R.M. Sahai, J. -
(1.)Is estoppel a good defence to'archaic', AIR 1986 SC 859, Atam Prakash v. State of Haryana, right of preemption which is a'weak right', AIR 1958 SC 838, Bishen Singh v. Khazan Singh, and can be defeated by any 'legitimate' method. AIR 1960 SC 1368, Radha Kishan v. Sridhar.
(2.)Barring High Court of Rajasthan and erstwhile Mewar State, 1947 Mewar Law Reports 36, Jethmal v. Sajanumal, most of the other High Courts, namely, Allahabad, ILR 39 All 127, Naunihal Singh v. Ram Rati Lal, Oudh, AIR 1947 Oudh 81, Ram Rathi v. Mt. Dhiraji, Ajmer, AIR 1952 Ajmer 26, Gopinath v. R. S. Nand Kishore, Bhopal, AIR 1953 Bhopal 26, Abdul Karim v. Babu Lal, and Lahore, AIR 1938 Lab 273, Kanshi Ram Sharma v. Lahori Ram, have answered the issue in the affirmative. The Privy Council, AIR 1929 PC 259, too, applied this principle to non-suit a pre-emptor who knew that the property was in the market for long but offered to purchase only one out of many blocks. It held:
"Assuming that the prior completed purchase by the appellant would under other' circumstances, have given him the right of pre-emption in respect of the blocks in suit, he must be taken by his conduct to have waivea this right, and that it would be inequitable to allow him now to re-assert it."
Even in Muslim Law which is the genesis of this right, as it was unknown to Hindu Law and was brought in wake of Mohammedan Rule, it is settled that the right of pre-emption is lost by estoppel and acquiescence.
(3.)Estoppel is a rule of equity flowing out of fairness striking on behaviour deficient in good faith. It operates a check on spurious conduct by preventing the inducer from taking advantage and assailing forfeiture already accomplished. It is invoked and applied to aid the law in administration of justice. But for it great many injustice may have been perpetrated. Present case is a glaring example of it. True no notice was given by the seller but the trial Court and appellate Court concurred that the pre-emptor not only came to know of the sale immediately but he assisted the purchaser-appellant in raising construction which went on for five months. Having thus persuaded, rather misled, the purchaser by his own conduct that he acquiesced in his ownership he somersaulted to grab the property with constructions by staking his own claim and attempting to unsettle the legal effect of his own conduct by taking recourse to law to curb and control such unwarranted conduct the Courts have extended the broad and paramount considerations of equity, to transactions and assurances, express or implied to avoid injustice.