Bench: N.Santosh Hegde, Tarun Chatterjee, P.K.Balasubramanyan
The appellant herein has filed the suit against the respondent Nos.2 and 3 for specific performance of a contract entered into between the second respondent acting as a Power of Attorney of the third respondent on one hand and the appellant on the other for sale of the contracted property. In this suit for specific performance of the contract for sale, the respondent Nos.1 and 4 to 11, who were admittedly not parties to the contract and setting up a claim of independent title and possession over the contracted property, filed an application to get themselves added in the suit as defendants. The trial court allowed the application on the ground that as the respondent Nos.1 and 4 to 11 were claiming title and possession of the contracted property, they must be held to have a direct interest in the subject-matter of the suit, and therefore, entitled to be added as parties defendants in the suit as their presence would be necessary to decide the controversies raised in the present suit. The High Court in revision confirmed the said order and accordingly against the aforesaid order of the High Court this Special Leave Petition was filed at the instance of the appellant which on grant of special leave was taken up for hearing in presence of the parties.
1. Whether the respondents were necessary party or proper partyin the suit for specific performance
The respondent contended that since the respondent Nos. 1 and 4 to 11 claimed to be in possession of the suit property on the basis of their independent title to the same, and as the appellant had also claimed the relief of possession in the plaint, the issue with regard to possession is common to the parties including respondent Nos.1 and 4 to 11, therefore, the same can be settled in the present suit itself.
It was also submitted that the presence of respondent Nos.1 and 4 to 11 would be necessary for proper adjudication of such dispute and to avoid multiplicity of suits, it would be appropriate to join the respondents as party-defendants in the present case.
The court held that there are two tests to be satisfied for determining the question of who is a necessary party. They are:
1. There must be a right to some relief against such party in respect of the controversies involved in the proceedings
2. No effective decree can be passed in the absence of such party.
Therefore, the court reached a conclusion that the respondents making an independent claim are neither necessary or proper parties, and therefore, not entitled to o join as party defendants in the suit for specific performance of contract for sale.