Union government has rightly taken up review of all the laws of British era to end those colonial laws which are of no relevance now. Already self-attested affidavits are set to replace old tradition of getting these attested by gazetted officers. Revenue-stamp is required for receipts of amounts over a specified limit which is now Rs 5000 even though payment is made through banks. This is also a useless colonial practice which needs to be altogether abolished. Rather signed receipts become useless, in case gumming of revenue-stamps is not proper, because major portion of signature vanishes in case poorly gummed revenue-stamp is somehow removed from the signed receipt with signature made on a revenue-stamp. Union government should do away with requirement of revenue-stamps for any receipt either by cash or through bank. If needed, special receipt-papers printed at Government security printing-press on lines of stamp-papers may be introduced at the cost of say Rs 100, for heavy transactions of say Rs 50000 and above. But such receipt-papers if introduced should be conveniently available at all post-offices and bank-branches (private and public-sector) apart from other convenient centres by having a sale-commission.
Union government should also abolish Notary Public and Oath Commissioners who just authenticate documents for the fees without actually identifying authenticity of persons having signed the documents. Instead, medical practitioners, lawyers, chartered-accountants etc apart from gazetted officers can be empowered to attest documents. Colonial practice of having special legal-size paper for use in courts should also be abolished by replacing these with normal A-4 size papers because most photo-copiers used at homes and offices are equipped to copy papers of A-4 size or less. If necessary, court-papers can be in distinct colours like for example green papers are used at Madras High Court.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)