1. The main question argued in this second appeal is whether the contract entered into by the guardian of a minor for the sale of immoveable property belonging to the minor could be specifically enforced. The plaintiff contracted to buy a portion of the minor's property for Rs. 1,150. Two months after, the property was sold for Rs. 1,500 to the 3rd defendant. The plaintiff has brought the suit for the purpose of enforcing specific performance of the contract in his favour and the 3rd defendant resists the suit. The District Munsif gave a decree in favour of the plaintiff and the Subordinate Judge has reversed the judgment and has dismissed the plaintiff's suit.
2. The question in this case is whether the contract by the guardian on behalf of the minor could be specifically enforced. Mr. Patanjali Sastri who appears for the appellant relies upon the case reported in Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan (1918) 36 MLJ 29 : ILR 42 M 185. In that case the opinion of the majority was that no decree should be passed against the minor's estate on a contract entered into on his behalf by the guardian under which covenant no charge is created on the estate except in cases in which the minor's, estate would have been liable for the obligation incurred by the guardian under the personal law to which he is subject. In this case the minor is a Hindu and the guardian is his mother. The contract to sell a portion of the property was in discharge of a debt incurred by the father. The question whether she could sell a portion of the property of the minor for discharging a debt due by the minor's father has to be decided with reference to Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan (1918) 36 MLJ 29 : ILR 42 M 185 . It is urged on behalf of the respondent that the question of necessity has not been gone into. The 3rd defendant who contested the suit did not raise the question as to the necessity for the sale. Evidently it did not suit his purpose to raise such a. question for he himself is a purchaser from the guardian, and so he cannot now reasonably complain that the question of necessity was not gone into. As it was not specifically raised in the pleadings, the District Munsif rightly disallowed the questions as to necessity. The Subordinate Judge based his decision mainly relying upon the decisions referred to in Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan (1918) 36 MLJ 29 : ILR 42 M 185. Whatever may be the effect of those decisions, I am bound to follow the decision reported in Ramajogayya v. Jagannadhan (1918) 36 MLJ 29 : ILR 42 M 185. According to that decision a decree could be passed in certain circumstances against the minor on a contract entered into by the guardian. The contract in favour of the plaintiff is not impeached on the ground of fraud or collusion or on any other ground which would be a proper defence to an action of this kind. The respondent's vakil urged that this is a case of specific performance and no specific performance of the contract should be given when the estate of the minor is likely to suffer, and his contention was that as the 3rd defendant was able to pay a better price the contract in favour of the plaintiff should not be enforced, and relied upon Chhittar Mal v. Jagan Nath Prasad ILR (1906) A 213. In that case, the learned Judge has held that it was not proper that specific performance of a contract should be granted in a case where the minor's estate was likely to suffer, but that case is no authority for refusing relief where there is a valid contract and at the time when such contract was made there were no circumstances which could invalidate it for the simple reason that somebody else is prepared to offer a better price. In a case in Lal Gopal Datta Chowdhury v. Khorooriah Majozilla Zemindary Syndicate Ltd. 13 INDCAS 673, a Bench of the Allahabad High Court held that the case in Chhittar Mal v. Jagan Nath Prasad ILR (1906) A 213 was not an authority for holding that, when a valid agreement had been lawfully entered into on behalf of a minor and was to the minor's benefit, it could be repudiated if the guardian subsequently found he could obtain more. To hold that a Court should not grant specific performance of a valid contract if better terms are forthcoming would be putting a premium upon offers of a better price a long time after the contract is entered into. I do not think that in this case the guardian acted against the interests of the minor at the time when the contract in favour of the plaintiff was entered into. If any evidence was forthcoming that the contract was not a proper contract, or that there were other circumstances which could in any way invalidate or go to show that the minor's guardian was not acting as a free agent, certainly the Court would hot be well advised in granting specific performance. But no such case was put forward either on behalf of the minor or on behalf of the 3rd defendant.
3. In the result the second appeal is allowed and the plaintiff's suit is decreed with costs throughout. The plaintiff will pay the whole of the price less Rs. 100 into Court within 14 days from today. If he fails to do so, his suit will stand dismissed with costs throughout.