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Rajendra Prasad Rai and anr. Vs. Rajdeva Rai and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectContract;Property
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 284 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1974All294
ActsSpecific Relief Act, 1963 - Sections 16; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 6, Rule 6
AppellantRajendra Prasad Rai and anr.
RespondentRajdeva Rai and anr.
Appellant AdvocateLakshmi Bihari, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS.D. Agarwala, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....out any cause of action with regard to the relief for specific performance of the contract and, therefore, should have dismissed the plaintiff's..........appellants' appeal and upholding the trial court's judgment decreeing the plaintiff-respondent's suit for specific performance of a contract entered into between the plaintiff and defendant-respondent no. 2.2. the relevant facts, as recorded by the courts below, are that defendant no. 1 brij behari rai and the plaintiff, namely, rajdeva rai entered into the agreement (ex. 1) dated 21-2-1964 under which brij behariagreed to sell the property described in the plaint to the plaintiff for rs. 1,000/- within six months and was paid rs. 400/- by the plaintiff as earnest money. it was further agreed upon that the balance shall be paid at the time of registration of the sale-deed. ultimately, defendant no. 1. brij behari rai sold the property by the deed dated 24-7-1965 to the appellants who.....
Judgment:

S. Malik, J.

1. This is a defendants' appeal against the judgment dated 14-10-1970 of the Civil Judge, Azamgarh, dismissing the appellants' appeal and upholding the trial court's judgment decreeing the plaintiff-respondent's suit for specific performance of a contract entered into between the plaintiff and defendant-respondent No. 2.

2. The relevant facts, as recorded by the courts below, are that defendant No. 1 Brij Behari Rai and the plaintiff, namely, Rajdeva Rai entered into the agreement (Ex. 1) dated 21-2-1964 under which Brij Behariagreed to sell the property described in the plaint to the plaintiff for Rs. 1,000/- within six months and was paid Rs. 400/- by the plaintiff as earnest money. It was further agreed upon that the balance shall be paid at the time of registration of the sale-deed. Ultimately, defendant No. 1. Brij Behari Rai sold the property by the deed dated 24-7-1965 to the appellants who were arrayed as defendants Nos. 2 and 3. It has also been found that defendants Nos. 2 and 3 were not bona fide purchasers as they were aware of the agreement (Ex. 1) between the plaintiff and defendant No. 1 when the appellants pruchas-ed the property in 1965.

3. If may be mentioned that in the plaint the plaintiff did not specifically plead or aver that he had been and was still ready and willing to perform his part of the agreement though he did plead in paragraph 6 of the plaint that he had been approaching defendant No. 1 regularly with the request that defendant No. 1 should execute the sale-deed and get it registered thereby performing the contract of sale but the defendant avoided doing so. Defendant No. 1, on the other hand, pleaded in his written statement that after the agreement (Ex. 1) was entered into, be approached the plaintiff to carry out his part of the contract as the defendant was urgently in need of money but the plaintiff avoided getting the sale-deed executed by the defendant and, therefore, the defendant ex-cuted the sale-deed in favour of defendants Nos. 2 and 3, the appellants before this Court.

4. No issue was framed by the trial Court on the question as to whether the plaintiff was willing at all times to perform his part of the contract and this question was also not entered into by the lower appellate Court. It may be mentioned, however, that the trial Court did record a finding that the allegations made by defendant No. 1 about his having approached the plaintiff to carry out his part of the agreement and to have the sale-deed executed, were not true that defendant No. 1 failed to prove the same. In the trial Court the only questions decided were whether the plaintiff and defendant No. 1 had entered into the agreement (Ex. 1) and whether the appellants were bona fide purchasers for value.

5. The learned counsel for the appellants argued that in view of Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act and Forms Nos. 47 and 48 of Appendix 'A' of the First Schedule of the Code of Civil Procedure, it was incumbent on the plaintiff not only to have averred that the defendant refused to carry out his part of the contract but the plaintiff had also to specifically plead:

'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.'

(Vide paragraph 3 of Form No. 47 of the First Schedule of the Code of Civil Pro-cedure).

In support of this contention the attention of the Court was drawn to the observations made by the Supreme Court in Ouseph Var-ghese v. Joseph Aley, 1969-2 SCC 539. In paragraph 9 of the said judgment the Supreme Court observed:

'..... A suit for specific performancehas to conform to the requirements prescribed in Forms 47 and 48 of the First Schedule in the Civil Procedure Code. In a suit for specific performance it is incumbent on the plaintiff not only to set out agreement on the basis of which he sues in all its details, he must go further and plead that he has applied to the defendant specifically to perform the agreement pleaded by him but the defendant has not done so. He must further plead that he has been and is still ready and willing to specifically perform his part of the agreement. Neither in the plaint or at my subsequent stage of the suit the plaintiff has taken those pleas.'

6. In making these observations the Supreme Court relied on an earlier decision reported in AIR 1968 SC 1355, Prem Rai v. The D. L. F. Housing and Construction (P.) Ltd. wherein it was observed in paragraph 5 :

'There is also another reason for holding that the appellant has made out no cause of action with regard to the relief of specific performance of the contract. It is well settled that in a suit for specific performance the plaintiff should allege that he is ready and willing to perform his part of the contract. In the present case, no such averment is made in the plaint.'

Similarly, Clause (c) of Section 16 of the Specific Relief Act lays down:--

'16. Specific performance of a contract cannot be enforced in favour of a person- (c) 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.....'

7. As has been pointed out, though the second paragraph of Form No. 47 of the First Schedule of the Code of Civil Procedure was averred by the plaintiff in paragraph 6 of the plaint, the plaintiff made no averment in the plaint as required in paragraph 3 of Form No. 47 regarding specific performance. In the instant case, there is no documentary evidence to show that the plaintiff ever showed his willingness to perform his part of the contract and there is nothing to show that the plaintiff ever sent any notice to the defendant-respondent to that effect. Even as P. W. 1 the plaintiff merely stated that he had asked defendant No. 1 three or four times to execute the sale deed in accordance with the agreement but the defendant went on avoiding. The plaintiff nowhere stated that he had been and stillwas ready to perform his part of the contract. It was rightly argued that keeping in view the observations made by the Supreme Court, as the plaintiff did not make any averment in the plaint as required in paragraph 3 of Form No. 47 of the First Schedule of the Code of Civil Procedure and also Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act, the courts below should have held that the plaintiff failed to make out any cause of action with regard to the relief for specific performance of the contract and, therefore, should have dismissed the plaintiff's suit.

8. It was argued by the learned Counsel for the plaintiff-respondent that no specific issue was framed by the trial Court on this point and as it does not appear that the appellants or defendant No. I pressed for framing of such an issue, the appellants should not be allowed at this stage to raise this question which does not appear to have been specifically urged either before the trial court or in the Lower Appellate Court. The contention has no force. In view of Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act, it was the duty of the courts below to enter into the question as to whether the plaintiff had made an averment as required in Clause (c) of Section 16 of the Specific Relief Act and also as laid down in paragraph 3 of Form No. 47 of the First Schedule of the Civil Procedure Code because without giving a finding that the plaintiff, in fact, had done so, they could not have decreed the plaintiff's suit.

9. Under the circumstances, in view of the reasons discussed, I allow the appeal with costs and set aside the judgment and decree passed by the courts below. The plaintiffs suit is dismissed.


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