are written in any other language and accompanied by the translation in English or Bengali.
10. Mode of affixing and impressing labels
(1) The Proper Officer shall, upon any instrument specified in rule 9 being brought to aim before it is executed, and upon application being made to him, affix thereto a label or labels or frank it of such value as the applicant may require and pay for with reference to the amount of transaction shown in the instrument and impress or perforate such label or labels or frank, by means of stamping machine or a perforating machine or a franking machine, and also stamp or write on the face of the label or labels the date of impressing or perforating or franking the same. In the case of instruments written on parchment, the labels shall be further secured by means of metallic eyelets;
Provided that where a bill of exchange is drawn in sets, the proper officer, while stamping the first part, shall record on its second and subsequent parts the amount of transaction involved and the amount of duty paid on the first part, without charging any additional fee therefor.
(2) On affixing any label or labels under this rule, the proper officer shall, where the duty amounts to rupees five or upwards, initial on the face of the label or labels or franking mark and where the duty amounts to rupees twenty or upwards, shall also attach his usual signature to the instrument immediately under the label or labels or franking mark.
(3) The following officers may discharge the functions of the proper officer under sub-rule (2), namely:
(i) any principal assistant of the proper officer empowered by the State Government in this behalf;
(ii) in Calcutta, the Deputy Collector and the Superintendent of Stamps of the Collector’s office.
11. Certain instruments to be stamped with impressed labels
(1) Instruments executed out of West Bengal and requiring to be stamped after their receipt in West Bengal other than instruments which, under section 11 or 12, may be stamped with adhesive stamps, shall be stamped with impressed labels.
(2) Where any such instrument as aforesaid, is taken to the Collector under section 18, sub-section (2), the Collector, unless he is himself the proper officer, shall send the instrument to the proper officer, remitting the amount of duty paid in respect thereof and the proper officer shall stamp the instrument in the manner prescribed by rule 10 and return it to the Collector for delivery to the person by whom it was produced.
Use of Adhesive Stamps
12. Use of adhesive stamps on certain instruments
The following instruments may be stamped with adhesive stamps, namely:
(a) Bills-of-exchange payable otherwise than on demand and drawn in sets, when the amount of duty does not exceed ten paise for each part of the set.
(b) Transfers of debentures of public companies and associations.
(c) Copies of maps or plans, printed copies and copies of or extracts from registers given on printed forms when chargeable with duty under article 24 of Schedule I A.
(d) Instruments chargeable with duty under articles 5(a) and (b) and 43 of Schedule I A.
(e) Instruments chargeable with stamp duty under article 47 of Schedule IA.
(f) Instruments chargeable with stamp duty under articles 19,36,37,49(a) (ii) and (iii) and 52 of Schedule IA.
(g) Central Excise bonds.
13. Use of adhesive Court-fee stamps in certain cases
Notwithstanding anything contained in these rules, whenever the stamp duty, payable under the Act in respect of any instrument, cannot be paid exactly by reason of the fact that the necessary stamps are not in circulation, the amount by which the payment of duty shall on that account be in defect shall be made up by the affixing of such adhesive stamps as are described in rule 17, and as are necessary for the said instrument under the provision of law for the time being in force;
Provided that the State Government may direct that instead of such stamps adhesive court-fee stamps shall be used for the purpose.
Note. Direction issued by Finance (Taxation) Department, Government of West Bengal are reproduced below:
Notification No. 2364-F.T., dated 23rd July, 1984. In exercise of the power conferred by rule 13 A of the Indian Stamp Rules, 1925, the Governor has been pleased to direct that, whenever the stamp duty payable under the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (2 of 1899), in respect of any instrument referred to in entry (c) of Article 5 or entry (b) of. Article 19 of Schedule 1A to the said Act cannot be paid exactly by reason of the fact that necessary stamps are not in circulation, adhesive court-fee stamps instead of such stamps shall be used for the purpose.
2. Notification No. 1201 -F.T., dated the 17th April, 1989. In exercise of the power conferred by rule 13 A of the Indian Stamp Rules, 1925, the Governor is pleased hereby to direct that whenever the stamp-duty payable under the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (2 of 1899) in respect of instruments referred to in Article 4 or in entry (d) of Article 5 chargeable with duty under the first proviso to section 3 of, read with Schedule 1A to, the said Act cannot be paid exactly by reason of the fact that necessary stamps are not in circulation, the amount by which the payment of duty on that account is in deficit, shall be made up by affixing of adhesive court-fee stamps for the said instrument under the provisions of any law for the time being in force.
14. Supply of deficient duty on transfer of shares
When any instrument of transfer of shares in a company or association is written on a sheet of paper on which a stamp of the proper value is engraved or embossed and the value of the stamp so engraved or embossed is subsequently, in consequence of a rise in the value of such shares, found to fall short of the amount of duty chargeable under article 62(a) of Schedule IA, one or more adhesive stamps bearing the words “Share Transfer” may be used to make up the amount required.
15. Mode of cancelling “Share Transfer” stamps at the time of registration of the deed of transfer
“Share Transfer” stamps affixed to deeds of transfer of shares shall, before effect is given to the transfer by the Joint Stock Company concerned, be cancelled by the Company by means of a punch which can perforate either the word “cancelled” or an abbreviation thereof, namely, “cancld” on the initials of the Company, in sufficient prominence to render the stamps permanently unfit for reutilisation even though the stamps were previously cancelled in accordance with section 12 of the Act. In case a Company fails so to cancel the share transfer stamps as provided by this rule the Company shall be liable to the penalty prescribed by section 63 of the Act.
Provided that for the purpose of cancelling “Share Transfer” stamps, the State Government may, on being satisfied by a certificate from the Collector or the Superintendent of Stamps, permit any Joint Stock Company to adopt any other method in lieu of perforation by means of a punch.
16. Enrolment of Advocates, Vakils or Attorneys
When adhesive stamps are used to indicate the duty chargeable on entry as an Advocate, Vakil or Attorney on the roll of any High Court, such stamps shall be affixed under the superintendence of any gazetted officer of the High Court, who shall obtain the stamp from the Superintendent of Stamps or other officer appointed in this behalf by the State Government and account to him for it. Such gazetted officer shall, after affixing the stamp, write on the face of it his usual signature with the date thereof.
17. Adhesive stamps or stamps denoting duty
Except as otherwise provided by these rules, the adhesive stamps used to denote duty shall be the requisite number of stamps bearing the words, “India Revenue” and the words “ten paise”, “twenty paise” and “twenty five paise”.
18. Special adhesive stamps to be used in certain cases
(1) The following instruments when stamped with adhesive stamps shall be stamped with the following descriptions of such stamps, namely:
(a) Bill-of-exchange, cheques and promissory notes drawn or made out of India and chargeable with a duty of more than ten paise with stamps bearing the words “Foreign Bill”.
(b) Separate instruments of transfer of shares and transfers of debentures of public companies and associations with stamps bearing the words “Share Transfer”.
(c) Notarial acts with foreign bill stamps bearing the word “Notarial”.
(d) Copies of maps or plans, printed copies and copies of or extracts from registers given on “printed forms” (with court-fee stamps).
(e) Instruments chargeable with stamp-duty under article 43 of Schedule IA, with stamps bearing the words “Brokers’ note”.
(f) Instruments chargeable with stamp-duty under article 47 of Schedule IA, with stamps bearing the word “Insurance”.
19. Provision for cases in which improper description of stamp is used
When an instrument bears a stamp of proper amount, but of improper description, the Collector may, on payment of the duty with which the instrument is chargeable, certify by endorsement that it is duly stamped.
20. Evidence as to circumstances of claim to refund or renewal
The Collector may require any person claiming a refund or renewal under Chapter V of the Act, or his duly authorised agent, to make an oral deposition on oath or affirmation, or to file an affidavit, setting forth the circumstances under which the claim has arisen, and may also, if he thinks fit, call for the evidence of witnesses in support of the statement set forth in any such deposition or affidavit.
21. Payment of allowances in respect of spoiled or misused stamps or on the renewal of debentures
When an application is made for the payment, under Chapter V of the Act, of an allowance in respect of a stamp which has been spoiled or misused or for which the applicant has had no immediate use, or on the renewal of a debenture, and an order is passed by the Collector sanctioning the allowance or calling for further evidence in support of the application, then if the amount of the allowance or the stamp given in lieu thereof is not taken, or if the further evidence required is not furnished, as the case may be, by the applicant within one year of the date of such order, the application shall be struck off, and the spoiled or misused stamp (if any) sent to the Superintendent of Stamps or other officer appointed in this behalf by the State Government for destruction.
22. Mode of cancelling original debenture on refund under section 55
When the Collector makes a refund under section 55, he shall cancel the original debenture by writing on or across it the word “Cancelled” and his usual signature with the date thereof.
23. Composition or consolidation of duties
(a) Any incorporated Company or other body corporate in the State may, in respect of certificates of shares or letters of allotment to be issued by it, apply in writing to the State Government for permission for consolidation of duties payable thereon under the Act and to pay the consolidated duties. Full details regarding the total number of certificates of shares or letters of allotment and the amount of duty payable therefor shall be furnished in the application.
(b) On receipt of such application, the S tate Government may permit such Company or body corporate to credit the consolidated amount of duty payable to the Reserve Bank of India or any authorised branch of State Bank of India under the appropriate Head of Account and direct to submit the receipted challan in original showing the deposit. After credit of the amount of duty to the State Government Account under proper head, the State Government shall issue an order that the said Company or body corporate has been permitted to pay consolidated duty under clause (b) of subsection (I) of section 9 of the Act. Upon issue of such order the said Company or body corporate may issue-such certificates of shares or letters of allotment by printing thereon the words “Consolidated stamp duty on share certificates/Letters of Allotment No to paid vide G.O. No dated.. “.
24.Rewards For information given regarding any evasion of the stamp law, the Collector may, if he thinks fit, grant rewards not exceeding in any one case the amount of the fine levied from the offender or the sum paid in composition of an offence, up to a maximum of Rs. 500/-. When a larger reward than Rs. 500/- is deemed necessary, and in cases in which a conviction has not been obtained or the fine levied or in which a prosecution has not been undertaken, the Collector shall refer the cases to the Government for sanction.
Duties etc. of Public Officer
25. Management of offices of the affairs of Stamp Department in Collector’s Office
(a) For the better supervision of all matters connected with the revenue derived from stamps, the business of the Stamp Department at the headquarters of a district shall be conducted by a Deputy Collector or an Assistant under the title of Stamp Officer, acting under the direction and control of the Collector. Generally such officer will be required to see that all laws and rules relating to stamps a$ defined in the Stamp Act in force and the rules made thereunder and circulars are duly observed by the public and the officers concerned throughout the district. Such officer, however, will not be entitled to exercise any of the powers which are by law specially reserved to the Collector.
(b) Conducting of criminal prosecutions: It will also be the duty of the Stamp Officer to see that criminal prosecutions ordered by the Collector are properly conducted before the Court which tries such cases. In important and difficult cases he should, with the permission of the Court trying the cases, conduct the prosecution in person. Whenever necessary the Court impounding a document should be referred to as regards the evidence or information on which it acted.
(c) The Collector includes all Deputy Collectors in charge of subdivisions, Senior Deputy Collectors at the Sadar stations of districts, District Registrars including the Registrar of Calcutta, District Sub-Registrars and Sub-Registrars and all officers, holding temporary charge of sub-registry offices, who are appointed to be Collectors for the purpose of denoting upon the instrument, by endorsement, the payment of duty in respect of another instrument, as provided for in section 16 of the Act.
(d) Occasional inspection of stamped documents enjoined: Heads of offices in which adhesive stamps are used or filed are required to use an occasional inspection to be made of documents that have been filed, in order to ascertain that the stamps have been properly punched and have not been subsequently removed from the documents on which they are used. The inspection should be made at least once a quarter. The check herein prescribed applies equally to all papers which require adhesive labels, and they should be subjected to similar scrutiny.
(e) Duties of Record-keeper: It shall be the duty of the Record-Keeper on receiving records from any office or department for deposit in the record-room to ascertain personally or through the examination of a responsible assistant that on every document chargeable with stamp duty the head ministerial officer concerned has made the prescribed entry as to sufficiency or otherwise of the stamp borne and that the rules regarding cancellation of Court-fee stamps have been properly carried out. Should any of the stamps show signs of having been tampered with, or should there be any deficiency, or any suspicious circumstances, he must at once submit a report to his superior officer. This examination may be made at the time of second punching.
(f) Stamps frauds to be at once reported: Local authorities must report immediately to the Government, any instance of forgery or fradulent use of any description of stamps, whether general, or judicial, coming to their notice. Such reports should invariably contain full particulars as to the nature of fraud perpetrated, and, if possible, specimens should be submitted.
(g) Doubtful stamps to be sent to the Government: When a Collector is unable to decide the genuineness of a stamp brought before him, he should send it to the Government direct.
(h) District references to be submitted through Commissioner: References made to the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority by Collectors under section 56 of the Indian Stamp Act should be submitted through the Commissioner of the Division with his opinion.
(i) Compounding or withdrawal of stamp offences by district officers: With reference to the provisions contained in section 70 of the Act, district officers have been authorised by the Board of Revenue to withdraw any prosecution instituted by them in respect of an offence under the stamp law and to compound such offence if they are of opinion that there is sufficient and reasonable cause for so doing.
(j) Inadequate fines to be brought to the notice of Criminal Courts: If in cases of prosecutions instituted under the stamp law the fines inflicted by the Criminal Courts be of smaller amount than the penalty provided under the Indian Stamp Act or the penalty imposed by the Collector, the Revenue Officers should bring to the notice of the Criminal Courts trying such cases the amount of penalty in each case provided by the Stamp Act, and the impolicy of imposing a fine which is less than that provided under the Act.
(k) (i) Return of receipts and expenditure: Annual Return (vide Appendix Form No. 1 of the receipts and expenditure on account of stamps should be submitted by the Collector every year to the Government in the form precribed.
(ii) Explanation of increase or decrease: Full and intelligent explanations should be given to the above return, of the causes affecting the increase or decrease in the sales of each kind of stamp.
(iii) Above return to be submitted direct to Govt: The return above referred to should be forwarded direct to the Government within fifteen days from the close of the period reported on. Duplicate copy should at the same time be sent to the Commissioner, who will, after careful scrutiny, review them and submit his remarks to the Govenment within seven days of the receipts of the return in his office.
(iv) Stamp Registers: The following registers shall be maintained in the Stamp Department of the district
(1) Register of applications for refund of the value or renewal of stamps, Vide Appendix, Form No. 3.
(2) Register of Stamp Cases, Vide Appendix, Form No. 4
(3) Register of Stamp Vendors’ licence, Vide Appendix, Form No. 5
(4) Daily register of Court-fees realised, Vide Appendix, Form No. 6
Refund or Renewals
26. Contents of applications
Applications for refund or renewal shall be made on printed forms (vide Appendix, Form No.2) containing the particulars required by law, with counterfoils, including the receipt to be given by the Collector and the receipt for money or fresh stamps as the case may be, to be given by the party.
These forms shall be kept at each treasury for sale to the public at twenty Five paise for each, and while such printed forms are available they must be used by applicants.
27. Register of applicant
(a) The Collector shall keep a register of application for refund or renewal as prescribed in clause (iv) of sub-rule (k) of rule 25.
(b) The power to sanction refunds or renewals of non-judicial stamps in cases where the holders of spoilt or useless non-judicial stamps have, without any fraudulent motive, been unavoidably prevented from making the application within the time limit imposed by the Act, is delegated to
(i) the District Officers to a time-limit of one year,
(ii) the Divisional Commissioners to a time-limit of two years, in cases falling under sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 50, sections 52 and 54 but four months in cases falling under sub-section (1) of section 50.
(iii) The Government shall however dispose of such cases irrespective of any time-limit.
(c) The allowance for spoilt stamps under section 49 of the Act, refers to impressed papers and labels to the exclusion of adhesive stamps. Sections 52 and 54 refer to all kinds of stamps used under the Act but great caution shall be used in refunding the value of adhesive labels.
28. Application for refund or renewals may be received by either the Collector or the Stamp Deputy Collector, and in respect of stamps purchased at a subdivision, the application for refund or renewal may be received by the Sub-Divisional Officer.
29. Procedure after receipt of applications
On receipt of an application the stamped papers shall be counted, and the counterfoil attached to the form shall be filled up and returned to the applicant, who shall be told when the Collector’s order will be passed.
30. Collector to examine the stamps and the grounds of application
The Collector shall satisfy himself that the stamps are genuine, and that no marks of cancelment have been erased. He shall also carefully examine the grounds of the application before graining the refund or renewal.
31. Particulars to be noted by the Collector at the time of granting refund or renewal
If the Collector is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to the refund or renewal, he shall grant such refund or renewal, as the case may be, entering the necessary particulars in the counterfoil cached to the application, and taking the applicant’s receipt thereon.
32. Procedure to be followed when affidavit or deposition is necessary
If the Collector thinks it necessary to require an affidavit he will return the application for that purpose. If a deposition be thought necessary, the Collector should take it or have it taken at once.
33. Procedure when stamp is purchased in different district
If the stamp has been bought in a district other than that in which it is presented for refund or renewal, the Collector shall refer the applicant to the Collector of the district where the stamp’ was purchased.
34. Refunds when to be made
Refunds shall, if possible, be made on the day of application.
35. Entries in the register of applications when to be filled in
Columns 1 to 6 of the register of applications for refund of the value or renewal of stamps referred to in clause (iv) of sub-rule k of rule 25 shall be filled up on the day an application is filed, and the remaining columns when it has been disposed of.
36. Circumstances under which applications may be struck off and the stamps destroyed
When an application for refund of the value or renewal of spoilt or useless stamps is sanctioned, or a deposition, affidavit, or further evidence demanded in support of it, if the amount of the refund, or fresh stamps, are not taken, or the deposition, affidavit or further evidence called for, is not given, as the case may be, within one year of the date of the order, in either case, the application shall be struck off, and the stamps sent to the Collector of Stamp Revenue, Calcutta, for destruction.
37. Cancellation of stamps after grant of refund
When a refund or renewal is granted, the Collector shall then and there punch or mark the stamp in such a way that it can never be presented again. The cancelled stamps shall be made over to the treasury where they will be entered in the Double-lock Register of Stamps and kept in the strong room until they are despatched to the Collector of Stamp Revenue, Calcutta, for destruction.
38. Cases where refund or renewal inadmissible
No refund or renewal can be granted in respect of stamps wholly destroyed, lost or purchased from other states.