1. These two second appeals arise out of the same transaction which was an agreement to sell the suit property to the plaintiff. The contract was executed by Pattabhiramayya, the father of defendants 1 to 3 in second appeal No. 214. The appellant in the two second appeals was the fourth defendant in O.S. ' No. 293 of 1939 out of which S. A. No. 214 of 1939 arises and was the first defendant in the other suit. The first suit was for specific performance of the agreement executed by the father of defendants 1 to 3. The fourth defendant is a person in whose name the property had been placed by Pattabhiramayya and the finding of both the Courts is that it was merely a nominal transaction not intended to pass any title to the fourth defendant. In fact the agreement executed by Pattabhiramayya recites that for certain reasons, the property had been placed in the name of the fourth defendant and that a proper conveyance would be got executed by the fourth defendant. The main defence was that there was no contract in fact binding on both the parties and that it was a mere offer which stood withdrawn by the death of Pattabhiramayya or by the refusal of defendants 1 to 3 to convey. Another defence is that the fourth defendant is not the person against whom a decree for specific performance could at all be granted.
2. On the first question, on reading the whole of the agreement it is clear that it was not a mere offer by Pattabhiramayya so as to come within the principle of the ruling in Eagala Nagappa Naidu v. Munuswami Iyer : (1922)42MLJ432 . Though executed by one alone, it is obviously binding on both the parties. Under Section 27, Clause (c) of the Specific Relief Act, specific performance may be declared not merely against a party to the contract but also against a person claiming under a title which, though prior to the contract and known to the plaintiff, might have been displaced by the defendant. Here a title had been created by the father of defendants 1 to 3 in the name of the fourth defendant. The title was prior to the suit contract and was known to Pattabhiramayya but it was a title which might have been displaced by Pattabhiramayya whose sons are the defendants or by defendants 1 to 3. Pattabhiramayya could have filed a suit for a declaration that the title always vested in him and that the fourth defendant had no title at any time. Really it is a case of the fourth defendant being merely an alias for Pattabhiramayya or for defendants I to 3. The apparent title of the fourth defendant might have been displaced by defendants 1 to 3 or their father. Therefore, this is a case directly covered by Section 27, Clause (c). Specific performance can be decreed against not merely defendants I to 3 but also the fourth defendant. In this view, all the defendants can be asked to execute the sale deed and to deliver possession to the plaintiff. No doubt by way of abundant caution, the plaintiff filed a suit for a declaration that the sale deed by Pattabhiramayya in favour of the appellant was a mere nominal transaction.
3. It is urged that the appellant had no legal title and no legal right in the property which would sustain a suit for a declaration. But Section 42 of the Specific Relief Act does not require that the. plaintiff should have a right in the property which is the subject-matter of the suit. The wording is:
Any person entitled to any legal character or to any right as to any property ... .
Any right as to any property is certainly not any right in the property. An agreement to sell in favour of a person certainly gives him a right as to or in relation to the property which is the subject of the agreement. In this case, the plaintiff having filed a suit for specific performance and claimed to get a sale deed through Court, would have a right as to the property and therefore Section 42 would cover the case as well.
4. The second appeals are dismissed with costs.