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[ In the High Court of Madras, Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 1047 of 2009 & M.P. Nos. 1 & 2 of 2009. ] 27/11/2013
Judge(s) : S. VIMALA
Advocate(s) : Mrs. C.J. Shyamala. Mrs. M. Jayasree, G.A.
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    Subject     (Prayer: Appeal filed under Section 47 A (10) of the Indian Stamp Act 1899 against the order of the first respondent dated 15.02.2008 signed on 11.03.2008 passed in M.M.No.62737/N5/07.)1. The District Revenue Officer by the order signed on 12.11.2007 (but dated 26.09.2005) directed the appellant to pay the deficit court fee of Rs.12 55 053/-.2. In the said order it has been mentioned that from the date of final order there will be an appeal to the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority within a period of two months.2.1 .The appeal preferred before the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority has been dismissed on the ground that there is a delay of two years and three months.3. It is the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that there is no delay at all in filing the appeal as even though the order of the District Revenue Officer is dated 26.09.2005 it was signed only in the year 2007 i.e. on 12.11.2007 and that it was communicated only still later. It is further pointed out that had there been an opportunity given the appellant would have been in a position to explain / convince that there was no delay at all. Assuming that there had been a delay it can be explained as no delay in the sense that the appeal was preferred within the period of two months from the date of communication of the order of the District Revenue Officer.4. A Perusal of the order dated 15.02.2008 would go to show that no opportunity was given to the appellant to explain his position. Principles of natural justice require that opportunity of personal hearing should have been given to the appellant. Therefore the order of the first respondent is liable to be set aside.5. The learned counsel for the appellant also pointed out that the order passed by the second respondent dated 26.02.2005 is erroneous as according to the order passed the value of the deficit stamp duty to be payable is stated to be equivalent to the value of the property itself. That cannot be correct neither factually nor legally. Therefore there appears to be contentious issues to be decided.6.Under such circumstances the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is allowed and the order of the first respondent is set aside. The matter is remitted back to the first respondent / Chief Controlling Revenue Authority cum Inspector General of Registration who shall provide an opportunity of personal hearing to the appellant and thereafter decide the matter on merits. No costs. Consequently connected M.Ps. Are closed.