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Matta Sura Reddi and anr. Vs. Mara Rama Narasu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1937Mad714; (1937)2MLJ922
AppellantMatta Sura Reddi and anr.
RespondentMara Rama Narasu
Cases ReferredWebb v. Macpherson
Excerpt:
.....purchase money. a as an executory contract justified the application to have the decree entered up as satisfied. venkata reddi air1933mad23 he sent notices insisting upon the carrying out of the sale contract and this suit was instituted in the alternative, praying for specific performance as well......ramanarasu v. venkata reddi : air1933mad23 he sent notices insisting upon the carrying out of the sale contract and this suit was instituted in the alternative, praying for specific performance as well. it is therefore impossible to hold that the plaintiff has declined to accept delivery of the property. all that has been said against him by appellant's learned counsel is that there are other terms in ex. a which the plaintiff has not fulfilled. assuming it to be so, we do not see how that excludes the application of section 55, clause 6(b). as held by the privy council in webb v. macpherson (1903) 13 m.l.j. 389: l.r. 30 indap 238: i.l.r. 31 cal. 57 the lien given by that section can be excluded only by a contract to the contrary.5. the appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed with.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal by defendants 1 and 2 against a decree which gave the plaintiff a right to recover a sum of Rs. 3,540 and interest, by sale of the plaint properties. The plaint claimed two reliefs in the alternative, either specific performance of a contract of sale of the suit properties (evidence by Ex. A) or recovery of what the plaintiff described as prepaid purchase money as a charge on the properties contracted to be sold. The lower Court held that the claim for specific performance had become barred by limitation. As regards the money claim, the lower Court held that the plaintiff was not entitled in this proceeding to recover one portion of the consideration amount recited in Ex. A, namely, a sum of Rs. 1,750 representing what was due to the plaintiff from one Rami Reddi, the defendants' uncle under the decree in O.S. No. 25 of 1922. But it allowed in plaintiff's favour the other item of consideration, namely, the sum due under the decree in O.S. No. 24 of 1922 which had been obtained against the appellant's father.

2. Ex. A is an ill-drawn document; but on its proper construction it seems to us to embody several agreements which though to some extent inter-dependent, constitute several legal transactions. The first part of the agreement with which we are concerned in this litigation provides that the appellant's father and the third defendant should convey certain properties to the plaintiff in satisfaction of plaintiff's claims under the two decrees above referred to. The 2nd portion of the agreement provides for the plaintiff selling certain lands to the appellant's father on payment of a sum of Rs. 952-8-0. The 3rd portion of it provides that in consideration of the appellant's father having brought about that settlement including an arrangement in respect of the decree in O.S. No. 25 of 1922 the plaintiff should give up certain properties in favour of the appellant's father or pay him Rs. 1,000 at the time of the appellant's father registering the instrument in respect of the lands now in question. The final part of the agreement provides for another benefit to the appellant's father for the same consideration. Before us, the learned Counsel for the appellant's has objected to the lower Court's decree on two grounds: (1) that the transaction evidenced by Ex. A is not one of sale and that therefore plaintiff is not entitled to claim a charge as for prepaid purchase money; (2) that in any event plaintiff has been himself guilty of breach of contract or at any rate has failed to fulfil his obligations under the contract and that therefore he is not entitled to claim the benefit of the lien declared under Section 55, Clause 6(b) of the Transfer of Property Act.

3. In answer to the first argument, it is sufficient to say that the fact that Ex. A provides for various matters, does not necessarily detract from each part of it embodying a transaction of a known legal category. As stated already, the first part provides for a sale by the appellant's father and the third defendant to the plaintiff, the second for a sale by the plaintiff to the appellant's father and the third for certain other transfers by the plaintiff to the appellant's father. The circumstance that these various contracts embodied in one and the same document are to some extent inter-dependent does not justify the contention that the arrangement embodied in the first part of the contract does not in law amount to a sale. The specific provision in Ex. A to the effect that on plaintiff's request appellant's father and the third defendant should come and execute a deed of sale and get it registered is itself the clearest indication that the parties meant it to be a 'sale'. The existence of another provision giving the appellant's father certain rights against the plaintiff as consideration for his having brought about the arrangement or having included in the settlement his brother's debt as well, does not detract from the true character of the transaction provided for by the first part of the document. In Zamindar of Polavaram v. Maharajah of Pittapur (1936) 71 M.L.J. 347: L R 63 IndAp 304: I.L.R. 59 Mad. 910 the Judicial Committee recognised that the mere fact that in the contract between the parties there might be various covenants, would not change the character of the transaction if in substance it was one of sale. In Subramanian Chettiar v. Arunachalam Chettiar (1902) 12 M.L.J. 479: L.R. 29 IndAp 138: I.L.R. 25 Mad. 603 the Privy Council recognised that any consideration given to a lessor to persuade him to enter into the lease transaction was something outside the lease transaction and that the lease transaction stood by itself. The same reasons are equally applicable here.

4. As to the second contention, we have not been shown anything in the evidence which will disentitle the plaintiff to the benefit of the lien declared by Clause 6(b) of Section 55 of the Transfer of Property Act. The terms of Ex. A clearly make the decree amounts the ' consideration ' for the sale. In that sense they are undoubtedly 'price' within the meaning of Section 54 being amounts which were already due to the plaintiff from the other parties to Ex. A. The result of the arrangement embodied in Ex. A is that the decree amount changes its legal character and becomes purchase money in the hands of the vendors. (See Bassu Kuar v. Dhum Singh (1888) L.R. 15 I.A. 211: I.L.R. 11 All. 47 .) The case is therefore clearly one of prepaid purchase money. There has been no suggestion nor was it ever proved that the plaintiff improperly declined to accept delivery of the property. The evidence shows that within a few days after Ex. A, the plaintiff sent word to the appellant's father asking him to execute and register a sale-deed in terms of Ex. A. The appellant's father, without complying with the request, merely took advantage of the execution of Ex. A and applied to enter up satisfaction of the decree in O.S. No. 24 of 1922. The plaintiff naturally objected to that prayer, alleging that as appellant's father had not given up possession nor executed a registered deed of sale as required by Ex. A, satisfaction of the decree should not be entered up. This Court no doubt held in Ramanarasu v. Venkata Reddi : AIR1933Mad23 that even the existence of Ex. A as an executory contract justified the application to have the decree entered up as satisfied. But the opposition to that prayer will not by any means constitute a breach of contract on the plaintiff's part; on the other hand he was insisting on the terms of Ex. A being carried out. Even after the decision of the High Court in Ramanarasu v. Venkata Reddi : AIR1933Mad23 he sent notices insisting upon the carrying out of the sale contract and this suit was instituted in the alternative, praying for specific performance as well. It is therefore impossible to hold that the plaintiff has declined to accept delivery of the property. All that has been said against him by appellant's learned Counsel is that there are other terms in Ex. A which the plaintiff has not fulfilled. Assuming it to be so, we do not see how that excludes the application of Section 55, Clause 6(b). As held by the Privy Council in Webb v. Macpherson (1903) 13 M.L.J. 389: L.R. 30 IndAp 238: I.L.R. 31 Cal. 57 the lien given by that section can be excluded only by a contract to the contrary.

5. The appeal accordingly fails and is dismissed with costs.


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