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Bhagwandas Fatechanci Daswani & Ors Vs. HPA International & Ors [2000] INSC 14 (13 January 2000)

V.N.Khare, N.Santosh Hegde

DER The defendant-appellants, who are the subsequent purchasers, are in appeal. This appeal is directed against tile judgment of Madras High Court dated 24th January, 1994 whereby the decree for specific performance of the agreement passed by the trial court was affirmed.

On 26th June, 1977 respondent No. 2 entered into an agreement with first respondent serein, for transfer of his life interest in the property in dispute. On 29.2.79.

respondent No. 2 transferred the rights in favour of the defendant-appellants who are the subsequent purchasers for consideration of Rs. 4.40 lakhs. Under such circumstances, plaintiff- respondent No. I brought a suit for specific performance, which was decreed by the trial court and the appeal preferred to the Hight Court was dismissed. It is in this way the defendant-appellants are before us.

Learned Attorney General appearing for the appellants urged that, before the High Court, the hearing of the appeal was concluded on 22 March, 1989 but the judgment was delivered on 24th January, 1994 - nearly five years after the hearing was concluded, and this long delay in delivery of judgment by itself is sufficient to set aside the judgment under appeal. Learned Attorney General has also relied upon decision of the Court in the case of Kanwar Sinsk and others vs. Sri Thakurii Mahany - 1995 Supp (4) SCC 125. At present, we are not deposed to go into this broad question as urged by the learned Attorney General.

However, it is correct to this extent that long delay in delivery of judgment gives rise to unnecessary speculations in the mind of parties to a case. Moreover, the appellants whose appeals have been dismissed by the High Court may have the apprehension that the arguments raised at the bar have not been reflected or appreciated while dictating the judgment - nearly after five years. This is fairly not disputed by learned senior counsel, Shri K. Parasaran, appearing for respondent No. 1. We, therefore, on this short question, set aside the judgment under appeal without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case and remit the case to the High Court for deciding the appeal afresh, on merits. In view of the fact, that the matter has been pending for a considerable period of time, we request the High Court to decide the matter expeditiously, if possible, within six months.

Before we part with the case, we would like to observe that when this appeal was filed in this Court, the interim relief prayed for by the appellants was refused. As a consequence, respondent No. 2 executed a sale deed in favour of respondent No. I, and respondent No. I came in possession of the property and since then, he continues to be in possession. Under such circumstances, respondent No.I being the lawful owner, so long the decree remains intact, is entitled to continue in possession over the property in dispute. Learned Attorney General urged that, incase respondent No. I is to continue in possession over the property, the interest of the appellants may also to be protected. It is then, learned counsel for the parties made an agreed stetement that during the pendency of the appeal before the High Court respondent No. I shall not create any third party right in respect of the property in dispute and further shall deposit the rent/income received from that property in the High Court after deducting the maintenance charges and tax liabilities which shall be subject to the decision of the appeal in the High Court. We order accordingly.

The appeal is allowed. There shall be no order as to costs. All the 1. As are disposed of accordingly.

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