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BAJ SINGH & ORS versus RAVINDER SINGH & ORS

High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

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Baj Singh & Ors v. Ravinder Singh & Ors - LPA-935-1988 [2006] RD-P&H 642 (8 February 2006)

LPA 935 of 1988

Baj Singh & others Vs. Ravinder Singh & others Present: Shri J.K.Sibal, Sr. Advocate with Shri Sapan Dhir Advocate for the Appellants.

Ms. Alka Sarin, Advocate for the Respondents.

VINEY MITTAL, J.

The present appeal under Clause X of the Letters Patent has been filed by defendants No. 2 to 5. A challenge has been made to the judgment and decree dated January 15, 1979 passed by the learned trial Court, whereby the suit filed by, plaintiff, Ravinder Singh was decreed and the judgment dated June 1,1988 whereby the appeal filed by the present appellants was dismissed by the learned Single Judge.

Plaintiff, Ravinder Singh filed a suit for specific performance of an agreement dated June 2,1975, executed by Shrimati Akko,defendant No.1, in favour of plaintiff, Ravinder Singh and defendant No.6, Surjan Singh whereby the aforesaid land measuring 30 kanals was agreed to be sold for a total sale consideration of Rs. 45,000/-. Out of 30 kanals of aforesaid land, 22 kanals was agreed to be purchased by plaintiff, Ravinder Singh, and 8 kanals was agreed to be purchased by Surjan Singh,defendant No.6. At the time of execution of the agreement Rs.7500/- were paid by plaintiff, Ravinder Singh and Rs. 1000/- were paid by defendant No.6,Surjan Singh to Shrimati Akko as earnest money.

The sale deed was to be executed on or before December 11,1975. It was further LPA 935 of 1988

provided in the agreement that if Surjan Singh did not want to purchase the share of land, then it would be open to Ravinder Singh to purchase the whole of the land on payment of the entire sale price. It was further pleaded by the plaintiff that shrimati Akko instead of selling the land to the plaintiff, had sold the same to defendants No.2 to 5, namely, Baj Singh, Balbir Singh, Jagtar Singh and Balkar Singh through a registered sale deed dated December 9,1975. The aforesaid purchasers had purchased the land with full knowledge of the agreement in favour of the plaintiff and, as such, could not be treated to be bonafide purchasers. Accordingly, the plaintiff claims that Shrimati Akko and the aforesaid subsequent vendees were bound to transfer the land in his favour on receipt of the balance sale consideration.

This suit was contested by the defendants. In her written statement , Shrimati Akko admitted the execution of the agreement in favour of the plaintiff and Surjan Singh and receipt of the earnest money. She claimed that the land in dispute along with some other land owned by her father, Hazara Singh, was under mortgage but since Pritam Singh, father of the minor plaintiff, Ravinder Singh, did not agree to pay the proportionate mortgage amount, therefore the agreement to sell was cancelled and the earnest money was agreed to be returned. However, later on, the plaintiff's father did not accept back the earnest money. Consequently, the land was sold by her to defendants No.2 to 5 for consideration. Defendants No.2 to 5 also took up similar pleas but also claimed that they were bonafide purchasers and without any notice.

Learned trial Court on the basis of the evidence available on the record decreed the suit filed by the plaintiff. It was held that the execution of the agreement was duly LPA 935 of 1988

proved and was even admitted. The payment of earnest money was also proved. It was also held that since Surjan Singh had not purchased the land, therefore, Ravinder Singh had a right to purchase the entire land on payment of the entire balance sale consideration.

. The plaintiff was held ready and willing to perform his part of the agreement.

Defendants No.2 to 5 were held not bonafide purchasers of the suit land. Consequently, the prayer made by the plaintiff for a decree of specific performance was accepted by the learned trial Court.

The first appeal was filed by defendant No.2 to 5 challenging the aforesaid judgment and decree passed by the learned trial Court. The learned Single Judge re- examined the entire material available on the record. On the basis of the aforesaid consideration of the evidence, the leaned Single Judge also held that the plaintiff was always ready and willing to perform his part of the agreement and further that he alone was competent to seek the specific performance of the agreement. It was also held by the learned Single Judge that defendants No.2 to 5 were not shown to be bonafide purchasers inasmuch as Shrimati Akko while appearing as D.W..1, has stated that she had told Baj Singh,defendant that she had earlier entered into an agreement with the plaintiff, with regard to the suit land and had also delivered possession of some of the land to the plaintiff. Even Surjan Singh, defendant, in his statement had admitted that Ravinder Singh, plaintiff had been delivered the possession of one killa of the disputed land.

Accordingly, all the findings recorded by the learned trial court were affirmed by the learned Single Judge. Consequently, the appeal filed by defendants No.2 to 5 was dismissed.

LPA 935 of 1988

Defendants No.2 to 5 have still remained dissatisfied and have approached this court through the present Letters Patent Appeal.

We have heard Shri J.K.Sibal, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the appellants and Ms. Alka Sarin, learned counsel appearing for the plaintiff-respondent and with the assistance of the learned counsel have also gone through the record of the case.

Shri J.K.Sibal, learned senior counsel appearing for the defendant-appellants has raised two contentions. Firstly, it has been argued that the trial court as well as the learned Single Judge have completely misinterpreted the agreement in question, inasmuch as on refusal of Surjan Singh to purchase the land qua his share and Surjan Singh having taken back the earnest money given by him to Shrimati Akko, plaintiff could not have sought the specific performance of the agreement, in any manner. It has further been argued that in any case, plaintiff, Ravinder Singh, could have sought the specific performance qua his share only and could not have sought the specific performance of the entire agreement qua the entire land. Secondly, it has been argued that the defendant- appellants were bonafide purchasers for consideration and without notice of existence of any prior agreement. On that basis, it has been argued that the agreement in question between the plaintiff and Shrimati Akko was not binding upon the defnednant-appellants.

We have thoughtfully considered the aforesaid contentions of the learned senior counsel but find ourselves unable to agree with the same.

We have minutely gone through the agreement Ex.P1. The agreement specifically provides that " if in terms of the agreement Surjan singh did not get the sale deed registered, then Ravinder Singh, plaintiff, would be entitled to get the deed registered by LPA 935 of 1988

paying the balance amount". A perusal of the aforesaid term in the agreement clearly shows that the parties had agreed that Shrimati Akko was to sell the land to two purchasers i.e. Ravinder Singh and Surjan Singh. Ravinder Singh was to purchase 22 kanals of land whereas Surjan Singh was to purchase 8 kanals of land. They had also paid the consideration amount of Rs.7500/- and Rs.1000/- ,respectively. Accordingly, it was provided that in case Surjan Singh backed out of his part of the agreement and refused to purchase his share of land, then Ravinder Singh would have a right to purchase the entire land on payment of the entire sale consideration. Admittedly Surjan Singh had withdrawn from the transaction. He had even taken back the earnest money given by him to Shrimati Akko. In these circumstances, Ravinder Singh had a right, under the agreement, to purchase the entire land on payment of the entire sale consideration. The right of Ravinder Singh to purchase even the share of Surjan Singh is clearly depicted in the agreement Ex.P1. The interpretation put up on the agreement by the learned trial court as well as by the leaned Single Judge is clearly unassailable.

Even the second contention raised by the learned senior counsel is without any merit. Learned trial court as well as learned Single Judge has clearly noticed that Shrimati Akko while appearing as DW1 has stated that she had told Baj Singh(appellant) that she had entered into an earlier agreement with the plaintiff qua the land in dispute and had even delivered possession of a part of it. The factum of delivery of possession was even admitted by Surjan Singh,defendant, and also by Balkar Singh defendant- appellant. In view of the aforesaid admission of the defendants, the defendant-appellants cannot claim that they had no knowledge of the previous agreement. Accordingly, the LPA 935 of 1988

defendants cannot be heard to claim that they were bonafide purchasers of the property without any notice of the previous agreement.

In view of the aforesaid discussion, we do not find any merit in the present appeal.The same is, accordingly, dismissed.

Before parting with this order, we notice that during the course of the present appeal, plaintiff-respondent was permitted to withdraw the decreetal amount, required for the execution of the sale deed, subject to his right to redeposit the same on disposal of the present appeal. Accordingly, it is directed that the plaintiff-respondent,Ravinder Singh, shall deposit the amount of sale consideration as directed by the learned trial Court within a period of two months, from today. On deposit of the aforesaid amount, the plaintiff-respondent would be at liberty to get the sale deed executed in his favour. No cost.

(Viney Mittal)

Judge

July 7, 2005. ( H.S Bedi )

sks` Judge


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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