GUWAHATI: TheAll Assam Lawyers' Association (AALA) has demanded that the State government must immediately intervene to solve the artificial crisis in stamp papers by stopping their illegal sale at much hiked prices by some unscrupulous persons. Stressing that a black market in this regard is flourishing in the State, the AALA also demanded that adequate stamp papers must be made available for the concerned citizens. It also threatened to stage protests if the authority concerned fails to supply adequate stamp papers to the registered vendors or file a PIL at the Gauhati High Court.
The organization further hinted that the stamp papers in the black market are either imported illegally from other districts or from the treasury. "Steps are taken against fake currencies; but what step has been taken to stop fake stamp papers? Who will inspect this issue?" posed AALA.
Addressing the media, AALA general secretary Dipak Kumar Das pointed out, "A chaotic situation has arisen. The artificial shortage of even the non-judicial stamp papers has compelled the citizens to buy them at inflated prices from the unscrupulous persons – these black marketers are fleecing the common man. They are selling all types of stamp papers at inflated prices."
Das posed, "The moot point is if the licence-holding vendors inside the premises of Courts are not receiving enough stock of various stamp papers from the treasury how are the black marketers getting the stamp papers?"
The lawyers' body further alleged that the crisis has arisen due to negligence of the State government. Due to the black market, the State government is incurring huge losses in revenue.
To ensure the use of e-stamp papers, the Government should first establish more and vibrant e-stamp counters across the State, suggested Das, adding, "As of now, each district has only one e-stamp-issuing counter. There too, long queues added to power failures and other technical issues connected with the servers generally make them undependable."
The AALA executive meeting on January 23 will take more decisions in this regard and all other issues being faced by the lawyers.