Impleading Of Proper Parties As Defendants In Suit For Specific Performance Enables Court To Adjudicate Suit Completely- Karnataka HC
A Karnataka High Court Bench of Justice Vijaykumar A Patil has observed that the impleading of proper parties as defendants in a suit filed for the specific performance of a contract enables the Court to adjudicate the suit pending before it completely, as it will have the complete facts and evidence before it, which will allow it to arrive at a just and proper conclusion.
In that context, it was said that, "In the instant case, the contesting respondents may not be necessary parties but proper parties to the suit. The presence of proposed defendants would enable the Court to adjudicate the lis pending before it completely and will have complete facts and evidence before it, to arrive at a just and proper conclusion with regard to grant of relief sought by the plaintiff. The relief sought by the plaintiff is being a discretionary relief, the trial Court is required to consider the various factors before passing appropriate orders in the suit."
Counsel Sridhar N and Counsel N Roopa appeared for the petitioner, while Counsel S Rajashekar, among others, appeared for the respondents.
In this case, the issue pertained to a sale agreement concerning a piece of immovable property. The primary defendants were the heirs of the alleged seller, who refused to carry out the sale by executing the sale deed in favor of the plaintiff. Consequently, the plaintiff initiated a lawsuit seeking the specific performance of the contract, essentially requesting that the defendants be legally compelled to fulfill their end of the agreement.
During the pendency of the lawsuit, Respondent Nos. 9 to 53 submitted an application to join the proceedings as defendants. They asserted that they had purchased portions of land carved out from the property mentioned in the sale agreement. The Court granted their application, allowing them to become parties to the case.
The petitioner, however, argued against this decision, contending that the proposed defendants were not part of the original sale agreement. Since the lawsuit was primarily about enforcing that agreement, the petitioner claimed that the proposed defendants were neither necessary nor appropriate parties to the case.
The defendants countered this argument by asserting that they were legitimate buyers of portions of the land, having obtained lawful possession through registered sale deeds in their favor.
The Court observed that the only question arising was whether the prior purchasers were necessary and proper parties to the suit for specific performance of the contract.
Holding that the proposed respondents were necessary and proper parties to the suit, the Court propounded the following reasons:
i) If the proposed respondents are not allowed to participate in the suit filed by the plaintiff for specific performance and if the said suit is decreed in favour of the plaintiff it would affect the independent right claimed/asserted by the contesting respondents based on their registered sale deed which is prior to the agreement of sale would lead to multiplicity of proceedings.
ii) If the application for impleadment is rejected, no effective decree can be passed in favour of the plaintiff in the absence of such party as the proposed defendants are claiming that they are registered sale deed holders in possession.
iii) There is no dispute with regard to preposition of law that if the third party is impleaded in the suit, the scope of the suit for specific performance would be enlarged to a suit for title and possession. In a suit for specific performance, it is essential that there is a valid and binding contract between the parties, and the proposed defendants have specifically contended that the subject agreement of sale is invalid document, entereted into fraudulently. The prior purchasers of the property are necessary parties only to the extent of ascertaining the validity of the agreement of sale. Hence, question of enlarging the scope of suit for specific performance would not arise.
iv) A necessary party is a person who ought to have been made a party to the suit or proceedings and in his absence no effective decree would have been passed and if necessary party is not impleaded in the suit, the suit itself is liable to be rejected. However, a proper party is a party though not a necessary party, however, his presence would enable the Court to completely and effectively adjudicate upon the lis pending before it, though he need not be a person against whom the decree is made. In the instant case, the contesting respondents may not be necessary parties but proper parties to the suit.
v) The party who seeks specific performance of the contract is required to satisfy all the requirements essential for seeking the relief in equity. Hence, the proposed defendants who have purchased the suit schedule property prior to the subject sale agreement are necessary parties to the suit.
vi) The peculiar facts and circumstances of the case leads to an inference that the defence of the proposed defendants are necessary in the suit for specific performance filed by the plaintiff and for complete adjudication of lis.
vii) The impleadment of the proposed defendants in the suit would help/aid the trial Court as to whether it should exercise and grant discretionary relief in favour of the plaintiff or not.
In light of the same, the Court observed that, "The proposed defendants are allowed to come on record upon specific terms that they shall put up their defence only to the extent of prayer sought in the suit and they are not allowed to enlarge the scope of specific performance to a suit for title or possession."
Subsequently, the writ petition was dismissed.
Cause Title: Sri Chinnaswamy Gowda vs Sri Shivaramu CM & Ors.