How does Indian stamp paper work?
November 17, 2009 11:07 AM   Subscribe

How does stamp paper in India work?

Specifically, what are the exact steps a person takes to use stamp paper? Do you write your lease (or whatever) out first, and then take the lease to the stamp vendor and get the stamp applied, or do you buy blank stamp paper and later print the lease on the paper? Does the document get signed before or after the stamp is applied? Does the stamp vendor witness the signatures?

Not as important to me (but interesting still) is what is the purpose? What happens if you write a lease and don't use stamp paper?

Any details, any stories, and any links or suggested references would be most appreciated.
posted by Capri to Law & Government (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I dont think that the Indian stamp paper system is unique but it is definitely interesting in its intent (practice may vary.

Many types of legal documents are only valid if printed on a specific value stamp paper (Rs. 10, Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and so on). The sale of these papers generates revenue for the government and acts as a kind of 'transaction tax'. The added benefit is that when stamp paper is purchased the date, name of the person buying it and the purpose of the stamp paper is recoded in a paper register (log) kept by the seller. The same details are also marked on the back of the stamp paper. This makes it hard for people to back date contracts or the do back dated forgeries (without the cooperation of the stamp paper seller, which btw is not unheard of).

I am sure there are more detailed description of this but this is pretty much the users guide.
posted by london302 at 11:23 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

additional: Stamp paper can be put through a printer but usually people print the document and attach a crossed stamp paper to the front of the document. Not all pages have to be on stamp paper. The stamp seller does not witness the signatures but often documents have to be notarised.
posted by london302 at 11:24 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

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