Supreme Court refuses to examine plea on deciding stamp duty on carpet area

(This story originally appeared in on Apr 19, 2022)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to adjudicate on the controversial issue of whether the stamp duty should be charged on the basis of “super area” or “carpet area” while registration of flats in Uttar Pradesh and asked homebuyers to raise their grievances before the authority concerned.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Bela M Trivedi said that it would be better if the issue is examined by competent authority as the apex court’s decision would become final and the parties would not have the option to appeal. Allaying the apprehension of homebuyers that the government authority has not been responding to their plea, the bench directed that their grievances be heard and decided within two months.

The court passed the order while hearing pleas of Amrapali homebuyers who are at loggerheads with the state government. The state submitted that stamp duty has to be calculated on the basis of “super area”. Senior advocate Garima Prashad told the bench that the state had been following the practice of calculating stamp duty on the basis of super area for many years.

Carpet area means that area in the flat which you could cover using a carpet and it is the net usable area of an apartment, excluding the area covered by the external walls but including the area covered by internal partition walls of the apartment. The built-up area in a flat is its carpet area plus the space taken by the wall. The build-up area in a flat also includes other unusable areas such as balcony, terrace, flower beds, etc.

Super area refers to the built-up area and includes common spaces such as lifts and stairs.

In a relief to thousands of Amrapali homebuyers who had opted for the subvention plan, the court directed the banks not to penalise them for the fault of the company.

Under subvention schemes, the homebuyer, banker and the developer enter into a tripartite agreement where the buyer pays a small percentage of money upfront. The rest is paid by the bank in the form of a loan, which is disbursed to the developer to continue the construction work and the builder pays interest of the loan till the buyer takes possession of the property.

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