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Kathari Narasimha Raju Vs. Bhupati Raju Raghunadha Raju and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1916Mad1126(2); 31Ind.Cas.52
AppellantKathari Narasimha Raju
RespondentBhupati Raju Raghunadha Raju and ors.
Cases ReferredAmmani v. Jagannatha Reddi
Excerpt:
sale of immoveable properly less than rs. 100 in alwe - unregistered sale-deed--possession delivered--title, if passes--sale-deed, if evidence of contract to sell--transfer of property act (iv of 1882), section 54. - .....that in 1901 the plaintiff sold the plaint lands to the 3rd defendant, executed an unregistered sale-deed for rs. 50 to the 3rd defendant and put the 3rd defendant in possession of the land. on these findings they dismissed the plaintiff's suit. that unregistered sale-deed is not produced, the 3rd defendant suppressing it according to the defendants nos. 1 and 2, who are the vendees from the 3rd defendant.2. the contention in second appeal is that the plaintiff, though he failed to prove the lease to the 3rd defendant, is entitled to succeed on his title which existed in 1901 and had not been lost either by adverse possession when the suit was brought in 1909, or by his execution of the unregistered sale-deed of 1901 which is invalid and useless for the purpose of effecting a transfer.....
Judgment:

Sadasiva Aiyar, J.

1. The plaintiff is the appellant. He owned the plaint land in 1900 and 1901. He brought the suit in 1909, having been out of possession for eight or nine years before the suit. His story was that the 3rd defendant became his lessee in 1900. That story has been found to be false. The lower Courts have further found that in 1901 the plaintiff sold the plaint lands to the 3rd defendant, executed an unregistered sale-deed for Rs. 50 to the 3rd defendant and put the 3rd defendant in possession of the land. On these findings they dismissed the plaintiff's suit. That unregistered sale-deed is not produced, the 3rd defendant suppressing it according to the defendants Nos. 1 and 2, who are the vendees from the 3rd defendant.

2. The contention in second appeal is that the plaintiff, though he failed to prove the lease to the 3rd defendant, is entitled to succeed on his title which existed in 1901 and had not been lost either by adverse possession when the suit was brought in 1909, or by his execution of the unregistered sale-deed of 1901 which is invalid and useless for the purpose of effecting a transfer of ownership, by reason of the provisions of Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act.

3. If there was no valid sale to the 3rd defendant in 1901, the plaintiff is entitled to succeed on his title as the suit is not barred by limitation. The plaintiff (appellant) relies on the decision in Muthukaruppan Samban v. Muthu Samban (1914) M.W.N. 768 : 27 M.L.J. 497 for his contention that no title passed under the unregistered sale-deed for Rs. 50 (relied upon by the defendants Nos. 1 and 2), though it was accompanied by delivery of possession. It has been hold in at least two cases in this Court, reported as Veda Muppan v. Kathan Padayachi 5 Ind. Cas. 57 and Ammani v. Jagannatha Beddi 30 Ind. Cas. 7, that notwithstanding the existence of an unrecistered sale-deed, which cannot validly effect a transfer of ownership even in respect of a sale of property of the value of less than Rs. 100, the delivery of the property sold in pursuance of the contract of sale is sufficient under Section 54, paragraph 3, of the Transfer of Property Act for the transfer of the title. Under paragraphs 5 and 6 of Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act, a contract for the sale of immoveable property does not create any interest in, or charge on, such property and hence such a contract, though in writing, need not be registered even if it is for a price of Rs. 100 or more. Paragraph 3 of the section, which refers to the transfer of title by delivery, does not say that the contract of sale, which is to be converted into a sale (or transfer of title to the property), should be an oral contract and cannot be evidenced by the written deed, or that an invalid writing, purporting to transfer title prevents the delivery itself of its effect of transferring the title. According to the definition of sale in the 1st paragraph of Section 54, two things (it seems to me) are required to constitute a sale: (1) a contract to transfer the ownership of the sold land in exchange for a price paid, etc., and (2) the transfer of such ownership, accordingly, by the vendor. In the case of property of the value of less than Rs. 100, the contract of sale followed by the delivery of property in pursuance of that contract completes the sale according to paragraph 3 and a registered conveyance is not indispensable. In Nagappa v. Devu 14 M.k 55, it has been held that an unregistered sale-deed even for a sum of Rs. 100 can be used in evidence for proving the contract to sell, though not to prove the transfer of ownership. A fortiori a sale-deed for less than Rs. 100 can be used as evidence of the contract to make that sale. If there are any observations in Muthukaruppan Samban v. Muthu Samban 25 Ind. Cas. 772 which tend to support the view that an unregistered document of sale cannot be used as evidence to prove even the contract of sale, I am not, with the greatest respect, prepared to agree with those observations. There is nothing in paragraph 3 of Section 54 which constrains us to hold that if there is a contract of sale which is evidenced by a deed which is invalid to transfer title, the transfer of title by delivery cannot take place. The case in Muthukaruppan Samban v. Muthu Samban 25 Ind. Cas. 772 : 16 M.L.T. 344 seems to have been decided on a very strict construction of the pleadings in that case against the defendants, [see the sentence in the judgment' at page 346]: Under these circumstances we do not think that it is open to these appellants to set up an oral sale as to which there was no issue or any evidence.'

4. I would, therefore, dismiss the Letters Patent Appeal with costs.

Napier, J.

5. I assume that in this case there was no oral evidence to prove the oral sale other than the unregistered document. The questions are, whether the fact that there is a document prevents the 3rd defendant relying on an oral sale followed by possession and whether, if not, he can use the unregistered document to prove that the transfer was an exchange for a price paid or promised within the meaning of Section 54 of the Transfer of Property Act. On the first point I can see no reason why the existence of the document should prevent the proof aliunde. Section 4 says that transfer may be made either by a registered instrument or by delivery. Until the document is registered, it has no effect to 'transfer' and it must be open to the parties at any stage before registration to adopt the simple process of delivery. On the second question reliance is placed on the language used by the Judges who decided the case Muthukarupan Samban v. Muthu Samban 28 Ind. Cas. 772 : (1914) M.W.N. 768 : 27 M.L.T. 497, which certainly lends support to that view. I am, however, unable to agree with it. The document is not, compulsorily registrable under Section 17 of the Registration Act, and, therefore, we have not to consider whether the proposed use to prove the agreement would not be permissible, because it would affect immoveable property within the meaning of Section 46 of the Registration Act. I am unable to accept the construction put on Section 54 in the above case that it requires all sale-deeds, if in writing, to be registered. In my opinion it only requires that if the sale-deed is to be relied on to establish transfer it must be registered. There being no law requiring the document to be registered, I see no reason why it should not be proved and used as required by the Evidence Act, Section 91. That it could be so used is assumed in Krishnamma v. Suranna 3 M.L.J. 54, a case decided by a Full Bench of this Court vide also Bimaraz v. Papaya 3 M.k 46 and Kota Muthanna Chitti v. Alibeg Sahib7 Ind. Jur. 11, and the same view has been taken by this Court quite lately in a case reported as Ammani v. Jagannatha Reddi 30 Ind. Cas. 7 : (1915) M.W.N. 442. I am, therefore, of opinion that the unregistered document is admissible in evidence to prove the contract, and there being evidence of delivery, the sale is proved. 1 agree, therefore, with the learned Judge and would dismiss the appeal with costs.


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