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When an Arbitral Award exceeds the value of Rs.1,000/-, the stamp duty on the Award is payable only in terms of Clause (b) thereof; and Clause (a) would be applicable only when the Award does not exceed the value of Rs.1,000/- : Delhi High Court

There can really be no dispute to the fact that as per Article 12 of Schedule-1A, as amended vide the Indian Stamp (Delhi Amendment) Act, 2001, when an Arbitral Award exceeds the value of Rs.1,000/-, the stamp duty on the Award is payable only in terms of Clause (b) as upheld by the High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Hon’ble Ms. Justice Rekha Palli in the case of M/S. Indsao Construction Pvt. Ltd. V. The Collector of Stamp/ Sub-Divisional Magistrate (W.P.(C) 886/2021)

The brief facts, leading to the filing of the present petition, are that an Arbitral Award, pertaining to a dispute between the petitioner company and M/s Baroda House NRGE CGHS, came to be passed on 11.10.2013. The Award was made on a non-judicial stamp paper of Rs.1,000/- with directions to the petitioner to have the amount of stamp duty payable thereon adjudicated by the Collector of Stamps. Consequently, on 07.11.2013, the petitioner filed an application before the respondent/Sub Divisional Magistrate, Dwarka for adjudication of stamp duty on the Arbitral Award. The said application came to decided vide the impugned order on 03.01.2020, whereunder the respondent has held that the petitioner was liable to pay stamp duty @ 2% on the awarded amount. While passing the impugned order, the respondent has placed reliance on a decision dated 03.02.2010 of a Co-ordinate Bench in OMP No. 78/2003 titled “Eider Pwi Paging Limited & Eider Pwi Communications Ltd. v. Union of India”.

From a perusal of the facts and arguments, the Hon’ble Court held “I, therefore, have no hesitation in setting aside the impugned order and accepting the petitioner’s plea that it was liable to pay stamp duty only at @0.1% on the awarded amount, in accordance with Clause (b) of Article 12, Schedule 1-A. 11. The matter is, therefore, remanded back to the respondent for determining the stamp duty in accordance with the observations made hereinabove.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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