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Indian Stamp Act, 1899

35. Instruments not duly stamped inadmissible in evidence, etc.

No instrument chargeable with duty shall be admitted in evidence for any purpose by any person having by law or consent of parties authority to receive evidence, or shall be acted upon, registered or authenticated by any such person or by any public officer, unless such instrument is duly stamped:


(a) any such instrument not being an instrument chargeable 33[with a duty not exceeding ten naye paise] only, or a bill of exchange or promissory note, shall, subject to all just exceptions, be admitted in evidence on payment of the duty with which the same is chargeable or, in the case of an instrument insufficiently stamped, of the amount required to make up such duty, together with a penalty of five rupees, or, when ten times the amount of the proper duty or deficient portion thereof exceeds five rupees, of a sum equal to ten times such duty or portion;

(b) where any person from whom a stamped receipt could have been demanded, has given an unstamped receipt and such receipt, if stamped, would be admissible in evidence against him, then such receipt shall be admitted in evidence against him on payment of a penalty of one rupee by the person tendering it;

(c) where a contract or agreement of any kind is effected by correspondence consisting of two or more letters and any one of the letters bears the proper stamp, the contract or agreement shall be deemed to be duly stamped;

(d) nothing herein contained shall prevent the admission of any instrument in evidence in any proceeding in a Criminal Court, other than a proceeding under Chapter XII or Chapter XXXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898;

(e) nothing herein contained shall prevent the admission of any instrument in any court when such instrument has been executed by or on behalf of the government or where it bears the certificate of the Collector as provided by section 32 or any other provision of this Act

Comment: It is not disputed that the actual value of the stamp used covers more than the stamp duty and penalty required for the document and, therefore, there is no difficulty in holding that the award is admissible in evidence and cannot be rejected on the ground that the proper duty and penalty has not been paid. Mattapalli Chelamayya v. Mattapalli Venkataratnam, AIR 1972 SUPREME COURT 1121

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