BENGALURU: The state government is considering bringing back the `1 revenue stamp, the issuance of which was stopped after the multi-crore Telgi fake stamps scam, Advocate General Ravi Kumar told the High Court on Friday.
The statement came during the hearing on a petition filed by Hubballi-based social worker S V Desai, seeking the court’s direction to some banks not to insist on revenue stamps for agreements. He said awareness programmes should be conducted to announce the withdrawal of the stamps.
The petitioner said the use of revenue stamps has been banned in Karnataka but the State Bank of India and other banks still insist on the stamps, which are easily available in the black market. Desai said vendors buy the stamps from Maharashtra, where they are not banned, and sell them at 10 times the price in the black market.
After hearing the petition, Chief Justice D H Waghela questioned the decision to withdraw the stamps when they are necessary under the Indian Stamps Act.
In response, the Advocate General submitted that the government had made a panic decision after the Telgi scam. “The decision was taken after the Cabinet nod. We have already begun a consultancy process to bring (the stamps) back,” he said.
The court, however, asked why the post office, which comes under the Centre’s ambit, had stopped issuing stamps and asked the Postmaster General of Karnataka to clarify.
Notice to Centre
The High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Central government while hearing a petition filed by MP Shobha Karandlaje in an alleged money-laundering case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sought an explanation from her for borrowing money from a private firm, Itasca Software, linked to former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu.
The ED had alleged that when it began probing the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) land scam involving Naidu, it was found that Naidu had `87 crore “unaccounted” money, of which `47 crore was given to Karandlaje. Based on this, the directorate had issued a notice to Karandlaje.
Karandlaje had then moved the High Court challenging this notice.