Saketa Vaksana Llp vs Kaukutla Sarala on 17 December, 2019


Supreme Court of India

Saketa Vaksana Llp vs Kaukutla Sarala on 17 December, 2019

Author: Hon’Ble Ms. Malhotra

Bench: Hon’Ble Ms. Malhotra, Ajay Rastogi

                                                                        REPORTABLE


                                  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                    CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                                  CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9483         OF 2019
                              (Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 21349 of 2019)


          Saketa Vaksana LLP & Anr.                                       …Appellants


                                                  Versus


          Kaukutla Sarala & Ors.                                        …Respondents


                                                   WITH


                                  CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9484         OF 2019
                              (Arising out of SLP (Civil) No. 21357 of 2019)


                                             JUDGMENT

INDU MALHOTRA, J.

Leave granted.

1.
Signature Not Verified
The present Civil Appeals have been filed by the Appellants to
Digitally signed by
NEELAM GULATI

challenge the Interim Orders dated 14.08.2019 passed in I.A.
Date: 2019.12.17
17:14:28 IST
Reason:

1
No. 1/2019 and I.A. No. 2/2019 filed in CMA No. 646/2019

by the High Court of Telangana.

2. The factual background is that the Appellant – Developer and

the Respondent – Landowners entered into an Agreement of

Sale dated 17.11.2017, whereby the Respondents agreed to

sell agricultural land comprising of 54 acres 13 guntas

situated in Turkapalli Village, Shamirpet Mandal, Medchal­

Malkajgiri District to the Appellant – Developer. The sale

consideration was fixed at Rs. 46,00,000/­ per acre.

The land was divided into 5 schedules, and each

schedule of land was to be sold to the Appellant – Developer

upon payment of the proportionate sale consideration.
Clause 7 of the Agreement dated 17.11.2017 stated that

physical possession of the entire land was handed over to the

Appellant – Developer on the day of execution of the

Agreement.

The Agreement of Sale dated 17.11.2017 was an

unregistered document executed on a Stamp Paper of Rs.

100. The Stamp Duty on this Agreement was paid by the

Appellant – Developer on 27.08.2018.

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3. Out of the total extent of land, the Respondents executed four

registered Agreements of Sale cum General Power of Attorney

with respect to 36 acres 21½ guntas of land in favour of the

Appellant – Developer. The first two Agreements of Sale were

executed on 03.01.2018; the third on 24.03.2018; and the

fourth on 31.03.2018.

The Appellant – Developer submitted that it has paid Rs.

17,25,00,000/­ for the aforesaid four Agreements of Sale.

The Respondents have seriously disputed this

submission, and stated that an amount of only Rs.

14,25,00,000/­ was paid by the Appellant – Developer.

This gave rise to disputes between the parties for

payment of the balance consideration for land admeasuring

17 acres 31½ guntas (“suit property”).

4. The Appellant – Developer filed a Suit for Specific

Performance bearing O.S. No. 213/2018 seeking Specific

Performance of the Agreement of Sale dated 17.11.2017

before the XVI Additional District and Sessions Judge, Ranga

Reddy District (“Trial Court”).

The Appellant/Plaintiff prayed that the Respondents be

directed to execute the Sale Deed for the suit property

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admeasuring 17 acres 31½ guntas; and provide ingress and

egress to the land admeasuring 36 acres 21½ guntas for

which the registered Agreements of Sale cum GPA had been

executed.

5. The Respondents filed the Written Statement cum Counter

Claim seeking payment of Rs. 2,55,72,500/­ towards the

balance consideration for the 36 acres 21½ guntas of land

already transferred in favour of the Appellant – Developer.

The Respondents further claimed an amount of Rs.

1,00,00,000/­ towards the damage caused by the Appellant –

Developer to the suit property.

The said Suit is pending final determination before the

Trial Court.

6. The Appellant – Developer filed two I.A.s in the Suit praying

for Temporary Injunction under Order XXXIX Rule 1 and 2 of

the CPC before the Trial Court.

I.A. No. 766/2018 was filed for a temporary injunction

restraining the Respondents from interfering with the

peaceful possession and enjoyment of the Appellant –

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Developer over the entire land admeasuring 54 acres 13

guntas.

I.A. No. 767/2018 was filed for a temporary injunction

restraining the Respondents from alienating or creating any

third­party interest in the suit property admeasuring 17 acres

31½ guntas.

7. In I.A. No. 766/2018, the Respondent/Defendants disputed

the possession of the Appellant – Developer over the suit

property admeasuring 17 acres 31½ guntas. They produced a

Rent Agreement to show that a parcel of land admeasuring

12,000 sq. feet was in the possession of a third party.

However, in the Agreements of Sale executed by the

Respondents in favour of the Appellant – Developer, it was

mentioned that possession of the entire land admeasuring 54

acres 13 guntas was handed over to the Appellant –

Developer at the time of the execution of the Agreement dated

17.11.2017.

The Trial Court passed an Interim Order dated

01.05.2019 in I.A. No. 766/2018 with respect to the prayer

for injunction restraining the Respondents from interfering

with the peaceful possession of the Appellant – Developer over

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the suit property, and held that the issue with respect to

possession of the suit property admeasuring 17 acres 31½

could only be decided in trial.

In view of the aforesaid facts, the Trial Court held that

the Appellant – Developer made out a prima facie case, and

the balance of convenience was in their favour. The Trial

Court granted a temporary injunction restraining the

Respondents from interfering with the possession of the

Appellant – Developer over the suit property excluding the

extent of 12,000 sq. feet.

8. In I.A. No. 767/2018, the Trial Court vide Interim Order

dated 01.05.2019 granted a Temporary Injunction restraining

the Respondents from alienating or creating third party

interest in the suit property till the disposal of the suit,

subject to the Appellant – Developer depositing the balance

sale consideration @Rs. 46,00,000/­ per acre.

9. The Appellant – Developer filed two Miscellaneous Appeals

bearing C.M.A. No. 535/2019 and C.M.A. No. 536/2019

before a Single Judge of the High Court to challenge the

Interim Orders passed by the Trial Court.

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10. The Respondents filed a cross Miscellaneous Appeal bearing

C.M.A. No. 646/2019 before the division bench of the High

Court praying for setting aside the Temporary Injunction

restraining them from interfering with the peaceful

possession of the Appellant – Developer over the suit

property.

It is relevant to note that the Order dated 01.05.2019

passed by the Trial Court in I.A. No. 767/2018 has not been

challenged by the Respondent – Landowners.

11. A Single Judge of the High Court vide Interim Order dated

22.05.2019 directed that the Temporary Injunction

restraining the Respondents from interfering with the

peaceful possession of the Appellant – Developer would

extend to the entire suit property, including the parcel of

12,000 sq. feet of land.

The Single Judge vide a further Interim Order dated

22.05.2019 directed that the injunction restraining the

Respondents from creating third party rights in the suit

property would operate, without the condition of depositing

the balance sale consideration.

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12. In C.M.A. No. 646/2019, the division bench of the High Court

vide the impugned Interim Orders dated 14.08.2019 has set

aside the Order of Temporary Injunction dated 01.05.2019

passed by the Trial Court in I.A. No. 766/2018.

The division bench held that there is no documentary

evidence to prima facie show that the Appellant – Developer is

in physical possession of the suit property. Furthermore, the

issue whether the Appellant – Developer has paid part

consideration for the entire suit property was required to be

determined in the trial. The division bench took the view that

the Appellant – Developer had not made out a prima facie

case for grant of Temporary Injunction. The Respondents

being the lawful owners of the suit property, granting such an

injunction would cause irreparable loss and hardship to

them.

Consequently, the Temporary Injunction restraining the

Respondents from interfering with the peaceful possession of

the Appellant – Developer in the suit property was vacated.

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13. The Appellant – Developer has challenged the Interim Orders

dated 14.08.2019 by way of the present Civil Appeals.

We have heard Mr. Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Sr. Adv. on

behalf of the Appellant – Developer and Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Sr.

Adv. on behalf of the Respondents, and perused the material

on record.

14. The Appellant – Developer submitted that they have

developed and sold plots on the tract of land admeasuring 36

acres 21½ guntas to third parties. It was prayed that unless

an Agreement of Sale with respect to the suit property

admeasuring 17 acres 31½ guntas is registered in their

favour, they cannot provide ingress and egress to the plots

already sold by them. As a consequence, the purchasers of

those plots have been threatening to initiate criminal

proceedings against the Appellant – Developer.

15. The Respondent – Landowners submitted that the Appellant –

Developer has ingress and egress to the land admeasuring 36

acres 21½ guntas, which has already been transferred. The

Respondents had filed a Counter Claim in the Suit before the

Trial Court for payment of the balance sale consideration for

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36 acres 21½ guntas of land which had already been

transferred to the Appellant – Developer.

It was further submitted that the Appellant – Developer

has not paid any consideration whatsoever with respect to

the suit property admeasuring 17 acres 31½ guntas.

Consequently, the Agreement of Sale dated 17.11.2017

stands cancelled qua the suit property.

16. We find that there are seriously disputed questions of fact

involved in this matter. The first issue is whether possession

of the suit property was at all handed over to the Appellant –

Developer or not.

On the one hand, the Appellant – developer relied on

Clause 7 of the Agreement dated 17.10.2017 to show that

possession of the suit property was handed over to them at

the time of execution of the Agreement.
On the other hand, the Respondents submitted that it

was only symbolic possession which was given to the

Appellant – Developer, while physical possession remained

with the Respondent – Landowners. The Respondents averred

that they are growing vegetables, and have a guest house,

servant quarters and a shed on the suit property.

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17. The second issue is whether part consideration for the suit

property was paid by the Appellant – Developer to the

Respondent – Landowners or not.

The Appellant – Developer submitted that it had paid a

total of Rs. 17,25,00,000/­ to the Respondents, and only Rs.

3,72,03,750/­ was the balance payable for the suit property.

The Respondents however, submitted that the Appellant

– Developer had paid only Rs. 14,25,00,000/­, and was still

liable to pay Rs. 10,73,95,000/­ towards the balance sale

consideration for the entire suit property, as well as some

part of the land already transferred in favour of the Appellant

– Developer.

18. During the course of hearing, the Senior Counsel for the

Appellant – Developer made an offer to deposit Rs.

10,00,00,000/­ in this Court on a “without prejudice” basis.

The Respondents however, rejected the said offer.

19. Since both the issues raised are seriously disputed which will

be decided during the course of trial, we are of the view that

the Orders dated 14.08.2019 passed by the division bench of

the High Court do not warrant any interference.

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The High Court has already granted a Temporary

Injunction restraining the Respondents from alienating or

creating third party rights in the suit property till the disposal

of the Suit. The interest of the Appellant – Developer has been

sufficiently protected with respect to ownership of the suit

property.

20. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we affirm the Orders

dated 14.08.2019 passed by the division bench of High Court,

whereby the Temporary Injunction restraining the

Respondents from interfering with the possession of the

Appellant – Developer over the suit property has been

vacated.

21. We have expressed no opinion on the merits of the matter,

since the observations have been made at an interim stage of

the proceedings.

22. We however direct that the hearing of O.S. No. 213/2018

pending before the XVI Additional District and Sessions

Judge, Ranga Reddy District be expedited, and disposed of

preferably within a period of one year from today.

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The Civil Appeals are therefore, dismissed.

Pending Applications if any, are accordingly disposed of.

Ordered accordingly.

……………………………….J.

(UDAY UMESH LALIT)

.………………………………J.

(INDU MALHOTRA)

.………………………………J.

(KRISHNA MURARI)

New Delhi,
December 17, 2019

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