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Supreme Court rejects Specific Performance of Re-Conveyance Deed When Plaintiff Challenges Defendant’s Property Title

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Published on: December 03, 2023 at 10:49 IST

The Supreme Court rejected a plea for specific performance to execute a re-conveyance deed, emphasizing that such a claim assumes ownership on the part of the opposing party.

The Court observed that the plaintiff, in this case, denied the defendant’s right or title to the property in question. Consequently, the Court held that seeking the relief of specific performance was not appropriate under the given circumstances.

The justices, Abhay S. Oka and Pankaj Mithal, stated, “Therefore, taking the averments made in the plaint as correct, there was no occasion for the appellants to seek specific performance compelling the respondent to execute re-conveyance deed…”

The case involved plaintiffs Madhavan and Kaladevi, a father-daughter duo, and the defendant Kanakavally, who was a friend of the second plaintiff. According to the plaintiffs, the disputed property initially belonged to the first plaintiff.

Financial difficulties led to a transaction where the defendant allegedly advanced a sum of Rs. 13,000, using a sale deed as security. The plaintiffs argued that this was merely a paper transaction and not acted upon.

Despite the trial court initially granting a decree for specific performance in favor of the plaintiffs, the High Court overturned the decision.

The Supreme Court, upon reviewing the pleadings, reiterated that the suit agreement aimed to re-convey the property to the second plaintiff or her nominee. The Court highlighted that seeking specific performance implies accepting the title of the defendant.

Crucially, the Court noted the specific pleading that the second plaintiff had no authority to transfer her share to the defendant, and even after a deed of relinquishment, only the first plaintiff retained rights to the property.

The Court emphasized that the claim for specific performance contradicted the plaintiffs’ assertion that the defendant had no right over the property.

Case title: MADHAVAN (DEAD) THROUGH LRS. vs. KANAKAVALLY.