Stamp paper expiry date, is there any expiry of stamp paper

Stamp paper expiry date, expiry period of stamp paper, validity of stamp paper

You purchase a stamp paper. Till which time you can use this… Is it 6 (six) months period?

Normally people believe that the stamp paper has a validity period, which is not a case.

Hon’ble Supreme court clarified the position in a case titled as Thiruvengada Pillai vs. Navaneethammal and Anr., AIR 2008 SC 1541.

Hon’ble Supreme court was of view that that:

1.         The Indian Stamp Act, 1899 nowhere prescribes any expiry date for use of a stamp paper.

2.         Section 54 merely provides that a person possessing a stamp paper for which he has no immediate use (which is not spoiled or rendered unfit or useless), can seek refund of the value thereof by surrendering such stamp paper to the Collector provided it was purchased within the period of six months next preceding the date on which it was so surrendered.

3.         The stipulation of the period of six months prescribed in section 54 is only for the purpose of seeking refund of the value of the unused stamp paper, and not for use of the stamp paper.

4.         Section 54 does not require the person who has purchased a stamp paper, to use it within six months.

5.         Therefore, there is no impediment for a stamp paper purchased more than six months prior to the proposed date of execution, being used for a document.

Section 52B of Bombay Stamp Act, 1958

The above was a observation while Hon’ble Supreme Court was interpreting Indian Stamp Act, 1899, which is a central Act.

However, the State of Maharastra came up with amendment in Bombay Stamp Act 1958 in the year 1989 and added Section 52B, as per which :

stamps which are not used within a period of 6 months or for which no allowance/refund has been claimed shall be rendered invalid after 6 months.”

Thus provision of section 52B of Bombay Stamp Act is not be related to court fees for which there is separate ‘Bombay Court Fees Act, 1959’, where there is no such provision for limitation.

Final take

The Hon’ble Supreme Court came with above view keeping in view the provisions of Indian Stamp Act, 1988, which is a Central Act. Levying stamp duty is a state matter. The view of Supreme Court should be read in conjunction with the state law /rules passed on the subject.