According to the Indian Stamp Act 1899, "stamp" means any mark, seal or endorsement by any agency or person duly authorised by the State Government. It includes an adhesive or impressed stamp, for the purposes of duty chargeable under the Act. The stamp paper refers to a foolscap paper which bears a pre-printed revenue stamp. Stamp papers are not in the form of postal stationery. It has been widely used to collect taxes on documents requiring stampings, such as agreements, contracts and many other courts and legal documents. The papers consist of the pre-printed stamp and are bought blank. They are available at lawyer's offices, post offices, and courts.
There are mainly two types of Stamp Paper which are used in India. They are Judicial and Non-judicial stamp. A Judicial stamp is the one which is used for legal and court work, and a Non-judicial stamp is the one which is used for registration of documents such as contracts, insurance policies etc. Stamp duty is a type of tax which is paid on the document or instrument for the transaction performed by the parties. There are two kinds of stamps which indicate the payment of stamp duty. They are Impressed and Adhesive stamp.
Following are the types of Stamp Paper:
The Judicial stamp papers are generally used for a legal purpose or court cases. They are used for payment of court fee to avoid cash transactions. The proceedings of the court start only after the parties pay the court fees with respect to their legal matters.
Non-judicial stamp papers are generally used for the execution of documents like sale deed, power of attorney, affidavits, lease agreement, mortgage agreement, and other relevant agreements. The value of non-judicial stamp papers is Rs. 100, Rs. 500, Rs. 1000, Rs. 5000, Rs. 10000, Rs. 15000, Rs. 20000, Rs. 25000, and Rs. 75000 in India.
The revenue stamp of Rs. 1 value is available in India. It should be affixed on the receipt for any money or other property where the amount/value exceeds Rs. 5000. It is obligatory to use stamp paper for creating the enforceable document. The revenue stamps shall be used of specific value as per the guidelines stated in the Stamp Act.
According to Section 2 (k) of the Bombay Stamp Act 1958, Impressed stamp includes labels affixed and impressed by the proper officer, stamps embossed or engraved on stamped paper, impression by franking machine, impression by any such machine as the State Government may specify by notification in the Official Gazette and receipt of e-payment.
Adhesive stamps are labels that can be conveniently stuck on the instruments. Adhesive stamps are of two categories. They are postal and non-postal stamps. The Postal stamps are used only for the transaction with the post office and related activities. A non-postal stamp can be used as a court fee stamp, revenue stamp, special adhesive stamp, etc.
The public departments use the Court Fee stamps for correspondence with Government Departments such as a Registration Offices, Revenue Offices, etc.
The Government has sanctioned the new way of the stamp known as e-stamping. The system of stamp paper/franking is now replaced by E-stamping system. Stamped papers are still in use. However, electronic versions are being developed to reduce the risk of fraud. It is a computer-based and a secure way of paying non-judicial stamp duty to the government. E-Stamping is currently used in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, etc. It is always advisable to purchase stamp papers from approved legal stamp vendors by Government.