Stamp duty evasion: Mohali DC cancels transfer of land after demerger of firms
The transfer of 120-acre land in two villages—Bairampur and Manak Majra—in Mohali district from Emaar MGF to MGF Developers, in pursuance of a demerger of companies, has been cancelled.
Mohali deputy commissioner (DC) Girish Dayalan on Thursday cancelled the land mutation after a review following an inquiry that was ordered into the transfer taking place without paying of stamp duty, causing a loss of several crores to the state exchequer.
The transfer of land is in pursuance of a demerger of companies as per the scheme of arrangement approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in its 2018 judgment.
Transfer was allowed creating parallel file
MGF had filed an application to the Mohali sub-divisional magistrate on March 16, which was sent to the tehsildar for further action. The then tehsildar had kept the case file pending awaiting legal opinion. The tehsildar had also raised objections over the non-payment of stamp duty by MGF Developers.
During the pendency of the case, the then tehsildar was transferred and the land was transferred to MGF Developers by creating a new case file.
Even former deputy speaker, Bir Devinder Singh, urged the chief minister to probe into the stamp duty evasion. He said, “The former tehsildar had objected, was transferred and present tehsildar Vikash Sharma was appointed, who made a parallel file and approved it.”
Punjab yet to frame rules on levy of stamp duty
The NCLT order had stated: “While approving the scheme, we further clarify that this order shall not be construed as an order in any way granting exemption from payment of stamp duty, income tax, GST or other charges, if any, and payment in accordance with law in respect of any permission/compliance with any other requirement, which may be specifically required under any law.”
Further, the scheme of arrangement approved by the NCLT said: “All agreed costs (including without limitation transaction costs, taxes, stamp duties) of the reorganisation will be borne by the demerged company and resulting company as agreed.”
It also mentioned: “All the property rights and powers of the demerged undertaking of the demerged company be transferred without any further act or deed to the resulting company.”
Tamil Nadu and Haryana have already framed the rules for levy of stamp duty as per NCLT orders approving scheme of mergers/demergers and the consequent transfer of moveable/immovable assets. Punjab is yet to frame such rules.
DC Dayalan said, “We have cancelled the mutation as it has resulted in loss to exchequer. We have also submitted a report to state government to form a scheme to charge fee for land mutation as per the orders of National Company Law Tribunal.”