• ​​ACTS AND RULES: STAMP DUTY
    The Constitutional Provisions Concerning Stamp Duties
    I The Constitution of India has a number of other provisions relevant to stamp duties. Of these, Article 246 and the Seventh Schedule are relevant in regard to the legislative power to levy Stamp duties. Articles 265, 268 and 269 (e) are relevant mainly as regards the distribution of the revenues. The former is more important, for the purposes of a consideration of the Stamp Act. These Articles are reproduced as below;
    246. Subject-matter of laws made by Parliament and by the Legislature of States
    (1) Notwithstanding anything in clauses (2) and (3), Parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List I in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the "Union List").
    (2) Notwithstanding anything in clause (3), Parliament, and, subject to clause (1), the legislature of any State also, have power to make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List III in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the "Concurrent List").
    (3) Subject to clauses (1) and (2), the Legislature of any State has exclusive power to make laws for such State or any part thereof with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List II in the Seventh Schedule (in this Constitution referred to as the "State List").
    (4) Parliament has power to make laws with respect to any matter for any part of the territory of India not included (in a State) notwithstanding that such matter is a matter enumerated in the State List.

    265. Taxes not to be imposed save by authority of law. - No tax shall be levied or collected except by authority of law

    268. Duties levied by the Union but collected and appropriated by the States
    (1) Such stamp duties and such duties of excise on medicinal and toilet preparations as are mentioned in the Union List shall be levied by the Government of India but shall be collected:-
    (a) in the case where such duties are leviable within any Union Territory, by the Government of India, and
    (b) in other cases, by the States within which such duties are respectively leviable.
    (2) The proceeds in any financial year of any such duty leviable within any State shall not form part of the Consolidated Fund of India, but shall be assigned to that State.
    269 Taxes levied and collected by the Union but assigned to the States- (1) The following duties and taxes shall be levied and collected by the Government of India but shall be assigned to the States in the manner provided in clause (2) namely;
    a. Duties in respect of succession to property other than agricultural land;
    b. Estate duty in respect of property other than agricultural land;
    c. Terminal taxes on goods or passengers carried by railway, sea or air;
    d. Taxes on railway fares and freights;
    e. Taxes other than stamp duties on transactions in stock-exchanges and futures markets;
    f. Taxes on the sale or purchase of newspapers and on advertisements published therein;
    g. Taxes on the sale or purchase of goods other than newspapers, where such sale or purchase takes place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce;
    h. Taxes on the consignment of goods (whether the consignment is to the person making it or to any other person), where such consignment takes place in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.
    (2) The net proceeds in any financial year of any such duty or tax, except in so far as those proceeds represent proceeds attributable to Union territories, shall not form part of the Consolidated Fund of India, but shall be assigned to the States within which that duty or tax is leviable in that year and shall be distributed among those States in accordance with such principles of distribution as may be formulated by Parliament by law.
    (3) Parliament may by law formulae principles for determining when a sale of purchase of, or consignment of, goods takes place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.
    II Briefly, the schedule provided for in the constitution is as follows
    (a) Under Article 246, such Stamp duties as are mentioned in the Union List are levied by the Union, but, under Article 268, each State in which they are levied, collects and retains the proceeds (except in the case of Union Territories).
    (b) Other Stamp duties are levied and collected by the States, by virtue of the legislative entry in the State List.
    (c) And the Concurrent List contains the following entry
    44. Stamp duties other than duties or fees collected by means of judicial stamps, but not including rates of Stamp duty."
    This entry deals with the general subject of stamps. Provisions other than those relating to rates of duty are, thus within the legislative power both the Union and the States.
    (d) Broadly speaking, therefore, except as regards Union territories, parliaments legislative power extends to-
    (i) Rates of Stamp duty on the specified documents;
    (ii) Machinery provisions, in respect of all documents.
    III The position can be stated in the form of a Chart as follows
    ​Union List Entry 91​State List Entry 63​Concurrent List Entry 44
    ​Rates of Stamp duty in respect of bill of exchange, cheques, promissory notes, bills of lading, letters of credit, policies of insurance, transfer of shares, debentures, proxies and receipts​Rates of Stamp duty in respect of document other than those specified in the provisions of List-I with regard to rates of Stamp​ Duty Stamp duties other than duties or fees collected by means of judicial stamps but not including rates of Stamp duty

    IV
     Thus, the power of the Union extends to the whole field of Stamp duties, except that as regards rates of Stamp duty in the States, it is confined to the specified documents. It is plenary as regards machinery provisions.​