CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2701-2704 OF 2020
Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Section 96 – Appeal from a decree
The appellant- V.N. Krishnamurthy approached the Supreme Court of India against the judgment of the Karnataka High Court dated 21-02-2019. The dispute is regarding land measuring 37 guntas,34 guntas, and 20 guntas each, situated at Village Jakkur, Bengaluru, North Taluka owned by respondent nos. 5 and 6 who entered into an agreement of sale for the said land in favour of respondent- Karnataka State Khadi and Village Industries Worker's House Building Co-operative Society Limited. They executed a registered agreement to sale dated 31-10-1989 and 05-05-1992 along with this they also executed a General Power of Attorney in favour of the office bearers of the respondent society which authorizes them to enter into sale transactions of the suit property on the owner’s behalf. The General Power of Attorney was executed, giving the Attorney absolute rights to do all such acts necessary for the sale of the property. The Attorney in the exercise of this power entered into a sale deed relating to the suit property in favour of the appellants on various dates. The original plaintiff filed a suit, that is, respondent nos. 5 and 6 against the respondent society that the land in dispute was an ancestral property, and the plaintiffs were its co-owners.
They pleaded that the agreement to sale did not transpire into sale transactions and is now barred by limitation period and thus, unenforceable. It is pertinent to note here that during this phase of the suit, the deal understanding executed by the Attorney for the appealing party was not addressed, it was neither the topic of the first suit nor any alleviation in its respect was looking for. The Trial Court, in its judgment dated 27-07-2016 arranged that the enrolled consent to deal dated 30-10-1989 and 05-08-1992 is banished by constraint as isn't authoritative on the offended party. It likewise requested the litigants, for example, the respondent society or anybody following up for their benefit from meddling with the offending party respondent nos. 5 and 6's pleasure in the suit property. The appealing party had made an application for impleadment under Order 1, Rule 10(2) of the Civil Procedure Code during the pendency of the suit procedures, which was excused by the Trial Court. The litigant tested this request under the steady gaze of the Karnataka High Court through a writ appeal; it was excused as infructuous as meanwhile the suit was chosen.
The appellant aggrieved by the judgment and decree of the Trial Court filed an application seeking leave to appeal against it, the High Court dismissed the application observing that the appellant had come into possession of the land by a sale deed executed in their favour by the General Power of Attorney holders on behalf of the landowners. Thus, the appellant had an independent right to the property. Therefore, the declaratory relief granted by the Trial Court does not affect the appellant’s interest, it had observed that the appellant being in possession of the land purchased by him, has to file an independent suit to protect the same and cannot seek remedy by filing an appeal challenging the judgment given in the original suit.
The appellant contended that their interest is directly involved in the subject-matter of the suit. They are the absolute owners of the land in question-based on sale deeds. The Trial Court’s judgment holding the agreements to sale to be time-barred and granting a decree of permanent injunction affects their interests as they are in possession of the property.
The respondent stated that the appellant’s claim is regarding the sale of a deed executed in their favour by the General Power of Attorney given to the office bearers of the Housing Society by the landowners. The contented that the original suit neither refers to any sale deed nor do the sale deeds refer to any agreement to sale. Thus, the relief claimed by the appellant based on the sale deed executed in his favour is different, and so they have no locus to appeal against the decision of the Trial Court in the original plaint.
The case was heard before the Supreme Court Bench of L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari, and S. Ravindra Bhat, JJ. The Court observed that though sections 96 and 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure provide for preferring an appeal from any original decree of from a decree in appeal respectively, it does not specify the categories of persons who can file an appeal. Notwithstanding, it is a general settled lawful recommendation that an outsider can't be allowed to record an allure in suit procedures except if he fulfils the Court that he falls in the classification of wronged people. An individual not involved with the procedures can record an allure when the judgment or announcement influences him. The Court alluded to the instance of Baldev Singh v. Surinder Mohan Sharma, and Ors (2003) in which the summit court held that offer under sec-96 of CPC is viable just at the case of a distressed individual, it characterized a bothered individual as one whose privilege is influenced because of the judgment and pronouncement tried to be censured.
The Court also held that an aggrieved person is not a rigid concept but is elastic, it relies upon the realities and conditions of the case, the nature and degree of the complainant's advantage, and the preference or wounds endured by him. The Court additionally explained that an oppressed individual doesn't allude to an individual enduring any mental or non-existent injury. Rather it alludes to one whose privilege and intrigue have been influenced or endangered. In the current case, the Court saw that the litigant is neither a bothered individual nor is limited by the judgment and pronouncement of the Trial court. The relief claimed in the original suit is the cancellation of agreements to sale dated 31-10-1989 and 05-08-1992, which has nothing to do with the sale deed executed between the appellant and the General Power of Attorney.
The Court also observed that the appellant despite claiming that his interest has been adversely affected by the Trial Court's judgment failed to prove the same. The Court held that merely saying that the appellant has been affected by the decree is not sufficient; they have to demonstrate how the appellant's legal rights will be affected if the decree is carried out. The Court held that the appellant failed to demonstrate how the decree affects his legal rights and so does not fall within the meaning of aggrieved persons; thus they are not entitled to maintain an appeal against the decree.
The Court did not find any infirmity in the High Court decision to dismiss the appellant's application. By a judgment dated 21-08-2020, the appeal was dismissed, and the parties were directed to bear their costs.
If Strangers were allowed to file the petition as per the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, then it would end up doing more harm than good for it would lead to a slew of cases whose very crux would be malafide in nature.
Article 227 of the Constitution of India
Section : 34, 302, 394, 460 of IPC, 1860; Section 11 and 13 of M.P Dakaiti Avam Vyapharam Adhiniyam, 1981; Section 114 of Evidence Act.