VUNDAVALLI RATNA MANIKYAM Vs. V.P.P.R.N. PRASADA RAO
LAWS(SC)-2020-2-19
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 06,2020

Vundavalli Ratna Manikyam Appellant
VERSUS
V.P.P.R.N. Prasada Rao Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

S. SARALADEVI SURANA VS. G. S. SUNDARARAJ [LAWS(MAD)-2021-7-297] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

M.R.SHAH,J. - (1.)Leave granted.
(2.)Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common judgment and order dated 25.07.2014 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and for the State of Andhra Pradesh in Appeal Suit No. 3511 of 1992, whereby the High Court has allowed the said appeal suit filed by the respondent herein - original plaintiff and has quashed and set aside the judgment and decree passed by the learned trial Court in O.S. No. 55 of 1986 dismissing the suit and consequently decreeing the suit of the respondent herein - original plaintiff for specific performance of the agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981, the original defendants in O.S. No. 55 of 1986 have preferred the present appeal.
(3.)The facts leading to the present appeal in nutshell are as under:
That one Nimmalapudi Ramaswami - husband of original defendant no.1 was the original owner of the suit land. That the said Nimmalapudi Ramaswami agreed to sell the suit land by executing agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981 in favour of the original plaintiff for a sale consideration of Rs.59,200/-. He received an advance sale consideration of Rs.26,500/- on the same day. As per the agreement to sell, the balance sale consideration was required to be paid within four months. However, the time was extended making endorsement on the reverse of the original agreement to sell for another period of eight months. But during the extended period, the State Government initiated land acquisition proceedings for acquiring the suit property. The original land owner - Nimmalapudi Ramaswami and the plaintiff made a representation for deleting the suit property from the proposed land acquisition. At this stage, it is required to be noted that in the representation made to the Assistant Collector, the original land owner categorically admitted that he has sold the suit land to the plaintiff for consideration and delivered possession of the land to the plaintiff. The plaintiff also stated in the said representation that he has purchased the property under the agreement to sell and has taken possession of the property in question. That thereafter the State Government issued notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, vide notification dated 21.09.1981.

3.1 The said notification came to be challenged by the plaintiff and another by filing Writ Petition No. 3161 of 1983. The said writ petition came to be allowed and the notification came to be set aside by judgment and order dated 22.11.1984. Appeal against the judgment of the High Court came to be dismissed by the Division Bench vide order dated 4.2.1985. After the death of the original land owner - Nimmalapudi Ramaswami, the original defendant no.1 - wife of Nimmalapudi Ramaswami executed a sale deed in favour of original defendant no.2 - Bogilla Satyanarayana Murthy. Apprehending that the wife of late Nimmalapudi Ramaswami - original defendant no.1 - Nimmalapudi Veeramma and the said Bogilla Satyanarayana Murthy may interfere with his possession, the original plaintiff - respondent herein filed O.S. No. 24 of 1984 in the Court of District Munsiff Court, Ramachandrapuram against the aforesaid two for permanent injunction and obtained a temporary injunction. The aforesaid suit was subsequently transferred to the District Munsif Court, Alamuru which was registered as O.S. No. 188/1984 and later the said suit was transferred to the Subordinate Judge, Ramachandrapuram and registered as O.S. No. 94/1989 claiming permanent injunction restraining Bogilla Satyanarayana Murthy and his men from interfering with his possession.

3.2 That thereafter the plaintiff got issued a legal notice dated 20.01.1986 to original defendant no.1 - widow of late Nimmalapudi Ramaswami and Bogilla Satyanarayana Murthy claiming specific performance of the agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981. Original defendant no.1 - Nimmalapudi Veeramma replied to the aforesaid notice vide reply notice dated 31.1.1986 contending that she has already sold the property to Bogilla Satyanarayana Murthy for a valuable consideration and consequently refused to execute the sale deed. Therefore, the respondent herein - original plaintiff filed O.S. No. 55/1986 on the file of Subordinate Judge, Ramachandrapuram against the appellants herein - original defendants on 23.4.1986 for specific performance of the agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981. Alternatively, the plaintiff prayed to refund the advance amount of Rs.26,500/- together with interest @ 18% per annum and award of damages of Rs.25,000/-.

3.3 That the said suit was resisted by original defendant no.1 - Nimmalapudi Veeramma by filing the written statement contending that after the death of her husband Nimmalapudi Ramaswami she was put in possession of the schedule property and she executed an agreement to sell dated 16.2.1983 and sold the suit property for Rs.20,000/- and received an advance of Rs.2,000/- and thereafter executed a registered sale deed dated 8.7.1983 in favour of defendant no.2 - Bogilla Satyanarayana Murthy and delivered possession to him on 10.05.1983. It was also contended that the alleged agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981 is not true and valid and it is a collusive agreement brought into existence by Nimmalapudi Ramaswami in anticipation of the land acquisition proceedings. Original defendant no.1 prayed to dismiss the suit filed by the plaintiff.

3.4 Original defendant no.2 - Bogilla Satyanarayana Murthy also filed the written statement in O.S. No. 55/1986. It was the case on behalf of original defendant no.2 that he is a bonafide purchaser for a valid consideration and he is in possession and enjoyment of the same by executing the sale deed in his favour executed by the wife of late Nimmalapudi Ramaswami.

3.5 That both the aforesaid suits being O.S. No. 55/1986 (suit for specific performance) and O.S. No. 94/1989 (suit for permanent injunction) were consolidated and heard together. In both the suits, the learned trial Court framed the issues. That both the plaintiffs and the defendants led the evidence, both oral as well as documentary. That on appreciation of evidence on record, the learned trial Court believed the execution of agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981 in favour of the plaintiff. The learned trial Court also believed the possession of the plaintiff at the time of filing of the suit. However, the learned trial Court denied the specific performance of the agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981 only on the ground that the claim for specific performance is barred by limitation.

3.6 The learned trial Court decreed O.S. No. 94/1989 and granted permanent injunction restraining the appellants - original defendants to interfere with the peaceful possession and enjoyment of the property in question having found that the plaintiff is in possession and enjoyment of the property.

3.7 Aggrieved by the common judgment and decree passed by the learned trial Court passed in O.S. No. 55 of 1986 in dismissing the suit for specific performance of the agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981, the original plaintiff filed Appeal Suit No. 3511/1992 before the High Court. The original defendants in O.S. No. 55/1986 also filed Tr.A.S. No. 439/2006 challenging the adverse findings on issue nos. 1 to 5 in O.S. No. 55/1986, i.e., believing the agreement to sell in favour of the plaintiff and believing the possession of the plaintiff under the agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981. At this stage, it is required to be noted that the learned trial Court dismissed the suit on the ground of limitation considering Article 54 of the Limitation Act . However, it was the specific case on behalf of the plaintiff that Article 113 of the Limitation Act would be applicable and therefore the suit is within the period of limitation.

3.8 That by the impugned common judgment and order, the High Court has allowed the appeal suit no. 3511/1992 preferred by the original plaintiff and has quashed and set aside the judgment and decree passed by the learned trial Court dismissing the suit for specific performance and consequently has decreed the suit for specific performance applying Article 113 of the Limitation Act . By the impugned common judgment and order the High Court has also dismissed Tr.A.S. No. 439/2006 and Tr.A.S. No. 962/2013 preferred by the original defendants confirming the findings on issue nos. 1 to 5 in O.S. No. 55/1986 and also confirming the judgment and decree of permanent injunction in O.S. No. 94/1989.

3.9 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned common judgment and order passed by the High Court, the original defendants have preferred the present appeal. It is required to be noted that what is challenged in the present appeal is the judgment and order passed by the High Court in A.S. No. 3511/1992 only, vide which the High Court has allowed the said appeal preferred by the original plaintiff and consequently has decreed the suit for specific performance of agreement to sell dated 7.5.1981 in favour of the original plaintiff.

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