CIVIL APPEAL NO.9049-9053 OF 2011
Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882
The Appellant has filed the appeals in the instant case against the Judgment and Decree passed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, whereby the Regular First Appeals of the Respondents were allowed, and the Judgment passed by the Learned District Court was set aside.
Pieces of Land measuring 36 bighas 11 Biswas is comprising in Khasra Nos.14/9, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20/1, 23, and 24belonging to Gaon Sabha Luhar Heri, the Government acquired delhi under Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (the Act) and the Respondents claimed compensation on the ground that the land above was leased to them by the Gaon Sabiha. The matter was referred to the Civil Court under Section 30 and 31 of the Act for apportionment of the amount of compensation. The Respondents stated that the land was not fit for cultivation, and it was granted on lease to the Respondents to remove the Shora to make the land fit for cultivation. In the proceedings above, the Civil Court passed the Judgment which entitled the Respondents to 87% compensation, and 13% was to be compensated to the Gaon Sabha. The Appellants challenged the aforesaid Judgment before the District Court on the ground that it was obtained by fraud in collaboration with the ex-Pradhan of the Gaon Sabha in another suit. An appeal was filed before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court whereby it was held that the Appellants had not stated the necessary particulars to establish the fraud committed upon the Court who decided the Judgment.
The Court held that though the learned Additional Solicitor General appearing for the appellants has relied on several judgments in support of her plea that as the Judgment and decree were obtained by fraud same is a nullity and vitiated, but in a given case whether such decree was obtained by fraud or not, is a matter which is to be judged regarding pleadings and the evidence on record. It is fairly well settled that fraud has to be pleaded and proved. More so, when Judgment and decree passed earlier by the competent Court is questioned, it is necessary to plead alleged fraud by necessary particulars, and the same has to be proved by convincing evidence. There cannot be any inference contrary to the record. As the evidence on record discloses that fraud, as pleaded, was not established, in the absence of any necessary pleading giving particulars of fraud, we are of the view that no case is made out to interfere with the well-reasoned Judgment of the High Court.
On the other hand in the case of Maneklal Mansukhbhai relied on by learned senior counsel for the respondents it is held by this Court that defence under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 is available to a person who has an agreement of lease in his favour. However, no lease has been executed and registered. A similar proposition is also approved in the Judgment of this Court in the case of Hamzabi wherein this Court has held that Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 protects the possession of persons who have acted on a contract of sale but in whose favour no valid sale deed is executed or registered.
‘Fraud’ is an offence which indulges the ingredient of trickery to involve a person in an act which he would have otherwise not done. In brief, A false representation of a matter of fact whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury. Still, the crux of it lies in proving the offence.
The Supreme Court has observed that protection under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 is available to a person who is put in possession under an agreement of lease in his favour. However, no lease has been executed and registered.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on the basis that fraud is to be proved and since the appellants have failed on their part to deliver the evidence. Therefore, The Judgement of The High Court was upheld.
The Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, and M.R Shah reiterated that fraud must be contended with necessary particulars and must be proved by convincing evidence. The Hon’ble Court also relied on certain precedents that lay down the conditions under which Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 can be used as a defence.
In current times, it is the need of the hour to settle cases as quickly as possible while ensuring fair justice. This Judgement by the Supreme Court might help the subordinate courts in making remarkable progress as it is not uncommon for pseudo cases to be registered which end up wasting the time of the courts and become a type of harassment to others.
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.
Section 6 and 7 of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993