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Specific Relief Act, 1963

 

Specific Relief Act, 1963, Section 16(c) - Trial court did not frame issue on the question of readiness and willingness on the part of the petitioner-plaintiff in terms Section 16(c) - The fact that the petitioner chose to issue a legal notice In November, 1996 and created an alibi in the form of an affidavit executed before the Sub-Registrar in October, 1996 to show that he was present before the Sub-Registrar for the purpose of completion of the transaction, within the time stipulated for its performance - Was not sufficient to conclude that the petitioner continued to be ready and willing even after three years, on October, 1999 when the plaint was presented -  No explanation forthcoming for the long delay of three years, in filing the suit in 1999 after issuing a legal notice in 1996 -  Conduct of a plaintiff is very crucial in a suit for specific performance - A person who issues a legal notice on in 1996 claiming readiness and willingness, but who institutes a suit only in 1999 and that too only with a prayer for a mandatory injunction carrying a fixed court fee relatable only to the said relief, will not be entitled to the discretionary relief of specific performance.  (2020-4)200 PLR 025 (SC)

 

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Specific Relief Act, 1963, Section 20  - CPC ,  Order 6 Rule 17 - Suit filed for mandatory injunction - If the suit was actually one for specific performance, the petitioner ought to have at least valued the suit on the basis of the sale consideration mentioned in the agreement - If the suit was only for mandatory injunction (which it actually was), the only recourse open to the petitioner was to seek an amendment under Order 6 Rule 17 CPC - If such an application had been filed, it would have either been dismissed on the ground of limitation or even if allowed, the prayer for specific performance, inserted by way of amendment, would not have been, as a matter of course, taken as relating back to the date of the plaint  - Therefore, a short-cut was found by the petitioner-plaintiff to retain the plaint as such, but to seek permission to pay deficit court fee, as though what was filed in the first instance was actually a suit for specific performance -  Such a dubious approach should not be allowed especially in a suit for specific performance, as the relief of specific performance is discretionary under Section 20 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. (2020-4)200 PLR 025 (SC)

 

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Specific Relief Act, 1963  - Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Section 149 - Suit for specific performance - After filing the written statement, respondent also took out an application for the dismissal of the suit on the ground that a suit for mandatory injunction was not maintainable for enforcing specific performance of an agreement of sale -  Said application was disposed of by the trial court holding that the suit was in fact one for specific performance of an agreement of sale and that the technical objection regarding the maintainability could be overcome by directing the petitioner-plaintiff to pay the requisite court fee and court directed the petitioner-plaintiff to make good the deficit court fee  - Aforesaid order of the trial court was not challenged - As a consequence, the petitioner-plaintiff paid the deficit court fee and the trial court chose to treat the suit as one for specific performance – Suit decreed - decree was upset by the first appellate court and confirmed on second appeal by the High Court - It may be true that the approach of the High Court in non-suiting the petitioner-plaintiff on the ground of limitation, despite the original defect having been cured and the same having attained finality, may be faulty,  but we would not allow the petitioner to take advantage of the same by taking shelter under Section 149 CPC, especially when he filed the suit (after more than three years of the date fixed under the agreement of sale) only as one for mandatory injunction, valued the same as such and paid court fee accordingly, but chose to pay proper court fee after being confronted with an application for the dismissal of the suit -  Clever ploys cannot always pay dividends – Appellate order dismissing suit upheld. (2020-4)200 PLR 025 (SC)

 

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