Corporation of Delhi Vs. Pramod Kumar Gupta  INSC
390 (17 December 1990)
L.M. (J) Sharma, L.M. (J) Sahai, R.M. (J)
1991 AIR 401 1990 SCR Supl. (3) 547 JT 1990 (4) 787 1990 SCALE (2)1272
Municipal Corporation Act, 1957: Section 147--Levy of duty on transfer of
immovable property--Expression 'i- nstrument of sale of immovable
property'--Scope of--Word 'instrument'--Whether has the same connotation as
under the Indian Stamp Act, 1899.
of Civil Procedure, 1908: Order XXI, Rules 92-94--Auction sale--Certificate of
sale issued by Civil
instrument of sale--Whether chargeable to duty under section 147 of the
Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 --Object of the sale certificate explained.
Stamp Act, 1899: Section 2 Clause (10) and (14)'Conveyance' and
respondent purchased the property in question at an auction sale held in
execution of a decree of the Civil Court.
The sale was confirmed under Order XXI, Rule 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure,
1908 and the High Court direct- ed issuing of a sale certificate under Rule 94.
On the question of payment of duty the respondent contended that no duty was
chargeable under section 147 of the Municipal Corporation Act, 1957. A single
judge of the High Court accepted his plea and directed payment of only stamp
duty (under the Stamp Act, 1899) without any surcharge under section 147 of the
1957 Act for issuance of the sale certif- icate. On appeal the judgment of the
single judge was con- firmed by a Division Bench of the High Court. Hence this
appeal by Municipal Corporation.
the appeal, this Court,
1. The expression 'instrument of sale of immovable property' under section 147
of the Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 means a document effecting transfer. The
title to the property in question has to be conveyed under the docu- ment. The
document has to be a vehicle for the transfer of the right, title and interest,
A document merely stating as a fact that transfer has already taken place
cannot be included within this expression. A paper which is recording a fact or
is 548 attempting to furnish evidence of an already concluded transaction under
which title has already passed cannot be treated to be such an instrument.
provisions of Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 make it clear that
the title to the property put on auction sale passes by force of law when the
sale is held and the transfer becomes final when an order under Rule 92
confirming it is made. By the certificate issued under Rule 94, the Court is
formally declaring the effect of the same and is not extinguishing or creating
title. The object of issuance of such a Certificate is to avoid any controver- sy
with respect to the identity of the property sold, and of the purchaser thereof
as also of the date when the sale becomes absolute. The use of past tense in
the rule stating that the sale "became" absolute, is consistent with
this interpretation. The Certificate of sale, therefore, cannot be termed to be
an instrument of sale so as to attract section 147 of the Delhi Municipal
Corporation Act. [550E-H; 551A-D]