1. This is an appeal from an order passed under Section 144, Civil P.C., for the restitution of certain property. This property belonged originally to one Richard Ross Skinner. On his death his estate was divided in equal shares between his sister, Alice Georgina Skinner, and his brother, George Corbin Earle Skinner. The latter agreed to transfer the property in suit by sale to the appellant, Robert Hercules Skinner. After his death Robert Hercules Skinner instituted a suit for specific performance of the agreement to sell the property. Stanley Edgar Skinner wag the administrator of the estate of George Corbin Earle Skinner, but for some reason the estate was represented in the suit by Thomas Ivan Skinner. The first Court dismissed the suit but on appeal the High Court passed a decree in favour of the plaintiff. Under the terms of the decree, the consideration for the sale was to be deposited by the plaintiff in Court and Stanley Edgar Skinner and Thomas Ivan Skinner were to execute a deed of sale in favour of the plaintiff in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Stanley Edgar Skinner apparently transferred the property mentioned in the agreement without executing a deed of sale. George Corbin Earle Skinner died without any heir except his sister, Alice Georgina Skinner, who succeeded to the whole of his estate. On her death James Richard Rennell Skinner became the executor or administrator in charge of her estate, part of which was the property in suit. He obtained permission to file an appeal against the decree for specific performance which had been passed in favour of Robert Hercules Skinner and the result of his appeal was that their Lordships of the Privy Council set aside the decree of this Court for specific performance. James Richard Rennell Skinner then made an application that the property which had been transferred to Robert Hercules Skinner on account of the decree passed by this Court should be restored to him and an order to that effect has been passed by the learned Judge of the Court below.
2. It has been argued, in the first place, that the provisions of Section 144, Civil P.C., do not apply because Stanley Edgar Skinner did not deliver the property to Robert Hercules Skinner under the specific direction of the Court for the delivery of possession. In our judgment, there is no force in this argument. The provisions of Section 144, Civil P.C., are to the effect that a Court the decree of which has been set aside shall cause such restitution to be made as will, so far as may be, place the parties in the position which they would have occupied but for such decree. No question, therefore, arises whether there was any decree for the delivery of possession. It is perfectly clear that Stanley Edgar Skinner would not have delivered the property to Robert Hercules Skinner unless this Court had passed a decree that the latter was entitled to the property on the execution of a deed of sale in his favour. We cannot accept the argument that Stanley Edgar Skinner was bound only to execute a deed of sale and that he was not bound to deliver possession of the property. It is obvious that this Court, when it directed that a deed of sale should be executed, intended that the person who executed that deed should deliver possession of the property and should not retain possession as a trespasser. There cannot be the slightest doubt that possession of the property passed to Robert Hercules Skinner as a result of the decree of this Court which has been set aside and it, therefore, follows that Robert Hercules Skinner should be directed to return the property of which he obtained possession and that he should receive in return the money which he deposited by way of consideration for the sale.
3. The second point which has been argued is that James Richard Rennell Skinner was not entitled to make this application because in the suit for specific performance in the original Court Thomas Ivan Skinner was appointed to represent the estate of George Corbin Earle Skinner deceased. In our judgment, there is no force in this contention. We have already explained that James Richard Rennell Skinner now represents the whole estate of Alice Georgina Skinner who succeeded to the property of George Corbin Earle Skinner. Learned Counsel for the appellant has been compelled to admit that his client, Robert Hercules Skinner has no interest in the property, now that their Lordships of the Privy Council have passed a decree against him and has not been able to suggest any person other than James Robert Rennell Skinner who would have any title to the property. In these circumstances, we see no reason why James Richard Rennell Skinner who was a party to the proceedings and was the appellant before their Lordships of the Privy Council should not obtain restitution under the provisions of Section 144, Civil P.C., as a result of the decree which was passed on his appeal. The third argument is that part of the property at least was move-able property and that it was not necessary in order to transfer an interest in that property to obtain a registered deed of sale. Learned Counsel argues that the result of the decision of their Lordships of the Privy Council is that his client cannot compel the representative of George Corbin Earle Skinner to execute a deed of sale in his favour but that he has obtained possession of property which could have been transferred to him without the execution of the deed of sale and consequently that he should be allowed to retain it. We cannot accept this argument. It is perfectly clear that the property was delivered because this Court had held that Robert Hercules Skinner would ultimately be entitled to it. Their Lordships of the Privy Council have held that he was not entitled and it is clear therefore that he should return the property which was delivered to him only because of the decree passed by this Court. If he has any other title to any part of the property, it is possible that he may be able to enforce it by some other proceedings, but we are concerned only with the decrees passed by this Court and by their Lordships of the Privy Council and our duty is to restore the parties to the position in which they would have been if the decree of the High Court had not been passed, or, in other words, to compel Robert Hercules Skinner to return both the moveable and immovable property of which he obtained possession because of that decree.
4. The fourth argument is that the learned Judge of the Court below has erred in failing to direct James Richard Rennell Skinner to return a sum of Rs. 1000 which was paid by way of earnest money to George Corbin Earle Skinner by Robert Hercules Skinner when those parties entered into the agreement for the sale of property. In our judgment, there is no force in this argument. The question whether that sum of Rs. 1000 should or should not have been returned was not agitated in the suit with which we are concerned and there is no decree of this Court directing that a sum of Rs. 1000 should be paid. In the same way their Lordships of the Privy Council passed no decree that a sum of Rs. 1000 should be returned. It is quite clear that Robert Hercules Skinner did not pay this sum of Rs. 1000 under any decree passed by any Court and therefore prima facie it should not be returned as the result of an order under Section 144, Civil P.C. Learned Counsel has urged that we should enforce the equities between the parties. We will not go so far as to say that it may not be possible in some cases that a Court passing an order under Section 144, Civil P.C., may not take into consideration certain equities or place any parties upon terms, but we are quite clear that there are no clear equities in this case which we ought to enforce. The question whether the earnest money was returnable might well be one of some complication. The question has never been decided and we do not think that the question is one which should be decided now by us. In our judgment, there is no force in this appeal and the order of the learned Judge of the Court below is perfectly correct. We, therefore, dismiss the appeal with costs.