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Does a service level agreement (SLA) between a company and its partner who is providing some IT service have to be on stamp paper or franked? Can it be signed on plain paper and be still legally accountable? If its to be on stamp paper what denomination is recommended?
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Dear Vputhran,
There are two limbs to this querry. One relates to the Registration modality and other relates to the Evidentiary value subsequently. In my view as per the Registration Act if you wants to get the same Registered then it has to be on the Stamp Paper of appropriate value. The stamp paper and franked paper are on equal footing now a days. In usual practice Rs.100/- Stamp Paper is used for this purpose. In so far Evidentiary value is concerned then subsequently the fact of procuring the stamp paper for a particular purpose (when any body goes to procure a stamp paper he has to sign the register and mention about the purpose for which the stamp paper is required). Then the same has to be witnessed and notarized or affirmed by the Oath Commissioner which makes it binding on the signatory parties. An equal effective alternative of the SLA could be Memorandum of Understanding. For any further query clarification you are most welcome.
Thanks Deepak for your response.
My question is from point of view on 2 fronts
a) In case of breach of service terms lets say in terms of performance I want to take my vendor to court so at that point should my agreement have been or stamp paper or plain which is enforceable
b) From point of view best practises and practicality what is the norm in business circles for SLA.
Dear Vputhran,

In so far the deficiency of the value of the stamp paper is concerned the same can be cured subsequently before going for the registration and or initiating and prosecuting legal remedy.

The other question is about the evidentiary value of the SLA. For this reason only I have stated "In usual practice Rs.100/- Stamp Paper is used for this purpose. In so far Evidentiary value is concerned then subsequently the fact of procuring the stamp paper for a particular purpose (when any body goes to procure a stamp paper he has to sign the register and mention about the purpose for which the stamp paper is required). Then the same has to be witnessed and notarized or affirmed by the Oath Commissioner which makes it binding on the signatory parties."

For all practical purposes a completed, signed, executed and witnessed SLA is a enforceable contract and has a binding force. For registered and unregistered documents kindly see sections 17 and 49 of Indian Registration Act. I hope this satisfies your query. All the best God Bless
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