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ISSUES REGARDING PART CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE DETERMINED IN TRIAL COURT ITSELF – SC

Saketa Vaksana LLP & Anr v. Kaukutla Sarala & Ors,  CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9483 OF 2019, arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 21349 of 2019. – On 17th December 2019,

The appeal was bought by the developer of the land against the landowner to the Supreme Court under the bench comprising of Justice UDAY UMESH LALIT, Justice INDU MALHOTRA, Justice KRISHNA MURARI. The appeal challenging the interim orders of the High court are dismissed.

The Appellant – Developer and the Respondent – Landowners entered into an Agreement of Sale,  whereby the Respondents agreed to sell agricultural land comprising of 54 acres 13 guntas. The sale consideration was fixed at Rs. 46,00,000/­ per acre The Agreement of Sale was an unregistered document executed on a Stamp Paper of Rs.100. The Stamp Duty on this Agreement was paid by the Appellant – Developer. The Appellant – Developer submitted that it has paid Rs.17,25,00,000/­ for the aforesaid four Agreements of Sale. The Respondents also have made a submission that an amount of the only Rs.14,25,00,000/­ was paid by the Appellant. This is the actual dispute between the appellant and the respondent ie.,  the balance payment of the said consideration for the “Suit Property”.

The question of law and question of fact are;

whether possession of the suit property was at all handed over to the Appellant or not? Whether part consideration for the suit property was paid by the Appellant to the Respondent or not?

The suit for Specific Performance was filed by the appellant in the Trail Court for the payment of remaining consideration is pending. The appellant also filed two temporary injunctions. The Trial Court passed an Interim Order saying that only the temporary injunction of restraining the respondent from altering the suit property to the third party till the case gets disposed and further it asked the appellant to deposit the balance sale consideration.

Further, the appeal was brought to the High court by the appellant challenging the Interim Orders passed by the Trial Court. The Division Bench of High Court has passed an Interim Order to set aside the Order of Temporary Injunction passed by the Trial Court.

The division bench held that there is no documentary evidence to prima facie show that the Appellant – Developer is in physical possession of the suit property. Furthermore, the issue   whether   the   Appellant   –   Developer   has   paid   part consideration for the entire suit property was required to be determined in the trial. The division bench took the view that the Appellant – Developer had not made out a  prima facie case   for   grant   of   Temporary   Injunction.   The   Respondents being the lawful owners of the suit property, granting such an injunction   would   cause   irreparable   loss   and   hardship   to them This Interim Order was challenged in the Supreme Court.

The learned counsel appearing on the behalf of appellant Mr. Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Sr. Adv., that unless the Agreement of Sale in respect of Suit Property is not made they can’t allow the respondent to enter or leave the property was prayed.

Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Sr.Adv. on behalf of the Respondents, submitted the balance amount of consideration was already paid before the suit in the Trail Court but the appellant made a contention that the respondents have not made any such consideration.

The appellant says by showing the Agreement of sale that the possession was already made but the respondent says that the material possession lies with the appellant only.

“The Respondents stated that they are growing vegetables, and have a guest house, servant quarters and a shed on the suit property.”

The Appellant submitted that it had paid a total of Rs. 17,25,00,000/­ to the Respondents, and only Rs. 3,72,03,750/­ was the balance payable for the suit property. However, the Respondents submitted that the Appellant had paid only Rs. 14,25,00,000/­, and was still liable to pay Rs. 10,73,95,000/­ towards the balance sale consideration for the entire suit property.

The counsel for the appellant made an offer of depositing Rs. 10,00,00,000/­ in this Court but the respondent rejected the offer.

The Supreme Court held that both the question of fact should be decided by the Trail court in the proceedings. The Court is of the view that the Orders passed by the division bench of the High Court do not warrant any interference.

Therefore the Court dismissed the appeal.

–  Manusri Ramakrishna

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