Shanti Bhushan challenges duty evasion order
Team Anna member and former Union minister Shanti Bhushan has challenged an order of the assistant stamp commissioner whereby he had been held guilty of evading stamp duty to the tune of about Rs 1.35 crore and deposited a sum of Rs 70 lakh with the office of chief controller, revenue authority, for the purpose.
The sum was deposited yesterday on behalf of Bhushan, who has been maintaining that there had been no evasion of stamp duty on his part in the purchase of property spread over 7,818 square metres of land in the posh Civil Lines locality of the city, though the assistant stamp commissioner had on January 6 held him guilty of the same.
The assistant stamp commissioner had asked him to pay the outstanding amount with a monthly interest of 1.5 per cent with effect from 29.11.2010 besides imposing a fine of more than Rs 27 lakh.
He was directed to pay the amount within one month failing which the department could initiate further action.
The veteran lawyer thereafter moved the Allahabad high court, which on February one turned down his petition stating that he could seek "statutory remedy" as provided under the Stamps Act.
According to sources in the office of the chief controller, revenue authority, a person appealing an order of the assistant stamp commissioner for alleged duty of stamp evasion has to deposit one-third of the total amount payable before hand.
Bhushan used to stay in a bungalow situated on the land till the 1970s when he moved to New Delhi.
He, however, did not give up the possession of the property and remained involved in a protracted litigation with the landlord before purchasing the land through an "agreement to sell" in November, 2010.
It was claimed by the department for stamp and registration that the veteran lawyer had shown purchase of the property for a paltry sum which enabled him to understate its value on which the stamp duty payable was calculated and Rs 46,700 was paid.
A notice was issued to Bhushan in February, 2011 for alleged evasion of stamp duty to the tune of nearly Rs 1.35 crore.
However, Bhushan has been maintaining that there was no evasion of stamp duty on his part.