Does Non-Judicial Stamp Paper Expire?

Validity of old stamp paper in India

According to Section 54 of the Indian Stamp Act, if you do not have use of a stamp paper, then you can deposit it to the collector within 6th months from the date of purchase and refund your money as a refund after a deduction of 10 paise per rupee.

In the case of Thiruvengada Pillai Vs. Navaneethammal & Anr., it was held by the Supreme Court of India that a stamp paper validity, even if it is more than six months old, is valid to be used said by Supreme Court. Section 54 just an obstacle in taking a refund after 6th months of you have purchased, but it does not constrict the use of such old stamp paper for any kind of an agreement. Thus, nothing interdicts you from using it even after years of its purchase. There have not any law for a prescribed period of limitation for its validity.

Maharashtra and Gujarat are the two states which have specific law stating that if a stamp is not used or capitulate back within 6th months of the date of issuing them, they will behave as expired. Section 52B(b) of The Maharashtra Stamp Act and Section 52C of Bombay Stamp (Gujarat Amendment) Act, 2016 states that if any stamp has been purchased and it is neither used nor any allowances are claimed on it within a period of six months, it will be treated as invalid.

Does Non-Judicial Stamp Paper Expire?

According to a recent Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgement dated 19-02-2008 in the case of Thiruvengada Pillai vs. Navaneethammal and Anr., the stamp papers do not have any kind of expiry period. Relevant extract from Hon’ble Apex Cout judgement is reproduced herein below:

According to The Indian Stamp Act, 1899, nowhere prescribes any expiry date for use of a stamp paper. Section of this act 54 merely provides that a person possessing a stamp paper validity for which he has no immediate use (which is not spoiled or rendered unfit or useless), can seek a refund of the value thereof by surrendering such kind of 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.

The stipulation of the period of 6 months prescribed in Section 54 of this act is only for the purpose of seeking refund of the value of the unused stamp paper, and not for use of the non-judicial stamp paper. Section 54 of this act does not require the person who has purchased a stamp paper, to use it within six months. Therefore, there is no impediment for a non-judicial stamp paper purchased more than 6 months prior to the proposed date of execution, being used for a document.

Md Sahabuddin Mondal

Junior Advocate, Calcutta High Court

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