8 Aug 2022 8:00 AM GMT
The Tripura High Court recently, while dealing with a matter pertaining to execution of a sale deed, observed that a remedy for specific performance is discretionary in nature and the power may not be exercised by the Court merely because it is lawful to do so. The court can take into account the hardship such direction may cause to a party. Justice Arindam Lodh observed: "We have...
The Tripura High Court recently, while dealing with a matter pertaining to execution of a sale deed, observed that a remedy for specific performance is discretionary in nature and the power may not be exercised by the Court merely because it is lawful to do so. The court can take into account the hardship such direction may cause to a party.
Justice Arindam Lodh observed:
"We have given our thoughtful consideration in the matter and perused the pleadings as well as the evidence brought on record. There cannot be any debate in the Bar that a remedy for specific performance exercises discretionary jurisdiction. Section 20 of the Specific Relief Act specifically provides that the jurisdiction of the court to grant decree of specific performance is discretionary but not arbitrary. Discretion must be exercised in accordance with the sound and reasonable judicial principles."
The Appellants heren, being the original defendants, had challenged a judgment of the Civil Judge which allowed the Plaintiff's suit for specific performance.
It was the Appellants' case that the deed of agreement for sale was entered into between the plaintiff and Appellants' predecessor-in-interest under suspicious circumstances as their predecessor was not in right state of mind and would cause hardship to the Appellants inasmuch as they would become landless and their very existence would be at stake.
It was emphasised that when agreement for sale was made, the Appellants were minor and their interest was not taken care of.
The Plaintiff argued that the Appellants being the inheritors were under obligation to perform their parts of liabilities under the said deed of agreement of sale.
The High Court noted that a plain reading of Section 20 of the Specific Relief Act clearly shows that a party is not entitled to get a decree for Specific Performance merely because it is lawful to do so. Nevertheless, once an agreement of sale is legally and validly proved and further requirements for getting such a decree which is established, then, the court has to exercise its discretion in granting relief for Specific Performance.
After perusing evidence the court was of view that there cannot be any doubt that the Appellants had no shelter and this admitted fact is enough to prove their hardship if the suit for specific performance of the agreement of sale is decreed in favour of plaintiff.
"Applying the well settled principle that it is not always necessary to grant specific performance simply for the reason that it is legal to do so, we are of the opinion, that the case in hand is a fit case to exercise our discretion rejecting the plaintiff's claim to ask the defendants to execute the deed of sale in terms of Exbt.1 as decreed by learned court below."
As a result the court held that the plaintiff is not entitled to get a decree for specific performance of the agreement of sale and set aside the impugned order. However, the plaintiff was held entitled to get refund of the earnest money, with interest.
Case Title: Smt. Bandhana Modak (Das) and Anr. Versus Sri Parswanath Saha
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Tri) 32
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