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Radhabai Vs. Parwatibai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract;Civil
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Appln. No. 19 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1970Bom275; 1969MhLJ27
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 14, Rule 1 - Order 22, Rule 3; Specific Relief Act, 1963 - Sections 15
AppellantRadhabai
RespondentParwatibai
Appellant AdvocateD.B. Najbile and ;S.V. Padhye, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateK.Y. Pande, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....original plaintiff doma, alleging that the defendant had failed to execute a sale-deed as agreed, filed a suit on 28-9-1965 asking for specific performance of the agreement dated 7-5-1965. unfortunately the original plaintiff doma died on the same date after the suit was filed by him, doma died leaving behind his widow gaurabai and his married daughter parwatibai, who is the opponent in this revision application. abdul kader saheb (1902) ilr 25 mad 26 it was held that as the suit was not brought by the entire body of the heirs of rostam ali it was badly framed. 8. there does not appear to be any dispute between parwatibai and her mother gaurabai who herself had filed an affidavit in the court below that she is not interested in the suit property as her husband had intended to purchase.....order1. the applicant is the defendant against whom one doma had filed a suit for specific performance of an agreement of sale entered into by the applicant with him. the applicant, on 7-5-1965, entered into an agreement to sell a house no. 1288/1 + 4 in circle no. 4/6 at nagpur to the original plaintiff doma for a sum of rs. 10750, and accordingly, the applicant-defendant had executed an isarchitti on the same date. the isarchitti recites that the applicant had received a sum of rs. 500 as part payment of the purchase price of rs. 10750, and that a sale-deed was to be executed within 4 months from the date of the agreement. the original plaintiff doma, alleging that the defendant had failed to execute a sale-deed as agreed, filed a suit on 28-9-1965 asking for specific performance of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. The applicant is the defendant against whom one Doma had filed a suit for specific performance of an agreement of sale entered into by the applicant with him. The applicant, on 7-5-1965, entered into an agreement to sell a house No. 1288/1 + 4 in Circle No. 4/6 at Nagpur to the original plaintiff Doma for a sum of Rs. 10750, and accordingly, the applicant-defendant had executed an Isarchitti on the same date. The Isarchitti recites that the applicant had received a sum of Rs. 500 as part payment of the purchase price of Rs. 10750, and that a sale-deed was to be executed within 4 months from the date of the agreement. The original plaintiff Doma, alleging that the defendant had failed to execute a sale-deed as agreed, filed a suit on 28-9-1965 asking for specific performance of the agreement dated 7-5-1965. Unfortunately the original plaintiff Doma died on the same date after the suit was filed by him, Doma died leaving behind his widow Gaurabai and his married daughter Parwatibai, who is the opponent in this revision application.

2. After the suit was filed on 23-9-1965, it was fixed for further orders on 28-9-1965. On this date Parwatibai filed an application under Order 22, Rule 3, Code of Civil Procedure stating that she was the sole surviving heir and legal representative of her deceased father, the original plaintiff, and that she was entitled to be made a party in place of the deceased plaintiff. By an order of the same date this application was allowed, and accordingly, the name of Parwatibai was substituted in place of the original plaintiff,

3. The defendant-applicant filed a written statement in reply to the allegations in the plaint. The suit was thereafter adjourned from time to time and issues were framed on 25-4-1966. The suit was posted for evidence on 25-8-1966. It appears that on 24-8-1966 an application on behalf of the present applicant was filed under Order 14, Rule 1, Code of Civil Procedure, alleging that the deceased Doma had also left behind his widow Gaurabai, and as Gaurabai was not brought on record in any capacity, Parwatibai alone was not competent to maintain the suit. This objection was also taken in the written statement and the defendant, therefore, wanted the issue regarding maintainability of the suit by Parwatibai alone to be tried as a preliminary issue.

4. In reply to the application by the defendant, Parwatibai stated that she was the only child of the deceased Doma for whom he intended to purchase the house in dispute and that the original plaintiff had disposed of his self-acquired property and raised money for purchasing the disputed house. She further stated that the widow Gaurabai did not want to claim any share or interest in the property in dispute. On 18-10-1966, Gaurabai filed an affidavit in which she disclaimed all interest in the subject matter o the suit. In the affidavit she states;

'That the deceased husband of the deponent had made a contract for the purchase of a house at Nagpur having raised the money for the purchase by selling out all his property at Dongargarh for our only daughter Shrimati Parwatibai, the plaintiff in the case, which house is the subject matter of the suit. That I have relinquished all my claims and interest in the assets or property left by my deceased husband and I do not want to claim any sort of the share therein and I have none in them.'

After this affidavit was filed by Gaurabai, the following issue, which is issue No. 9, was taken up as a preliminary issue:

'9. Does the defendant prove, that the plaintiff the daughter of late Doma has no locus standi to continue this suit as she is not the only heir of Doma, as Doma's widow is his other heir?'

The learned Judge after hearing arguments on this issue found in favour of the plaintiff and held that the present legal representative, who was the daughter of the original plaintiff Doma, could continue the suit The learned Judge found that the inter se dispute between the legal representatives or the agreement of sacrificing for each other their respective rights in the said contract would be a matter that has to be settled between them inter se and the defendant has nothing to do with it. It is this order holding that Parwatibai, the daughter of the deceased original plaintiff Doma, was entitled to continue the suit which is challenged in this revision application.

5. Mr. D. B. Najbile, the learned counsel for the applicant, contended that Doma having loft two legal representatives, namely, the daughter and the widow, the daughter alone was not entitled to continue the suit which was originally filed by the deceased plaintiff Doma. The learned Counsel for the applicant relied on two decisions for this proposition. They are Girdhar v. Motilal Champalal ILR (1941) Nag 615 : AIR 1941 Nag 5 and Katip Bibi v. Fakir Chandra Ghosh, : AIR1960Cal187 . Now, at the outset it must be said that in both these cases the primary question for consideration was whether the suit was properly filed or not. They were not cases in which the suit was properly filed and thereafter any of the parties to the suit had died during the pendency of the suit as is the case before me. It is not disputed before me that the suit was properly filed by the deceased plaintiff. In the Nagpur case the suit was a mortgage suit. The plaintiffs therein had obtained through an assignee the mortgagee's rights by purchase. But this purchase was in conjunction with two other persons Premraj and Dhanraj and Premraj had died after whom his estate went to Dhanraj and Gulabchand. It appears from the judgment that though the mortgagee's rights vested in the plaintiffs in conjunction originally with Premraj and Dhanraj, and after the death of Premraj in conjunction with Dhanraj and Gulabchand, these two persons were not joined in suit. It further appears from the judgment that the plaintiffs' pleader refused to join these persons as parties even after the difficulties arising from their nonjoinder were disclosed. On these facts it was held that a mortgage being indivisible the suit based on a mortgage must be dismissed in its entirety if all the parties entitled to a share in the money due on the mortgage are not impleaded. It was also observed that although a Court has power to join a party it cannot do so if the litigant in whose interest the joinder is to be made refuses to join him. The suit was, therefore, dismissed for non-joinder. The High Court declined to permit the respondents to join the necessary parties, as, in view of the Division Bench, the offer had come too late. Though the danger of non-joinder was pointed out, the pleader had refused to join the necessary parties. It will thus be seen that this decision turns on the principle that a mortgage was indivisible, and therefore, in a suit based on the mortgage all the parties entitled to a share in the money due on the mortgage must be impleaded. The decision is, therefore, distinguishable and the applicant cannot draw any support from that decision in the instant case,

6. The second case on which the learned counsel for the applicant relies also was a case in which the question was whether the suit, which was instituted by only one of the heirs of the promisee, in whose favour there was a contract of reconveyance, was maintainable. In that case there was a contract of reconveyance entered into by the predecessor-in-interest of the defendants Nos. 1 to 3 in favour of one Rostam Ali, who was the original vendor of the same property and the agreement entered into by the purchaser was to reconvey the property either to Rostam Ali or to his heirs or legal representatives. On the death of Rostam Ali' only one of the heirs being his daughter brought a suit claiming specific performance of the contract of reconveyance. This suit was dismissed by the trial Court and the dismissal was also affirmed by the appeal Court. The plaintiff had filed a second appeal before the High Court challenging the decree dismissing her claim of specific performance. On a construction of the agreement, the lower Courts in that case had held that the agreement for reconveyance being to the effect that the reconveyance was to be made to the vendor or to his heirs and representatives, the entire body of his heirs and not only one of them wag entitled to bring a suit for specific performance on the death of the original vendor. The High Court in that case was called upon to consider whether on the death of the original promisee, his heirs become or fill up the character of the several promisees, and if they do not become themselves several joint promisees, whether a suit by any one or more of them for specific performance is maintainable. Belying on a decision of the Madras High Court in Ahinsa Bibi v. Abdul Kader Saheb (1902) ILR 25 Mad 26 it was held that as the suit was not brought by the entire body of the heirs of Rostam Ali it was badly framed. The High Court has further observed in this case as follows:

'What is more, there is nothing in the instant case to show that the other heirs of Rostam Ali, who were made parties defendants, at all refused to join with the plaintiff in her suit.'

The above quoted observation would show that j there was material on record which would indicate that persons who had been joined as defendants had refused to join as plaintiffs, it might not have necessarily involved a dismissal of the suit. In the instant case before me, however, the question is not whether the suit which was filed was improperly filed. The suit was, no doubt, properly filed by deceased Doma and the question as to whether a suit cannot now be prosecuted by Parwatibai alone will have to be decided with reference to the provisions of Section 15 of the Specific Re-let Act, 1963 and Order 22, Rule 3, Civil Procedure Code. The relevant part of Section 15 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 is as follows:

'15. Who may obtain specific performance: Except as otherwise provided by this Chapter, the specific performance of a contract may be obtained by-

(a) any party thereto;

(b) the representative in interest or the principal, of any party thereto;

It is not disputed that the present opponent Parwatibai was substituted as the plaintiff in place of deceased Doma under Order 22, Rule 3, Civil Procedure Code, within the prescribed period and that she is a representative in interest within the meaning of Section 15 of the Specific Relief Act. But what is contended is that she alone is not the representative in interest, that the widow of deceased Doma is also another representative in interest, and that in her absence as the plaintiff, the suit cannot proceed and must be taken to have abated as a whole.

7. It is true that on the death of Doma the right to enforce the agreement devolved jointly on Parwatibai and her mother and in such a case the normal course is that if one of the legal representatives is not prepared to join as the plaintiff he should be joined as a defendant. Now, in the instant case, admittedly Parwatibai had come on record as the plaintiff within the prescribed period of limitation, It is clear from the wording of Order 22, Rule 8, Civil Procedure Code, that when once an application is made by a legal representative to be brought on record and that application is granted the then Court shall proceed with the suit or appeal.

8. There does not appear to be any dispute between Parwatibai and her mother Gaurabai who herself had filed an affidavit in the Court below that she is not interested in the suit property as her husband had intended to purchase the suit house for the benefit of Parwatibai, This is, therefore, not a case where the defendant-applicant can make any grievance of the failure to join one of the legal representatives either as a plaintiff or as a formal defendant in the suit. It is obvious from the affidavit filed by Parwatibai that she claims no interest in the suit property and if on her own affidavit she disclaims all interest in the transaction between the defendant and deceased Doma, it is difficult to see how the defendant can take any advantage of her refusal to be joined as a party in the suit. As the applicant, who is the daughter of the deceased plaintiff, has already been brought on record as legal representative she would represent the estate and the suit did not abate. The objection regarding the absence o the widow as legal representative on record is purely a technical objection without substance, the widow having herself sworn an affidavit that she is not interested in the suit property. Parwatibai is, therefore, competent to continue the suit. The order of the lower Court is legal and proper and no interference is called for in this revision application. There is, therefore, no substance in this revision and the revision application is rejected with costs.

9. Revision dismissed.


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