Chhattisgarh High Court: Sanjay S. Agrawal, J. allowed the appeal and directed the plaintiff to be entitled to a decree for specific performance of a contract.
The facts of the case are such that Defendant 1 in the suit instituted before Trial court Sobhna Chourasiya agreed to sell the suit property to Plaintiff – Munnalal Agrawal at the rate of Rs 350/- per square meter, i.e., for a total consideration of Rs 1, 59,110/- to upon receiving the earnest amount of Rs 20,000 with a condition that the tenant will be vacated within 6 months and a sale deed to be registered thereafter within the period of 7 days from the date of receiving the information. Despite making repeated requests, no action was initiated for obtaining the vacant possession, which led to the institution of the suit. During the pendency of the suit, Defendant 1 sold the property to Defendant 2 – Smt. Saraswati Yadav, wife of the tenant Narayan Yadav vide registered sale deed. One of the condition was that the property in question was to be sold at the rate of Rs 700/- per square foot, i.e., for a total consideration of Rs 3, 17,926/- upon receiving the earnest amount of Rs 20,000/- and half of the sale consideration was to be paid by the Plaintiff within the period of 6 months, else the earnest amount of Rs 20,000/- paid by him shall be forfeited. The Trial Court has dismissed the suit, which has been assailed by the Plaintiff by way of this appeal.
Counsel for the appellants submitted that the finding of the trial Court holding that the property in question was agreed to be sold at the rate of Rs 700/- per square foot and half of the sale consideration was to be paid within the period of 6 months even in absence of any terms and conditions stipulated in the alleged agreement to sale, is apparently contrary to law. It was further submitted that once the parties reduce the terms of their contract into writing, the Court can only look at the writing alone in order to construe what the terms of the contract.
The Court observed that according to the provisions prescribed under Sections 91 & 92 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, when the terms of a contract, or of any other disposition of property, have been reduced to the form of a document, no evidence shall be given or permitted to be adduced in proof of the terms of such contract or other disposition of the property, except the document itself and the oral evidence in proof of terms of the contract is thus excluded. Here, in the instant matter, the validity regarding the execution of the alleged agreement to sale has not been disputed, and therefore, the vendor of the property in question, namely, Smt. Sobhna Chourasiya cannot be permitted to lead any evidence contrary to the express recitals of it as the aforesaid provisions specifically bar the proof of variations in terms of a transaction contained therein.
The Court thus held “in the light of the aforesaid principles, the contention of the vendor that the property in question was to be sold at the rate of Rs.700/- per square foot, which even otherwise not supported by her witness, is precluded to establish the alleged terms and conditions contrary to and/or in variance of the alleged agreement to sale (Ex.P.1) and it is accordingly held that the property in question was agreed to be sold at the rate of Rs.350/- per square foot, as mentioned therein. The first question is thus answered in positive by holding that finding of the trial Court in this regard is not sustainable in the eye of law.”
In view of the above, appeal was allowed.[Munnalal Agrawal v. Sobhna Chourasiya, 2021 SCC OnLine Chh 609, decided on 17-03-2021]
Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.