The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea as withdrawn of former law minister and Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan challenging the order of the Stamp Collectors office here in which Rs 27 lakh fine was slapped against him for stamp duty evasion. The appeal against the order would now be filed before the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority (CCRA),Board of Revenue,in Allahabad. The stamp collectors office had passed the order on January 6.
A single-judge Bench of Justice Arun Tandon allowed the plea to be withdrawn after Anurag Khanna,counsel for Bhushan,argued that the petitioner wanted to approach the CCRA first. The court did not comment on the merit of the case and allowed the appeal to be withdrawn, said Khanna. He added that the CCRA is the appellate authority under Section 56 (1) (A) of the Indian Stamp Act.
Following the January 6 order of the Assistant Commissioner (Stamp and Registration),Bhushan had decided to directly approach the Allahabad High Court. He had also alleged that the order was passed under political pressure.
Apart from the fine,the assistant commissioner had also directed payment of difference in the stamp duty paid with 1.5 per cent interest on a monthly basis. The difference had come to more than Rs 1.32 crore.
The assistant commissioner had held that the property,measuring 7,818 square metres,was bought on November 29,2010,as per documents produced,while stamp duty of Rs 46,700 was paid on the plea that the deal had been finalised in 1966. The assistant commissioner had held that it was not acceptable as per legal norms.