Jul 28, 2023

SC Holds that Unstamped Arbitration Agreement in Unstamped Contract Exigible to Stamp Duty is Not Enforceable

In N.N. Global Mercantile (P) Ltd. v. Indo Unique Flame Ltd.,[1], the Supreme Court (‘SC’) by 3:2 majority held that an arbitration agreement which attracts stamp duty, and which is not stamped or insufficiently stamped, cannot be acted upon for appointing an arbitrator, unless the requisite stamp duty is paid after impoundment of the instrument. The SC held that an unstamped instrument, when it is required to be stamped, is not a contract and not enforceable in law, and therefore, cannot exist in law.

[1] N.N. Global Mercantile (P) Ltd. v. Indo Unique Flame Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine SC 495.




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