Civil Appeal No. 8283 of 2014 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 18676 of 2012). Case: Surjit Singh Vs Gurwant Kaur. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 8283 of 2014 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 18676 of 2012)
JudgesDipak Misra and V. Gopala Gowda, JJ.
IssueIndian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 148, 149, 307, 323, 326; Arms Act - Section 25; Calcutta Thika Tenancy Act, 1949 - Section 28; Thika Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1953; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) - Sections 11, 115, 151, Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) - Order IX Rule 7, Order IX Rule 13, Order XLI Rule 27, Order XLI Rule 27(1)
Judgement DateAugust 27, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


Dipak Misra, J.

  1. Leave granted.

  2. The Respondent No. 1 instituted Civil Suit No. 78 of 2003 in the Court of the learned Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Patti, district Tarn Taran, for specific performance of contract entered into between him and the Appellant No. 1, the predecessor-in-interest of Appellants Nos. 2 to 4 and the Respondent No. 2 for sale of land admeasuring 28 K 12 M bearing khata Khatoni 330/1254, 1256, 331/1261 and Killa Nos. 34/25 (712), 40/1/1 (4-15), 10/2 min (0-8), 41/5 min (2-8) 6/1 (7-5) 15/1 (2-16), 34/162 (3-8), situated in village Talwandi Sobha Singh Tehsil Patti District Amritsar as per Jamabandi for the year 1997-98 at the rate of Rs. 3,22,500/- per Killa which included all rights attached to the land.

  3. It was averred in the plaint that the Defendant in the Civil suit had received Rs. 50,000/- on 7.2.2003 and a further sum of Rs. 50,000/- on 25.2.2003 as against the determined price of 3,22,500/- per killa as per the agreement. As stipulated in the agreement the balance amount was to be paid on 3.6.2013 at the time of execution and registration of sale deed before the sub Registrar, Patti. It was also recited in the agreement that the suit land was already mortgaged with the State Bank of Patiala and the Defendants should clear the loan before execution of the sale deed in favour of Plaintiff failing which the deposited amount would be forfeited. The Plaintiff, as averred in the plaint, went to the office of the sub-Registrar but the Defendants did not turn up. As there was breach of contract by the Defendants, for they failed to execute and register the sale deed in favour of the Plaintiff, he initiated the civil action for specific performance of contract or in the alternative for recovery of Rs. 2,00,000/- as compensation.

  4. The Defendants entered contest and filed the written statement contending, inter alia, that the suit was not maintainable; that the Plaintiff was not ready with the balance amount; that the stand put forth by the Plaintiff that he had come to Tehsil complex on 3.6.2003 along with the balance sale consideration and the attesting witnesses was farther from the truth, for the original Defendants remained present in the office of Sub Registrar, Patti from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. but the Plaintiff did not turn up as he was not ready with the balance consideration; and that the Defendants moved an application before the concerned Sub-Registrar for marking their presence and gave an affidavit which was duly signed by the Sub-Registrar. The further stand of the Defendants was that the Plaintiff and her relatives tried to take forcible possession of the property in dispute as a consequence of which FIR No. 97 dated 9.6.2003 for offences punishable Under Sections 307, 326, 323, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act was registered.

  5. The learned trial Judge framed as many as six issues, recorded the evidence and, eventually, dismissed the suit filed by the Plaintiff. It is apt to mention here that during the pendency of the suit the Plaintiff had filed an application Under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code of Civil Procedure) for filing of additional documents with the prayer that the said documents should be accepted as additional evidence. It was stated in the application that in her evidence she had already deposed that she had got Rs. 9,00,000/- from her husband's brother, Gian Singh, and he was having Rs. 1,00,000/- in her account bearing No. 1313. It was also averred that she was under the impression that her father was prosecuting the case and had filed the statement of accounts bearing No. 1-29 of Gian Singh and of Plaintiff's bearing No. SB/17274 but inadvertently her father could not produce the said statement of accounts and pass books, and she had no knowledge about the same. In the said backdrop a prayer was made for acceptance of the documents.

  6. The learned trial Judge, after perusing the material on record, passed the following order:

    A perusal of file shows that the suit was filed on 23.7.2003 and issues were framed on 7.1.2004. Since then, Plaintiff availed 14 opportunities to produce and conclude her evidence and ultimately closed it at her own on 11.5.05 and thereafter the case was fixed for Defendant evidence. Defendant also took 19 opportunities to conclude their evidence and ultimately closed the same on 19.4.06 and after that the case was fixed for rebuttal evidence of Plaintiff, for which Plaintiff took 8 opportunities and then he came up with the present application. It is clear from the above facts that it was not mere inadvertence that these copies could not be produced by the Plaintiff, rather the Plaintiff did not act diligently herself. If the applicant was diligent, the application should have come on record, much earlier and not now and it appears only an attempt to seek time and fill up lacuna. Accordingly the application is dismissed.

  7. The aforesaid order was assailed in Civil Revision No. 6014 of 2008 before the High Court and the learned single Judge, after perusing the order passed by the learned trial Judge, dismissed the civil revision by ascribing the following reasons:

    Keeping in view the order, referred to above, this Court is of the view that prayer made by the learned Counsel for the grant of one opportunity...

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