1. This case has been argued at considerable length before us bat we have some to the conclusion that the decree of the lower Court ought to stand.
2. The suit was a unit for the recovery of a sum of Rs. 3,034-6 alleged to be due from the first two defendants, Kunwar Nehal Singh and Kan war Dwarka Singh. The plaintiffs in the suit were Lala Fateh Chand and Lala Hira Lal who admittedly are the brothers and survivors ofone Lala Sewa Ram.
3. It is necessary to set cut in some detail the earlier history of this case. Sewa Ram had obtained in the year 1908 a simple money-decree against a judgment-debtor, named Kunwar Bhawani Singh, who is impleaded in the present suit as defendant No. 3.
4. In execution of that decree Sewa Ram attached certain immoveable property on the allegation that it belonged to his judgment-debtor.
5. This attachment produced an objection on the part of Bhawani Singh's wife, Musammat Durga Kunwar, who put forward the plea that the property had been transferred to her.
6. This objection of Musammat Durga Kunwar was allowed. Thereafter Sewa Ram brought a declaratory suit for the purpose of establishing that the property which he had got attached was, in fact, the property of his judgment-debtor. Sewa Rim won this case and, thereafter, began execution proceedings.
7. Meanwhile, on the 19th February 1910, Bhawani Singh entered into an agreement with Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh to sell to them certain Zemindari property, his object being to pay off the decree which was outstanding in favour of Sewa Ram.
8. There can be no question that by this agreement Bhawani Singh undertook to sell the properly to Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh for a sum of Rs. 2,900, Rs. 100 was given as earnest money, Rs. 200 was paid in case and the balance of Rs. 2,600 wag left with the purchasers for payment to Sewa Ram in satisfaction of his decree.
9. This sale, however, was not carried out, and on the 7th June 1910, Sewa Ram, the decree-bolder himself, pot a sale-deed from the judgment-debtors, Bhawani Singh and his wife, Durga Kunwar. The consideration of this deed was a sum of Rs. 3,300. Oat of this Rs. 3,034-6 were appropriated by Sewa Ram in satisfaction of his decree. Sewa Ram certified satisfaction to the Court. The rest of the money was raid to the vendor in cash.
10. Following on this in the year 1912 Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh brought a suit far Specific performance of the contract for conveyance which lad been executed in their favor on the 19th February 1910. They lost this suit in both the Courts below but in second appeal this High Court gave a decree directing that specific performance of the contract to sell should be enforced. It was directed by this Court that Sewa Ram, the subsequent purchaser, and Bhawani Singh should join in executing a conveyance in favour of the successful plaintiffs, Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh, and that conveyance was ultimately executed on behalf of Sewa Rim and Bhawani Singh by the learned Subordinate Judge of Mainpuri. The terms embodied in this conveyance were the terms which had been agreed upon by the parties to the contract of the 19th February 1910. After this conveyance bad been executed by the Court in favour of Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh, Sewa Ram lost possession of the property, and now we have this present suit brought by the survivors in interest of Sawa Ram to recover from Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh a sum of Rs. 3,034-6, that being the amount which under the sale-deed executed in favour of Sawa Ram was appropriated in satisfaction of Sewa Ram's decree.
11. The suit was contested on every imaginable ground. The main plea with which we are concerned was that there was no privity of contract between Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh on the one, side and the plaintiffs or their predecessor on the other, Great reliance was placed upon the fact that Sewa Ram was a stranger to the contract of the 19th February 1910, and it was pleaded that, being a stranger to that contrast, neither he nor his successors were entitled to sue for the purpose of enforcing any covenant entered into between the defendants and their vendor.
12. The result has been that both the Courts below have decreed the claim though not to the extent to which the plaintiffs desired. Both the Courts have held that although the defendants Nos. 1 and 2 are liable to these plaintiffs, they are only liable to the extent of Rs. 2,600, that being the amount which murder the contract of such February 1910, was left with them for payment to Sewa Ram, Interest on this sum to the amount of Rs. 144-11 has been allowed.
13. It has been strongly argued before us that the suit was not maintainable inasmuch as Sewa Ram was no party to the contract of the 19th February 1910. There can be no doubt that the general law is that a stranger to a contract is not entitled to sue, but there are cases in which the Courts have granted relief in favour of a stranger to the contract on principle of equity. We have been referred to a great many cases of various Courts but we shall content ourselves with referring to the case of Debi Narain Butt v. Earn Sadhan Mandal : Chunnilal Ghose 20 Ind. Cas. 630 : 41 C. 137 17 C. W. N. 1143 18 C. L. J. 603. There the whole law on the subject has been lucidly laid down in the judgment of Jenkins, C. J. We consider that there is a close analogy between the facts of the present case and the facts of the case with which the Bench of the Calcutta High Court was dealing in the reported Base, and we think, when all the fasts are examined it as not possible to maintain the plea that Sewa Ram or his successors-in-interest, the present plaintiffs, are altogether strangers to the dealings between Bhawani Singh on the one side and Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh on the other so as to preclude them from asking for the relief which has been asked for in this case. We start with the fast that Sewa R*m was outside the contract of 19ih February 1910 : but then we have the fast that Sewa Ram was impleaded as defendant in the suit for a specific performance of that contract which was brought by Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh, and we have the fast that under the decree of this Court Sewa Ram and Bhawani Singh were both directed to convey the property in dispute to Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh. Further, it is not to be decubted that it was the intention of this Court that this conveyance to be executed both by Sewa Ram and Bhawani Singh was to he executed upon the very terms which were embodied in the contrast of the 19th February 1910, and one of those terms was that Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh were to be liable to pay Rs. 2,600 to Sewa Ram in discharge of the debt owing to him from Bhawani Singh under the decree. In other words, although Sewa Ram was at the outsell a stranger to the dealings between Bhawani Singh and his purchasers, nevertheless by reason of these subsequent proceedings terminating in a decree for specific performance passed by this Court, Sewa Ram was brought into a degree of privity with Nehal Singh and Dwarka Singh which, in our opinion, justifies us in holding that this is a ease in which the equitable relief ought to be granted as it was granted in the Calcutta case So which as have referred. There the relief his granted on the ground of certain subsequent dealings between the plaintiff and the defendant No. 5, dealings by which the parties were brought into a relation of privity, and it was upon that basis that the Calcutta Court considered that the plaintiff was concided to equitable relief. Similarly, in the preset case we think there can be no doubt that in equity the plaintiffs are entitled, to the sum which, was awarded to them by the Court below. In our opinion no question arises of ras judicata or of the application of Section 47 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The case is to our mind a straightforward casa in which the plaintiff had a cause of action arising out of a decree which was passed by this Court for specific performance and out of the conveyance which followed upon that decree.
14. The result, therefore, in that we affirm the decision of the Court below and dismiss this appeal with casts.