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Transfer Of Property Act: Possession Delivered In Terms Of Sale Agreement Protected Under Section 53a: Supreme Court : Santaram Dewangan Vs. Shivprasad

Krisha Mehta ,
  06 October 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme court of India
Brief :

Citation :
CIVIL APPEAL NO.2966 OF 2022

Case Title:
SANTRAM DEWANGAN VERSUS SHIVPRASAD 

Bench:
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE HEMANT GUPTA 
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE V. RAMASUBRAMANIAN

Parties:
SANTRAM DEWANGAN Petitioner(s)
SHIVPRASAD Respondent(s)

Order Date 
18-04-2022

Subject 

The court was dealing with an appeal against the judgment and decree passed by the High Court of Chhattisgarh whereby the judgment and decree of the First Appellate Court was not interfered with. The plaintiff-respondent filed a suit for possession in respect of land at Village Nawagarh, Chhattisgarh. The judgment and decree passed by the First Appellate Court and the High Court was set aside and that of the trial Court was restored.

Important Provisions

Section 53A in The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 - The provisions of Section 53A, envisages situations where under a contract for transfer of immovable property, the purchaser has paid the price and has taken possession of the property even though the transfer deed or conveyance has not been registered. In such cases the transferor is debarred from agitating his title to the property against the purchaser. The rule laid down by section 53A of TPA, 1882 is that when a party has taken possession under a contract or already being in possession continues his possession and that party is willing to perform his/her portion of the contract or that party has done some act in furtherance of the contract, the other party cannot remove him/her from possession of the property. Section 53A of TPA, 1882 operates as a bar or estoppel to the plaintiff claiming his title and gives the defendant a right to protect his/her possession.

Overview

The sale agreement was signed on July 16,1997. Pursuant to the sale agreement, possession was transferred to the defendant according to the plaintiff. As a result, the defendant’s possession constitutes part of the agreement and is protected under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. The High Court dismissed the appeal on the grounds that the defendant-appellant had raised an adverse possession plea, which had to be assessed in light of the plaintiff’s allegation that the defendant’s possession was in accordance with the agreement to the sale. The plaintiff’s lawsuit was dismissed by the trial court because the sale consideration had been paid to the plaintiff and the appellant was in possession of the land.

Issues Raised

Whether the possession was conveyed pursuant to a sale agreement covered by Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

Judgement Analysis

  • The Supreme Court noted that the High Court non-suited the appellant on the ground that the defendant-appellant has raised a plea of adverse possession, but such plea must be examined keeping in view the case set up by the plaintiff that the possession of the defendant was in pursuance of the agreement to the sale executed. 
  • Therefore, the High Court has erred in law in decreeing the suit though the entire sale consideration stands paid to the plaintiff and the possession in pursuance of the agreement of sale executed. 
  • Consequently, the judgment and decree passed by the First Appellate Court and the High Court was set aside and that of the trial Court was restored, thus granting the appeal.

Conclusion 

While deciding a case under Section 53A in The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, it has to be examined keeping in view whether the case set up by the plaintiff that the possession of the defendant was in pursuance of the agreement to the sale executed. Hence the Supreme Court was justified in setting aside the judgement of the High Court.

Learn the practical aspects of CrPC HERE, CPC HERE, IPC HERE, Evidence Act HERE, Family Laws HERE, DV Act HERE

 
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