and Another Vs. Mahadevan  Insc 877 (29 August 2007)
Mathur & Markandey Katju
APPEAL NOS. 1619-1620 OF 2001 Markandey Katju, J.
These appeals have been filed against the judgment of the Kerala High Court
dated 27.5.1999 in Second Appeal No.960 of 1989. That Second Appeal arose out
of a suit being O.S. No.431 of 1983 filed by the present appellant Chacko and
his wife Annakutty against the defendant Mahadevan.
defendant in that suit Mahadevan in his turn filed suit O.S. 437 of 1983
against Chacko and Annakutty. Both these suits were tried together. The trial
court dismissed the suit filed by Chacko and Annakutty and decreed the suit
filed by Mahadevan. On appeals being filed, the appellate court reversed the
decrees of the trial court and granted Chacko and Annakutty a decree and
dismissed the suit filed by Mahadevan. Aggrieved Mahadevan filed the second
appeal before the High Court, which was allowed and hence this appeal.
have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record.
facts of the case are that Chacko had land of an extent of 20 cents (100 cents
being equal to 1 acre). By sale deed dated 4.9.1982, Ext.A2, Chacko sold one
cent out of this land for Rs.18000. Thereafter Chacko sold another three cents
of this land to Mahadevan for Rs.1000 vide sale deed dated 11.7.1983 Ext.A3.
The suit O.S.431 of 1983 was filed by Chacko and Annakutty seeking to set aside
that sale deed dated 11.7.1983, Ext.A3, on the ground that it was vitiated by
fraud and was hence null and void and for a prohibitory injunction restraining Mahadevan
from entering into that property. The averment in the plaint was that Chacko
was given liquor by Mahadevan and others and under that influence the sale deed
was got executed. Hence it was void. The defendant Mahadevan denied the
trial court held that Chacko and Annakutty had not proved any vitiating
circumstances to invalidate the said sale deed Ext.A3 dated 11.7.1983 and
consequently title to the said land passed to Mahadevan.
and Annakutty filed an appeal before the First Appellate Court. The First
Appellate Court held that the fact that one cent land was sold for Rs.18000
vide Ext.A2 (sale deed dated 4.9.1982) and three cent land was sold vide Ext.A3
(sale deed dated 11.7.1983) for a sum of Rs.1000, showed that this was an
unconscionable transaction and hence the sale deed dated 11.7.1983 was liable
to be set aside. Aggrieved Mahadevan filed a Second Appeal, which was allowed
by the impugned judgment.
may be mentioned that in a First Appeal filed under Section 96 CPC, the
appellate court can go into questions of fact, whereas in a Second Appeal filed
under Section 100 CPC the High Court cannot interfere with the findings of fact
of the First Appellate Court, and it is confined only to questions of law.
Hence we have to see the judgment of the First Appellate Court and its findings
perusal of the judgment of the First Appellate Court dated 29.6.1988, copy of
which is Annexure-P2 to this appeal, shows that it has been recorded therein
that Chacko was not having sound mind when he executed Ext. A3, which is
established from Ext.A4 which is the medical certificate. He was treated from
11.8.1983 to 14.8.1983 in Mental Hospital, Trichur for Alcoholic Psychosis.
This is a finding of fact which could not have been interfered with by the High
Court in Second Appeal. Moreover, it is established from the facts that one
cent of land was sold for Rs.18000 on 4.9.1982 vide Ext.A2, while 10 months
thereafter three cents of land was sold for only Rs.1000. This corroborates the
finding of the First Appellate Court that Chacko was not of sound mind at least
at the time when he executed the sale deed dated 11.7.1983. If one cent of land
costs Rs.18000 then three cents of land should ordinarily cost Rs.54000. No one
in his senses would sell property worth Rs.54000 for Rs.1000. According to the
well known Latin maxim 'res ipsa loquitur' i.e. the matter speaks for itself.
it is obvious that Chacko sold the land by sale deed dated 11.7.1983 when he
was not of sound mind and some fraud was played on him at that time.
the circumstances, we set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court and
restore the judgment of the First Appellate Court dated 29.6.1988 and we quash
the sale deed dated 11.7.1983.
Appeals are allowed. There is no order as to costs.