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DATE OF JUDGMENT1st March 2024
COURTSupreme Court of India
APPELLANTMajor Gen. Darshan Singh & Anr.
RESPONDENTBrij Bhushan Chaudhary
BENCHAbhay S Oka, J.


This is a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court of India regarding a civil appeal concerning a property sale agreement. Major Gen. Darshan Singh and his daughters (Appellants) were against Brij Bhushan Chaudhary (Respondent). The case revolves around an agreement for the sale of land from Brij Bhushan Chaudhary to Major Gen. Darshan Singh. Darshan Singh initiated legal action against Brij Bhushan Chaudhary, seeking either specific performance of the agreement (i.e., compelling him to sell the land) or, as an alternative, damages. Previous judgments from lower courts are as follows: The Trial Court granted ₹40,000 in damages to Darshan Singh but dismissed the specific performance claim. The High Court upheld the Trial Court’s decision. The Supreme Court, however, dismissed the appeal for specific performance citing reasons that included false or incorrect claims made by Darshan Singh’s side in the lawsuit and the failure to include other co-owners of the property as parties to the lawsuit. Additionally, the Supreme Court adjusted the Trial Court’s order by awarding post-decree interest at a rate of 6% per annum on the ₹40,000 damages.


  1. An agreement for sale was executed between the plaintiff and the defendant on 16th Jan, 1980. In regard to a property located in Chandigarh with an approximate area of 2438 sq yards. At an agreed price of Rs. 3,50,000 out of which Rs. 30,000 was paid by the plaintiff by the means of earnest money. Further mentioning that the sale deed was to be executed on or before 30th April, 1980.
  2. According to the case of the plaintiff there were further negotiations on the price of the property and a new draft sale deed was executed between the plaintiff, his 3 daughters (signatories to the agreement) and the defendant on 18th March,1980. The new agreed price was Rs. 2,90,000.
  3. Necessary permissions for sale according to the Urban Lands Act were furnished on 11th August,1980.
  4. Stamp papers were purchased by the plaintiff of Rs. 23,200 as required by the defendant on 19th July,1980.
  5. The registration of sale deed was to be executed between the parties on 29th August, 1980. For which a telegraphic notice was issued to the defendant by the plaintiff.
  6. The defendant did not appear at the registrars’ office on 29th August, 1980 for the registration of the sale deed.


Based on the facts presented, here are the key legal issues in the case:

  1. Whether relief for specific performance be granted to the plaintiff?
  2. Whether post decree interest along with damages of Rs. 40,000 be granted to the plaintiff ?


  1. The appellants (Darshan Singh’s daughters and co-plaintiffs) argued several points before the Supreme Court: The appellants argued that even though the relief for specific performance of the complete property could not be granted but relief can be granted for an undivided share of the property owned by the defendant. 
  2. They claimed they fulfilled the requirements of Section 16(c) of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 (1963 Act) by being ready and willing to perform their part of the agreement. 
  3. The Appellant also stated about a new draft agreement deed i.e. Novation Agreement was instituted between the parties on 18th March,1980.
  4. The Appellant also stated that he had received the possession of the suit property on the execution date of the draft sale deed agreement dated 18th March 1980.


  1. The respondent pointed out that the appellants made false statements in the lawsuit regarding:The legal status of the property , A new agreement reducing the price (Novation), Taking possession of the property
  2. Since the relief of specific performance is discretionary and equitable, the respondent argued that the appellants’ conduct of making false claims disentitled them from this relief.
  3. The respondent argued that the appellants did not implead the other co-sharers of the property in the lawsuit, further justifying the denial of specific performance relief.



  1. The Court upheld the lower courts’ decision to deny specific performance.
  2. However, the Court modified the decree to award post-decree interest at 6% per annum from the date of decree of the trial court on the ₹40,000 damages.

Key Findings of the Court

  1. The suit property was the property of the defendant’s Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), not the defendant’s individual property.
  2. The plaintiffs made false and/or incorrect statements in the lawsuit regarding: The legal status of the property (individual vs HUF), A new agreement reducing the price (novation), and Taking possession of the property.
  3. The plaintiffs did not implead the other co-sharers of the property in the lawsuit.
  4. The court considered the following factors: The plaintiffs suppressed the fact that the property belonged to HUF, The plaintiffs falsely claimed a new agreement reducing the sale price, The plaintiffs falsely claimed they took possession of the property.
  5. The court noted that even after the first plaintiff admitted the property belonged to HUF, the plaintiffs continued to pursue the entire property, ignoring the rights of the co-sharers who were not parties to the suit.


  1. The court dealt with the issue of whether specific performance could be granted regarding the contractual clause. Despite the agreement’s clauses allowing only for damages, the court examined the plaintiffs’ conduct and found it disentitling them from the equitable remedy. This underscores the court’s discretion in awarding specific performance and the importance of equitable principles in such cases.
  2. The plaintiffs’ submission of contradictory statements regarding the property’s ownership, price reduction, and possession significantly influenced the court’s decision. The court highlighted the importance of honesty and transparency in legal proceedings.This aspect underscores the need for litigants to maintain credibility and integrity throughout legal proceedings.
  3. The court also considered the failure of the plaintiffs to implead all necessary parties, particularly the co-sharers of the property. 
  4. While specific performance was denied, the court modified the decree to award post-decree interest on the damages awarded by the trial court. This demonstrates the court’s recognition of the plaintiffs’ legitimate claim for compensation. It reflects the court’s effort to balance equitable considerations with the need to provide adequate relief to aggrieved parties.


The judgment highlights the importance of honesty and transparency in legal proceedings.exclamation. While the plaintiffs had a valid agreement for the purchase of the property, their misleading statements regarding the property’s ownership, price reduction, and possession ultimately led the court to deny them the  remedy of specific performance. The case serves as a reminder that attempting to gain an advantage through inaccurate information can backfire and result in a loss of legal rights altogether. Additionally, the court’s decision to award post-decree interest on the damages awarded by the trial court demonstrates a recognition of the plaintiffs’ legitimate claim, even though the specific performance remedy was unavailable due to their conduct.exclamation


  1. https://www.sci.gov.in/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=get_judgements_pdf&diary_no=382342010&type=j&order_date=2024-03-01
  2. CiteCase https://citecase.in/major-gen-darshan-singh-vs-brij-bhushan-chaudhary-d-2024-insc-157-specific-relief-act/

This Article is written by Yashveer Singh Virk, a student at CCS University; Intern at Legal Vidhiya.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are intended solely for informational purposes. Accessing or using the site or the materials does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The information presented on this site is not to be construed as legal or professional advice, and it should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Additionally, the viewpoint presented by the author is of a personal nature.


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