The Dhubri district has been facing severe shortage of non-judicial stamp papers, particularly of low-denomination causing immense inconveniences for the people to execute various legal tasks.
There has been an acute shortage of stamp papers of Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 50 for the past few couple of months forcing people to purchase revenue stamps of high denominations for various legal purposes.
Low-denomination stamp papers are required for affidavit, rent agreement, birth and death certificates, power and gas connections. The people require stamp papers of Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 50, and in absence of it, the public is forced to buy stamp papers of higher denomination.
The process for submission of nomination papers for the second phase of ensuing panchayat election slated to be held on December 9 is going on while November 19 has been fixed as the last date of nomination paper submission and the candidates are required to submit affidavits to file nomination papers.
“For submission of nomination papers, a non-judicial stamp of Rs 20 is required. But it was not available with 37 vendors in the district and I had to return 10 to 15 of my clients,” a lawyer at the Dhubri district court Irfan Khandokar told Northeast Now.
Non-judicial stamp papers are required for land registration, transfer of property, power of attorney and executing different types of bonds, agreements, affidavits and making declaration besides other non-judicial work.
Another lawyer Jamser Talukdar said black marketing of stamp papers was on the rise in the district and there was nobody to curb the menace.
“The stamp papers of Rs 20 denomination, which are available outside the district like Goalpara and Kamrup, are easily sold in Dhubri at Rs 120 to Rs 150 but there is no one to put a check on this. Those, who can delay their work, can wait but those who are in hurry are being compelled to purchase non-judicial stamp papers from black market,” he added.
“There is a close nexus between the stamp paper vendors of Dhubri district with the vendors of other districts behind this artificial crisis of stamp papers and the district administration has turned a blind eye towards the matter despite knowing the facts,” Talukdar added.
Lawyer Dinesh Choudhary also said people were even forced to buy higher denomination stamp papers to get their works done.
On the one hand, the registered stamp paper vendors of Dhubri district are saying that the district treasury office was not providing the stamp papers for the last six to seven months.
When contacted, Dhubri District Treasury Officer A Houqe said he had already written to the higher authorities in this regard but the authorities concerned have failed to supply as per required demands.
However, as an alternate arrangements, 2100 stamp papers for each registered political party have been provided for smooth filing of nomination papers for the ensuing panchayat elections.
For independent candidates, 500 stamp papers have also been provided to each stamp vendor, as told by the Treasury Officer, Dhubri.
Meanwhile, keeping in view the scarcity of stamp papers in several districts, the State Election Commission has directed the Deputy commissioners of the districts concerned that the shortage of non-judicial stamp papers for affidavit purpose may be solved by arranging required number of E-Stamp papers by contacting the local sub-registrar. Notably, there are only four E-stamp vendors in Dhubri district.