D I MAC PHERSON Vs. M N APPANNA
LAWS(SC)-1951-2-5
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 09,1951

D.I.MAC PHERSON Appellant
VERSUS
M.N.APPANNA Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

HARVEY V. FACEY [REFERRED]



Cited Judgements :-

SHEELA GEHLOT VS. SONU KOCHAR [LAWS(DLH)-2005-9-109] [REFERRED TO]
SANWARMAL GOENKA VS. SOUMYENDRA CHANDRA GOOPTU [LAWS(CAL)-1980-2-19] [REFERRED TO]
BYOMKESH BANERJEE VS. NANI GOPAL BANIK [LAWS(CAL)-1986-8-37] [REFERRED TO]
NATIONAL PROPERTIES LIMITED VS. BATA INDIA LIMITED [LAWS(CAL)-2001-5-10] [REFERRED TO]
J N BAGGA VS. ALL INDIA REPORTER LTD [LAWS(BOM)-1968-12-7] [REFERRED TO]
BRIJGOPAL SHIVGOPAL LULANI VS. BARAKATBHAI HABIBHAI SOMANI [LAWS(BOM)-2005-10-36] [REFERRED TO]
ENGINEERS COMBINE VS. NOVA DHATU UDYOG LTD [LAWS(BOM)-2004-4-177] [REFERRED TO]
INFOTECH 2000 INDIA LIMITED VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(P&H)-2007-1-21] [REFERRED TO]
NATHMAL GHASILAL VS. PHOOLCHAND RAMNARAIN [LAWS(MPH)-1961-1-31] [REFERRED TO]
NATHMAL GHASILAL VS. PHOOLCHAND RAMNARAIN [LAWS(MPH)-1961-4-18] [REFERRED TO]
MESSRS. LYALLPUR MOTOR COMPANY VS. MESSRS. MOHAN LAL AND CO. [LAWS(P&H)-1963-2-25] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This is an appeal from a judgment of the Judicial Commissioner of Coorg in a suit filed by respondent 1 (hereinafter referred to as the plaintiff) against the appellant (hereinafter referred to as defendant 1) and respondent 2 (herein after referred to as defendant 2), for the specific performance of a contract. Defendant 1 owned a bungalow in Mercara known as "Morvern Lodge.' The suit which has given rise to this appeal was instituted by the plaintiff for the specific performance of an alleged contract of sale in respect of this bungalow.
(2.)It appears that defendant 1 owned certain estates in Mercara, and one Mr. White was an alternative Director in one of the estates, and Youngman was the manager of another estate also belonging to defendant 1 and was looking after "Morvern Lodge" during his absence. It seems that about the middle of 1944, the plaintiff asked White if be would cable to defendant 1 his offer of Rs. 4,000 for the bungalow, and, on 1-6-1944, White sent a cable to defendant 1 to the following effect: "Have enquiries Mercara bungalow if for sale, wire lowest figure." On 24-7-1944, the plaintiff wrote to defendant 1 that he was prepared to purchase the bungalow for Rs. 5,000 and if the offer was acceptable to him, he (defendant 1) should inform the plaintiff to which bank he should issue a cheque in payment of the price. This letter was followed up by a cable from Youngman to defendant 1 to the following effect : "Have had offer Morvern Lodge rupees six thousand ,for immediate possession." On 8-8-1944, Youngman received a cable from defendant 1 saying:
"Won't accept less than rupees ten thousand." On 7- 8-1944, the plaintiff wrote to Youngman asking him whether his offer had been accepted, and saying that he was prepared to accept any higher price if found reasonable. Meanwhile, on the 8th August, defendant 1 sent an airgraph to Youngman, which states inter alia:

"I got a cable from you a few days ago saying you had an offer of Rs. 6,000 for Morvern Lodge. At the same time I got one from White saying value of Bungalow was Rs. 10,000. So wired you-"Won't accept less than Rs. 10,000. " '

On 9-8-1944, Youngman wrote to the plaintiff as follows :

"In reply to your letter, dated 7th August, I received yesterday a cable from Col. MacPherson regarding your offer of Rs. 6.000, which reads as follows: "Won't accept less than rupees ten thousand" MacPherson."

The plaintiff has stated in his plaint that this letter of Yoangman was received by him on 14-8-1944, and he immediately accepted the "counter-offer made by defendant 1," and confirmed it in writing in a letter addressed to Youngman. In his evidence, however, the plaintiff has stated that he met Youngmen on the 11th August after receiving his letter and told him personally that he would pay Rs. 10,000 for the bungalow and will require immediate delivery. There was also some talk about the conveyance charges, and ultimately the plaintiff agreed to bear those charges. Afterwards, he wrote to Youngman a letter on the 14th August in which after referring to the conversation he had with the latter he stated as follows :

"I hereby confirm my oral offer of ten thousand for the bungalow. I shall be grateful if you will kindly hurry up with consultation with your lawyers at Madras and make arrangement to receive the money and hand over the bungalow as early as practicable."

It appears that 3 days later, i. e, on the 17th August, one Subbayya Wrote to Youngman stating that "he confirmed his offer of Rs. 10,500 made to him (Youngman) the previous dey for the purchase of the bungalow," and he excepted that the latter had cabled to defendant 1 communicating the offer as promised. It seems that Youngman did not communicate Subbayya's offer to defendant 1 but sent a cable to him on the 26th August to the following effect : "Offered ten thousand Morvern Lodge immediate possession. May I sell."On the same day, White cabled to defendant 1 in the following terms :

"Hold offer for Morvern Bungalow rupees eleven thousand cash subject immediately acceptance and occupation. Strongly recommend acceptance."

On the 29th August, Youngman sent an airgraph to defendant 1 in which he wrote as follows :

"Thank you for your Airgraph letters of 8th August which reached me on 24th instant. I cabled you on Saturday an offer of Rs. 10,000 for Morvern Lodge from the would-be purchaser who previously had offered Rs. 6,000, but I had a call from White a day or two ago and he tells me that he cabled an offer on the same day of Rs. ll,000. I expect you will have answered these and will have accepted White's offer. If you have decided will you please arrange for a Power-of-Attorney to be prepared as soon as possible."

In the meantime, defendant 1 sent a cable to White to the following effect:

"Accept rupees eleven thousand Morvern Lodge occupation permitted, when full amount deposited my account Mircantile Bank Madras inform Youngman."

Thereafter, defendant 1 paid the amount of Rs, 11,000 and occupied the bungalow.

(3.)The question to be decided in this Case is whether in view of the correspondence which has been reproduced, it could be held that there was a concluded contract for the sale of "Morvern Lodge" in favour of the plaintiff on the14th August, as stated by him in the plaint. The Judicial Commissioner of Coorg who tried the suit held that there was a concluded contract, but, instead of giving to the plaintiff a decree for specific performance, awarded a sum of Rs. 3,000 as compensation to him. Against this decree, defendant 1 alone has appealed, after obtaining a certificate under S. 109 (c), Civil P. C. from the Judicial Commissioner. The plaintiff has not preferred any appeal.
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