KARNATAKA: In the case of Shalini and Anr. versus National Highways Authority of India and Ors. the Karnataka High Court held that the award of compensation passed by an Arbitrator under Section 3G(5) does not attract stamp duty.
The single Bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj ruled that an award of compensation passed by the Land Acquisition Officer under the Land Acquisition Act or under any other similarly situated enactment, including the National Highways Act (NHA), is not amenable to payment of any stamp duty.
The court held that it’s an extra burden on the owner of that land to obtain compensation in lieu of the land acquired under NHA, which is highly unconscionable and not permissible.
The High Court observed that as per the provisions of Section 3G of NHA. In the case of Shalini and Anr. versus National Highways Authority of India and Ors. the Karnataka High Court , the authorized competent authority is required to determine the compensation to be paid to the landowners in lieu of the land acquired under NHA.
The Court said –
“The state cannot take away the compensation awarded to the land-loser by imposing a duty to make payment of stamp duty on the said award, which is an additional burden on the land-loser to obtain just compensation on account of loss of his land. It is also clear from the fact that, while calculating the compensation payable, there is no calculation of the value of the stamp duty payable on the award made. The requirement to make payment of stamp duty on the award would amount to a reduction of just compensation, which is not permissible.”
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(MARCH – APRIL 2022)