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WHEN DEFENDANT TRANSPOSED AS PLAINTIFF WRITTEN STATEMENT SHOULD BE READ AS PLAINT - PLEADINGS AS EXPLAINED BY SUPREME COURT

JUSTICE M Saldanha, JUSTICE M R Prasad of Karnataka High Court in case of Veerabhadrappa And Anr. vs Smt. Gangamma And Anr. Reported in AIR 2003 Kant 348, 2004 (3) KarLJ 13 when a defendant gets transposed as one of the plaintiffs, me written statement filed by such defendant gets transposed and would form part of the plaint. The necessity of amendment of a plaint at that stage is only for convenience-sake. In other words, the original plaint and the written statement of the defendant No. 2 who had got transposed as a plaintiff will have to be read together. In other words, such a written statement would partake the nature of plaint and the Courts of law administering justice in an adversary system of administration of justice cannot afford to take any other view and should read the said written statement as a plaint. At this stage, it is necessary to refer to a decision of the apex Court, relied upon by the learned counsel for plaintiffs, reported in AIR 1987 1242, wherein the Supreme Court has held that the object and purpose of pleading is to enable the adversary party to know the case it has to meet. In order to have a fair trial, it is imperative that the party should state the essential material facts so that other party may not be taken by surprise. The pleadings however should receive a liberal construction, no pedantic approach should be adopted to defeat justice on hair splitting technicalities. The Supreme Court has further held that it is not desirable to place undue emphasis on form, instead the substance of the pleadings should be considered. Whenever the question about lack of pleadings is raised the enquiry should not be so much about the form of pleadings, instead the COURT must find out whether in substance the parties knew the case and the issues upon which they went to trial. Once it is found that in spite of deficiency in the pleadings parties knew the case and they proceeded to trial on those issues by producing evidence, in that event it would not be open to a party to raise the question of absence of pleadings in appeal. On careful perusal of the said written statement, there has been a specific mention that the second plaintiff and her mother first plaintiff succeeded to the estate of deceased Smt. Shivalingamma and in fact, there had been a specific prayer for joint declaration of title in respect of 'B' schedule properties in favour of both the plaintiffs.

IT IS DUTY BOUND ON THE PART OF REVENUE AUTHORITIES TO INTIMATE CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP

JUSTICE HVG RAMESH of Karnataka High Court in case of Mahadevappa And Ors. vs State Of Karnataka Reported in ILR 2008 KAR 1750 It is needles to say it is duty bound on the part of the revenue authorities and the Sub-Registrar as per Section 128(4) to invariably intimate the fact of transfer of interest or ownership from the first party to the second party to the concerned revenue authorities so that concerned revenue authorities will make the mutation entries in the concerned register and also proper entries in the revenue register after following the procedure as per Section 129 of the Land Revenue Act. Ultimately, any intended purchaser would get himself verified about the status of the property whether before he could go for any such purchase or seek for transfer of interest from the person who has got a right, title and interest so that he will not be mislead. For want of these entries in the revenue records and for want of proper information from the concerned Department of the Government, often purchasers are being mislead and get into problems and hardship. It is high time to intimate the Revenue Department and the concerned Department to meticulously follow the procedure as provided under Section 128 & 129 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and also it should be made mandatory as a matter of responsibility on the part of the Government to save the public from the precarious situation and also there shall be timely action by the revenue authorities without there being any delay on their part in making entries in the mutation register and other registers in the revenue office and in the Corporation/Municipality in city limits to avoid future complications.

PHADA LAND - COURT AUCTION - RESTORATION - RIGHTS OF PARTIES

Karnataka High Court
Nagappa Gowda And Ors. vs Doddamane Gurupadappa And Anr. on 6 November, 1952
Equivalent citations: AIR 1954 Kant 39, AIR 1954 Mys 39, ILR 1953 KAR 408
Author: Vasudevamurthy
Bench: Medapa, Vasudevamurthy

JUDGMENT

Vasudevamurthy, J.

1. The plaintiff's suit for declaration of title, possession and mesne profits of a garden land has been party decreed by the District Judge, Shimoga and defendants 1 to 4 and 6 have appealed. Defendant 5 has been formally impleaded as respondent 2 and the plaintiff is respondent 1. The plaintiff has also filed cross-objections regarding the 4 share of the garden which has not been decreed in his favour.

2. According to the plaintiff, the suit property belonged to a joint Hindu family of one Benavanna- Gowda and his three undivided brothers. For failure to pay land revenue it was forfeited to Government in or about the year 1937, but it could not be disposed of in revenue auction for want of bidders and it was resumed or taken under Government "phada"; subsequently as Benavanna-Gowda paid up all the dues it was granted to him. For some monies due by him and his brothers the plaintiff filed a suit O. S. No. 27 of 35-36 in the Court of the Subordinate Judge at Shimoga, and in execution of that decree purchased the suit property along with some other items in Court sale on 1-10-42. After the sale was confirmed he was put in possession in Mis. No. 11 of 43-44 . At that stage the father of defendant 6, one Chennabasappa now dead and who was the then Manager of the family of the defendants filed a suit O. S. No. 160/43-44 in the Shimoga Munsiff's Court for a declaration of his title and for permanent injunction against the plaintiff alleging that he was in possession, and obtained an order of temporary injunction restraining the plaintiff from entering the suit garden. Under colour of that order he then removed the areca and paddy crop for the year 1943-44. Chennaba-sappa's suit was decreed in his favour by the Munsiff but, on appeal, was dismissed by the Subordinate Judge of Shimoga and the dismissal was confirmed in the High Court. In spite of that decision the deceased Chennabasappa and after him defendants 1 to 6 his legal representatives have been continuing in unlawful possession of the land and were liable to deliver up possession and mesne profits.

3. The defendants pleaded that the suit property belonged solely to Renevannagowda and was his self-acquisition. One Krishnappa filed a suit against him for some monies due by him in O. S. No. 335/26-27 in the Shimoga Munsiff's Court and brought it to sale in Ex. case No. 191 of 31-32 when it was purchased in Court auction by one Sundarasastry. After the sale was confirmed in his favour on 24-12-1934, Sundarasastry was put in possession through Court on 1-1-35 in Mis. No. 121/34-35. He subsequently sold the garden to Chennabasappa, father of defendant 6, on 30-6-43. Sundarasastry and after the sale by him Chennabasappa and the defendants were all along in possession and enjoyment of the suit property. The plaintiff had got the suit property attached before judgment in O. S. 27/35-36 which he had brought against Benavannagowda and his brothers. Sundarasastry had then put in a claim objecting to the attachment in Mis. Case No. 20V of 35-36. That claim had been allowed in favour of Sundarasastry as far back as on l4-3-1937. The plaintiff had not got that order set aside and the same had become conclusively binding on him. Nevertheless he had played a fraud on the Court by getting the suit property sold subsequently in execution in the Subordinate Judge's Court at Shimoga without disclosing to that Court the fact that Sundarasastry's claim against the attachment had been allowed as aforesaid & he could not acquire any right under such a fraudulent sale.

The Suit O. S. No. 160/43-44 filed by Chennaba-sappa in the Munsiff's Court at Shimoga for a declaration of title and permanent injunction was decreed in his favour by the Munsiff, Shimoga, as admitted in the plaint. But on appeal in R.A. No. 16/45-16 the Subordinate Judge rejected the plaint only on a technical ground that an extract from the Record of Rights had not been filed along with the plaint, and in -- 'S. A. No. 356 of 1946-47 (Mys) (A)' that order was confirmed. There had been therefore no decision on the merits against the defendants in those appeals and three criminal complaints filed by the plaintiff against the defendants complaining of trespass and that in respect of the produce of this suit garden had ended in orders of discharge. The defendants had considerably improved the garden and in the event of the plaintiff succeeding they were entitled to be reimbursed the value of the same. The plaintiff had brought this suit on account of ill-will as a counter blast to some other litigation between the parties.

4. The District Judge, Shimoga, found that the suit property was the joint family property of Benavannagowda and his brothers and that it did not belong to Benavannagowda alone. He held that the order in the claim case could only affect Benavannagowda's share as Sundarasastry had bought only his right, title and interest. He did not think that the plaintiff was entitled to claim any enlargement of his rights on account of the forfeiture and other revenue proceedings. He did not also believe that the defendants had improved the suit garden. He, therefore, made a decree in favour of the plaintiff for a 3/4th share of the garden and mesne profits.

5. Mr. Krishnamurthi, learned counsel for the appellants, has contended before us that the order of the Subordinate Judge in the claim case was that the plaintiff could not validly attach before judgment the suit property as belonging to his judgment-debtors Benavannagowda and his brothers;,that as that order had not been set aside within the time allowed by law, as required under Order 21, Rule 63, Civil P. C., it had become conclusive. The plaintiff could not in this suit put forward or claim the identical right which had been negatived in the miscellaneous ease. Mr. Sadanandaswamy, learned counsel for respondent 1, has urged that the attachment effected by his client was one before judgment and not in execution of a decree, and that consequently neither Order 21, Rule 63 which requires a suit to be filed to have an order made in a claim case set aside nor Article 11, Limitation Act which prescribes a period of one year within which such a suit must be filed applied in terms to bar the plaintiff's present suit. Moreover this suit was one for declaration of title and possession and not for setting aside the order in the claim case and it was really governed by Article 138 which gives his client 12 years from the date of confirmation of sale to bring such a suit.

6. It has been held so far back as in -- '4 Mys C C R 146 (B)' that an order passed under Section 487 of the old Code of Civil Procedure corresponding to Order 38, Rule 8 of the present Code allowing a claim to property attached before judgment in a suit is subject to the provisions of Section 283 (Order 21, Rule 63 of the present Code) and that the plaintiff's remedy to have it set aside is a suit under that section. This decision has been followed with approval in -- '51 Mys H C R 448 (C)', where reference has also been made to -- 'Pyaw Gyi Ma v. Latchmanan Chettiyar', AIR 1931 Rang 183 (D) and -- 'Maliknarjuna v. Virayya', AIR 1918 Mad 26 (FB) (E). See also -- 'Dhan Bibi v. Mrinalini Ghosh', AIR 1945 Cal 449 (P). Order 21, Rule 63, Civil P. C. declares that where a claim or an objection is preferred to an attachment the party against whom the order is made may institute a suit to establish the right which he claims to the property in dispute, but subject to the result of such suit, if any, the order shall be conclusive.

It has been held in -- '44 Mys HCR 589 (G)', while dealing with a similar provision under Order 32, Rule 103 that the effect of the failure to file a suit within one year of an order made under Order 21, Rule 97 to set aside that order and to establish his right to present possession of the property in dispute, the claim to such possession is concluded and even as a defendant he cannot resist the recovery of possession by the opposite party. It was observed in that case that as between the parties to that order there was a bar provided under Order 21, Rule 103 and as between themselves the unsuccessful party lost his right to possession. He could not also resist the claim of the plaintiff for recovery of possession as a defendant in the suit for tne same reasons as would preclude him from suing as plaintiff to recover possession. It was further pointed out in that case that any other way of construing those provisions would be to allow the unsuccessful party to circumvent the law. See also -- 'Azizullah Khan v. Ghulam Hussein', AIR 1924 Sind 97 at p. 99 (H); -- 'Nema Gauda v. Paresha', 22 Bom 640 (I); -- 'Ma Sein-Htay v. Maung Mya', AIR 1935 Rang 161 (J), and Mulla's Code of Civil Procedure, 11th Edn; page 848 where it is observed that "subject to the re-sult of such suit the order shall be conclusive" in Rule 63 of Order 21 means that unless the suit is brought as provided in that rule the party against whom the order is made cannot assert either as plaintiff or as defendant in any other proceedings the right denied to him by the order; vide -- 'Bailur Krishna v. Lakshmana', 4 Mad 302 (K); 22 Bom 640 (I); -- 'Surnamoya Dasi v. Ashutosh Goswami', 27 Cal 714 (L); -- 'Kayyana Chittemma v. Dossy Gavaramma', 29 Mad 225 (M); -- 'Yarakayya v. Venkata Krishnamaraju'. AIR 1918 Mad 693 (1) (N); -- 'Akkammal v. Komarsami Chettiar', AIR 1943 Mad 36 (O); --'Premsukh Das v. Satyanarain Singh', AIR 1945 Pat 485 (P).

7. We have therefore to see what in this case is the nature and effect of the order passed in the claim preferred by Sundarasastry against the plaintiff who had attached the suit property as belonging to his debtors Benavannagowda and his three brothers. That order has been marked as Ex. I in this case. In his application under Order 38, Rule 8 Sundarasastry had claimed the property attached in the plaintiff's suit O. S. No. 37 of 35-36 as his own and as being in his possession and enjoyment. The plaintiff contested the claim and after recording evidence, during the course of which Sundarasastry examined himself and his tenant Nagabhatta and produced copies of the sale certificate issued in his favour, after the Court confirmed the sale in his favour a receipt evidencing delivery of possession by Court on 1-1-1935 (sic). The plaintiff examined himself, and he and a witness whom he examined gave evidence that the property belonged to the joint family of Benavannagowda and his brothers. The Subordinate Judge held that the evidence disclosed that possession of the property was with Sundarasastry and that the copy of the sole certificate showed that the same had been sold subject to a hypothecation in favour of the plaintiff. The latter and Benavannagegowda had unsuccessfully tried to have the Court sale set aside and both in the Subordinate Judge's Court and on appeal it was held that the attachment which was challenged was apparently got effected merely to harass the petitioner & could not be sustained. That order clearly recognized Sundarasastry's prior purchase under the Court sale in Ex. 191/31-32 in O. S. No. 338/26-27 to attach the property as still belonging to Benavanr.agowda and his brothers. After this order has become conclusive under Order 21, Rule 63, it would be idle for the plaintiff to contend that he can again put forward the same contention, viz., that the property belonged to the joint-family of Benavannagowda and his brothers in this suit between himself and the defendants who claim under Sundarasastry merely because he has chosen to frame it as a suit for declaration of title and possession.

8. Mr. Sadanandaswamy has urged that Article 11 does not in terms apply to the present suit as it refers to a suit to set aside or avoid the effect of an order passed in respect of an attachment in execution of a decree and not an attachment before judgment. That question has been, however, set at rest so far as our Court is concerned, and it has been held by a Bench of this Court in -- 51 Mys HCR 448 (C)', that Article 120 and not Article 11, Limitation Act applies to a suit to set aside an order made on a claim in respect of an attachment before judgment though such claim or objection was preferred after decree in the course of execution proceedings. The same view has been taken in a recent decision of the Calcutta High Court in -- 'AIR 1945 Cal 449 (P)'. The plaintiff's suit which was filed on 11-12-43 is long after even the six years prescribed by Article 120 from the date of the order in the claim case, viz., 14-8-37 even if it can be construed as one to set aside that order.

9. Mr. Sadanandaswamy has next urged that as the suit land had been forfeited to Government under the provisions of the Mysore Land Revenue Code and transferred to "Government Phada" in the year 1937 for non-payment of land Revenue, whatever rights Sundarasastry acquired under bis purchase in Court sale were lost. He represents that the khata of the land stood in the name of a deceased man Krishnabhatta when the land was forfeited; that it war, restored to Benavannagowcla and that the latter must be deemed to have become its absolute owner again after Sundarasastry lost his rights by the forfeiture. Section 54, Land Revenue Code is, however, clear and a mere forfeiture followed by the restoration to the defaulting "holder" Bena-vannagowda does not wipe out all the earlier rights. It has also been held by this Court in -- 18 Mys CCR 76 (Q)', that neither the Mysore Land Revenue Code nor the rules thereunder contemplate the purchase on behalf of Government land which has been "forfeited" by reason of non-payment of the land revenue; and a mere forfeiture, while it no doubt operates, so far as Government is concerned, as a resumption of the holding, does not, unless it is followed by a sale, necessarily extinguish rights and equities that may be subsisting as between private parties. There an exactly similar contention that the restoration of the khata to the defaulter was equivalent to a new and absolute grant of the land freed from all previously existing rights and equities was negatived. There is therefore no substance in this contention which has been rightly held against Respondent 1 by the District Judge. See also -- 'Amolak v. Dhondi', 30 Bom 4G6 (R).

10. Mr. Krishnamurthi has urged that the plaintiff had deliberately suppressed the order; against the appellants in the claim case while obtaining an order for sale of the property as belonging to all the brothers and had got even Benavannagowda's right, title and interest sold up and that he cannot be permitted to come to Court to enforce such a tainted claim under a sale based on a fraud practised on the Court. It is not necessary for us to go into that question or to consider whether the suit property belonged to Benavannagowda alone or his brothers also in the view we have taken that the plaintiff is concluded by the order in the claim case and is precluded from bringing the present suit.

11. In the result this appeal is allowed and the plaintiff's suit is dismissed with costs throughout. The cross-objections are also dismissed but without costs.

12. Appeal allowed cross objections dis- missed.

'PHADA' LANDS AND ITS RESTORATION - A CASE LAW IN THIS REGARD

Zaheera Banu Kareem vs Gomathi Bai G. Kamath on 14 June, 1993
Equivalent citations: ILR 1994 KAR 662
Author: Hanumanthappa
Bench: Hanumanthappa

JUDGMENT

Hanumanthappa, J.

1. Pursuant to the Reference made by the Hon'ble Supreme Court by its Order dated 31.10.1991 in Civil Appeal No. 624 of 1973, finding of this Court is given on the Point, viz., "legal effect of the order of the restoration of the land in favour of Bashir Ahmed".

2.In order to see that both sides are given sufficient opportunity to establish their case, this case was adjourned many times as requested by both sides. Thus the matter was heard on several dates of hearing. On the Point involved both sides made me to go through various documents produced in the case, important Sections of the Mysore Land Revenue Code and the Bombay Land Revenue Code, Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act and the Authorities relied (sic) by both sides in support of their rival contentions.

3. To give a finding on the Point of Reference made by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, it is proper to mention a few facts, as their narration will avoid the confusion which had set in.

Originally one Kaushik was the owner of the lands in dispute. He sold the said lands to one Syed Basheer Ahmed in the year 1942. The said Syed Basheer Ahmed did not pay the land revenue in respect of the lands in question for some time. As Syed Basheer Ahmed became defaulter in payment of land revenue, the State exercising its power under the provisions of the Mysore Land Revenue Code, 1888 (hereinafter referred to as the 1888 Code) forfeited the said lands to the Government during the year 1948-49. As there were no bidder, in view of Section 55 of the 1888 Code the Government itself purchased the said lands in Survey Nos. 29 and 30 of Sonnamaranahalli Village and Survey Nos. 35 and 40 of Gullia Nandi Gunta Village, Thubagere Hobli, Doddaballapur Taluk, Bangalore District. Earlier to this, there was some dispute between Padmanabha Kamath and Syed Basheer Ahmed. Padmanabha Kamath filed a suit against Syed Basheer Ahmed in the High Court of Madras in O.S.No. 148 of 1946. The said suit was decreed in favour of Padmanabha Kamath. The decree was transferred to the District Court, Bangalore, and was put in execution in Execution Case No. 6 of 1953. The Executing Court brought the lands for sale. On 3.9.1953 Padmanabha Kamath purchased the said lands as he was the highest bidder. On 7.6.1954 the sale in favour of Padmanabha Kamath was confirmed. On 16.3.1955 the Sale Certificate at Exhibit P.3 in respect of the lands in question was issued to Padmanabha Kamath. On 2.1.1965 in Misc. Case No. 127 of 1955 possession of the lands in question was handed over to the auction-purchaser, Padmanabha Kamath. Upto this date by virtue of the forfeiture of the land by the Government in the Revenue records the nature of possession was described as 'Government Phada' under the Kathedar column. On 2.1.1956 Padmanabha Kamath sold the lands under Exhibit P.1 to Smt. Gomathi Bai G. Kamath, w/o Govinda Kamath, resident of Bombay, for valuable consideration. From the date of purchase till 1960-61 the name of the plaintiff, i.e., Smt. Gomathi Bai G. Kamath, was shown in the Exhibits at Exhibit P-8 series as the, person in possession of the property either authorised or unauthorised. The plaintiff contended that during the last week of July, 1967, when the plaintiff's husband went to the lands in question, he found that the defendant, i.e., Smt. Zahera Banu Kareem, was cultivating the lands, viz., S.No. 29 and 30 of Sonnamarnahalli. This action of the defendant was objected by the plaintiff by issuing a legal notice and subsequently the plaintiff filed a suit, O.S. No. 31 of 1967, in the Court of the Principal Rural Civil Judge, Bangalore, for declaration and possession of the lands in dispute and for other reliefs, viz., mesne profits, etc. In the plaint the plaintiff contended that (i) Padmanabha Kamath by virtue of purchasing the lands in Court auction perfected his title to the lands and as she had purchased the lands from Padmanabha Kamath her title to the lands was a valid one; (ii) the right, title and interest over the lands in question were transferred to the plaintiff by such sale as per the Sale Deed dated 2.1.1956 at Exhibit P. 1.

4. In the suit the defendant filed her written statement denying the claim of the plaintiff. She contended in the Written Statement as follows:

The lands were resumed to the Government for non-payment of land revenue in the year 1948-49. The lands were shown as 'Government Phada' in the revenue records. Till 1961 the Government continued to have title over the lands. The lands were purchased by Padmanabha Kamath in Court auction in Ex.Case No. 6 of 1952-53 in execution of the decree in O.S.No. 148 of 1946 obtained by him against Syed Basheer Ahmed. As the Government had resumed the lands in question, Padmanabha Kamath did not acquire any right over the lands by such purchase. In the year 1961 after receiving the arrears of land revenue due to the Government, the lands were restored to Syed Basheer Ahmed on 22.6.1961 and in turn Syed Basheer Ahmed divided the lands and sold to Rahmathunnisa Begum alias Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed. Thus, by restoration of the lands in question to Syed Basheer Ahmed on 22.6.1961 the lands became free from all encumbrances. On 1.4.1966 the defendant purchased the lands in question from the said Rahmathunnisa Begum alias Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed. Thus contending the defendant requested that the suit be dismissed as not maintainable.

5. On the basis of the Pleadings the trial Court framed the following issues:

"1. Is the Court sale in Ex.6/52-53 referred to in the plaint true and did it confer title to the plaintiff's vendor ?

2. Did the plaintiff's vendor take possession of the property in Misc. No. 127/55?

3. Has the plaintiff been the owner of the schedule property by virtue of the sale deed dated 2.1.1956 and rectification document dated 16.12.1957?

4. Was the plaintiff in possession of the schedule property ?

5. Where the suit lands resumed by the Government in the year 1948-49 as pleaded and whether Syed Basheer Ahmed, the Judgment debtor in Ex.No. 6/52-53 had no right, title or interest in the schedule property on the date of Court sale ?

6. Were the suit lands restored to him in 1961 and did he become the owner of the property in 1961 ? If so, what will be the effect of restoration of the suit land in his favour ?

7. Had the plaintiff made improvements in the land and has the defendant damaged the well, motor, etc. and is the plaintiff entitled to damages ? If so, to what amount ?

8. Is plaintiff entitled to mesne profits ? If so, to what amount?

9. To what relief, the parties are entitled ?"

In support of their case both parties produced certain documents. On the plaintiff's side the following documents were produced :

1. Registered sale deed dated 2.1.1956 in favour of the plaintiff marked with letter 'A';

2. Registered Rectification deed dated 16.12.1957 marked with letter 'B';

3. Sale certificate issued by the Court of the District Judge, Bangalore, dated 7.6.1954 marked with letter 'C';

4. Two encumbrance Certificates in respect of the suit schedule lands covering the period from 25.11.1952 to 24.7.1967 marked with letters 'D' and 'E';

5. Certified copies of Extracts for the entries made in the Index of lands and Record of Rights marked 'F-Series' (Four in number);

6. Copy of the legal notice dated 27.7.67 with postal acknowledgment marked 'G' and 'G-1'; and

7. Copy of Power of Attorney of the plaintiff.

On the defendant's side the following documents were produced:

1. Sale deed dated 1.4.66 executed by S, Nazir Ahmed;

2. Sale deed dated 1.4.66 executed by Rahantunnissa in favour of defendant;

3. Encumbrance certificate;

4. Bills issued by the Mysore State Electricity Board;

5. Cash bill of M. Srinivascharlu and Co., and

6. Guarantee card.

Before the trial Court the defendant was placed exparte. Hence, the trial Court accepting the contentions raised by the plaintiff decreed the suit. Aggrieved by the same, the defendant preferred an appeal in R.A.No. 2 of 1970 on the file of the Principal District Judge, Bangalore. Before the learned District Judge many grounds were urged. However, the relevant ground for the purpose of giving a finding on the Reference made is as follows:

"That even on merits the decree and judgment of the lower Court was unsustainable because that the plaintiff had not derived any right, title or interest under the sale deed because her vendor had not derived any right, title or interest under the Court auction sale because the judgment debtor had not any subsisting right in the property on the date of the auction."

After hearing both sides, the learned District Judge formulated several Points for Determination out of which the following Points are relevant for the present purpose:

1. "Whether the plaintiff had acquired right title, and interest under the sale deed dated 2.1.1956 under Exs.P.1 and P-2?"

2. "Whether the plaintiff was in possession and enjoyment of the suit schedule lands as asserted by her?"

3. "Whether the defendant has acquired right, title and interest in the suit schedule properties under her sale deed dated 22.6.62?"

4. "Whether she is in possession and enjoyment of the suit lands?"

The learned District Judge after considering the entire material produced found thus:

"Documents Ex.P.8 series and Ex.P.9 series unambiguously show that in 1951 the land was registered in the name of the Government, and by virtue of such transfer the original owner Syed Basheer Ahmed must be deemed to have been divested of his rights except his right to reclaim the land on payment of land revenue. When the sale was held the auction purchaser at the Court sale must be deemed to have purchased such right, title and interest as the Judgment debtor had in the said lands. Applying this standard two inferences can be drawn viz., (i) the rights of the Judgment debtor in the land were extinguished in 1951 when the Government resumed the lands subject only to the right of the pattadar to reclaim the land on payment of arrears of land revenue and (ii) that when the lands were sold by the Court in auction in execution of the decree the auction purchaser, namely, the vendor of the plaintiff derived all such rights as were with the judgment-debtor. The judgment debtor admittedly had the right to reclaim the land on payment of arrears of land revenue. Therefore, Syed Basheer Ahmed the judgment debtor had no right, title or interest after the Court sale. His rights were completely extinguished and new rights were created in favour of the auction purchaser. He and he alone could have reclaimed the land."

Thus observing the learned District Judge held that the auction purchaser perfected his title to the property subject to his payment of arrears of land revenue if and when the Government thought fit to disturb his possession or the purchaser himself thought fit to prefer his title. Making a reference to Exhibit P.4 -- the Delivery Receipt, Exhibit P-7 - the Treasury Challan dated 16.6.1959 and Exhibit P-6 -the notice dated 11.7.1961 which came into existence prior to the dispute between the parties the learned District Judge held that they conclusively establish that the plaintiff was in possession of the said lands arid cultivated the same. Thus a categorical finding was given by the learned District Judge that the plaintiff was in possession and enjoyment of the lands in question between 1956 and 1961. Whereas the suit was filed in the year 1967 and even if the defendant was in possession it will not confer any right, title and interest on the defendants. The learned District Judge also held that when the Judgment-debtor preferred the appeal challenging the exparte decree, an interim order of stpy of execution was granted subject to the condition that the judgment-debtor should furnish security for due performance of the decree. But the same was not complied with. As such the learned District Judge found that the decree obtained by Padmanabha Kamath was executed and the plaintiff was put in possession of the property. Thus holding the learned District Judge by his judgment and decree dated 14.12.1970 dismissed the appeal.

6. In R.S.A, No. 964 of 1971 the judgments and decrees of the Courts below were challenged. But, this Court rejected this Appeal at the stage of admission itself as there was no ground to interfere, by the order dated 26.10.1971. An Appeal in Civil Appeal No. 624 of 1971 has been preferred before the Supreme Court against the Order of this Court rejecting the Regular Second Appeal. In the said Appeal the Supreme Court requires a finding from this Court as to the legal effect of the order of restoration of the land in favour of Basheer Ahmed.

7. Both sides in addition to putting forth their arguments took me through the documents referred to above and the orders made.

8. Sri. Karanth, learned Counsel for the appellant/defendant, contended as follows:

The plaintiff's vendor, viz., Padmanabha Kamath, had no title over the lands, as, on the date of Court auction the Judgment-debtor/Basheer Ahmed had no right over the lands and the lands were forfeited and resumed to the Government. Subsequently, the lands came to be shown as 'Government Phada' in the Revenue records. Subsequent to the Court's auction sale and the plaintiff's vendor purchasing the lands in question, the Government restored the lands to Syed Basheer Ahmed/Judgment-debtor on receipt of the arrears of land revenue from him. By such restoration, the land became a free grant in favour of Syed Basheer Ahmed and the same was exclusively for his benefits. By virtue of such restoration Syed Basheer Ahmed acquired a title over the property and also a right to alienate the lands. Accordingly he sold the lands to Rahmathunnisa Begum alias Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed from whom the appellant/defendant purchased the same. By virtue of such purchase the defendant perfected her title to the properties. Though the decree-holder/Padmanabha Kamath who was the plaintiff's vendor had initiated proceedings against Syed Basheer Ahmed earlier to forfeiture of the lands by the Government, the forfeiture took place earlier to Padmanabha Kamath obtaining a decree against Syed Basheer Ahmed and the decree-holder/Padmanabha Kamath purchased the lands in Execution Case No. 6 of 1952-53 on 3.9.1953. It was further contended by the learned Counsel for the appellant that in view of Section 54 of the 1888 Code whatever rights Basheer Ahmed had were obliterated by virtue of forfeiture of the lands by the Government. It was also contended that the question of pleading equity by the plaintiff does not arise in this case. Sri Karanth, learned Counsel for the appellant/defendant, while reiterating the above contentions raised before the Courts below submitted that in view of Section 54 of 1888 Code the decree-holder did not acquire any right, title or interest over the property and as such the transfer of the lands made by him (Padmanabha Kamath) in favour of the plaintiff was not a valid one as no title was passed on to the plaintiff. When there was a forfeiture and resumption it shall be presumed that whatever right the earlier occupant had was extinguished and by virtue of restoration of lands such occupant became a holder of fresh grant free from all encumbrances. According to him, Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act also disentitles the plaintiff and her vendor in setting up any claim over the lands. In support of his contentions Sri. Karanth placed reliance on the following Authorities:

(1) BATCHU RAMAYYA v. DHARA SATCHI 20 Madras L.J.635, wherein the High Court of Judicature at Madras, while interpreting the scope of Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act and alienation of service inam lands held that Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act cannot be invoked in favour of alienee of the inam land whose alienation is wholly void under the law.

(2) PRASANNA KUMAR MOOKERJEE v. SRIKANTHA ROUT ILR Vol XL Calcutta 173, the Calcutta High Court, while considering non-payment or discontinuance of payment of rent, acquiescence, etc. held that non-payment of rent or discontinuance of payment of rent did not by itself constitute adverse possession. The relevant observations in the said Decisions regarding the scope of Section 43 and the estoppel are as follows:

"It need not be disputed that if a grantor, who has no title or a defective title or an estate less than what he assumes to grant conveys with warranty or covenants of like import, and subsequently, acquires the title or estate which he purports to convey, or, perfects his title, such after-acquired or perfected title will enure to the grantee as to his benefit by way of estoppel. .. ..

In case of a voluntary private alienation, the deed, either expressly or by necessary implication, shows that the grantor intended to convey and that the grantee expected to become vested with an estate of a particular kind: the deed may consequently found an estoppel, although it contains no technical covenents. .. ..

The case of an execution sale, however, stands on an obviously different footing. The decree-holder does not guarantee the title of the judgment-debtor; the intending purchaser knows that under the law he can acquire nothing beyond the right, title and interest of the judgment-debtor.

.. ..

It was held that the extent of an execution raises an estoppel as much as in the case of conveyance, the contrary view, namely, that an execution sale of property not belonging to the judgment-debtor does not estop him from asserting against the purchaser title subsequently acquired, has been maintained in cases of recognised authority."

(3) In ABDUL REHMAN IBRAHIM v. VINAYAK JAYAVANTRAO DESHMUKH 29 Bombay L.R. 1056, while explaining forfeiture and re-sale of the mortgaged property, the High Court of Bombay held as follows:

"The right to redeem was lost owing to the forfeiture of the land under the original Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code; and that before the plaintiff could succeed he must show that the forfeiture and the revenue sale were due to the default of the mortgagee in not paying the assessment and that the income of the land was sufficient to pay the assessment or that in some way the mortgagor had put the mortgagee in funds wherewith to pay the assessment."

(4) SABAPATHI PILLAY v. THANDAVABOYA ODAYAR ILR Vol. XVIII Madras 309, the High Court of Judicature at Madras held thus:

"A purchaser bought in Court auction specific items of properties said to belong to a member of a joint Hindu family. Subsequently there was a partition decree and only some of these items fell to the share of the judgment-debtor.

Held, that the purchaser was entitled to only such of the items as are common to the sale certificate and the share of the judgment-debtor under the decree, and that he could not compel the judgment-debtor to give him other properties in substitution for the remaining properties comprised in the sale certificate."

(5) In NANAK CHAND v. GANDU RAM AND ORS. AIR 1938 Lahore 360, the High Court of Lahore while explaining the scope of Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act held as follows:

"where certain share of a person is sold by a Court sale though in fact he was not entitled to any such share at the time of the sale but subsequent to sale has become entitled to such share, such person in equity should not be compelled to make good from the share which he subsequently acquires the title conveyed to vendee at the Court sale because there can be no question of equities in the case of Court sale."

(6). NARAYAN GANESH VARDE v. DAUD TARAPORWALA AND ANR., , wherein the Bombay High Court explaining the scope of Section 64 of the Code of Civil Procedure held thus:

"An attachment does not create any interest in the property attached. It does not create any lien in favour of the attaching creditor. It only prevents alienation of the property on the part of the judgment-debtor, so that if the judgment-debtor alienates the property contrary to attachment, then the alienation becomes void as against all claims enforceable under the attachment under Section

64."

(7) VEDU SHIYLAL v. KALU UKHARDU ILR Vol.37 Bombay 692, wherein the Bombay High Court while explaining the scope of Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code and the position of the mortgagor in possession and also the forfeiture of land on account of failure to pay assessment held thus:

" In 1895, the defendants Nos. 1 and 2 mortgaged their lands to the plaintiff one of the conditions of the mortgage being that the mortgagors were to remain in possession of the land, and to pay the Government assessment. Default having occurred in payment of assessment, the Collector demanded payment first from mortgagors and then from the mortgagee. The latter expressed his willingness to pay, if he was placed into possession of the land. The Collector eventually forfeited the land in 1902; but shortly afterwards re-granted it to defendants Nos. 1 and 2 under Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code Bombay Act V of 1879, amended by Bombay Act VI of 1901) on a new tenure. The mortgagee (Plaintiff) next obtained a decree on his mortgage; and in execution of it attached the land. The attachment was, however, raised by the Revenue Authorities under Section 70 of the Code. The plaintiff sued for a declaration that the land was liable to be attached and sold in execution of his decree. The Court of first instance dismissed the suit on the ground that the plaint disclosed no cause of action. On appeal:-

Held, that the land was, under the operation of Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code, vested in defendants Nos. 1 and 2 free from the incumbrance which had been created and from the equities theretofore existing between them and the plaintiff."

Sri Karanth also placed reliance on the Decision of the Allahabad High Court in RADHA BAI v. KAMOD SINGH AND ORS. ILR Vol. XXX Allahabad 38, regarding the effect of Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act; the Decision of the Privy Council in FERNANDO v. GUNATILLAKA ILR 1921 PC 138 and the Decision of the Allahabad High Court in LALA NAND LAL v. SUNDER LAL AND OTHERS AIR (31) 1944 Allahabad 17. Thus contending, Sri Karanth submitted that a finding be given that by virtue of restoration of possession, Syed Basheer Ahmed became a fresh grant-holder without any lien, charge, encumbrance whatsoever which created earlier and by virtue of such restoration Syed Basheer Ahmed acquired right, title and interest over the lands and as such the sale by Syed Basheer Ahmed in favour of Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed was a valid transfer and the plaintiff's vendor Padmanabha Karnath did not acquire any title to the property under the Sale Certificate issued in O.S.No. 146 and 1948 on the file of the High Court of Madras and in Execution Case No. 6 of 1953 on the file of the District Judge, Bangalore. Therefore, the Sale Deed dated 2.1.1956 (Ex.P.1) executed by Padmanabha Kamath in favour of the plaintiff was not a valid one. Consequently, the Rectification Deed dated 16.12.1957 (Ex.P.2). executed by Padmanabha Kamath in favour of the plaintiff also not a valid one. Thus, he submitted that the plaintiff did not acquire any right, title or interest on the lands in question.

9. As an answer to the above contentions of the learned Counsel for the appellant/defendant, Sri Raghavachar, learned Counsel for the plaintiff/respondent, submitted as follows:

Forfeiture of the lands belonged to Syed Basheer Ahmed by the Government had not resulted in extinguishment of his right over the property. Forfeiture was merely postponement of Syed Basheer Ahmed's right of ownership. He was at liberty to re-claim the lands by paying the land revenue. Though forfeiture took place earlier to purchasing the lands by Padmanabha Kamath in Court auction, but by restoration of the lands Padmanabha Kamath became the owner of the lands from the date he purchased the same in Court auction and his sale in favour of plaintiff a valid one. By the said sale plaintiff was put in possession of the lands and continued to be in possession. By restoration, the right of Syed Basheer Ahmed which was kept in abeyance by forfeiture reverted back to the original date and therefore Syed Basheer Ahmed deemed to have, right, title and interest over the lands on the date Padmanabha Kamath obtained a decree in the High Court of Madras against Syed Basheer Ahmed. By Court safe Padmanabha Kamath became absolute owner. Thus, purchase of the lands by Padmanabha Kamath and their sale to plaintiff was quite valid. According to Sri Raghavachar, Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act, has no application to the case on hand. He also submitted that the transfer, if any, made by Syed Basheer Ahmed in favour of the defendant was not valid in law and the same not binding on the plaintiff. Moreover from the date of Exhibit P.1 (Sale deed in favour of the plaintiff) till 1961 it was the plaintiff who was in, possession and enjoyment of the property. Syed Basheer Ahmed was aware of this plaintiff's possession. But, with a view to defraud the plaintiff, Syed Basheer Ahmed entered into secret sale transactions with Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed who in turn sold the lands to the defendant. On the basis of the illegal transaction the defendant attempted to assert her title to the property. According to Sri Raghavachar, Section 54 of the 1888 Code and Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code differ on the effect of restoration. He also submitted that even the Authorities relied upon by Sri Karanth on facts are not applicable to the case on hand. According to him, the Authorities applicable to the case are the following:

(1) BALAJI RAO alias BALAKRISHNA RAO v. SITHA-RAMAYYA XVII Mysore Chief Court Reports 76, 273, wherein it has been held thus:

"Neither the Mysore Land Revenue Code nor the Rules thereunder contemplate the purchase on behalf of Government of land which has been 'forfeited' by reason of non-payment of the land revenue.

A mere forfeiture, while it no doubt operates, so far as Government is concerned, as a resumption of the holding, does not, unless it is followed by a sale, necessarily extinguish rights and equities that may be subsisting as between private parties."

(2) In NAGAPPA GOWDA AND OTHERS v. DODDAMANE GURUPADAPPA AND ANR.AIR 1954 Mysore 39, while dealing with the effect of restoration of forfeited land to the defaulter under Section 54 of the Mysore Land Revenue Code, this Court held thus:

"Mr. Sadanandaswamy has next urged that as the suit land had been forfeited to Government under the provisions of the Mysore Land Revenue Code and transferred to 'Government Phada' in the year 1937 for non-payment of land revenue, whatever rights Sundarasastry acquired under his purchase in Court sale were lost. He represents that the khata of the land stood in the name of a deceased man Krishnabhatta when the land was forfeited; that it was restored to Benavannagowda and that the latter must be deemed to have become its absolute owner again after Sundarasastry lost his rights by the forfeiture. Section 54, Land Revenue Code is, however, clear and a mere forfeiture followed by the restoration to the defaulting 'holder' Benavannagowda does not wipe out all the earlier rights. It has also been held by this Court in '18 Mys. CCR 76 (Q) that neither the Mysore Land Revenue Code nor the rules thereunder contemplate the purchase on behalf of Government land which has been 'forfeited' by reason of non-payment of the land revenue; and a mere forfeiture, while it no doubt operates, so far as Government is concerned, as a resumption of the holding, does not unless it is folfowed by a sale, necessarily extinguish rights and equities that may be subsisting as between private parties. There an exactly similar contention that the restoration of the Khata to the defaulter was equivalent to a new and absolute grant of the land freed from all previously existing rights and equities was negatived. There is therefore no substance in this contention which has been rightly held against Respondent 1 by the District Judge."

(3). In BHOGARA BHARAMAPPA v. RUDRAPPA AND ORS. AIR 1955 Mysore 13, this Court while dealing with forfeiture under the Mysore Land Revenue Code held as follows:

"Under Section 54 it is undoubtedly open to the Deputy Commissioner to forfeit not all the rights liable for forfeiture under that Section, but only those of the immediate defaulter as they stand at the time, if he thinks fit, without affecting tenure, encumbrances and rights derived from the immediate defaulter or his predecessor-in-title.

... ... ...

A mere forfeiture while it no doubt operates so far as Government is concerned, as a resumption of the holding, does not, unless it is followed by a sale, necessarily extinguish rights and equities that may be subsisting as between private parties. It is obviously open to Government, and generally followed as a policy, to restore the forfeited occupancy in the event of the arrears being paid."

(4) AMOLAK BANECHAND AND OTHERS v. DHONDI VALAD KHANDU BHOSLE AND ANR ILR Vol.XXX Bombay 466, wherein while interpreting Sections 56 and 57 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code on the arrears of assessment, forfeiture by Government, mortgage, land in possession of the occupant, regrant by Government to the occupant, suit by mortgagee to recover possession, equities arising out of the conduct of the parties, the High Court of Bombay held as follows:

"Forfeiture ordinarily implies the loss of a legal right by reason of some breach of obligation.

When arrears of assessment are levied by sale, then Section 56 of the Land Revenue Code (Bom. Act V of 1879) in pursuance of an obvious policy, empowers the Collector to sell "freed from all tenures, incumbrances and rights created by the occupant.... or any of his predecessors-in-title or in anywise subsisting against such occupant." Should the Collector otherwise dispose of the occupancy, the Section affords no such protection, and the legal relations must be determined by reference to the ordinary law. So judged, the effect of a forfeiture and the subsequent acquisition of the forfeited property are subject to the control of equities arising out of the conduct of the parties."

(5) In the case of CHANGAPPA v. SATYAPALA RFA No.110 of 1970 - 1974(2) KLJ Sh.N.No. 300, a Division Bench of this Court while explaining the revenue forfeiture of land held as follows:

"A coffee estate of 46 acres 28 guntas belonging to the joint family of S was forfeited in 1932 for arrears of land revenue. In 1957 the forfeiture was annulled and the lands were restored to the Khata of S, on his paying the arrears of land revenue. S sold the lands to defts for discharging debts contracted for obtaining restoration of the lands. The sons of S (S being dead) sued for partition and possession and for mesne profits.

Held, (1) When the order of forfeiture was annulled and the Khata restored, the old title got revived for the benefit of all the members of the joint family, subject to equities, (i.e.) the liability to contribute their share of the amount paid for obtaining restoration."

Thus arguing Sri Raghavachar submitted that mere forfeiture does not necessarily extinguish rights and equities between private parties. According to him, after forfeiture it is the normal practice of the Government to restore the property to the occupant in the event of the arrears being paid. When arrears of revenue are paid, the land will be restored to the occupant and by such restoration the position of the occupant will be as that of his original position. According to him, forfeiture does not take away the earlier rights and equities that may be subsisting as between the private parties. He submitted that the plaintiff purchased the property for a valuable consideration and started cultivating the same. Whereas the defendant on the basis of the secret and illegal sale in her favour attempted to deny the plaintiff's title to the property. The conduct of the defendant was nothing but a resultant of fraud played by Syed Basheer Ahmed, the original owner. As such the finding shall be that Padmanabha Kamath had acquired through Court auction sale a valid title to the lands and the transfer made by him in favour of the plaintiff was a valid one. By such sale transaction dated 2.1.1956 (Ex.P.1) the plaintiff acquired right, title and interest over the lands in question. Thus the sale transaction between the defendant and her vendors or prede-cessors-in-title was neither valid nor binding on the plaintiff.

10. In order to appreciate the different stand taken by both sides it is proper to extract hereunder the following provisions of the 1888 Code and the Rules and also the Bombay Land Revenue Code and Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act. Section 54 of the 1888 Code reads thus:

"54. Arrears of land revenue due on account of land by any landholder shall be a paramount charge on the holding and every part thereof, failure in payment of which shall make the occupancy or alienated holding, together with all rights of the occupant or holder over all trees, crops, buildings and things attached to the land, or permanently fastened to anything attached to the land, liable to forfeiture, whereupon the Deputy Commissioner may levy all sums in arrears by sale of the occupancy or alienated holding, or may otherwise dispose of such occupancy or alienated holding under rules or orders made in this behalf under Section 233, and such occupancy or alienated holding when disposed of, whether by sale as aforesaid, or by transfer to another person or otherwise howsoever, except by restoration to the defaulter, shall, unless the Deputy Commissioner otherwise directs, be deemed to be freed from all tenures, rights, incumbrances and equities theretofore created by the occupant or holder or any of his predecessors in title or in anywise subsisting as against such occupant or holder, but so as not to affect the rights of kadim tenants or permanent tenants in alienated holdings."

Section 55 of the 1888 Code reads thus:

"55. It shall be lawful for the Deputy Commissioner, in the event of the forfeiture of a holding through any defaulter in payment or other failure occasioning such forfeiture under the last preceding Section or any law for the time being in force, to take immediate possession of the land embraced within such holding, and to dispose of the same by placing it in the possession of the purchaser or other person entitled to hold it according to the provisions of this Act or any other law for the time being in force."

Section 76 of the 1888 Code speaks about the occupant or holder liable to continue for all demands until the occupancy pr holding is duly relinquished or transferred. It reads thus:

"76. The registered occupant or the holder of alienated land shall continue liable for the land revenue due on the occupancy or alienated holding and for all other lawful demands of Government in respect of the same, until such time as the occupancy or alienated holding is relinquished or transferred, under any of the provisions of this Act, to the name of any other person; and the Deputy Commissioner shall not be bound in any case to recognize any person to whom any interest in any portion of an occupancy or alienated holding has been assigned, unless the transfer has been recorded in the revenue records in accordance with the foregoing provisions."

Chapter XI of the 1888 Code deals with the realisation of the land revenue and other revenue demands. Section 142 which comes under Chapter XI prescribes that it is the primary responsibility of the registered occupant to pay land revenue of unalienated land. It reads thus:

"142. The registered occupant shall be primarily responsible to Government for the land revenue of unalienated land, and the superior holder shall be primarily responsible to Government for the land revenue of alienated land.

On failure of the person primarily responsible to Government for the land revenue to pay the same according to the rules legally prescribed in that behalf, it may be recovered from the co-occupant of unalienated land or the co-sharer of alienated land, or in either case from the inferior holder or person in actual occupation of the land.

When the land revenue is recovered from any such occupant, co-sharer, inferior holder, or other person, he shall be allowed credit for all payments which he may have made to the registered occupant, or superior holder, or to his landlord, at or after the prescribed or usual times of such payments, and he shall be entitled to credit in account with the registered occupant or superior holder or with his landlord for the amount recovered from him."

Section 152 which regulates payment of land revenue reads thus:

"152. Land revenue, except when it is recovered under the provisions of the foregoing Sections 146 to 150, shall be payable at such times, in such instalments, to such persons and at such places as may, from time to time, be determined by the orders of Government."

Section 153 says who is the defaulter. It reads:

"153. Any sum not so paid becomes thereupon an arrear of land revenue; and the persons responsible for it, whether under the provisions of Section 142 or of any other Section, become defaulters."

Section 156 which speaks about the recovery of arrears reads thus:

"156. An arrear of land revenue may be recovered by the following processes:-

(a) by serving a written notice of demand on the defaulter under Section 158;

(b) by forfeiture of the occupancy or alienated holding in respect of which the arrear is due under Section 159;

(c) by distraint and sale of the defaulter's movable property under Section 160;

(d) by sale of the defaulter's immovable property under Section 161;

(e) by arrest and imprisonment of the defaulter under Section 163 and 164;

(f) in the case of alienated holdings consisting of entire villages, or shares of villages by attachment of the said villages or shares of villages under Sections 165 to 169,"

Section 159 reads as under;

"159. The Deputy Commissioner may declare the occupancy or alienated holding in respect of which an arrear of land revenue is due to be forfeited to Government, and sell or otherwise dispose of the same under the provisions of Section 54 and 55, and credit the proceeds, if any to the defaulter's accounts."

Section 161 is as under;

"161. The Deputy Commissioner may also cause the right, title and interest of the defaulter in any immovable property, other than the land on which the arrear is due, to be sold."

Rule 38 of the Land Revenue Rules empowers the Deputy Commissioner that in his discretion he may restore any forfeited occupancy or alienated holding at any time on payment of the arrear in respect of which the forfeiture was incurred together with all costs and charges lawfully due by the defaulter.

11. The relevant provisions of the Bombay Land Revenue Code, 1879, are Sections 56, 57 and 151. Section 56 read as under:

"56. Arrears of land revenue due on account of land by any landholder shall be a paramount charge on the holding and every part thereof, failure in payment of which shall make the occupancy or alienated holding together with all rights of the occupant or holder over all trees, crops, buildings and things attached to the land or permanently fastened to anything attached to the land liable to forfeiture, whereupon the Collector may levy all sums in arrears by sale of the occupancy or alienated holding or may otherwise dispose of such occupancy or alienated holding under rules made in this behalf under Section 214, and such occupancy or alienated holding when disposed of, whether by sale as aforesaid, or by restoration to the defaulter, or by transfer to another person or otherwise howsoever, shall, unless the Collector otherwise directs, be deemed to be freed from all tenures, rights, incumbrances and equities theretofore created in favour of any person other than the Government in respect of such occupancy or holding."

Section 57 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code reads thus:

"57. It shall be lawful for the Collector in the event of the forfeiture of a holding through any default in payment or other failure occasioning such forfeiture under the last Section or any law for the time being in force, to take immediate possession of such holding, and to dispose of the same by placing it in the possession of the purchaser or other person entitled to hold it according to the provisions of this Act or any other law for the time being in force."

Section 151 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code reads thus:

"151. The said processes may be employed for the recovery of arrears of former years as well as of the current year, but the preferences given by Sections 137 and 138 shall apply only to demands for the current year:

Provided that any process commenced in the current year shall be entitled to the said preference, notwithstanding that it may not be fully executed within that year."

12. Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act deals with transfer by unauthorised person who subsequently acquires interest in the property transferred. It reads thus:

"43. Where a person fraudulently or erroneously represents that he is authorised to transfer certain immoveabte property, and professes to transfer such property for consideration, such transfer shall, at the option of the transferee, operate on any interest which the transferor may acquire in such property, at any time during which the contract of transfer subsists.

Nothing in this Section shall impair the right of transferees in good faith for consideration without notice of the existence of the said option."

Section 6(i) of the Transfer of Property Act reads as under:

"6. Property of any kind may be transferred, except as otherwise provided by this Act or by any other law for the time being in force:

... ...

(i) Nothing in this Section shall be deemed to authorize a tenant having an untransferrable right of occupancy, the farmer of an estate in respect of which default has been made in paying revenue, or the lessee of an estate under the management of a Court of Wards, to assign his interest as such tenant, farmer or lessee."

13. Section 64 of the Code of Civil Procedure which prohibits private plienation of property after attachment reads thus:

"Section 64. Private alienation of property after attachment to be void:-

Where an attachment has been made, any private transfer or delivery of the property attached or of any interest therein and any payment to the judgment debtor of any debt, dividend or other monies contrary to such attachment, shall be void as against all claims enforceable under the attachment.."

14. Though at first sight Section 54 of the 1888 Code and Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code look as identical, on a close scrutiny of the above 2 Sections it can be seen that in Section 54 of the 1888 Code a departure has been made, viz., that on forfeiture of land its disposal whether by sale or transfer to another person or otherwise howsoever De deemed to be freed from all tenures, rights, incumbrances and equities theretofore created by the occupant or holder or any of his predecessors in title or in anywise subsisting as against such occupant or holder except by restoration to the defaulter which means if there is any restoration of the land to the defaulter be deemed to be freed from all tenures, rights, incumbrances and equities thereto created by the occupant or holder or any of his predecessors in title or in anywise subsisting as against such occupant or holder will revive. Whereas Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code the word 'except' is not there. From this it is clear that Legislature thought all charges, encumbrances, etc. on the property which were subsisting at the time of forfeiture will revive in case such forfeited lands are restored to the original occupant.

15. The Authorities on which reliance was placed by Sri Karanth are those which considered the scope of Section 56 of the Bombay Land Revenue Code or the effect of Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act and not on Section 54 of the 1888 Code. On comparison, the Authorities relied upon by Sri Karanth have no application to the case on hand so also Section 43 of the Transfer of Property Act. On the other hand, the Authorities on which reliance was placed by Sri Raghavachar in all fours are applicable to the case on hand. Where Section 54 of the 1888 Code was an issue for consideration, this Court found that forfeiture does not extinguish the right and equity between private parties and also held that by restoration the properties have been reverted back to the original position. Apart from this, the evidence available in the case goes to show that subsequent to Court auction Padmanabha Kamath sold the land to the plaintiff who continued in possession till 1961. There is nothing to show that during this period either Syed Basheer Ahmed or the Government was in possession of the lands. Further, there is nothing to show that after the arrears were paid and before the restoration a request was made to the Court by auction purchaser that he is relinquishing his rights over the lands. The possession of the plaintiff was also not an illegal one, as her vendor was put in possession of the lands at the instance of the executing Court. The Judgment debtor did not choose to challenge the same. Thus, the plaintiff's vendor was in lawful possession at the time of the sale deed in favour of the plaintiff (Exhibit P.1). He (Plaintiff's vendor-Padmanabha Kamath) had absolute right to transfer the lands which he transferred to the plaintiff under the sale deed, Exhibit P.1. Hence, restoration of land in favour of the Judgment-debtor Syed Basheer Ahmed - did not make him a fresh grantee. But, on the other hand he was placed in the original position, viz., position in which he was the owner on the date of forfeiture. As an owner he was entitled to be in possession. When he suffered a decree and his properties were brought to sale to satisfy the decree, the Judgment-debtor (Syed Basheer Ahmed) did not choose to challenge it. Hence, the purchase by Padmanabha Kamath a valid one. The purchase of the lands by Padmanabha Kamath in Court auction and the sale by him to the plaintiff were all earlier to the sale transactions that took place between Syed Basheer Ahmed and Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed and the subsequent sale by Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed to the defendant on 1.4.1966. On the date of sale by Syed Basheer Ahmed in favour of Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed whatever rights Syed Basheer Ahmed had on the lands had already been conferred on Padmanabha Kamath by the Court auction sale and such rights in turn were transferred by Padmanabha Kamath in favour of the plaintiff under the sale deed Exhibit P.1. Hence, the sale transactions between Syed Basheer Ahmed and Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed and between Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed and the defendant were inoperative and not binding on the plaintiff. The possession of the defendant, if any, was also illegal and unauthorised.

16. Hence, my finding as to the legal effect of the order of the restoration of the land in favour of Syed Basheer Ahmed is that it revived his ownership and whatever right, title and interest he had over the lands as on the date of forfeiture of the said lands reverted back. By purchasing the said lands in Court auction, Padmanabha Kamath became an absolute owner of the lands. Transfer of the said lands by him to the plaintiff a valid one. Thus the plaintiff acquired right of ownership over the lands. Whereas, the sales by Syed Basheer Ahmed to Bathulla Begum and Nazir Ahmed from whom the defendant purchased the lands in question were neither valid nor binding on the plaintiff, as prior to these sales whatever right, title and interest Syed Basheer Ahmed had over these lands in fact had extinguished and had vested in Padmanabha Kamath and he in turn had conveyed the same to the plaintiff by way of sale.

ADMISSIBILITY OF A DOCUMENT

R.V.E. Venkatachala Gounder v. Arulmigu Viswesaraswami & V.P. Temple & Another reported in [(2003) 8 SCC 752] "20. The learned counsel for the defendant-respondent has relied on Roman Catholic Mission v. State of Madras [AIR 1966 SC 1457] in support of his submission that a document not admissible in evidence, though brought on record, has to be excluded from consideration. We do not have any dispute with the proposition of law so laid down in the abovesaid case. However, the present one is a case which calls for the correct position of law being made precise. Ordinarily, an objection to the admissibility of evidence should be taken when it is tendered and not subsequently. The objections as to admissibility of documents in evidence may be classified into two classes: (i) an objection that the document which is sought to be proved is itself inadmissible in evidence; and (ii) where the objection does not dispute the admissibility of the document in evidence but is directed towards the mode of proof alleging the same to be irregular or insufficient. In the first case, merely because a document has been marked as "an exhibit", an objection as to its admissibility is not excluded and is available to be raised even at a later stage or even in appeal or revision. In the latter case, the objection should be taken when the evidence is tendered and once the document has been admitted in evidence and marked as an exhibit, the objection that it should not have been admitted in evidence or that the mode adopted for proving the document is irregular cannot be allowed to be raised at any stage subsequent to the marking of the document as an exhibit. The latter proposition is a rule of fair play. The crucial test is whether an objection, if taken at the appropriate point of time, would have enabled the party tendering the evidence to cure the defect and resort to such mode of proof as would be regular. The omission to object becomes fatal because by his failure the party entitled to object allows the party tendering the evidence to act on an assumption that the opposite party is not serious about the mode of proof. On the other hand, a prompt objection does not prejudice the party tendering the evidence, for two reasons: firstly, it enables the court to apply its mind and pronounce its decision on the question of admissibility then and there; and secondly, in the event of finding of the court on the mode of proof sought to be adopted going against the party tendering the evidence, the opportunity of seeking indulgence of the court for permitting a regular mode or method of proof and thereby removing the objection raised by the opposite party, is available to the party leading the evidence. Such practice and procedure is fair to both the parties. Out of the two types of objections, referred to hereinabove, in the latter case, failure to raise a prompt and timely objection amounts to waiver of the necessity for insisting on formal proof of a document, the document itself which is sought to be proved being admissible in evidence. In the first case, acquiescence would be no bar to raising the objection in a superior court."


In a decision reported in Bipin Shantilal Panchal vs. State of Gujarat and another (2001 (3) SCC 1), the Apex Court was pleased to consider the delay in disposal of a criminal case, where the Trial Court disallowed the objections of admissibility of certain documents, It is an archaic practice that during the evidence collecting stage, whenever any objection is raised regarding admissibility of any material in evidence the court does not proceed further without passing order on such objection. But the fall out of the above practice is this: Suppose the trial court, in a case, upholds a particular objection and excludes the material from being admitted in evidence and then proceeds with the trial and disposes of the case finally. If the appellate or revisional court, when the same question is re-canvassed, could take a different view on the admissibility of that material in such cases the appellate court would be deprived of the benefit of that evidence, because that was not put on record by the trial court. In such a situation the higher court may have to send the case back to the trial court for recording that evidence and then to dispose of the case afresh. Why should the trial prolong like that unnecessarily on account of practices created by ourselves. Such practices, when realised through the course of long period to be hindrances which impede steady and swift progress of trial proceedings, must be recast or re-moulded to give way for better substitutes which would help acceleration of trial proceedings. .... When so recast, the practice which can be a better substitute is this: Whenever an objection is raised during evidence taking stage regarding the admissibility of any material or item of oral evidence the trial court can make a note of such objection and mark the objected document tentatively as an exhibit in the case (or record the objected part of the oral evidence) subject to such objections to be decided at the last stage in the final judgment. If the court finds at the final stage that the objection so raised is sustainable the judge or magistrate can keep such evidence excluded from consideration. In our view there is no illegality in adopting such a course. (However, we make it clear that if the objection relates to deficiency of stamp duty of a document the court has to decide the objection before proceeding further. For all other objections the procedure suggested above can be followed.)

WHEN IMPORTANT FILE IS NOT PRODUCED BEFORE COURT TO COVER UP FRAUD INVOLVED IN THE MATTER

Apex Court in the case of Gopal Krishnaji Ketkar v. Mohamed Haji Latif and Ors., AIR 1968 SC 1413, 1968 SCR (3) 862 for non-production of the file, which is a very important file in this case. The Government was reluctant to produce the said file because of the fraud involved in the matter. That is the reason why it was not stated in the letter produced along with the aforesaid memo that further efforts will be made to trace out the file and the same would be produced soon after it is traced. On the other hand, it is stated that this Court may proceed to pass appropriate orders in the case. Even till this day the file has not been produced and no attempt is made to trace it. This would clearly go to show that the Government does not want to produce the said file. Had the said file been produced before this Court, the truth would have come to light and the extent of collusion, fraud and conspiracy involved in the matter could have been exposed. This is yet another case to hold that fraud unravels everything.

COURT POWERS TO ISSUE DIRECTIONS TO EXECUTIVE

The Supreme Court in Kanhaiya Lal Sethia Vs. UOI (1997) 6 SCC 573 held that it is not open to a petitioner to seek a direction to the Union of India to introduce an official Bill in the Parliament or to sponsor a Private Member‟s Bill to be introduced on the subject. It was held that Courts do not interfere in policy matters of the State unless the policy violates the mandate of the Constitution or any statutory provision or is otherwise actuated by mala fides.

Peoples Union for Democratic Rights Vs. Ministry of Home Affairs ILR (1987) Del 235 have held that where the power to do or not to do a thing is optional and discretionary and there is no statutory obligation, direction to the Executive to do a particular thing cannot be given even where matter is of public importance.

Common Cause (A Regd. Society) v. Union of India (2008) 5 SCC 511 holding that Courts cannot create rights where none exist nor they can go on making orders which are incapable of enforcement or direct legislation or proclaim that they are playing the role of a law maker merely for an exhibition of judicial valour.

A seven-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in P. Ramachandra Rao Vs. State of Karnataka (2002) 4 SCC 578 held that instances of judicial excessivism that fly in the face of the doctrine of separation of powers which envisages that the legislature should make law, the Executive should execute it and the judiciary should settle disputes in accordance with the existing law; the Court went to the extent of holding various dictas of two- Judge and three-Judge Benches of the Supreme Court in Public Interest Litigations to be not legitimate exercise of judicial power. It was observed that giving directions of a legislative nature is not a legitimate judicial function.

In State of Himachal Pradesh Vs. Umed Ram Sharma (1986) 2 SCC 68, the High Court had directed the State Government to allot a particular sum for expenditure on account of a particular project. The Supreme Court posed the questions, how far the Court could give directions which are administrative in nature and whether any direction could be given to build roads where there are no roads and whether the Court could direct that the administration should report from time to time so that action taken can be supervised by the Court. The Supreme Court found that the Executive was not oblivious of its obligation though in its sense of priority there may have been certain lethargy and inaction. It was observed that there had been at the highest a slow application of energy in the action by the Executive. In these circumstances, it was held that by the process of judicial review, if the High Court activates or energizes executive action, it should do so cautiously.

State of Himachal Pradesh Vs. A Parent of a Student of Medical College, Simla (1985) 3 SCC 169 holding the directions of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh in a public interest litigation for implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Anti Ragging Committee to be wholly unsustainable. It was held that though the direction of the High Court ostensibly did no more than call upon the Chief Secretary to inform the Court as to what action the State Government proposed to take on the recommendations to initiate legislation for curbing ragging, it was, in fact and substance, intended to require the State Government to initiate legislation on the subject. It was held that such a direction was nothing short of an indirect attempt to compel the State Government to initiate legislation and which the Court was not entitled to do. It was further held that it is entirely a matter for the Executive Branch of the Government to decide whether or not to introduce a particular legislation and is not a matter which is within the sphere of the functions and duties allocated to the judiciary under the Constitution. The Supreme Court held that the Court cannot group the function assigned to the Executive and the Legislature under the Constitution and it cannot even indirectly require the Executive to introduce a particular legislation or the Legislature to pass it or assume to itself a supervisory role over the law making activities of the Executive and the Legislature.

JUDICIAL REVIEW IN CONTRACTUAL MATTERS

The Supreme Court in Rajasthan Housing Board v. G.S. Investments (2007) 1 SCC 477 reiterated that the Court while exercising powers of judicial review in contractual matters is concerned primarily with infirmities with the decision making process and cannot examine the details of the terms of the contract.

GRIDCO Limited Vs. Sri Sadananda Doloi AIR 2012 SC 729 also it was observed that judicial review in contractual matters cannot extend to the Court acting as appellate authority sitting in judgment or sitting in the armchair of the administrator to decide whether a more reasonable decision or course of action could have been taken in the circumstances. The Apex Court held that, so long as the action is not shown to be vitiated or is not demonstrably in outrageous defiance of logic, the writ court would do well to respect the decision under challenge.


SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE AND CASE LAW

The requirement to comply with the mandatory provisions of Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act came up for consideration of this Court in Ouseph Varghese vs. Joseph Aley & Ors. (1969) 2 SCC 539 wherein it was held: "The plaintiff did not plead either in the plaint or at any subsequent stage that he was ready and willing to perform the agreement pleaded in the written statement of defendant. A suit for specific performance has to conform to the requirements prescribed in Forms 47 and 48 of the 1st Schedule in the Civil Procedure Code. In a suit for specific performance it is incumbent on the plaintiff not only to set out agreement on the basis of which he sues in all its details, he must go further and plead that he has applied to the defendant specifically to perform the agreement pleaded by him but the defendant has not done so. He must further plead that he has been and is still ready and willing to specifically perform his part of the agreement. Neither in the plaint nor at any subsequent stage of the suit the plaintiff has taken those pleas. As observed by this Court in Pt. Prem Raj vs. D.L.F. Housing and Construction (Private) (Ltd.) and Another, [reported in 1968 (3) SCR 648] that it is well settled that in a suit for specific performance the plaintiff should allege that he is ready and willing to perform his part of the contract and in the absence of such an allegation the suit is not maintainable."

Without noticing the said decision, however, another two Judges bench in R.C. Chandiok and Anr. vs. Chuni Lal Sabharwal and Ors. reported in (1970) 3 SCC 140 stated: "6.Readiness and willingness cannot be treated as a straight jacket formula. These have to be determined from the entirety of facts and circumstances relevant to the intention and conduct of the party concerned. In our judgment there was nothing to indicate that the appellants at any stage were not ready and willing to perform their part of the contract."

In Abdul Khader Rowther vs. P.K. Sara Bai and Ors. reported in AIR 1990 SC 682 this Court followed Ouseph Varghese (supra) holding: "His plaint does not contain the requisite pleadings necessary to obtain a decree for specific performance. This equitable remedy recognized by the Specific Relief Act cannot be had on the basis of such pleadings and evidence."

The question again came up for consideration before a three Judge bench of this Court in Syed Dastagir vs. T.R. Gopalakrishna Setty reported in (1999) 6 SCC 337. "13. It was held in the case of R.C. Chandiok v. Chuni Lal Sabharwal (1970) 3 SCC 140 that readiness and willingness cannot be treated as a strait-jacket formula. This has to be determined from the entirety of the facts and circumstances relevant to the intention and conduct of the party concerned. Finally, we have no hesitation to hold that the pleading as made by the plaintiff not only shows his readiness and willingness to perform his part of the obligation under the contract but by tendering the total amount shows he has performed his part of the obligation. We also construe such a plea to be a plea of "readiness and willingness" as required under Section 16(c). In view of the aforesaid findings we hold that the High Court committed an error by defeating the claim of the plaintiff on the basis of a wrong interpretation of his plea in terms of the said section." ................."10. ..It is true that in the pleading the specific words "ready and willing to perform" in this nomenclature are not there but from the aforesaid plea, could it be read that the plaintiff was not ready and willing to perform his part of that obligation ? In other words, can it be said that he has not pleaded that he is "ready and willing" to perform his part ? Courts cannot draw any inference in the abstract or to give such hypertechnical interpretation to defeat a claim of specific performance which defeats the very objective for which the said Act was enacted. The section makes it obligatory to a plaintiff seeking enforcement of specific performance that he must not only come with clean hands but there should be a plea that he has performed or has been and is ready and willing to perform his part of the obligation. Unless this is there, Section 16(c) creates a bar to the grant of this discretionary relief. As we have said, for this it is not necessary to plea by any specific words, if through any words it reveals the readiness and willingness of the plaintiff to perform his part of the obligation then it cannot be said there is non-compliance of the said section."


Motilal Jain vs. Ramdasi Devi and Ors. reported in (2000) 6 SCC 420. "9.It is thus clear that an averment of readiness and willingness in the plaint is not a mathematical formula which should only be in specific words. If the averments in the plaint as a whole do clearly indicate the readiness and willingness of the plaintiff to fulfil his part of the obligations under the contract which is the subject-matter of the suit, the fact that they are differently worded will not militate against the readiness and willingness of the plaintiff in a suit for specific performance of contract for sale. In the instant case a perusal of paras 6 to 11 of the plaint does clearly indicate the readiness and willingness of the plaintiff. The only obligation which he had to comply with was payment of balance of consideration. It was stated that he demanded the defendant to receive the balance of consideration of Rs. 8000 and execute the sale deed. The defendant was in Patna (Bihar) at the time of notices and when he came back to his place the plaintiff filed the suit against him. In support of his case, he adduced the evidence of PW 1 and PW 2. The plaintiff had parted with two-thirds of the consideration at the time of execution of Ext. 2. There is no reason why he would not pay the balance of one-third consideration of Rs. 8000 to have the property conveyed in his favour."


In Pushparani S. Sundaram and Ors. vs. Pauline Manomani James and Ors. reported in (2002) 9 SCC 582 it is stated: "5So far there being a plea that they were ready and willing to perform their part of the contract is there in the pleading, we have no hesitation to conclude, that this by itself is not sufficient to hold that the appellants were ready and willing in terms of Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act. This requires not only such plea but also proof of the same. Now examining the first of the two circumstances, how could mere filing of this suit, after exemption was granted be a circumstance about willingness or readiness of the plaintiff. This at the most could be the desire of the plaintiff to have this property. It may be for such a desire this suit was filed raising such a plea. But Section 16(c) of the said Act makes it clear that mere plea is not sufficient, it has to be proved. ................ Next and the only other circumstance relied upon is about the tendering of Rs. 5000, which was made on 2.3.1982 which was even prior to the grant of the exemption. Such small feeder to the vendor is quite often made to keep a vendor in good spirit. In this case the only other payment made by the plaintiff was Rs.5000 at the time of execution of the agreement of sale. Thus, the total amount paid was insignificantly short of the balance amount for the execution of the sale deed. Thus in our considered opinion the said two circumstances taken together, is too weak a filament to stand even to build an image of readiness and willingness. Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act requires that not only there be a plea of readiness and willingness but it has to be proved so. It is not in dispute that except for a plea there is no other evidence on record to prove the same except the two circumstances. It is true that mere absence of a plaintiff coming in the witness box by itself may not be a factor to conclude that he was not ready and willing in a given case as erroneously concluded by the High Court."

In Veerayee Ammal vs. Seeni Ammal reported in (2002) 1 SCC 134 the law is stated in the following terms: "11. When, concededly, the time was not of the essence of the contract, the appellant-plaintiff was required to approach the court of law within a reasonable time. A Constitution Bench of this Hon'ble Court in Chand Rani v. Kamal Rani (1993) 1 SCC 519 held that in case of sale of immovable property there is no presumption as to time being of the essence of the contract. Even if it is not of the essence of contract, the court may infer that it is to be performed in a reasonable time if the conditions are (i) from the express terms of the contract; (ii) from the nature of the property; and (iii) from the surrounding circumstances, for example, the object of making the contract. For the purposes of granting relief, the reasonable time has to be ascertained from all the facts and circumstances of the case.

In K. S. Vidyanadam v. Vairavan (1997) 3 SCC 1 this Court held : "Even where time is not of the essence of the contract, the plaintiff must perform his part of the contract within a reasonable time and reasonable time should be determined by looking at all the surrounding circumstances including the express terms of the contract and the nature of the property."

In Lourdu Mari David and Ors. vs. Louis Chinnaya Arogiaswamy and Ors. reported in (1996) 5 SCC 589 this Court observed: "2. It is settled law that the party who seeks to avail of the equitable jurisdiction of a court and specific performance being equitable relief, must come to the court with clean hands. In other words the party who makes false allegations does not come with clean hands and is not entitled to the equitable relief."

In Lalit Kumar Jain and Anr. vs. Jaipur Traders Corporation Pvt. Ltd. reported in (2002) 5 SCC 383 this Court observed: "9. We are of the view that the High Court failed to address itself to certain crucial factors which disentitles the plaintiff to equitable relief. The High Court reversed a well-considered judgment of the trial court without adverting to the reasoning of the trial court except in a cursory manner. In the view we are taking, it is not necessary for us to dilate on various legal issues debated before us. We shall proceed on the basis that in law the plaintiff could annul the contract of sale before the act of registration got completed and title passed to the appellants. We shall further assume that the plaintiff in fact rescinded the contract with effect from the date of expiry of the time stipulated in the fourth and final notice dated 3-7-1973. If such rescission or termination of contract is not justifiable on facts or having regard to the conduct of the plaintiff, the equitable relief under Section 27 or 31 of the Specific Relief Act has to be denied to the plaintiff, no further question arises for consideration. In such a case, the appellants' plea has to be accepted and the suit is liable to be dismissed."

Yet again in Nirmala Anand vs. Advent Corporation (P) Ltd. and Ors. reported in (2002) 8 SCC 146 this Court observed: "6. It is true that grant of decree of specific performance lies in the discretion of the court and it is also well settled that it is not always necessary to grant specific performance simply for the reason that it is legal to do so. It is further well settled that the court in its discretion can impose any reasonable condition including payment of an additional amount by one party to the other while granting or refusing decree of specific performance."

BENAMI PURCHASE OF PROPERTY IN WIFES NAME AND ITS CONSEQUENCE UNDER LAW 2008 SC

Binapani Paul vs Pratima Ghosh & Ors AIR 2008 SC 543, Acceptance of acknowledgement of title comes in various forms. It may be before the transaction is entered into and may be subsequent thereto. The court has to gather the intention of the concerned parties on the basis of the circumstances surrounding the transaction and not from the conduct of the parties only at a subsequent stage. 1.1. The father had no apparent motive for entering into a benami transaction. The eagerness of the father to purchase the suit property can be seen from the evidences on record. If the father intended to have a benami transaction, he would not get his wife described as daughter of somebody instead of his own wife. Such unusual step on the part of the father leads to the conclusion that he intended to purchase the suit property for the benefit of his wife. 1.2. The execution of a power of attorney may not be of importance but then the backdrop of events and the manner in which the power of attorney was drafted as well as the very fact that the father himself became an attesting witness thereto plays a significant role. If the father intended to enter into a benami transaction, his intention would have been clear and unambiguous or the same would have been explicit from the surrounding circumstances which were not. 1.3. Acceptance of acknowledgment of title may be before the transaction is entered into and may be subsequent thereto. The Court has to gather the intention of the concerned parties on the basis of the circumstances surrounding the transaction and not from the conduct of the parties only at a subsequent stage. Whether the father intended to enter into a benami transaction in the name of his wife, either surrounding circumstances leading to the inference that he had no such intention must be gathered from the totality of the circumstances both preceding and subsequent to the transaction in question or if the intention of the person providing for the fund for purchasing the property has a major role to play, how it was given also assumes some significance. On evidence on record, the suit property was mutated in her name. When a mutation takes place with the knowledge of the husband, although not conclusive, would provide for a link in the chain. 1.4. The true character of a transaction is governed by the intention of the person who contributed the purchase money and the question as to what his intention was has to be decided by four factors viz. surrounding circumstances, relationship of the parties, motives governing their action in bringing about the transaction and their subsequent conduct. All he four factors have to be considered cumulatively. The primary motive of the transaction was security for the wife and seven minor daughters as they were not protected by the law as then prevailing. The legal position obtaining at the relevant time may be considered to be a relevant factor for proving peculiar circumstances existing and the conduct of the father is demonstrated by his having signed the registered power of attorney. 1.4. The fact that the son allowed the order of mutation to attain finality would be a pointer to suggest that despite such bitter relationship between the parties, he accepted the same more so, when mutation of one's name confers upon him a variety of rights and obligations. Respondent no. 1 did not examine herself as a witness. An adverse inference should be drawn against her. If ouster is to be pleaded, the title has to be acknowledged. Once such a plea is taken, irrespective of the fact that as to whether any other plea is raised or not, conduct of the parties would be material. If, therefore, plea of ouster is not established, a fortiori the title of other co-sharers must be held to have been accepted. The son could not have turned around and challenged the title of the appellant and other respondents. 1.5. The suit property was purchased before the Hindu Women's Right to Property Act, 1937 came into force. Hence the Act has no application to the present case. 1.6. The Dayabagha School of Hindu law does not prohibit gift of immoveable property in favour of his wife by her husband. The same has nothing to do with the benami transaction of the property and to determine the nature of the transaction. Burden of proof as regards the benami nature of transaction was also on the respondent. Court in Valliammal (D) By LRS. v. Subramaniam and Others [(2004) 7 SCC 233] wherein a Division Bench of this Court held: "13. This Court in a number of judgments has held that it is well established that burden of proving that a particular sale is benami lies on the person who alleges the transaction to be a benami. The essence of a benami transaction is the intention of the party or parties concerned and often, such intention is shrouded in a thick veil which cannot be easily pierced through. But such difficulties do not relieve the person asserting the transaction to be benami of any part of the serious onus that rests on him, nor justify the acceptance of mere conjectures or surmises, as a substitute for proof.

KARNATAKA LAND LAWS

CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS