Civil appeal No. 4703 of 2022
U N Krishnamurthy Vs A M Krishnamurthy
Date of Order:
Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Hrishikesh Roy
U N Krishnamurthy – Petitioner
A M Krishnamurthy – Respondent
The Supreme Court held that the readiness and willingness of the petitioner are prerequisites to the successful granting of relief under the special reliefs act. Readiness meaning how prepared the petitioner is at a given moment to carry out the contract and willingness is reflected in the conduct of the plaintiff towards the execution of the specific relief.
- In this instance, the Trial Court granted Plaintiff's request for the specific performance of a contract for the sale of the subject property. The Madras High Court rejected the defendant's appeal.
- Arguments Forwarded by Petition
- In this case, Plaintiff's demand for carrying out the purposes for the sale of the subject land was granted by the Trial Court. The defendant's appeal was denied by the Madras High Court.
- Additionally, it was argued that before awarding the court's discretionary relief of particular performance, the court should take judicial notice of the sharp increase in real estate prices.
- On the other side, Plaintiff argued that the initial Defendant had already been postponing the completion of the sale deed and that he had always been prepared and willing to fulfil his obligation under the agreement.
- If Plaintiff has demonstrated his ability and willingness to fulfill his contractual obligations?
- Alluding to Section 16 of the Specific Relief Act of 1963 as it existed at the relevant time (before the amendment with effect from 1.10.2018), the panel noted that the plaintiff would have to make direct quotations in the plaint and proffer evidence to demonstrate funding to make payment in accordance with the contract in time in order to allege and prove preparedness and willingness to perform an obligation to pay money.
- The Court upheld that the plaintiff had not met his need to introduce convincing evidence to demonstrate his preparedness and willingness to fulfil his contractual obligations.
- The Bench stated that the existing lawsuit had been brought just before the three-year statute of limitations had run out and that this alone is a reason to deny the plaintiff the equitable remedy of specific performance for the purchase of real estate.
Finally, it was ruled that the courts will also look down on lawsuits that are not filed right away following the breach or refusal. Because the statute of limitations is three years, a buyer cannot wait one or two years to bring a claim and get Specific Performance.The three-year period is designed to help the buyer in unique situations, such as when the vendor has received the majority of the consideration and ownership has been delivered in partial performance, where the balance of equity moves in the buyer's favour.
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