THE INDIAN STAMP ACT, 1899
[Act No. 2 of 1899]
[27th January, 1899]
An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to Stamps,
WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to Stamps.
It is hereby enacted as follows:
Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the Indian Stamp Act, 1899.
1(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir:
Provided that it shall not apply to2[the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part BStates] (excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir)3[and the territories specified in sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956] except to the extent to whic the provisions of this Act relate to rates of stamp-duty in respect of the documents specified in Entry 91 of List I in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
(3) It shall come into force on the first day of July, 1899.
|1. Substituted by Act 43 of 1955, Section 3, for the former sub-section w.e.f. 1-4-1956.|
2. Substituted by the A.O. (No.2) 1956, for "Part BStates".
3. Added by A.P. Act XIX of 1959.
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context, -
(1) "Banker" includes a bank and any person acting as a banker;
(2) "Bill of exchange" means a bill of exchange as defined by the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, and includes also a hundi, and any other document entitling or purporting to entitle any other person of, or to draw upon any other person for, any sum of money;
(3) "Bill of exchange payable on demand" includes-
(a) an order for the payment of any sum of money by a bill of exchange or promissory note, or for the delivery of any bill of exchange or promissory note in satisfaction of any sum of money, or for the payment of any sum of money out of any particular fund which may or may not be available, or upon any condition or contingency which may or may not be performed or happen;
(b)an order for the payment of any sum of money weekly, monthly, or at any other stated period; and
(c)a letter of credit, that is to say, any instrument by which one person authorises another to give credit to the person in whose favour it is drawn;
(4)"Bill of lading" includes a "through bill lading", but does not include a mate's receipt;
(a) any instrument whereby a person obliges himself to pay money to another, on condition that the obligation shall be void if a specified act is performed, or is not performed, as the case may be;
(b) any instrument attested by a witness and not payable to order or bearer, whereby a person obliges himself to pay money to another; and
(c) any instrument so attested, whereby a person obliges himself to deliver grain or other agricultural produce to another;
(6) "Chargeable" means, as applied to an instrument executed or first executed after the commencement of this Act, chargeable under this Act, and, as applied to any other instrument, chargeable under the law in force in 1 [India] when such instrument was executed or, where several persons executed the instrument at different times, first executed;
(7) "Cheque" means a bill of exchange drawn on a specified banker and not expressed to be payable otherwise than on demand;
(a) means, within the limits of the towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, the Collector of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay respectively, and, without those limits, the Collector of a district; and
(b) includes a Deputy Commissioner and any officer whom 3 [the 4 [State Government]] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint in this behalf;
5 [(10) "Conveyance" includes a conveyance on sale, every instrument and every decree or final order of any Civil Court, by which property, whether moveable or immovable, or any estate or interest in any property is transferred to, or vested in or declared to be of any other person, intervivos, and which is not otherwise specifically provided for by Schedule I or Schedule 1-A, as the case may be.
(11) "Duly stamped", as applied to an instrument, means that the instrument bears an adhesive or impressed stamp of not less than the proper amount and that such stamp has been affixed or used in accordance with the law for the time being in force in 5 [India];
(12) "Executed" and "execution" used with reference to instruments mean "signed" and "signature";
(13) "Impressed stamp" includes-
(a) labels affixed and impressed by the proper officer; and
(b) stamps embossed or engraved on stamped paper
7 [(13A) "India" means the territory of India excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir ;]
(14) "Instrument" includes every document by which any right or liability is, or purports to be, created, transferred, limited, extended, extinguished or record;
(15) "Instrument of partition" means any instrument where by co-owners of any property divide or agree to divide such property in severalty, and includes also a final order for effecting a partition passed by any Revenue-authority or any Civil Court and an award by an arbitrator directing a partition 8 [and a memorandum regarding past partition;]
(16) "Lease" means a lease of immovable property and includes also-
(b)a kabuliyat or other undertaking in writing, not being a counterpart of a lease, to cultivate, occupy or pay or deliver rent for, immovable property;
(c)any instrument by which tolls of any description are let;
(d)any writing on an application for a lease intended to signify that the application is granted:
8 [(16A) "Marketable security" means a security of such a description as to be capable of being sold in any stock market in 9 [India] or in the United Kingdom ;]
(17) "Mortgage-deed" includes every instrument whereby, for the purpose of securing money advanced, or to be advanced, by way of loan, or an existing or future debt, or the performance of an engagement, one person transfers, or creates, to, or in favour of, another, a right over or in respect of specified property;
(18) "Paper" includes vellum, parchment or any other material on which an instrument may be written;
(19) "Policy of insurance" includes-
(a) any instrument by which one person, in consideration of a premium, engages to indemnify another against loss, damage or liability arising from an unknown or contingent event;
(b) a life-policy, and any policy insuring any person against accident or sickness, and any other personal insurance;
11 [(19A) "policy of group insurance" means any instrument covering not less than fifty or such smaller number as the Central Government may approve, either generally or with reference to any particular case, by which an insurer, in consideration of a premium paid by an employer or by an employer and his employees jointly, engages to cover, with or without medical examination and for the sole benefit of persons other than the employer, the lives of all the employees or of any class of them, determined by conditions pertaining to the employment, for amounts of insurance based upon a plan which precludes individual selection ;]
(20) "Policy of sea-insurance" or "sea-policy''-
(a)means any insurance made upon any ship or vessel (whether for marine or inland navigation), or upon the machinery, tackle or furniture of any ship or vessel, or upon any goods, merchandise or property of any description whatever on board of any ship or vessel, or upon the freight of, or any other interest which may be lawfully insured in, or relating to, any ship or vessel; and
(b)includes any insurance of goods, merchandise or property for any transit which includes, not only a sea risk within the meaning of clause (a), but also any other risk incidental to the transit insured from the commencement of the transit to the ultimate destination covered by the insurance;
Where any person, in consideration of any sum of money paid or to be paid for additional freight or otherwise, agrees to take upon himself any risk attending goods, merchandise or property of any description whatever while on board of any ship or vessel, or engages to indemnify the owner of any such goods, merchandise or property from any risk, loss or damage, such agreement or engagement shall be deemed to be a contract for sea-insurance;
(21) "Power of attorney" includes any instrument (not charge able with a fee under the law relating to court-fees for the time being in force) empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it;
(22) "Promissory note" means a promissory note as defined by the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881;
It also includes a note promising the payment of any sum of money out of any particular fund which may or may not be available, or upon any condition or contingency which may or may not be performed or happen;
(23) "Receipt" includes any note, memorandum or writing-
(a) whereby any money or any bill of exchange cheque or promissory note is acknowledged to have been received, or
(b) whereby any other moveable property is acknowledged to have been received in satisfaction of a debt, or
(c)whereby any debt or demand, or any part of debt or demand, is acknowledged to have been satisfied or discharged, or
(d) which signifies or imports any such acknowledgement, and whether the same is or is not signed with the name of any person;12 *****
(24) "Settlement" means any non-testamentary disposition, in writing, of moveable or immovable property made-
(a) in consideration of marriage,
(b) for the purpose of distributing property of the settler among his family or those for whom he desire to provide, or for the purpose of providing for some person dependent on him, or
(c) for any religious or charitable purpose;
and includes an agreement in writing to make such a disposition 13 [and, where any such disposition has not been made in writing, any instrument recording, whether by way of declaration of declaration of trust or otherwise, the terms of any such disposition];14 *****
15 [(25) "Soldier" includes any person below the rank of non-commissioned officer who is enrolled under the Indian Army Act, 1911] 16 17 [*****]
18 [(26) "Stamp" means any mark, seal or endorsement by any agency or person duly authorised by the State Government, and includes an adhesive or impressed stamp, for the purposes of duty chargeable under this Act';
|1. Substituted by Act 43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w.e.f. 1-4-1956.|
2. Clause (8) omitted by the A.O. 1937.
3. Substituted, by Act 43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w.e.f. 1-4-1956, for "the L.G."
4. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "collecting Government".
5. Substituted by Act 43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w.e.f. 1-4-1956.
6. Clause (12A), Inserted by the A.O. 1937, omitted, ibid.
7. Inserted by Act 43 of 1955, Section 4 w.e.f. 1-4-1956.
8. Inserted by Act 15 of 1904, Section 2.
9. Substituted by Act 43 of 1955, Section 2.for "the States" w.e.f. 1-4-1956.
10. Substituted clause (c) and the word "and" prefixed thereto omitted by Act 5 of 1906, Section2.
11. Inserted by Act 43 of 1955, Section 4 w.e.f. 1-4-1956.
12. The word "and" omitted by Act 18 of 1928, Section 2 and Schedule 1.
13. Inserted by Act 15 of 1904, Section 2.
14. The word "and", omitted by Act 18 of 1928, Section 2 and Schedule 1, omitted by A.O. 1950.
15. Inserted by Act 18 of 1928, Section 2 and Schedule I.
16. Now the Army Act, 1950 46 of 1950 46 of 1950.
17. Clause (26), added by the A.O. 1950, omitted by Act 43 of 1955, Section 4 w.e.f. 1-4-1956.
18. Inserted vide Finance (no.2) Act 2004
Section 3. Instruments chargeable with duty
Subject to the provisions of this Act and theexemptions contained in Schedule I, the following instruments shall bechargeable with duty of the amount indicated in that Schedule as the properduty therefore, respectively, that is to say-
(a)every instrument mentioned in that Schedulewhich, not having been previously executed by any person, is executed in 1 [India] on or after the first day of July, 1899;
(b)every bill of exchange 2 [payable otherwise than on demand]3 *** or promissory notedrawn or made out of 4 [India] on or after that day and accepted or paid, or resented foracceptance or payment, or endorsed, transferred or otherwise negotiated, in 5 [India]; and
(c)every instrument (other than a bill of exchange6 ***orpromissory note) mentioned in that Schedule, which, not having been previouslyexecuted by any person, is executed out of 7 [India] on or after that day, relates to any property situate, or to anymatter or thing done or to be done, in 8 [India] and is received in 9 [India].
Provided that no dutyshall be chargeable in respect of-
(1)anyinstrument executed by, or on behalf of, or in favour of, the Government incases where, but for this exemption, the Government would be liable to pay theduty chargeable in respect of such instrument;
(2)anyinstrument for the sale, transfer or other disposition, either absolutely or byway of mortgage or otherwise, of any ship or vessel, or any part, interest,share or property of or in any ship or vessel registered under the MerchantShipping Act 1894, or under Act 19 of 1838, or the Indian Registration of ShipsAct, 1841, as amended by subsequent Acts.
10  any instrument executed ,by, or, on behalfof, or, in favour of, the Developer, or Unit or in connection with thecarrying out of purposes of the Special Economic Zone,
Explanation- For the purposes of this clause, theexpressions "Developer", "Special Economic Zone" and"Unit" shall have meanings respectively assigned to them in clause(g), (za) and (zc) of Section 2 of the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005]
11 [12 [3A *****]]
|1. Substituted by Act43 of 1955, Section 2 for "the States" w. e. f. 1-4-1956.|
2. Inserted by Act 5of 1927, Section 5.
3 The word"cheque" omitted by Act 5 of 1927, Section 5.
4. Substituted by Act43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w. e. f. 1-4-1956.
5. Substituted by Act43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w. e. f. 1-4-1956.
6. The word "cheque"omitted by Act 5 of 1927, Section 5.
7. Substituted by Act43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w. e. f. 1-4-1956.
8.Substituted by Act43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w. e. f. 1-4-1956.
9. Substituted by Act43 of 1955, Section 2, for "the States" w. e. f. 1-4-1956.
10. Inserted by the Special Economic Zones Act,2005, section 57 and Third Schedule, Pt. III
11. Omitted by Act 13of 1973, Section 2.
12. Inserted by Act 44of 1971, Section 2.
Section 4. Several instruments used in single transaction of sale mortgage or settlement
(1) Where, in the case of any sale, mortgage or settlement, several instruments are employed for completing the transaction, the principal instrument only shall be chargeable with the duty prescribed in Schedule I, for the conveyance, mortgage or settlement, and each of the other instruments shall be chargeable with a duty of one rupee instead of the duty (if any) prescribed for it in that Schedule.
(2) The parties may determine for themselves which of the instrument so employed shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), be deemed to be the principal instrument:
Provided that the duty chargeable on the instrument so determined shall be the highest duty which would be chargeable in respect of any of the said instruments employed
Section 5. Instruments relating to several distinct matters
Any instrument comprising or relating to several distinct matters shall be chargeable with the aggregate amount of the duties with which separate instruments, each comprising or relating to one of such matters, could be chargeable under this Act.
Section 6. Instruments coming with in several descriptions in schedule I
Subject to the provisions of the last preceding section, an instrument so framed as to come within two or more of the descriptions in Schedule I, shall, where the duties chargeable thereunder are different, be chargeable only with the highest of such duties:
Provided that nothing in this Act contained shall render chargeable with duty exceeding one rupee a counter part or duplicate of any instrument chargeable with duty and in respect of which the proper duty has been paid.
Section 7. Policies of sea-insurance
(4) Where anysea-insurance is made for or upon a voyage and also for time, or to extend toor cover any time beyond thirty days after the ship shall have arrived at herdestination and been there moored at anchor, the policy shall be charged withduty as a policy for or upon a voyage, and also with duty as a policy for time.
|1. Sub-sections (1),(2) and (3) rep. By Act 11 of 1963, Section 92 w. e. f. 1-8-1963.|
Section 8. Bonds debentures or other securities issued on loans under Act 11 of 1879
(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, any local authority raising a loan under the provisions of the Local Authorities Loan Act, 1879, or of any other law for the time being in force, by the issue of bonds, debentures or other securities, shall, in respect of such loan, be chargeable with a duty of1[one per centum] on the total amount of the bonds, debentures or other securities issued by it, and such bonds, debentures or other securities need not be stamped, and shall not be chargeable with any further duty on renewal, consolidation, sub-division or otherwise.
(2) The provisions of sub-section (1) exempting certain bonds, debentures or other securities from being stamped and from being chargeable with certain further duty shall apply to the bonds, debentures or other securities of all outstanding loans of the kind mentioned therein, and all such bonds, debentures or other securities shall be valid, whether the same are stamped or not:
Provided that nothing herein contained shall exempt the local authority which has issued such bonds, debentures or other securities from the duty chargeable in respect thereof prior to the twenty-sixth day of March, 1978, when such duty has not already been paid or remitted by order issued by the Central Government.
(3) In the case of wilful neglect to pay the duty required by the section, the local authority shall be liable to forfeit to the Government a sum equal to ten per centum upon the amount of duty payable, and a like penalty for every month after the first month during which the neglect continues.
|1. Substituted by Act 6 of 1910, Section 2 for "eight annas per centum".|
Section 8A. Securities dealt in depository not liable to stamp duty
1 [8A. Securities dealtin depository not liable to stamp duty
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force,-
(a) an issuer, by the issue of securities to one or more depositories, shall, in respect of such issue, be chargeable with duty on the total amount of security issued by it and such securities need not be stamped;
(b) where an issuer issues certificate of security under sub-section (3) of section 14 of the Depositories Act, 1996 (22 of 1996), on such certificate duty shall be payable as is payable on the issue of duplicate certificate under this Act;.
(c) the transfer of-
(i) registered ownership of securities from a person to a depository or from a depository to a beneficial owner;
(ii) beneficial ownership of securities, dealt with by a depository;
(iii) beneficial ownership of units, such units being units of a Mutual Fund including units of the Unit Trust of India established under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unit Trust of India Act, 1963 (52 of 1963), dealt with by a depository,
shall not be liable to duty under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.
Explanation 1. - For the purposes of this section, the expressions "beneficial ownership", depository"and "issuer" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in clauses (a), (e) and (f) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Depositories Act, 1996 (22 of 1996).
Explanation 2. - For the purposes of this section, the expression "securities" shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (h) of section 2 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (42 of 1956). ]
|1. Inserted by Act 22 of 1996, Section 30 and Schedule w. r. e. f. 20-9-1995 and Substituted By the Finance Act, 20 Section 118.|
Section 8B. Corporatisation and demutualisation schemes and related instruments not liable to duty
1[8B. Corporatisation and demutualisation schemes and related instruments not liable to duty
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force,--
(a) a scheme for corporatisation or demutualisation, or both of a recognised stock exchange; or
(b) any instrument, including an instrument of, or relating to, transfer of any property, business, asset whether movable or immovable, contract, right, liability and obligation, for the purpose of, or in connection with, the corporatisation or demutualisation, or both of a recognised stock exchange pursuant to a scheme,
as approved by the Securities and Exchange Board of India under sub-section (2) of section 4B of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956(42 of 1956), shall not be liable to duty under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.
Explanation.--For the purposes of this section,--
(a) the expressions "corporatisation", "demutualisation" and "scheme" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in clauses (aa), (ab) and (ga) of section 2 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956(42 of 1956);
(b) "Securities and Exchange Board of India" means the Securities and Exchange Board of India established under section 3 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992(15 of 1992).]
|1. Inserted by the Finance Act, 2005, w.e.f 13.05.2005.|
Section 8C. Negotiable warehouse receipts not liable to stamp duty
1[8C. Negotiable warehouse receipts not liable to stamp duty
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, negotiable warehouse receipts shall not be liable to stamp duty.]
|1. Inserted by the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007 [Act No. 37 of 2007].|
Section 9. Power to reduce, remit or compound duties
1 [(1)] 2 [The 3 [***]Government;] may, by rule or order published in the Official Gazette,-
(a) reduce or remit, whether prospectively or retrospectively, in the whole or any part of 4 [the territories under its administration], the duties with which any instruments or any particular class of instruments, or any of the instruments belonging to such class, or any instruments when executed by or in favour of any particular class of persons, or by or in favour of any members of such class, are chargeable, and
(b) provide for the composition or consolidation of duties 5 [of policies of insurance and] in the case of issues by any incorporated company or other body corporate 6 [or of transfers (where there is a single transferee, whether incorporated or not)]
7 [(2) In this section the expression "the Government" means,-
(a) in relation to stamp-duty in respect of bills of exchange, cheques, promissory notes, bills of lading, letters of credit, policies of insurance, transfer of shares, debentures, proxies and receipts, and in relation to any other stamp-duty chargeable under this Act and falling within entry 96 in List I in the 8 [Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, except the subject matters referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1)] the Central Government;
(b) save as aforesaid, the State Government. ]
|1. Section 9 re-numbered as sub-section (1) of that section by the A. O. 1950.|
2. Substituted by the A. O. 1937 for "The G. G. in C. "
3. The word "collecting" omitted by the A. O. 1950.
4. Substituted by the A. O. 1937 for "British India".
5. Inserted vide Finance ( No.2) Act 2004
6. Inserted by Act 32 of 1994 w. e. f. 13-5-1994.
7. Inserted by the A.O. 1950.
8. Substituted for the words "Seventh Schedule to the Constitution" by the Finance Act, 2006,