Pained over the harassment being caused to city residents on account of alleged arbitrary levy of stamp duty by the UT Estate office in transfer of properties with the family,the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Chandigarh Administration not to harass the applicants. Taking strong note of the rise in number of avoidable litigation resulting from non-decision by the UT authorities,a bench headed by Justice Hemant Gupta has issued notices to the Chandigarh Administration.
Enlarging the scope of the several petitions filed by city residents,Justice Hemant Gupta has asked the Administration to look into the matter and take immediate action to redress the grievances of the city residents. In several petitions,residents have alleged that while the Supreme Court has held that in cases of family settlement no stamp duty is to be charged,the UT Estate Office is forcing the petitioners to pay stamp duty.
The petitioners had contended that in cases of family settlement,the transfer of a property from one family member to another,stamp duty cannot be charged,as per a Supreme Court judgment. It has been further alleged that unnecessary delay is being caused by the authorities in deciding cases of transfer of property.
The Bench also took into account other petitions where it has been alleged that despite completing the formalities,as demanded by the Administration,property wills are not being executed. Petitions complaining delay in decision of execution of such representations were also taken serious view of by the Bench.
The High Court remarked that such litigation is avoidable and that the city residents are forced to knock the doors of the Court for such litigation which is avoidable. Calling upon the senior standing counsel for UT Administration,Sanjay Kaushal,the Bench asked him to look into the matter and ensure that the city residents are not compelled to approach the High Court for such matters which are the responsibility of the officials of Administration.
The Bench has given two weeks time to respond to the petitions and issues raised therein. Accepting notices on behalf of the Administration,Sanjay Kaushal assured that the matter would be looked into and that the Administration would come up with a remedy.