Goalpara, February 16: A black market has sprung up and is flourishing for non-judicial stamp papers of smaller denomination of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 in the District Judicial Court, Goalpara where the stamp paper vendors are charging inflated rates ranging from Rs 80 to Rs 100.

A section of lawyers on the condition of anonymity said that even though stamp papers of lower denomination have been supplied by the treasury but vendors mention that these are in short supply and sell them at double the price citing transportation costs.

Accordingly, the lawyers have to hike their fees as per the input costs which also include the cost of the stamp paper. On the other hand, some clients have revealed that they have no other option but to pay unreasonable fees due to inflated overhead costs.

A stamp vendor informed that the scarcity of stamp papers of smaller denomination has been going on for the last two years and they have to procure them from other districts in order to meet the demand of their clients. He justified the inflated pricing by claiming that charging more for transportation is not a crime.

However, he accepted the prevalence of a gray market for the non-Judicial stamp papers in the District Judicial Court and also acknowledged the fact that some lawyers also hoard stamp papers creating further woes for the general public.