Market value cannot be fixed by registration authority if there is no doubt as to sale consideration

Hyderabad High Court: The Single Judge Bench of the High Court stated that the market value of a property cannot be single handedly fixed by the registering authorities. The market value of the property can be fixed by such authorities only when there is a doubt regarding the proper market value.

The case before the Court was that the petitioners had purchased the said plot of land through an open auction at a set price of Rs. 15,200 per square yard. The total sale consideration of Rs. 10,57,46,400 was deposited in the Court by the petitioners after which the Court confirmed the sale. As some claim petitions for the suit property filed by third parties were pending, the sale deed could not be executed. Once the third party petitions were dismissed, the petitioner paid a sum of Rs. 74,02,255 towards stamp duty and Rs. 26,43,665 towards registration fee totaling to an amount of Rs. 1,00,45,920, on the total sale consideration of Rs. 10,57,46,400. The respondents then stated that the market value of the property was higher than the sale consideration and hence the stamp duty and registration fee for the property should be more. They kept the registration pending on these grounds. The Court had earlier directed the petitioners to furnish a bank guarantee after which the document would be processed.

The petitioner counsel contended that the petitioners had already paid a stamp duty according to the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 and the direction by the respondents for more stamp duty is not correct. The government pleader on the other hand contended that the market value of the property is to be taken into consideration when fixing stamp duty.

The Court allowed the writ petition stating that since the property was purchased by the petitioners in an auction, the consideration in the case cannot be doubted. The registration authorities cannot fix the market value of the property when there is no doubt regarding the sale consideration. The Court also directed the respondents to return the bank guarantee to the petitioners. [M/s. Super Gold Constructions Pvt. Ltd v. Sub-Registrar, S.R.Nagar, Hyderabad, 2017 SCC OnLine Hyd 236, decided on 12.07.2017]

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