A Decree Can Only Be Executed In Respect Of Suit Property If Such Property Is Easily Identifiable: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has observed that a decree in respect of suit property can only be executed if the suit property is easily identifiable.
"There could be no doubt that a decree should not to the extent practicable be allowed to be defeated. At the same time, a decree can only be executed in respect of the suit property if the suit property is easily identifiable. The extent of the suit property would have to be determined by the Executing Court, as a question relating to execution, discharge or satisfaction of the decree.", the Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice AS Bopanna observed.
The Court made this observation while dealing with an appeal filed by Appellant-Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd challenging the Order passed by the Delhi High Court dismissing the Execution First Appeals filed by the appellant.
The Appellant operated two separate retail outlets/petrol pumps at two different sites at Azadpur in Delhi. One referred to as "Plot No. 4/4" and the other referred to as "Plot No.4/5"
Plot No. 4/4 later devolved on the Respondent who is the owner thereof.
In 2001, the Respondent applied for mutation of Plot No. 4/4. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi informed the Respondent that the property was being mutated in his name on the basis of documents furnished by him.
The Respondent filed a title suit for recovery of possession of Plot 4/4.
Soon after the trial of the suit commenced, the Respondent filed an application in the suit under Order XII Rule 6 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) seeking a summary judgment and order/decree for eviction of the Appellant from the suit property.
The Delhi High Court directed the Appellant to restore the suit property to the Respondent.
The Respondent was claiming mesne profits in respect of Plot No.4/4. On examination, the Respondent was granted mesne profit at the rate of Rs.50,000/- per month with effect from July 2003 till the vacation of the suit property.
Upon an appeal, the High Court partly allowed the appeal while holding that mesne profits would be payable not from July 2003 but from March 1, 2006.
By an order dated March 15, 2019, the Additional District Judge, Rohini Court, allowed Execution Application filed by the Respondent for possession of the suit premises and dismissed the subsequent applications filed by the Appellant, that is, the application for dismissal of the execution application on the ground of the decree not being executable and the application seeking restoration of possession of Plot No. 4/5, possession whereof had been taken in part execution of the decree.
Senior Advocate Vishwanathan appeared for the appellant whereas Advocate Kalra appeared for Respondent.
The Court observed that "There can be no doubt that the verdict of the Trial Court has assumed finality in respect of Plot No. 4/4. The Respondent is entitled to possession of Plot No. 4/4. The Respondent is also entitled to mesne profits at the rate of Rs.50,000/- per month from 1st March 2006, as directed by the High Court to make over, till the date on which the Appellant offered possession of Plot No. 4/4 to the Respondent."
Further on the question- whether the Respondent can take possession of any part of Plot No. 4/5 or any other plot in execution of the decree in suit which is only in respect of Plot No. 4/4, the Court answered it in negative.
The Court directed the Executing Court to decide the Execution Applications and all related applications afresh, in the light of the observations made by the Court by appointing a Revenue Officer as Local Commissioner to demarcate Plot No. 4/4 and make over possession of the said plot to the Respondent.
The Court further directed that any excess land of which possession may have been taken, whether of Plot No.4/5 or any land belonging to the Delhi Government shall be restored to the Appellant.
Cause Title- Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. v. Ajay Bhatia with Anr.