Read Order: Vikas Kumar v. Sadhu Ram 

Monika Rahar

New Delhi, March 24, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reiterated that the amended provisions of Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908 will not apply to a suit for specific performance as the amended provision (Section 17(1A)) is applicable only with respect to the relief of protective possession under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882

In this case, before the Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal, the appellant was the defendant in the suit for grant of decree of specific performance of the agreement to sell dated June 15, 2002, whereby he agreed to sell a parcel of land to the plaintiff. As per the plaintiff’s case, the appellant executed the said agreement to sell on payment of a total amount of ₹1,60,000/- and delivered the possession. The plaintiff also claimed that he constructed a room, apart from encircling the plot with a boundary wall. 

The defendant, on the other hand, contested the suit claiming that the agreement to sell was never entered into and the same was a result of fraud. In the alternative, he asserted that even if the agreement to sell is genuine, the same is not enforceable being unregistered. It was also asserted that on his complaint, an FIR was registered in 2011 against the plaintiff. The defendant however admitted that the plaintiff constructed a room. 

Before the trial Court, the execution of the agreement to sell was proved by examining the witnesses of the agreement to sell as well as the Handwriting and Fingerprint Expert.

Before the High Court, the appellant’s case was based on the argument that the suit, filed by the plaintiff after a delay of nine years, was beyond the prescribed period of limitation, and secondly, it was argued that since the agreement to sell evidenced the delivery of possession, therefore, it could not be read in evidence unless it was registered.

Addressing the first limb of argument, the Court made reference to Article 54 of the Schedule attached to the Limitation Act, 1963 (the 1963 Act) and observed that Article 54 divides the cause of action into two separate parts, the first part of the Schedule provides that the cause of action to file a suit for specific performance of the agreement to sell will begin to run from the date which was agreed to between the parties, as per the agreement to sell. 

Admittedly, the Court opined that in the present case, no time period or date was agreed to, hence, the second part comes into play. As per the second part, Justice Kshetarpal added, the limitation to file the suit for specific performance of the agreement to sell would begin to run from the date, the plaintiff has notice of refusal from the defendant, clearly indicating that he refuses to perform his part of the contract i.e. he has no readiness and willingness to perform his part of the contract. In the present case, the Court observed that the defendant did not lead any evidence. 

Regarding the second argument, the Court referred to the Division Bench of the High Court which held while examining the amendment in the Registration Act, 1908, brought in by the legislature in Section 17(1A) in 2001, that the amended provisions of Section 17 will not apply to a suit for specific performance as the amended provision is applicable only with respect to the relief of protective possession under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. Reference in this regard was invited to Ram Kishan and Another v. Bijender Mann alias Vijender Mann and Others.

Thus, keeping in view the aforesaid facts, the present appeal was dismissed. 

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment