He, however, terms the order illegal, says it is "made under political pressure"
Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan was on Friday found to have evaded stamp duty to the tune of Rs 1.35 crore in the purchase of a prime property in Allahabad and slapped with a fine of over Rs. 27 lakh on the outstanding amount.
Assistant Stamp Commissioner K. P. Pandey said that Mr. Bhushan, a former Union Minister, has so far paid Rs.46,700 towards the stamp duty for the purchase of the property spread over 7,818 square metre of land in the posh Civil Lines area. He will have to pay within a month the outstanding amount, in addition to the fine, with 1.5 per cent interest with effect from November 29, 2010.
The entire amount has to be paid within a month, failing which the department will initiate further action, Mr. Pandey said.
Shanti Bhushan used to stay in the bungalow built on the land till the 1970s when he moved to New Delhi.
He, however, did not give up the possession of the property and remained involved in a protracted litigation with the landlord before purchasing the land through an “agreement to sell” in November, 2010.
It has been claimed by the department for stamp and registration that the veteran lawyer had shown purchase of the property for a paltry sum which enabled him to understate its value on which the stamp duty payable was calculated and Rs. 46,700 was paid.
A notice was issued to Mr. Bhushan in February, 2011, for alleged evasion of stamp duty to the tune of nearly Rs. 1.35 crore.
However, Mr. Bhushan has been maintaining that there was no evasion of stamp duty on his part.
Bhushan to move HC
Meanwhile, Mr. Bhushan today termed as “illegal” the order of Assistant Stamp Commissioner and said he will challenge it in the High Court.
“This order has been clearly made under political pressure...,” Mr. Bhushan said in a statement.
“This order.... is totally illegal and contrary to the law clearly laid down in AIR 1986 Allahabad 107 case. Section 47A which deals with evasion of Stamp Duty and has been applied by the stamp collector is not even applicable in this case”.
The statement alleged, “...even the stamp collector had told the counsel of Shanti Bhushan that there is a lot of political pressure in this case. This illegal order will be challenged in the HC through a writ petition.”