Telecom companies to pay stamp duty according to Act

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Allahabad, Oct 22 (UNI) The Allahabad High Court today held that the agreement to install Telecom Towers on the empty roof or space of a building for a fixed period creates a lease and therefore, the Telecom companies will have to pay the stamp duty for it.

The judgment was given by Justice Janardan Sahai after hearing the counsel for the petitioner and Mr Zafar Naiyer, the additional advocate general, who represented the state government.

Dismissing the writ petition filed by Tata Teleservices Limited, the court observed 'the transaction in question creates a lease within the meaning of transfer of property act and thus covered in the definition under stamp act also.' The term in the deed read as a whole, also indicate that it contains as undertaking in writing to pay an amount to occupy immovable property.

A circular letter was issued by the commissioners and collectors of stamp in UP that Telephone companies were executing agreements with private persons for taking on rent their roofs for installation of tower and these documents were neither being registered nor stamped. Visualizing the loss of revenue to state, the additional collectors were directed to visit the officers of the companies and ensure the recovery of proper stamp duty and registration of such agreements.

By the aforesaid writ petition circular and other orders were challenged, but the same did not find favour and it was held that evasion of stamp duty is impressible as the transaction is fully cover under clause (4) of section 2 (16) of stamp act.

UNI VCP JAS RL RK2023

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