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S.A. Annamalai Chettiar Vs. Chellammai Achi, Minor by Father and Next Friend, - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1938Mad174; (1937)2MLJ936
AppellantS.A. Annamalai Chettiar
RespondentChellammai Achi, Minor by Father and Next Friend, ;v.S.S. Sathappa Chettiar and anr.
Cases Referred and Mahabir Pershad Singh v. Dhanukdhari Singh I.L.R.
Excerpt:
.....calcutta and madras. but a sale could be set aside if the court were satisfied upon the facts proved in the case that there were circumstances from which a reasonable inference might be drawn that the inadequacy in price was the result of the material irregularity, although mere inadequacy of price, without either direct evidence or proof of such circum stances as mentioned above, would not be sufficient to set aside the sale......and calcutta on the other. the high court of allahabad was of opinion that the inadequacy in the sale price was not sufficient to set aside the sale in the absence of direct evidence which established a causal connection between the material irregularity and the inadequacy of price fetched at the sale. it was on the contrary held by the high court of madras in venkatasubbaraya chetti v. zamindar of karvetinagar i.l.r. (1896) 20 mad 150 that the fact that the inadequacy of price fetched at the auction was the result of the material irregularity committed in conducting the sale, might ordinarily give rise to an inference that 'the low price was a consequence of irregularity even though the manner in which the irregularity produced the low price be not definitely made out'. the high court.....
Judgment:

Abdur Rahman, J.

1. It has been conceded by Mr. Rajah Aiyar, the counsel for the petitioner, that there was no proclamation before the property, which happens to be one-eighth share in a village, was sold by public auction. Admittedly this is a material irregularity. It was not seriously contested that the price at which the property was sold, was grossly inadequate. A firm offer was made by the objecting creditor in the lower appellate Court to the extent of about double the price for which the property was knocked down at the auction sale. It was also admitted that the purchaser is a close relation of the judgment-debtor.

2. The only point which was seriously contested by the Counsel for the petitioner was that the sale could not be set aside as the respondent had failed to prove that the inadequacy in price was caused by reason of such irregularity.

3. At one point of time there was a divergence of views between the High Court of Allahabad on the one hand and those of the High Courts of Madras and Calcutta on the other. The High Court of Allahabad was of opinion that the inadequacy in the sale price was not sufficient to set aside the sale in the absence of direct evidence which established a causal connection between the material irregularity and the inadequacy of price fetched at the sale. It was on the contrary held by the High Court of Madras in Venkatasubbaraya Chetti v. Zamindar of Karvetinagar I.L.R. (1896) 20 Mad 150 that the fact that the inadequacy of price fetched at the auction was the result of the material irregularity committed in conducting the sale, might ordinarily give rise to an inference that 'the low price was a consequence of irregularity even though the manner in which the irregularity produced the low price be not definitely made out'. The High Court of Calcutta had taken a similar view in Slieorutton Singh v. Net Lall Sahu I.L.R. (1903) 30 Cal 1 and Mahabir Pershad Singh v. Dhanukdhari Singh I.L.R. (1904) 31 Cal. 815

4. On account of this divergence of views, the Code of Civil Procedure had to be amended and the words 'unless upon the facts proved the Court is satisfied' have been substituted to give effect to the decisions of the High Courts of Calcutta and Madras. It is no longer necessary to prove a causal connection between the two by means of direct evidence; but a sale could be set aside if the Court were satisfied upon the facts proved in the case that there were circumstances from which a reasonable inference might be drawn that the inadequacy in price was the result of the material irregularity, although mere inadequacy of price, without either direct evidence or proof of such circum stances as mentioned above, would not be sufficient to set aside the sale.

5. In this case, material irregularity has been admitted and the inadequacy in price which the property fetched at the sale was not seriously contested. The fact that there was no proclamation might legitimately give rise to an inference that if the sale had been proclaimed, the intending purchasers might have been present to bid for the property which might have fetched a higher price in consequence. It was, in any case, open to the lower appellate Court to draw this inference and having done so, it cannot be said that it exercised a jurisdiction which did not vest in it. It cannot, therefore, be questioned in revision.

6. I would, therefore, dismiss the petition with costs.


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