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Sankatha Prasad Vs. Abdul Aziz Khan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Contract
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 2733 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1976All95
ActsSpecific Relief Act, 1963 - Sections 16C
AppellantSankatha Prasad
RespondentAbdul Aziz Khan
Appellant AdvocateDhruva Nurain, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateSankatha Pd., Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
contract - specific performance - section 16 (c) of specific relief act, 1963 - suit for specific performance of contract - plaintiff fails to make averment that he all along has been ready to perform his part of contract - held, suit for specific performance must fail. - cantonments act[c.a. no. 41/2006]. section 346 & cantonment fund (servants rules, 1937, rules 13, 14 & 15: [h.l. gokhale, ag. cj, p.v. hardas, naresh h. patil, r.m. borde & r.m. savant, jj] jurisdiction of school tribunal constituted under maharashtra employees of private schools (conditions of service) regulations act, (3 of 1978) held, school run by the cantonment board is a primary school and it is not a school recognised by any such board comparable to the divisional board or the state board. the school..........finding of the courts below cannot be disturbed.8. the civil procedure code prescribed a form of suit of specific performance and that form is printed in form no. 47 of the appendix. according to this form para 3 the plaintiff has to prove as follows:--'form no. 47 (para 3). 'the plaintiff has been and still is ready and willing specifically to perform the agreement on his part of which the defendant has had notice.' section 16(c) of the specific relief act 1963, reads as under:--'specific performance of a contract cannot be enforced in favour of a person who fails to aver and prove that he has performed or has always been ready and willing to perform the essential terms of the contract which are to be performed by him, other than terms the performance of which has been prevented or.....
Judgment:

Chandra Prakash, J.

1. This is a second appeal against the judgment and decree dated 4-2-1966 of Sri Basdeo Lal Srivastava I Additional District Judge Varanasi modifying the decree of the trial Court and dismissing the appellant's appeal.

2. The suit giving rise to this appeal was filed by the plaintiff appellant against the defendant respondent on the allegations that the respondent was the owner of the house detailed in the plaint, and the plaintiff appellant was occupying its portion as a tenant. On 21st of June 1960 there was an agreement between the parties by which the defendant respondent agreed to sell the disputed house to the plaintiff appellant for the consideration of Rs. 6000/- after acceptingRs. 200/- as earnest money. It was further agreed between the parties that after the marriage of the daughter of the respondent, the respondent will show all the title deeds to the plaintiff and would execute the sale deed within 31st of December 1961 after accepting the balance of consideration and after adjusting the other dues due from the respondent to the appellant. It was further agreed that in case the sale deed was not executed by 31st of December 1961 it would be executed within one year from that date, and the parties will bear expenses of tie execution of the sale deed half and halt In the deed of the agreement it was also written that the plaintiff has been paying the rent of the house for month to month and the respondent would be responsible for the annual repairs, white washing etc. It was pleaded that the respondent did not get the annual repairs done and the plaintiff appellant had moved an application under Section 7 of Act 3 of 1947 before the City Munsif Varanasi and displeased with this the respondent claimed arrears of rent amounting to Rs. 440/- from the plaintiff. Although the demand was unjustified the appellant in order to save himself from eviction deposited that money. It was further alleged that in spite of the demand made by notice to the respondent the defendant did not execute a sale deed in question hence the suit for specific performance of the alleged contract.

3. The suit was resisted by defendant respondent on the allegations that be had not executed any agreement set up in the plaint. It was further pleaded that the alleged agreement was vitiated by fraud. It was also pleaded that the appellant took thumb impression of the defendant respondent on a blank paper in connection with certain gift deed which the defendant wanted to make in favour of his sons. It was thus said that taking advantage of the illiteracy of the defendant respondent the plaintiff appellant who was the clerk of a Vakil has forged the agreement set up in the plaint. The defendant respondent denied that he received Rs. 200/- as earnest money and the house in question was at least worth Rs. 16000/- and not Rs. 6000/-.

4. The trial Court after taking evidence of the parties came to the conclusion that the respondent had executed an agreement dated 21st of June 1960 after fully understanding the terms of agreement and the allegation that it was vitiated by fraud or coercion were false. The trial court has also held that the plaintiff has only 2/3 share in the said house and he cannot dispose of the entire house. The trial Court further found that the plaintiff appellant had not made any allegation in the plaint that all along he had been ready and willing to perform his part of the contract of which the defendant has had notice and in the absence of this allegation the plaintiff appellant could not get any decree of the specific performance. On the above finding the trial court dismissed the suit.

5. Against the above decree the plaintiff appellant filed an appeal before the lower appellate court and the lower appellate court after considering the facts arrived at the conclusion that the defendant respondent was the owner of the house in dispute and the agreement was not vitiated by any fraud or coercion. The lower appellate court further agreed with the finding of the trial court that in the absence of the aforesaid allegation in the plaint the plaintiff appellant could not get any decree of specific performance.

6. Since the plaintiff could not get a decree of specific performance of the contract the lower appellate court awarded a decree of Rs. 200/- to the plaintiff appellant on the finding that there was no breach of contract from his side. The decree of the trial court therefore was modified to the extent that the plaintiffs suit for recovery of Rs. 200/- was decreed and the rest of the claim was dismissed.

7. Feeling aggrieved by the above order the plaintiff appellant came up in second appeal before me. I have heard learned counsel for both the parties and have gone through the record of the case. I have come to the conclusion that the finding of the courts below cannot be disturbed.

8. The Civil Procedure Code prescribed a Form of suit of specific performance and that Form is printed in Form No. 47 of the Appendix. According to this Form para 3 the plaintiff has to prove as follows:--

'Form No. 47 (para 3).

'The plaintiff has been and still is ready and willing specifically to perform the agreement on his part of which the defendant has had notice.'

Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act 1963, reads as under:--

'Specific performance of a contract cannot be enforced in favour of a person who fails to aver and prove that he has performed or has always been ready and willing to perform the essential terms of the contract which are to be performed by him, other than terms the performance of which has been prevented or waived by the defendant. Explanation:-- For the purposes of Clause (C).

(i) Where a contract involves the payment of money, it is not essential for the plaintiff to actually tender to the defendant or to deposit in Court any money except when so directed by the court:

(ii) the plaintiff must aver performance of, or readiness and willineness to perform the contract according to its true construction.

9. The perusal of the above Section 16(c) leaves no room for doubt that a suit for specific performance has to fail if the plaintiff fails to plead and prove his readiness and willingness to perform his part of the contract,

10. Thus the above two provisions were interpreted by the Supreme Court in : [1970]1SCR921 and : [1968]3SCR648 and : AIR1974All294 .

11. In the above cases it has been held that the want of averment in the plaint to this effect is fatal to suit for specific performance. Now the question arises whether this averment is to be found in the plaint that the plaintiff appellant has been ready and willing to perform his part of the contract. Both the courts below have given concurrent finding of fact that the above averment does not find place in the plaint. The learned counsel for the plaintiff appellant drew my attention to the para 6 of the plaint which translated into English reads as follows:

'Therefore the defendant on being displeased of the demand did not show the title deeds to the disputed house, nor did he execute a sale deed in plaintiffs favour. Therefore on 13th of November 1962 the plaintiff sent notice to the defendant requiring him to execute the sale deed in favour of the plaintiff within a week after showing the title deeds etc.'

12. The above words did not amout to an averment that the plaintiff has all along been ready and willing to perform his part of the contract. The above averment was therefore lacking in the plaint with the result that the plaintiff appellant is not entitled to any decree for specific performance. The plaintiff appellant therefore could not get a decree of specific performance notwithstanding the fact that no breach of contract was committed by the plaintiff-appellant and that it was the defendant-respondent who tried to evade execution of the sale deed by hook or by crook.

13. It was contended on behalf of the plaintiff appellant that Section 16(c) was introduced in the year 1963 by new Specific Relief Act which was enforced from 13th December 1963, while the suit of partition(?) was filed in the year 1963 before the enforcement of the new Specific Relief Act. Section 16(c) prohibits the enforcement of the specific performance after 13-12-1963. No decree has been passed before the enforcement of the Act, A decree was to be passed after the enforcement of the new Relief Act and in view of the provision 16 (C) the specific performance will not be enforced. Even if Section 16(c) had not been there the law of the specific performance was not different.

14. AIR 1928 PC 208 states as follows:

'Although so far as the Act is concerned there is no express statement that in suit for specific performance the averment of readiness and willingness on the plaintiffs part upto the date of decree is as necessary as it was always in England, it seems invariably to have been recognized that the Indian and the English requirements in this matter are the same.'

15. It follows that under the previous law as well the plaintiff will not get any decree for specific performance without averring and proving that he had performed or that he was ready and willing to perform the essential terms of the contract,

16. It was argued on behalf of the plaintiff appellant that the trial court did not frame any issue. The absence of pleading for readiness and willingness to perform his part of contract is apparent by reading of the plaint itself. In : AIR1974All294 also no issue was framed to that effect and the court has said that averment in the plaint to that effect is necessary.

17. It was further prayed on behalf of the plaintiff appellant that the plaintiff appellant should be given opportunity to get the plaint amended. The plaintiff did not amend the plaint either in the trial court or in the court below. It is too late to seek amendment now.

18. The appeal therefore fails and is dismissed. Costs as made easy.


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