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Singara Mudali Vs. Ibrahim Baig Sahib - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1947Mad94; (1946)2MLJ103
AppellantSingara Mudali
Respondentibrahim Baig Sahib
Cases ReferredVenkatachalam Pillai v. Sethurama Rao
Excerpt:
- section 16 (1) (c) :[tarun chatterjee & aftab alam,jj] ready and willing to perform-concurrent findings of fact on consideration of evidence on record that appellants-buyers were not ready and willing to perform terms and conditions of agreement for sale - buyers failing to pay balance consideration before agitating matter before supreme court held, concurrent finding cannot be interfered with. section 20: [tarun chatterjee & aftab alam,jj] whether time is the essence of contract held, many instance in contract which repeatedly showed that time was to be of essence of contract were specifically mentioned. clear condition in contract that purchasers would have to definitely deposit balance amount by date stipulated in contract for sale show that time was essence of contract. .....on all fours with the present, held that an agreement to sell the immoveable property of a hindu minor entered into on his behalf by his natural guardian could not be specifically enforced against him or a subsequent transferee of the properties with notice of the agreement. this decision is binding on me.3. but it is urged by mr. v. t. rangaswami aiyangar, the learned advocate for the appellant that a later decision in zebunniza begum v. mrs. danaghar (1935) 70 m.l.j. 477 :1.l.r. 59 mad. 942, by cornish and varadachariar jj., has somewhat shaken its authority because it was there pointed out that a contract entered into on behalf of a minor by a guardian cannot be said to be void but is only voidable. this distinction between ' void ' and 'voidable' as regards minors' contracts, is.....
Judgment:

Chndrasekhara Aiyar, J.

1. The defendant purchased the properties under Ex. P-2 from three minors and their mother Govindammal, subject, no doubt, to an agreement to convey the properties in favour of the plaintiff and his two brothers, Ex. P-1. The plaintiff seeks to enforce sepecific performance of the agreement, evidenced by Ex. P-1 and referred to in Ex. P-2, and is met by the answer that so far as the minors who sold to the defendant are concerned, there could be no decree for such specific performance and therefore the defendant who claims under a purchase from them, is not liable either. The District Munsiff dismissed the suit altogether but, on appeal, the Subordinate Judge granted to the plaintiff a decree for specific performance in so far as the share of Govindammal was concerned, that is, the mother and one of the four vendors. The plaintiff has filed this second appeal, urging that he should have been granted a decree for specific performance of the agreement to convey, or reconvey not only as regards the share of Govindammal, but also as. regards the shares of the three minors.

2. I do not think the plaintiff is entitled to get any more relief than has been awarded to him by the learned Subordinate Judge. The Privy Council held in Mir Sarwarjan v. Fakkruddin Mahommed Chowdhuri (1911) 21 M.L.J. 1156 : L.R. 39 IndAp 1: I.L.R. 39 Cal. 232 that a contract entered into by the guardian of a minor for the purchase of immoveable property cannot be specifically enforced by him, as he was not bound by the contract and there was no mutuality. In Ramakrishna Reddiar v. Kasivasi Chidambara Swamigal (1928) M.W.N. 185, a Bench of this Court dealing with a case exactly on alL fours with the present, held that an agreement to sell the immoveable property of a Hindu minor entered into on his behalf by his natural guardian could not be specifically enforced against him or a subsequent transferee of the properties with notice of the agreement. This decision is binding on me.

3. But it is urged by Mr. V. T. Rangaswami Aiyangar, the learned advocate for the appellant that a later decision in zebunniza Begum v. Mrs. Danaghar (1935) 70 M.L.J. 477 :1.L.R. 59 Mad. 942, by Cornish and Varadachariar JJ., has somewhat shaken its authority because it was there pointed out that a contract entered into on behalf of a minor by a guardian cannot be said to be void but is only voidable. This distinction between ' void ' and 'voidable' as regards minors' contracts, is not of much importance when we are dealing with a suit for specific performance of an executory contract entered into on behalf of a minor by his guardian. The distinction between the non-availability of the remedy by way of specific peformance and the voidability only of the contract so far as the minor is concerned is pointed out in the same decision. In that very case, dealing with the covenants not to construct buildings, to repair the premises and to grant renewals of leases, the learned Judges hold that specific performance could not be enforced because they are contracts entered into on behalf of a minor on whom personal covenants of the kind cannot be imposed by the guardian. The question whether specific performance should be decreed or not depends not so much on the void or voidable nature of the contract but on its being executory or executed so far as the minor is concerned, and this is apparent from the Full Bench decision in Venkatachalam Pillai v. Sethurama Rao (1932) 64 M.L.J. 354 : I.L.R. 56Mad. 433, where it was held that a contract of resale in favour of a minor could not be enforced by him after he attained majority inasmuch as it was an executory contract and for want of mutuality cannot be enforced by either party even though on the date of the suit, just as in the Privy Council decision, the plaintiff had become a major and had elected to ratify or affirm the transaction that was entered into on his behalf or for his benefit.

4. Is the defendant affected by this principle of the lack of mutuality when he took his purchase subject to this obligation of reconveyance What is now sought to be enforced against him is not any contract entered into by him but a contract entered into by or on behalf of the minors, and standing in their shoes the defences open to them would be available to him generally speaking. It may be that as between his minor vendors on the one hand and himself on the other, other questions might possibly arise but they are not relevant for the purposes of this second appeal, which is hence dismissed with costs.

5. No leave.


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