The Supreme Court ruled that an unregistered document/agreement to sell shall not be admissible in evidence.
The respondent original plaintiff instituted Original Suit before the trial Court for permanent injunction only. The said suit was filed on the basis of an unregistered agreement to sell. The original plaintiff sought permanent injunction restraining the defendant from disturbing her possession in the suit property.
Counsel appearing for the appellant original defendant, submitted that the original plaintiff filed a suit for permanent injunction solely on the basis of the agreement to sell, which, as such, was unregistered.
He contended that such an unregistered agreement to sell is not admissible in evidence.
He argued that both, the first appellate Court as well as the High Court have not properly appreciated the fact that the suit filed by the original plaintiff was only for permanent injunction and she by adopting a clever drafting did not seek the relief for specific performance of agreement to sell as she was well aware that she would not succeed in the suit for specific performance on the basis of an unregistered agreement to sell.
Counsel for the respondent, submitted that as per the settled position of law, an unregistered document can be used for collateral purpose and therefore both, the first appellate Court as well as the High Court have rightly passed a decree for permanent injunction restraining the defendant from interfering with her possession, considering the agreement to sell for collateral purpose of grant of permanent injunction.
The division bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Krishna Murari noted that the original plaintiff instituted a suit praying for a decree of permanent injunction only, which was claimed on the basis of the agreement to sell.
The court further noted that the agreement to sell was an unregistered document/agreement to sell on ten rupees stamp paper. Therefore, as such, such an unregistered document/agreement to sell shall not be admissible in evidence.
“It may be true that in a given case, an unregistered document can be used and/or considered for collateral purpose. However, at the same time, the plaintiff cannot get the relief indirectly which otherwise he/she cannot get in a suit for substantive relief, namely, in the present case the relief for specific performance” the court said.
It was held by the court that the plaintiff cannot get the relief even for permanent injunction on the basis of such an unregistered document/agreement to sell, more particularly when the defendant specifically filed the counter-claim for getting back the possession which was allowed by the trial Court.
The bench further held that the first appellate Court and the High Court have committed a grave error in passing a decree for permanent injunction in favour of the plaintiff as against the defendant and dismissing the counter-claim filed by the original defendant.
Case title: Balram Singh v/s Kelo Devi
Citation: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6733 OF 2022