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Bhanwar Singh Vs. Raghubir Nanwa Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Contract
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 1557 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1985All331
ActsSpecific Relief Act, 1963 - Sections 9 and 16
AppellantBhanwar Singh
RespondentRaghubir Nanwa Singh and ors.
Appellant AdvocatePrakash Krishna, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN.C. Rajwanshi, Adv.
DispositionAppeal partly allowed
Excerpt:
..... a-4 da 24-8-1963, it shall be obvious that the stamped papers of the agreement as well as the sale deed on which the aforesaid documents were drawn on the same day, were purchased by raja ram. 20. on behalf of appellant, the next contention raised was that this contract must be enforced at least against raghubir singh who is well bound by it. satyanarayan ghosh air1963cal325 .21. 1 have carefully perused all these rulings which are clearly distinguishable for the simple reason that in all these agreements, one of the vendors or vendees to the deed of conveyance was a minor while co-vendor or vendee was an adult......preferred by defendants and set aside the judgment and decree d/-6-3-1972, recorded by sri brahma singh, learned city munsif. meerut in original suit no. 804 of 1967.2. appellant is bhanwar singh, plaintiff. respondents are raghubir, defendant 1 and heirs of raja ram, defendant 2, who were substituted in his place after his death pending the suit through an amendment.3. dispute relates to bhumidhari plots nos. 224 measuring 15 biswas and 233 measuring 1 bigha and 12 biswas, situate in village pabla, tahsil and district meerut.3a. the suit was brought with the allegations that on 24-8-1963, raghubir singh and raja ram (deceased) purchased the disputed land for a sum of rs. 2200/-, through an agreement executed on the same day, they agreed to reconvey the said holding to plaintiff.....
Judgment:

N.N. Sharma, J.

1. This is plaintiffs appeal directed against judgment and decree D/-13-4-1974 recorded by Sri P.C. Saxena, learned Civil and Sessions Judge, Meerut in Civil Appeal No. 126 of 1972 by which he allowed the said appeal preferred by defendants and set aside the judgment and decree D/-6-3-1972, recorded by Sri Brahma Singh, learned City Munsif. Meerut in Original Suit No. 804 of 1967.

2. Appellant is Bhanwar Singh, plaintiff. Respondents are Raghubir, defendant 1 and heirs of Raja Ram, defendant 2, who were substituted in his place after his death pending the suit through an amendment.

3. Dispute relates to Bhumidhari plots Nos. 224 measuring 15 biswas and 233 measuring 1 bigha and 12 biswas, situate in village Pabla, Tahsil and district Meerut.

3A. The suit was brought with the allegations that on 24-8-1963, Raghubir Singh and Raja Ram (deceased) purchased the disputed land for a sum of Rs. 2200/-, through an agreement executed on the same day, they agreed to reconvey the said holding to plaintiff provided the suit was filed by 24-8-1967. The agreement to rceonvey was not enforceable within two years of the sale.

4. During consolidation proceedings, corresponding plots were carved out and so plaintiff brought the action for specific performance of the said agreement with an averment that he was ever ready and willing to perform his part of contract but the defendants vendees were not willing to abide by it.

5. The relief sought was for specific performance of the said agreement.

6. Defence was that the said agreement to reconvey was not signed by Raja Ram and so he was not bound by it. Raghuhir Singh put forward a plea of fraud also. It was further pleaded that Ihe suit was barred by Sections 154 and 168-A of U.P. Zaminadari Abolition and Land Reforms Act.

7. Learned trial Court framed sevenissues.

8. Learned trial Court found that vendees did enter into the contract of reconveyance:the agreement was duly executed and no fraud was practised on the defendants; the suit was not barred by Section 168-A of U.P.Z.A. and L.R. Act; Section 154 of aforesaid Act did not operate as a bar in allowing the claim of plaintiff. It was also found that plaintiff was entitled to recover Rs. 7800/- as compensation from defendants in the alternative as sought by him. However, he awarded the relief for specific performance of contract of sale provided the plaintiff deposited the sale price i.e. Rs. 2200/- in Court within one and half months of the date of decree. On deposit, the defendants were ordered to execute the sale deed in favour of plaintiff in respect of plots in dispute within 15 days of the deposit failing which it was to be executed through the process of the court. Thus, the claim was allowed with costs.

9. Learned lower appellate Court confirmed the finding of learned Munsif on the point that the agreement was not arrived at by practising fraud but Raja Ram was not party to it and under these circumstances, the said agreement was not enforceable against Raja Ram.

10. He further found that the relief for specific performance was not awardable nor the alternative relief for damages by way of compensation was allowable. In the result, the appeal was allowed with costs and the decree of learned trial Court was set aside.

11. Plaintiff has filed this appeal.

12. I have heard learned counsel for parties at length and perused the record.

13. On behalf of appellant, it was strenuously argued before me that on a look at agreement Ext. 1 D/- 24-8-1963 and sale deed Ext. A-4 DA 24-8-1963, it shall be obvious that the stamped papers of the agreement as well as the sale deed on which the aforesaid documents were drawn on the same day, were purchased by Raja Ram.

14. Bhanwar Kingh (P.W. 1) testified that the agreement was executed at the instance of both the vendees and Raghubir was acting as t he agent of Raja Ram.

15. Ganga Sharan (P.W. 2), scribe of the agreement, testified that Raghubir Singh promised to procure the signatures of Raja Ram on the said agreement paper No. 6/A1.

16. However, both these witnesses conceded that Raja Ram refused to sign this document and as such his signatures were not procured.

17. Raghubir Singh (D.W. 1) has denied the execution of agreement. He. also denied to have acted as the agent of the Raja Ram.

18. Learned Advocate for appellant referred to Section 45 of Transfer of Property Act which comes into play for joint transfer in case where the property is acquired by common fund. In the absence of evidence as to the interests in the fund to which the persons (were respectively entitled), out of which such consideration is paid, a presumption would bo raised that such persons are equally interested in the property. This section does not eome into existence in this case because the disputed land has not been acquired by common fund. There is nothing in the sale deed or the said agreement to specify the extent of interest of each vendee.

19. The general rule of Contract Act is that a contract cannot be enforced by or against a person who is not a party thereto. There are only five exceptions to this general rule which arc not in point in this case. Those exceptions have been pointed out in Keighley v. Durant, reported in 1901 AC 240. There is a clear finding of fact by lower appellate Court on the point that Raghubir was not an agent or trustee on behalf of Raja Ram nor Raja Ram ratified the same. So the mere fact that the stamped papers were purchased in his name could not justify the inference that he was bound by the agreement Ext. 1 to which he was no signatory. There is statement of plaintiff Bhanwar Singh on the point that the consideration of Rs. 2200/ was not advanced by the vendees to the extent of Rs. 1100/- each. Thus, the finding of learned lower appellate Court on this point is confirmed.

20. On behalf of appellant, the next contention raised was that this contract must be enforced at least against Raghubir Singh who is well bound by it. In this connection, he relied upon Poraka Subbarami Rcddy v. Vadlamudi Seshaehalam Chetty (1910) ILR 33 Mad 359; Imam Din v. Muhammad Din AIR 1926 Lah 136; Dwijendra Kumar Roy v. Monmohan Do : AIR1957Cal209 and Dasaralh Gayen v. Satyanarayan Ghosh : AIR1963Cal325 .

21. 1 have carefully perused all these rulings which are clearly distinguishable for the simple reason that in all these agreements, one of the vendors or vendees to the deed of conveyance was a minor while co-vendor or vendee was an adult. In the instant case, Raja Ram was not a minor on the date of execution of that agreement by Raghubir Singh. When this fact was specifically brought to the notice of learned Advocate for appellant, he cited Mahmud Ali v. Yawar Beg, reported in 13 All LJ 739 : (AIR 1915 All 263).

22. In that case, there was contract to sell a whole house by one of the two owners and one refused to sell. The trial court awarded a decree for possession of half the house on his paying half the consideration agreed upon. It was held that the plaintiff could plead that his contract was an indivisible contract for purchase of the whole house but he was also entitled to a decree for possession of half the house on payment of the entire consideration.

23. Thus, on the strength of this authority, the contention put forward was that at least the holding which came to be allotted to the chak of Raghubir Singh (D.W.I) out of the disputed land purchased by him through the sale deed, had to be transferred now to the plaintiff appellant on payment of Rs, 2200/- as sale consideration specially when it was conceded by Raghubir Singh in his statement that he and Raja Ram agreed to purchase half and half share in the said sale deed.

24. However, this contention cannot be permitted to prevail for the simple reason that the sale deed Ext. A-4 is totally silent about the extent of shares purchased by both the vendees in the disputed holding. There is no specific finding of the courts below about the extent of holding which came to be included in the ehaks of each vendee during consolidation operations.

25. Learned Advocate for appellant pointed out that he was prepared to relinquish the share of Raja Ram in the disputed land provided a decree was drawn in his favour for specific performance of the share of Raghubir on payment of Rs. 2200/- and such relinquishment could be done at any stage vide Kalyanpur Lime Works Ltd. v. State of Bihar, reported in : [1954]1SCR958 . This ruling is distinguishable. In that case, the Government represented to A that it had the right to forfeit the lease of B and grant a freshlease to him and A believing in that representation entered into the contract. In that case it was held that it did not lie in the mouth of Government to plead that the contract was void.

26. However, such statement cannot be relied on now for the simple reason that it was not laid in the plaint or in his own statement that plaintiff was ready and willing to purchase even the share of Raghubir Singh which came to be allotted to him, during consolidation operations irrespective of the share of holding which had passed away to Raja Ram. Courts of law cannot thrust benefits on persons for which they do not seek in the plaint or in evidence.

27. Moreover, such averment in the plaint for relinquishment became obligatory vide amendment in Section 16(c) Explanation II of the Specific Relief Act (Act 47 of 1963) by which such defect was incurable even by an amendment of plaint vide Mahmood Khan v. Ayub Khan reported in AIR 1978 All 463. This is a Division Bench case which is binding on me.

28. A similar view was taken by another Division Bench in Narendra Bahadur Singh v. Baijnath Singh reportedin : AIR1981All410 .

29. In this view of the matter, it is not possible to award such relief to the plaintiff.

30. There is another insurmountable legal difficulty in the way of plaintiff-appellant Section 12 of Specific Relief Act inhibits specific performance of part of a contract and the case is not covered by any of the exceptions enumerated in Sub-section (3) or (4) thereto.

31. Mr. Sarwanjan v. Fakhruddin cited in a Division Bench case of Abdul Haq v. Mohammad Yahia Khan AIR 1924 Pat 81, extracts the relevant rule as below :--

'When, therefore, whether from personal incapacity to contract, or the nature of the contract, or any other cause, the contract is incapable of being enforced against one party that party is generally, incapable of enforcing it against the other though its execution in the latter way might in itself be free from the difficulty attending its execution in the former.' (Fry on Specific Performance, page 219).

32. Further reliance was placed upon an English case in Lumley v. Ravenscroft, (1895)IQB 683 : 64 LJQB 441 : 14 R 347 : 72 LT382 : 43 WR 584 : 59 JP 277.

33. Thus, when Raja Ram was no party to the agreement and there is no mutuality amongst the parties to specifically enforce the agreement piecemeal and when there is no such offer nor such averment in the plaint or in the statement by plaintiff and the holding is also not actually identifiable on accpunt of intervention of consolidation operations, it was a fit case in which plaintiff should have been awarded the alternative relief of compensation under Section 21 of Specific Relief Act. Such equitable relief should have been awarded at least against Raghubir.

34. The finding of learned trial court on this point has not been set aside by learned lower appellate court and accepting the same, I find that plaintiff was at least entitled to half compensation worked out by learned trial court which amounts to Rs. 3900/-.

35. Thus, the appeal is partly allowed. Plaintiffs claim is decreed to the extent of Rs. 3900/- and interest on the said amount from 24-8-1967 till payment at the rate of Rs. 6% per annum and costs of the suit throughout against defendant No. 1 Raghubir only. In all other respects, the suit fails against the second set of vendees, heirs of Raja Ram who shall bear their own costs throughout.

36. Impugned judgment and decree are modified accordingly.


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