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Kedar Nath Vs. Badri Prasad - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 2124 of 1971
Judge
Reported inAIR1972All453
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 96(3) - Order 23, Rule 3
AppellantKedar Nath
RespondentBadri Prasad
Appellant AdvocateSankatha Rai, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateSidheshwari Prasad, Adv.
DispositionAppeal fails
Excerpt:
civil - appeal - section 96 (3) and order 23 rule 3 of code of civil procedure, 1908 - consent decree - defendant has satisfied plaintiff in respect of whole or any part of his claim - by any lawful agreement - court shall pass decree on the basis of such agreement or compromise - such decree is consent decree passed on special oath - held, not appealable. - - according to this rule if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that a suit has been adjusted wholly or in part by any lawful agreement or compromise, or the defendant has satisfied the plaintiff in respect of the whole or any part of the claim, the court shall pass a decree in terms of such agreement or the compromise. besides this, the question of executability of the decree can very well be gone into in execution..........96(3), c.p.c.it has, therefore, to be seen as to whether the decree passed in this case was a consent decree, as provided under section 96(3) of the civil procedure code. the defendant gave a statement that in case the plaintiff took a special oath of ganga-jali that he was present in the office of the sub-registrar on 3-8-1965 then the suit should be decreed. this offer was accepted by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff stated on oath of gangajali about the above fact. thus, there was an offer by the defendant which was accepted by the plaintiff. this amounted to a contract and on the basis of this contract, which was based on consent, the parties were agreed that a decree should be passed. order xxiii, rule 3, c.p.c. lays down as to what is a consent decree. according to this rule.....
Judgment:

K.N. Srivastava, J.

1. The facts giving rise to this appeal are as follows:--

The defendant-appellant executed an agreement dated 4-8-1960 in favour of the plaintiff-respondent to sell a house, some trees, a bamboo clump and eight agricultural plots for an amount of Rs. 2000/-. Before the sale deed could be executed the village where the agricultural plots were situated came under consolidation operation. In consolidation proceedings the valuation of the plots of defendant-appellants was prepared and according to that valuation he was allotted three different chaks of the same valuation. One of the chaks which the defendant-appellant got was 2 bigha 3 biswas and 11 dhoors in area and it also included one of the plots about which the agreement for sale had been executed. The plaintiff-respondent then filed a suit for specific performance of the contract.

2. The defendant contested the suit and, inter alia, pleaded that the contract for sale regarding the agricultural plots was not capable of being performed and therefore the plaintiff's suit for specific performance of the contract regarding the agricultural plots was liable to be dis-missed.

The trial Court decreed the plaintiffs suit regarding the other properties and chak No. 1 consisting of plot No. 135 for a consideration of Rs. 1450/-. The suit for the specific performance of the contract regarding the other agricultural plot was dismissed.

3. Being dissatisfied, both the parties filed appeals. The lower appellate Court dismissed the appeal filed by the defendant-appellant, and by allowing the appeal filed by the plaintiff-respondent decreed that suit in its entirety holding thatafter the plaintiff had taken special oath, the trial Court ought to have decreed the entire suit and the matter as to whether the decree was executable or not was to be considered during the execution proceedings. Being dissatisfied the defendant has filed this appeal.

4. A preliminary objection was raised in this appeal that the decree being passed on basis of the consent of the parties it was not appealable, as provided under Section 96(3), C.P.C.

It has, therefore, to be seen as to whether the decree passed in this case was a consent decree, as provided under Section 96(3) of the Civil Procedure Code. The defendant gave a statement that in case the plaintiff took a special oath of Ganga-jali that he was present in the office of the Sub-Registrar on 3-8-1965 then the suit should be decreed. This offer was accepted by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff stated on oath of Gangajali about the above fact. Thus, there was an offer by the defendant which was accepted by the plaintiff. This amounted to a contract and on the basis of this contract, which was based on consent, the parties were agreed that a decree should be passed. Order XXIII, Rule 3, C.P.C. lays down as to what is a consent decree. According to this rule if it is proved to the satisfaction of the Court that a suit has been adjusted wholly or in part by any lawful agreement or compromise, or the defendant has satisfied the plaintiff in respect of the whole or any part of the claim, the Court shall pass a decree in terms of such agreement or the compromise. In the instant case, there was a consent decree which has been passed on a compromise based on an agreement offered by one party and accepted by the other party. It has, therefore, to be seen as to whether the agreement was a legal one. I do not think that there was any illegality in the acceptance of the offer and, therefore, the trial Court had to pass a decree in terms of the special oath taken by the plaintiff. As the plaintiff had taken special oath, as desired by the defendant, the plaintiffs suit had to be decreed in toto.

5. In this connection my attention was drawn to certain decisions of this court and other High Courts. The learned counsel for the respondent relied on a decision of the Oudh Chief Court in Bashir Ahmed v. Sadiq Ali, AIR 1929 Oudh 451. In this case it was laid down that if the parties gave their consent to the Court as to the procedure which the Court was to adopt in the matter of coming to a decision on the merits of the case and they also give their consent that such a decision would be binding on them, the decision would be final and would not be appealable, and Section 22 of the Contract Act did not apply to such a case. In this reported case the parties agreed that theCourt should decide the point on the basis of certain documents which the parties filed and the court decided that case accordingly holding that this was a consent decree which was not appealable.

In Banwari Lal v. Ram Gopal : AIR1940All190 an offer was made by one of the parties that if the other party, who was alleged to be congenitally deaf and dumb, spoke before the court and heard anything said by the court, his suit for inheritance should be decreed. This offer had been accepted by the defendant and the suit was accordingly decreed because the alleged deaf and dumb defendant was able to hear things and to speak a little. It was, therefore, held that it amounted to a consent decree.

The other case is of Ballabh Das v. Sri Kishen : AIR1926All90 . In this case also the parties agreed that the court should decide the case on the documents produced by the parties. Acting on this agreement, the court decided the case. It was held to be a consent decree and as such it was not appealable. Similar view was taken in Zahirul Said Alvi v. Lachhmi Narayan . In this case also the decree was held to be a consent decree and, as such, it was held that it was not appealable.

6. As against this, the learned counsel for the appellant relied on a decision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Ratan Lal Saligram v. Nathu Lal Pan-karji Namdeo AIR 1961 Madh Pra 108. In this case it was held that when a suit was decided on special oath, which was administered in pursuance of an agreement of the parties, the decree passed on such evidence could not be said to be a consent decree and an appeal lay from such a decree. This Madhya Pradesh case was decided by a Single Judge, whereas Banwari Lal's case (supra) was decided by a Division Bench and Ballabh Das's case was decided by a Single Judge of this Court. I would prefer to follow the reasoning given in the aforesaid two cases of this Court in preference to the reasoning given in Ratan Lal's case. I, therefore, held that it was a consent decree.

7. The learned counsel for the appellant next contended that even if it was a consent decree the court which passed the decree had power to see whether the decree passed had been legally passed. This argument is based on the point that the eight plots, which were also the subject-matter of the agreement, had been the subject-matter of consolidation operation and in the consolidation proceedings, after fixation of the valuation, the defendant had been allotted a chak consisting mostly of the plots other than those about which the agreement of sale was made. The contention of the learnedcounsel for the appellant was that the agreement of sale, as it stood, was not legal and all that could be said in this connection was that due to subsequent happenings the plots about which the agreement of sale was executed were allotted to the chak of other tenure holders and the defendant had been allotted differ^ ent plots in his chak. In this connection, reliance was placed on a Single Judge decision of this Court in Mst. Sugna v. Kali Ram, 1966 All LJ 1004 where it was held that after consolidation proceedings the defendant having got other plots in lieu of the plots which were the subject-matter of the agreement, the agreement became void as enumerated in Section 168-A of the U. P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act. This reported case is distinguishable on facts from the present case. In this reported case the de-notification under Section 52 of the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act had been made and the consolidation proceedings had become final. In the present case, the consolidation proceedings have not become final nor the de-notification under Section 52 of the Act has yet been made and, therefore, this decision would not apply to the facts of the present case.

8. The agreement, therefore, can-not be said to be illegal. On the other hand, the decree being a consent decree and as I have already held that an appeal does not lie against such a decree, the appeal has to be dismissed as being without jurisdiction. In this view of the matter, I think that it is not necessary to entertain the appeal for any other purpose because if the appeal is without jurisdiction the decree, may it be legal or illegal, this question cannot be agitated. Besides this, the question of executability of the decree can very well be gone into in execution proceedings as has been remarked by the lower appellate Court. In this view of the matter, it cannot be said that the decree is void or illegal.

9. Reliance was also placed on Section 12 of the Specific Relief Act and it was contended that if a part of the contract was incapable of being enforced then the contract was not legally enforceable. This question too cannot be agitated in this appeal, which is without jurisdiction. The other point raised was that there could be no sale of sirdari rights. This point too cannot be agitated, in this appeal which is without jurisdiction.

10. In the result the appeal fails. It is hereby dismissed with costs. The stay order is discharged.


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