State Of Maharashtra vs National Organic Chemical Industries Ltd. 2024 INSC 270 :: [2024] 4 S.C.R. 340 – Bombay Stamp Act- Companies Act

Companies Act, 1956 – Bombay Stamp Act, 1958- In case of conflict between two laws, the general law must give way to the special law. A conjoined reading of the Stamp Act and the Companies Act would show that while the former governs the payment of stamp duty for all manner of instruments, the latter deals with all aspects relating to companies and other similar associations -An instrument which is chargeable to Stamp Duty and finds its origin in the Companies Act. The various provisions of the Companies Act provide the purpose and scope of the instrument. Thus, it has to be said that the Companies Act is the special law and the Stamp Act is the general law with regards to Articles of Association, and the special will override the general. (Para 11)

Bombay Stamp Act, 1958- Whether the notice sent to the Registrar in Form No.5 is an “instrument” as defined under Section 2(l)? – Filing of Form No. 5 is only a method prescribed, whereby “notice” of increase in share capital or of members of a company has to be sent to the Registrar, within 30 days of passing of such resolution. The Registrar then has to record such increase in share capital or members, and carry out the necessary alterations in the articles. Stamp Duty is affixed on Form No. 5 as a matter of practical convenience because a company itself cannot carry out the alterations and record the increase in share capital in its Articles of Association. It is only the articles which are an instrument within the meaning of Section 2(l) of the Stamp Act and accordingly have been mentioned in Article 10 of Schedule-I of the Stamp Act. (Para 9)

Bombay Stamp Act, 1958- The Stamp Act authorises involuntary exaction of money and is in the nature of a fiscal statute, which has to be interpreted strictly. (Para 15)

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