The Commissioner and Inspector General of Registration and Stamps has detected an evasion of stamp duty to the tune of Rs.35.46 crore by the Vijayawada Toll Way Pvt. Ltd. while entering into an agreement with National Highways Authority of India (Vijayawada).

In a letter to the Director of the Vijayawada Tollway Pvt. Limited, the District Registrar of Stamps Balakrishna had asked the company to pay the amount that was due since April 24, 2008 when entered into Concession Agreement with the NHAI for developing the Vijayawada-Chilakaluripet six-lane road and setting up a toll plaza.

The 15 years agreement was concluded on a Rs.100 stamp paper, which the IG Stamps termed as one done on a white paper and calculated the chargeable amount on the tentative project value of Rs.709.15 crore at five per cent on the project cost or estimable toll collectable by the lessee, whichever is higher. This information came to light this month as a reply, when an RTI activist K.Surya repeatedly sought the information from the department since 2008.

Mr. Surya told The Hindu that initially the then District Registrar of Stamps had said that they did not have the authority to verify the contracts in third party premises, but when he persisted with reference to the RTI Commissioner, the information came out.

Meanwhile, the company has approached the High Court seeking exemption under WP No. 24044 of 2012, dt. August 6, 2012 as part of the main writ plea WPMP No.30722 of 2012 of July 17, 2012.

The IG Stamps also asked the RTI activist to visit the District Registrar’s office and obtain the necessary information.

“Registrar Mr. Balakrishna said that he was waiting for the IG’s permission to put the department’s side in the case,” Mr. Surya added after visiting the office on Thursday evening.

The RTI activist was of the view that similar agreements had been entered into all over Andhra Pradesh in several places and all of them should be reviewed by the IG of Registration and Stamps.

The interest on the amount due also must be collected, he added.

This came to light this month as a reply, when an RTI activist K.Surya repeatedly sought information from the department