Restitution is a remedy against unjust enrichment or unjust benefit.

The concept of restitution is a common law principle and it is a remedy against unjust enrichment or unjust benefit. The court cannot be used as a tool by a litigant to perpetuate illegality. A person who is on the right side of the law, should not have a feeling that in case he is dragged in litigation, and wins, he would turn out to be a loser and wrong­doer as a real gainer, after 20 or 30 years.

It is a settled law that when there is stay of proceedings by court, no person can be made to suffer for no fault on his part and a person who has liability but for the interim stay, cannot be permitted to reap the advantages on the basis of interim orders of the court. In Amarjeet Singh v. Devi Ratan, (2010) 1 SCC 417, it was held that no person can suffer from the act of court and unfair advantage gained by a party of interim order must be neutralised. The Court should never permit a litigant to perpetuate illegality by abusing the legal process. It is the bounden duty of the court to ensure that dishonesty and any attempt to abuse the legal process must be effectively curbed and the court must ensure that there is no wrongful, unauthorised or unjust gain for anyone by the abuse of process of the court. No one should be allowed to use the judicial process for earning undeserved gains or unjust profits. The object and true meaning of the concept of restitution cannot be achieved unless the courts adopt a pragmatic approach in dealing with the cases. The Court observed: Continue reading “Restitution is a remedy against unjust enrichment or unjust benefit.”

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Consumer Law in India in 2019

Highlights of the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 2019:

1. District forum is renamed as District Commission

2. The Opposite Party needs to deposit 50% of the amount ordered by District Commission before filing appeal before State Commission, earlier the ceiling was of maximum of Rs. 25,000/-, which has been removed.

3. The limitation period for filing of appeal to State Commission is increased from 30 days to 45 days, while retaining power to condone the delay.

4. State Commission shall have a minimum of 1 President and 4 Members

5. The original pecuniary jurisdiction of District Commission shall be uptil Rs. 1 Crore, State Commission from 1 Cr – 10 Cr. And NCDRC to be more than Rs. 10 crore

6. Now complainant can also institute the complaint within the territorial jurisdiction of the Commission where the complainant resides or personally works for gain besides what was provided earlier Continue reading “Consumer Law in India in 2019”

Transfer of property by ostentatious owner

Right of Purchaser of property.

Sale without title.:

Facts of the case:

i) that the original plaintiff purchased the suit land by a registered sale deed dated 06.01.1990, executed by late Pranab Kumar Bora on payment of full sale consideration;

ii) that as on 06.01.1990, the suit land was ceiling surplus land and the government was the owner;

iii) that the land in question became ceiling free land on 14.09.1990;

Continue reading “Transfer of property by ostentatious owner”

Specific Performance of Development Agreement between Builder and Owner

Meaning of “development agreement”:

The expression “development agreement” has not been defined statutorily. In a sense, it is a catch-all nomenclature which is used to be describe a wide range of agreements which an owner of a property may enter into for development of immovable property. As real estate transactions have grown in complexity, the nature of these agreements has become increasingly intricate. Broadly speaking, (without intending to be exhaustive), development agreements may be of various kinds:

(i) An agreement may envisage that the owner of the immovable property engages someone to carry out the work of construction on the property for monetary consideration. This is a pure construction contract;

(ii) An agreement by which the owner or a person holding other rights in an immovable property grants rights to a third party to carry on development for a monetary consideration payable by the developer to the other. In such a situation, the owner or right holder may in effect create an interest in the property in favour of the developer for a monetary consideration;

(iii) An agreement where the owner or a person holding any other rights in an immovable property grants rights to another person to carry out development. In consideration, the developer has to hand over a part of the constructed area to the owner. The developer is entitled to deal with the balance of the constructed area. In some situations, a society or similar other association is formed and the land is conveyed or leased to the society or association;

(iv) A development agreement may be entered into in a situation where the immovable property is occupied by tenants or other right holders. In some cases, the property may be encroached upon. The developer may take on the entire responsibility to settle with the occupants and to thereafter carry out construction; and

(v) An owner may negotiate with a developer to develop a plot of land which is occupied by slum dwellers and which has been declared as a slum. Alternately, there may be old and dilapidated buildings which are occupied by a number of occupants or tenants. The developer may undertake to rehabilitate the occupants or, as the case may be, the slum dwellers and thereafter share the saleable constructed area with the owner. Continue reading “Specific Performance of Development Agreement between Builder and Owner”

Plea of fraud after 16 years delay

Plea of fraud raised at the stage of execution of decree.

The assignment of agreement, which was basis of decree sought to be challenged claiming the signatures on the deed to bea forgery but no explanation offered for delay of 16 years in raising the question.

Kalyani executed an agreement for sale on 27.12.1968 in favour of second plaintiff-Vasudevan Pillai. Second plaintiff assigned the aforesaid agreement on 05.08.1978 in favour of one Rajayyan and the said Rajayyan assigned the agreement in favour of third plaintiff-Selvi on 10.03.1983. As pointed out earlier, all the three plaintiffs filed final decree application in I.A. No.120 of 1985. After the disposal of the matter by the first appellate court and when the second appeal was pending before the High Court, second plaintiff Vasudevan Pillai filed an affidavit on 07.01.2013 before the trial court – District Munsiff Court, Kuzhithurai alleging that a fraud has been played on him and denying the right of third plaintiff-Selvi to pursue the final decree application. Continue reading “Plea of fraud after 16 years delay”

Procedure for disposal of Second Appeal by High Court.

Framing of question of law:

High Court framed 6 questions of law at the time of admission of appeal but delivered no judgement on those questions. However it framed two other questions in the judgement and decided the appeal. Procedure if legal?

First, though it rightly framed six substantial questions of law at the time of admission of the appeal on 30.11.2002 as arising in the case but erred in not answering these questions.

The High Court had the jurisdiction to decide the second appeal only on the six substantial questions of law framed at the time of admitting the appeal. In other words, the jurisdiction of the High Court to decide the second appeal was confined only to six questions framed and not beyond it. Continue reading “Procedure for disposal of Second Appeal by High Court.”

Extinguishment of right, title and interest in property

Effect of Re-grant of Land.

Whatever so-called rights, title and interest which the original holders derived from the orders of re-grant in 1973 in the suit property in their favour, the same stood extinguished by efflux of time.

The reason was that in order to keep such new rights intact and enforceable, the original holders (three PATIL) were under a legal obligation to have filed a suit for claiming a declaration and possession of the suit land and this ought to have been done by them within 12 years from the date of re-grant, i.e., 1973.

They, however, failed to do so within 12 years and when they actually tried to exercise their rights by filing the suit in 2004 (after 31 years from 1973), by then it was too late to exercise such rights in law. By that time, their rights in the suit land stood extinguished. Continue reading “Extinguishment of right, title and interest in property”

Arbitration Clause referring to 1940 Act

Applicability of Arbitration Act, 1996.

What is material for the purposes of the applicability of 1996 Act is the agreement between the parties to refer the disputes to arbitration. If there be such an arbitration agreement which satisfies the requirements of Section 7 of 1996 Act, and if no arbitral proceeding had commenced before 1996 Act came into force, the matter would be completely governed by the provisions of 1996 Act. Any reference to 1940 Act in the arbitration agreement would be of no consequence and the matter would be referred to arbitration only in terms of 1996 Act consistent with the basic intent of the parties as discernible from the arbitration agreement to refer the disputes to arbitration. Continue reading “Arbitration Clause referring to 1940 Act”

Prosecution for perjury

Scheme of Section 195 read with sec. 340 of Cr. P.C.

The prosecution for perjury should be sanctioned by courts only in those cases where the perjury appears to be deliberate and conscious and the conviction is reasonably probable or likely.

No doubt giving of false evidence and filing false affidavits is an evil which must be effectively curbed with a strong hand but to start prosecution for perjury too readily and too frequently without due care and caution and on inconclusive and doubtful material defeats its very purpose. Prosecution should be ordered when it is considered expedient in the interests of justice to punish the delinquent and not merely because there is some inaccuracy in the statement which may be innocent or immaterial. There must be prima facie case of deliberate falsehood on a matter of substance and the court should be satisfied that there is reasonable foundation for the charge.

[Source: Chajoo Ram v. Radhey Shyam, AIR 1971 SC 1367, 1971 SCR 172]

In view of the language used in Section 340 CrPC the court is not bound to make a complaint regarding commission of an offence referred to in Section 195(1)(b), as the section is conditioned by the words “court is of opinion that it is expedient in the interests of justice”.

Continue reading “Prosecution for perjury”

Demand of additional consideration after execution of Sale Deed

Cancellation of sale due to non utilization:

In the first instance, it needs to be emphasised that there is no such condition of completion of construction within a period of two years in the sale deed. Such a condition was only in the allotment letter. However, after the said allotment, the appellant- Corporation not only received entire consideration but executed the sale deeds as well. In the sale deeds no such condition was stipulated. Therefore, the High Court is right in holding that after the sale of the property by the appellant-Corporation to the respondents, whereby the respondents acquired absolute marketable title to the property, the appellant-Corporation had no right to insist on the conditions mentioned in the allotment letter, which cease to have any effect after the execution of the sale deed.

Rights and duties of buyers and sellers:

Section 55 of the Transfer of Property Act deals with rights and liabilities of buyer and seller. As per this provision, when the buyer discharges obligations and seller passes/conveys the ownership of the property, the contract is concluded. Thereafter, the liabilities, obligations and rights, if any, between the buyer and seller would be governed by other provisions of the Contract Act and the Specific Relief Act, on the execution of the sale deed. The seller cannot unilaterally cancel the conveyance or sale. Continue reading “Demand of additional consideration after execution of Sale Deed”