Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Suresh Lataruji Ramteke V. Sau. Sumanbai Pandurang Petkar

Date of Order / Judgment: 21st September 2023.

The Matter Heard By Bench of : Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sanjay Karol


Sumanbai Pandurang Petkar who is the respondent in the present appeal was originally the defendant. Sumanbai had consented to sell the property to the appellant who is the plaintiff in the original case for a price of 6,60,000/-. The subject matter of dispute in the present case is the property in question i.e. 3 acres of land. The Divisional Commissioner, Nagpur Division, granted the requisite clearances for the execution of the sale deed. The Plaintiff tried hard to get the sale deed executed and despite his several attempts there was no execution of the sale deed. The plaintiff even served several notices on the respondents requiring them to be present at the office of the responsible authorities on December 16, 2009 at 11:30 AM to have the deed executed. The notices served were reportedly ignored because the defendants allegedly attempted to avoid appearing at the authority's office for such purposes. The plaintiff being unable to get the deed executed approached the trial court for specific performance. The trial court directed the plaintiff to deposit a sum of 6 lacs in the court and ordered that for defendant to be entitled to the deposited money he had to necessarily execute the sale deed. The matter went in appeal before the 1st appellate court on the issue of limitation and whether the judgment given by the trial court needed interference. The 1st appellate court dismissed the appeal without disturbing the findings of the trial court and holding that the suit was within the period of limitation. The case then went in second appeal before the High Court. The Court in second appeal framed substantial question of law and heard the appeal on the same day and reversed the concurrent findings rendered by both the courts below and dismissed the plaintiff’s suit for specific performance. Aggrieved by the decision of the High Court the present appeal was filed before the Supreme Court.

Observation of the Supreme Court

The Court criticized the manner in which the appeal was disposed in haste without giving parties an adequate opportunity of hearing: “The haste with which the Court proceeded to dispose of the appeal without proper and adequate opportunity to address arguments cannot be appreciated. The governing statute lays considerable emphasis on hearing the parties on all questions and the same is reflected in various pronouncements of this Court. The approach adopted by a Court in disposing of such appeals must abide by the same.” the Apex Court said.


In the case at hand, the High Court in Second Appeal overturned concurrent findings of fact without pointing out the exceptional circumstance or the perversity in the findings of the courts below. The Apex Court accordingly set aside the judgment of the High Court passed in Second Appeal and remanded the matter to the High Court for fresh consideration.