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Keshavlal Ramesh Chandra Vs. Rikhab Chand - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil First Appeal No. 21 of 1974
Judge
Reported in1975WLN(UC)440
AppellantKeshavlal Ramesh Chandra
RespondentRikhab Chand
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredBhagwandas v. Nasir Mohammed
Excerpt:
motor vehicles act, 1939 - section 31 and sale of goods act,--sale of a truck--sale deed executed & possession of truck handed over--entries in the transport department not made--held, sale is not incomplete.;it is true that registration of papers were not handed over to the defendants and the sale-deed was executed and the truck was physically delivered to the defendants.;it is true that registration of a motor vehicle under section 31 is a prima facie proof of the fact that the holder of the certificate of registration is an ostensible owner of the vehicle. but the registration alone is not sufficient to establish the the ownership in the property of the holder of the certificate of registration.;(b) interest - sale of a truck--sale deed executed and possession of truck handed..........a document evidencing sale was excited showing that the defendant shall pay rs. 5,000/-against the sale price on january 20. 1971 and the remaining amount shall be paid to equal monthly instalment. of rs. 1,000/- per month. when the first installment of rs. 5,000/- was not paid by the defendants a 1etter was written on behalf of the plaintiff by his brother amar chand to the defendants to which the reply was sent by the defendants on 13-2-1971 showing regrets for the delay in payment and promised the payment of rs. 5,000/- by the first of march, 1971. it is alleged that inspite of this promise the defendants failed to pay the price of the truck and therefore a notice was sent by the plaintiff to the defendant claiming rs. 13,101/- as the price of the truck and rs. 1,275/- as interest by.....
Judgment:

V.P. Tyagi, J.

1. This is defendant's appeal against the decree and the judgment of the Additional District Judge, Sirohi, dated 5-11-1973, decreeing the suit of the plaintiffs for Rs. 14,376/-.

2. According to the averments made in the plaint defendants Keshav Lal and Ramesh Chand purchased tuck No. RJQ 9801 from the plaintiff for Rs. 13101/-. This sale tock place on December 31, 1970. A document evidencing sale was excited showing that the defendant shall pay Rs. 5,000/-against the sale price on January 20. 1971 and the remaining amount shall be paid to equal monthly instalment. of Rs. 1,000/- per month. When the first installment of Rs. 5,000/- was not paid by the defendants a 1etter was written on behalf of the plaintiff by his brother Amar Chand to the defendants to which the reply was sent by the defendants on 13-2-1971 showing regrets for the delay in payment and promised the payment of Rs. 5,000/- by the first of March, 1971. It is alleged that inspite of this promise the defendants failed to pay the price of the truck and therefore a notice was sent by the plaintiff to the defendant claiming Rs. 13,101/- as the price of the truck and Rs. 1,275/- as interest by way of damages at the rate of 1 percent per month The plaintiff when found that the notice did not bring the desired result filed a suit for the said amount.

3. The defendants did not accept the averment made in the plaint and dented the sale of the track in their favour. They came out with a plea that Amar Chand plaintiff's brother came to the defendant No. 1 and requested him to execute a document in the form of Ex. 1 in order to enable him extract more price for the truck while settling the accounts with his brother. According to the defendants there was actually no sale of truck which was left with them by Amar Chand in order to show that the track was fetching higher price. Under the garb of this plea the defendant dented their liability to pay the principal amount of Rs. 13,101/- and also the interest thereon. In the alternative the defendants prayed for instalments.

4. The trial Court after recording the evidence on behalf of both the parties rejected the defendants plea and held that the truck was, sold to the defendants by the plaintiff on December 31, 1970 for Rs. 13,101/- and that the defendants were liable to pay that amount with 6% interest thereon as per the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act & thus passed a decree for Rs. 14,379/-with costs and interest pendente lite on the principal amount also till the realisation of the said decretal amount. It is against this decree that the defendants have preferred this appeal.

5. Mr. Garg appearing on behalf of the appellants assailed the trial court mainly on the ground that the sale was not complete as the registration of the truck was not transferred in the name of the defendant under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and as long as the registration was in the name of the plaintiff the Property did not pass upto the defendants. He also urged that no decree could be passed against Keshav Lal, who was not a party to the sale and lastly it was vehemently argued that in the absence of any contract for interest, no interest could be awarded to the plaintiff.

6. Mr. Hastimal, on the other hand urged that as soon as the document of sale was executed and the truck was delivered to the defendants, there was a complete sale even though the price was agreed to be paid on later dates. He further contended that the formalities of changing the registration in the name of the defendants were purposely not complied with in order to put a pressure on the defendants to expedite the payment of the sale-price. The omission to notify the change of ownership in the property, according to him, did not make the transfer illegal. As regards the decree given against Kashav Lal it was argued that Keshav Lal in his letter addressed to the plaintiff had admitted himself to pay the liability of the price and therefore, be was not entitled to raise this objection that be was not liable to pay the price under the sale agreement. For the amount of interest Mr. Hasti Mal placed reliance on Section 61 of the Sales of Goods Act & urged that it was within the discretion of the court to allow interest at the rate of 6 per cent and therefore the decree cannot be assailed on that account.

7. First of all I would like to discuss whether the ownership in the truck was transferred to the defendants by the plaintiff by executing sale deed Ex. A/1 and delivering the truck to the defendant. It is true that registration of papers were not handed over to the defendants and the sale deed was executed and the truck was physically delivered to the defendants. But it is not the case of the plaintiff or of the defendants that the registration was withheld because the plaintiff never intended to pass on the property in the goods to the buyer. It is true that registration of a motor vehicle under Section 31 is a prima facie proof of the fact that the holder of the certificate of registration is an ostensible owner of vehicle But the registration alone is not sufficient to establish the ownership in the property of the holder of toe certificate of registration Mr. Garg in this connection cited before me an authority from the Kerala High Court in Kamaluddin v. Abdul Salim 1972 KLT 1058 where it was held that one has to take it that the person in whose favour such certificate of registration is issued by the Motor Transport Authority is the. owner. But on careful perusal of this authority it is difficult for the to accept the proposition of law propounded by Mr. Garg that the ownership in the property passes on to the buyer only after the name in the certificate of registration is changed.

8. Our court in Bhagwandas v. Nasir Mohammed 1973 WLN 41 has held that the omission to notify the change of ownership, does not make the transfer itself illegal. According to the learned Judge such an omission does not interdict passing of property in vehicle to the transferred. In this authority it has been held that the sale of a vehicle is complete before the name of the transferer is entered in the registration certificate. In the opinion of the learned Judge the transfer of he registration certificate cannot be deemed to be a condition precedent to the completion of the sale of vehicle. In this connection it may be observed that the defendants No. 2 Ram Chandra has deposed in his statement that after taking the delivery of the truck it was plied for sometime and the defendants earned about Rs. 16,000/- from the truck. The contention of Mr. Garg that without the transfer of registration certificate the transferer neither can ply the truck not can he use it as a owner thereof, cannot be accepted because there is DO such law which deprives transferer without getting his name duly registered in the certificate of registration from using the truck in the manner as the owner used it. I, therefore, do not find any substance in the argument advanced by Mr. Garg.

9. Coming to the next point it may be mentioned that defendants Nos. 1 and 2 ate father and son and this fact has not been denied that they are living jointly. Both the defendants have filed a joint written statement Their interest also do not clash. When the defendants failed to pay the first instalment of Rs. 5,000/- the demand was raised by the plaintiff to which a a reply was sent by defendant No. 1 in the form of letter Ex. A/2. In this letter Kishav Lal himself promised to pay Rs. 5,000/- by 1st March, 1973. It is true that the sale deed shows that the truck was transferred to defendant No. 3 Ram Chandra but from the conduct of the parties it is clear that both the defendants had taken the liability to make the payment, of the sale price to the plaintiff Ex. A/2 clearly fastens the liability to pay the amount promised by the defendant No. 1. In view of this letter Ex. A/2 Kashav Lal cannot wash away his hands and say that he was not responsible for the payment of the price of the truck.

10. Section 61 of the Sale of Goods Act confers the power on a court to award interest as such as it thinks fit on the amount of the price of the goods sold even though there was no such contract for the payment of interest. Sub-section (2) of Section 61 reads as follows:

Section 61(2) - In the absence of contract to the contrary, the court may award interest at such rate as it thinks fit on the amount of price.

(a) to the seller in a suit by him for the amount of the price from the date of the tender of the goods or from the date on which the price was payable;

(b) to the buyer in a suit by him for the refund of the price in a case of a breach of the contract on the part of the seller from the date on which payment was made.

11. In the present case the defendants failed to pay the price of the truck on a date on which the said price was payable to the seller and, therefore the seller was entitled under the said provisions of the law to get the interest on the amount illegally withheld by the buyer. The court has awarded interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum which rate does not appear to be excessive.

12. I, therefore, do not find any life in the objections raised by the purchaser that interest could not be awarded on the price of the truck. The decree in this respect does not buffer from any error, The result is that the appeal fails arid it is hereby dismissed with costs.


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