Protection under section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act

Union of India V. M/s K.C. Sharma and Co
Decided on: 17/8/2020
Court: Supreme Court

Civil Appeal No 9049-9053 of 2011

Issue: Whether the protection under section 53A of the transfer of property act is available to a person, in whose favour a valid sale deed is not executed?
A suit seeking declaration that the decree obtained from the trial court was by fraud was filed by the government, which was later set aside by the High Court.

Brief facts:
The land acquired by the government belonged to the gaon sabha. The present respondent has claimed compensation from the government on the said land, as it was given on lease for the removal of shora from the land and thereby make it fit for cultivation.
A suit was filed under section 30 & 31 of the land acquisition act by the respondent. The said suit was decided in favour of the respondent and thereby granting compensation to an extent of 87% to the respondent as the respondent has spent a huge amount in cultivation and also was in continuous possession of the land since 30 years and 13% to the gaon sabha. After almost 3 years, the aforementioned judgement was challenged through a writ, claiming that the respondent was not the lessee and that compensation was claimed in collusion with the ex-pradhan. An impleading application was filed in lieu to the writ. The said suit was disposed.

A suit was filed by the appellant claiming that the decree was obtained by fraud in the High Court of Delhi, which was transferred to the ADM, who decreed in favor of the appellant. Aggrieved by this decision, the present respondent filed a first appeal before the High Court. After hearing both the parties the High Court decided the case in favour of the respondent and thereby setting aside the decree passed by the trial court. It went on to observe that the appellant has not pleaded necessary particulars to show that the decree was obtained by fraud and also observed that the respondent was in continuous possession of the land as per the
revenue records.

Being aggrieved by this decision the appellant has approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court, contending in addition to what was contended before the High Court that, in absence of a lease deed executed in favour of the respondent by the panchayat, it can only be said that it was just a license for removal of shora and not a lease.

Decision:
The supreme court after taking note of both the aspects contended, agreed with the stand taken by the High Court and thereby observed that, protection under section 53A of the transfer of property act is available to a person who is put in possession pursuant to an agreement of lease in favour though no lease has been registered. It further held that when a decree passed by the earlier court is questioned on the ground of fraud, it is necessary to plead and prove such fraud. There cannot be any inference contrary to records. Therefore dismissing the said appeal the court was of the opinion that there is no case made out so as to interfere with the judgement passed by the High Court.

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