[Case Brief} Parminder Singh v Gurpreet Singh, 2017

CaseParminder Singh v/s Gurpreet Singh, 2017
Case numberCivil appeal number 3612 of 2009
CourtBefore the Supreme Court of India
BenchJustice RK Agarwal and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre
Author of the judgementJustice Abhay Manohar Sapre
Decided OnJuly 25, 2017
Counsel for the appellantMr. V.K. Jhanji, learned senior counsel
Counsel for the respondentMr. Sudeep Mahajan, learned senior counsel
Author of the briefAditya Gor

The present case is an appeal before the Supreme Court through a special leave petition against an order passed by the High Court of Punjab. The appellant and the respondents are real brothers and the dispute among them is with regards to the enforcement of the sale deeds executed between them. The findings of the facts on the basis of the evidence by the trial court was affirmed by the Additional District Judge and the High court. The Supreme court held that such findings act as concurrent findings for them and thus they are bound by it.

Brief facts and procedural history:

The appellant and the respondent are real brothers. The respondent is elder to the appellant. The appellant has a co-share of the land to the extent of 55/118, which comes to 84 Kanals, in the joint khata of total land measuring 177 kanals 10 marlas situated in village Vachhoa of Ajmer district. The appellant entered into an agreement on 02.07.1995 with the respondent whereby he agreed to sell his share of 55/118 of the entire land to the respondent for a total sale consideration of Rs 5 lakhs. The agreement, inter alia, recited that out of Rs. 5 lakhs, the respondent has paid Rs.4 lakhs in cash at the time of execution of the agreement (02.07.1995) to the respondent and has agreed to pay the balance amount to the appellant at the time of registration of the sale deed. It was agreed that the sale deed would be executed on or before 13.12.1995. (Para 3 and 4)

Since the appellants did not execute the sale deed in favour of the respondent in terms of the agreement, the respondent filed a civil suit against the appellant seeking specific performance of the agreement dated 02.07.1995. (Para 5)

It was contended by the appellant that: (Para 6)

  1. The agreement in question is a forged document
  2. He had only signed on the blank paper on request from the respondent
  3. He never intended to sell the land to the respondent
  4. His signature was taken by the respondent on blank paper for being used in one pending litigation in which both were parties.
  5. Since the appellant at that time was staying away from the respondent for pursuing his studies, he sent the blank paper which was converted by the respondent in form of an agreement in question without his knowledge

The trial court decreed the respondent’s suit on 12.08.2003 s and held that: (Para 7)

  • The agreement in real and genuine
  • It bears the signature of the appellant
  • The appellant did not execute the sale deed in terms of agreement
  • The respondent was ready and willing to perform his part of the agreement
  • The respondent also performed his part
  • The appellant breached the agreement and did not execute the sale deed in terms of the agreement

The appellant filed an appeal before the additional district judge, Amritsar which was dismissed by the court on 21.03.2007 affirming the decisions of the trial court. The appellant then approached the high court and the high court also dismissed the appeal affirming the decision of the first appellate court on 30.07.2007. The appellant has thus approached the Supreme Court under special leave petition. (Para 8, 9 and 10)

Ratio (as given by the author of the judgement):

The present appeal is the case where all the three below courts, namely, the trial court, first appellate court and the high court have held in the favour of the respondent appreciating the fact that there existed a real agreement between the parties which was breached by the appellant. Under such circumstance, the findings recorded by the three courts on facts are an essential concurrent finding of the facts and therefore such findings are binding on the supreme court as well as the high court hearing the second appeal. (Para 13 and 14)

The question as to whether the specific performance of an agreement should be granted or not is essentially in the discretion of the court as mentioned under section 20 of the specific relief act. Therefore if it was decided by the trial court, first and second appellate court that the specific performance to be granted to the plaintiff then it would act as concurrent findings of the supreme court while exercising its power under article 136 of the Indian constitution. (Para 17)

Held:

The Supreme court dismissed the appeal as it found no merit in the case. (Para 12 and 20)

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