3 Dec 2023 4:30 AM GMT
The Supreme Court, while denying the plea of specific performance for execution of the re-conveyance deed, noted that such a claim implies that the opposite party (against whom the claim is being made) is the owner. Whereas, on the other hand, it was pleaded that the opposite party did not have any right or title over such property. In view of these facts and circumstances, the Court held...
The Supreme Court, while denying the plea of specific performance for execution of the re-conveyance deed, noted that such a claim implies that the opposite party (against whom the claim is being made) is the owner. Whereas, on the other hand, it was pleaded that the opposite party did not have any right or title over such property. In view of these facts and circumstances, the Court held that the relief of specific performance cannot be sought.
“Therefore, taking the averments made in the plaint as correct, there was no occasion for the appellants to seek specific performance compelling the respondent to execute re-conveyance deed inasmuch as, even according to the case of the appellants as pleaded in the plaint and in evidence that the respondent had no right, title and interest in the suit property.,” Justices Abhay S. Oka and Pankaj Mithal.
To provide a brief background that led to the instant appeal, it may be mentioned that the plaintiffs (Madhavan and Kaladevi) are father and daughter. The defendant (Kanakavally) was a friend of the 2nd plaintiff. Now, as per the plaintiffs' case, the disputed property belonged to the 1st plaintiff. The 2nd plaintiff was working along with the defendant. It is when the 1st plaintiff was going through certain financial difficulties, the defendant had advanced a sum of Rs.13,000/. However, as the security for the loan transaction, it was alleged that the 1st plaintiff had executed a sale deed dated 03.10.1988 in favor of the 2nd plaintiff and the defendant. According to the plaintiffs, it was only a paper transaction and was not acted upon. This was only a security for the advancement of the amount. Without the knowledge of the first plaintiff, 2nd plaintiff executed a document relinquishing her right in favor of the defendant.
Thereafter, the 2nd plaintiff and the defendant entered into an agreement whereby it was decided to assign the property in favor of the 2nd plaintiff or her nominee. As per the stipulations in the agreement, any amount received more than Rs.29,400/- had to be paid to the plaintiffs. It was contended that the performance of the contract was to take place on or before 19.6.90. However, the defendant instead attempted to sell the property. Thus, a suit was filed for injunction and as well for specific performance of the contract.
Though the trial Court had passed the decree of specific performance in favor of the plaintiffs, the same was set aside by the High Court. Thus, the present appeal.
After perusing the parties' pleadings, the Top Court, at first, reiterated that the suit agreement was to re-convey the suit property to the second plaintiff or her nominee. Pursuant to this, the Court observed that “when a prayer for specific performance of agreement for sale or an agreement to execute a re-conveyance is made in a suit and when the plaintiff seeks execution of the sale deed from the defendant, it is implicit that the plaintiff has to accept the title of the defendant.”
Moving forward, the Court took note of the fact that there was a specific pleading pertaining to the 2nd plaintiff having no authority or power to transfer her share in the property to the defendant. Further, even after execution of the deed of relinquishment, only the 1st Plaintiff continued to have right in respect of the suit property. Not only in the pleading but also during the chief examination, it was submitted by the plaintiffs that the sale deed was only on paper as a security.
Taking its cue from these observations, the Court opined though it has been asserted by the appellants/ plaintiffs that the defendant/ respondent has no right over the suit property, the claim for specific performance implies that the defendant/ respondent is the owner. Based this, the Court opined:
“The agreement for sale on the basis of which specific performance was claimed by the appellants proceeds on the footing that the respondent has become the owner. However, in the plaint, the appellants have asserted that notwithstanding the execution of the sale deed and release deed, no right, title and interest in the suit property was transferred to the respondent and rights of the first appellant in respect of the suit property continued to exist and the appellants continued to be in possession.”
Before parting, the Court also observed that the appellants had not filed any suit to declare that the sale deed was null and void. Based on the above observations, the Court dismissed the appeal.
Case Title: MADHAVAN (DEAD)THROUGH LRS. vs. KANAKAVALLY., Diary No.- 1069 - 2011
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1030
Click here to read the order