( H6 )
the Grown, to which all stamp duties are a debt, may be deemed to beentitled to take. It will be embarrassing to both the parties to anyaction and lead to disastrous results, if for instance; at a very latestage of the action a pleading can be thrown out for default of eitherparty to make good any deficiency- in stamp duty. Anyway, thesufficiency of the stamp on a plaint cannot be called in question as amatter of defence in an answer, any more than the fact that theplaint has not been “ distinctly, written on good and suitable paper, ”as required by section 40 of the Code. The answer can only containthe matter indicated in subjections (a) and (e) of section 75. It hasbeen argued that if that was so, an adjudication by the Judge thatthe plaint discloses a good cause of action cannot also be called inquestion when the plaint is once accepted* ; but it will be seen thatby sub-section (d) of section 75 the defendant is, .in effect, allowedto set forth any matter of law upon which he may rely for his'defence.

For the reasons that I have given above, it seems to me that thedefendant had no right to claim that the action be dismissed, oreven that the plaintiffs be required to supply the deficiency, if anyin stamp duty, but as the plaintiffs have acquieksed in the ordermade, I would do no more than dismiss the appeal.
[His Lordship then proceeded to the consideration of the secondorder appealed from.]
ErfNIS J,.—
I-agree. With regard to the question of stamps, it is to beobserved that the Ceylon Stamp , Ordinance is based on the IndianStamp Act, with addition in the schedule of duties on lawproceedings. For these proceedings to be liable to duty under .theOrdinance they must be regarded as “ instruments ” under section4. Section 37 ■enunciates the principle that once “ an .instrumenthas been admitted in evidence ” it shall not, except as provided inthe section, be called in question at any stage of the same suit orproceeding on the ground that it is not duly stamped.
The latest Ordinance, No. 22 of 1909, does not, however, containany section similar in terms to section 84 of the repealed Ordinance,No. 3 of 1890. I see no reason why an order admitting a plaintshould not be regarded as an order admitting an. instrument inevidence. The.plaint is, to use the words of the Evidence Ordinance,a document produced for the inspection of the Court. It containsadmissions, and is a means by which a matter of fact may be provedas against the party making the admission. It must, it seems to me,‘ be regarded as evidence, and the order accepting it* can be reviewedonly as laid down in section 37 of the Stamp Ordinance'.
Appeal dismissed.