The grant of a licence to a Stamp Vendor, to vend stamps in Tamil Nadu

The grant of a licence to a Stamp Vendor, to vend stamps. Section 74 of the Indian Stamp Act empowers the State Government to make rules regulating the supply and sale of stamps and stamped papers and also the appointment of persons by whom alone such sale is to be conducted. In exercise of the power conferred by the said provision, the State of Tamil Nadu has issued a set of Rules known as Tamil Nadu Stamp Rules, 1960. Rule 25 of the said Rules speaks about the appointment of licensed stamp vendors. It can be seen from sub-rules (i) to (v) of Rule 25 of the Tamil Nadu Stamp Rules that the Chief Controlling Revenue Authority can create posts of licensed vendors for the sale of stamps. After the creation of the posts, the authority should fix the places where the licensed vendors are to sell stamps. Rule 25(i)(b) mandates that the places earmarked for licensed vendors, should be clearly specified and should be of strictly limited extent, such as building or compound. It shall not be such as to interfere with any of the existing Licensed Vendors. Rule 25(i) (c) states that the number of non-official Licensed Vendors in each District shall ordinarily be at least one for every 10,000 of the population. However, the authority should take into account the public convenience and the commission earned by the existing licensed vendors, while creating new posts.

Rule 25(ii) stipulates that the District Registrars can make appointment of licensed vendors in the newly created posts as well as in the existing posts which are vacant either temporarily or permanently. The District Registrars are also empowered to grant leave to the licensed vendors for a period not exceeding three months at a time. There are provisions obliging the appointing authority to follow an order of preference. The licensed vendors appointed under these Rules are obliged to maintain certain records and they are also obliged to sell only such nature, category and denomination of stamps and within such geographical limits as are indicated in their licenses.

There is a specific provision in Rule 25(iv) of the Tamil Nadu Stamp Rules for challenging the appointment of a person as a licensed stamp vendor. The Rule indicates only two grounds on which the appointment of a person as a licensed stamp vendor can be challenged. The grounds are: (1) that the person selected for appointment is clearly unsuitable or (2) that the claim of a person who is obviously superior to the one selected, has been overlooked. Rule 25(iv) does not permit a challenge to the appointment of a person as a licensed stamp vendor, by an existing stamp vendor on any ground other than the above two grounds.