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‘Lifting veil’, exposing ‘sinister design’ must for civil courts: HC

December 04, 2018 05:21 AM

COURTESY THE TRIBUNE DEC 4

‘Lifting veil’, exposing ‘sinister design’ must for civil courts: HC
Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3

The High Court has held that the courts below were required to make sincere attempt to “lift the veil” and expose “sinister design” even in civil litigation.
Holding that the courts below had started deciding the cases in a perfunctory and cursory manner without sincere attempt to “lift the veil”, the Bench added that they were not trying to dig out the actual facts and evidence available.

The ruling by Justice Anil Kshetarpal came on regular second appeals by Lakhpat Singh and other appellants against Nirmal and other respondents. The Faridabad case revolves around a registered sale deed executed in favour of appellant-Lakhpat in 1997 for 7 kanals and 2 marlas.


Justice Kshetarpal asserted that facts established that courts below failed to look into a son’s “sinister design” to get rid of the registered sale deed executed by his mother and signed by his brothers.

Justice Kshetarpal also ruled that the judgment of conviction of a vendee or a property buyer in entirely unconnected cases could not be made basis to set aside a registered sale deed. Besides, investigation report prepared by the police was not binding on the civil court. As such, the courts were required be careful while basing their judgments on police report.

Justice Kshetarpal added that a report prepared in police investigation could not be made the basis to set aside a registered sale deed. It could, at most, be a piece of evidence, but the civil court could not base its decision on the report.

“Report by police officials cannot even be made the sole basis to convict a person in a criminal case. The prosecution has to lead evidence before a court and prove the guilt of the accused. Similarly, in a civil suit evidence lead by the parties in the civil litigation is to be appreciated by the Court in a proper perspective to thereafter decide the case.”

Justice Kshetarpal also ruled that a sale deed could not be set aside only on the grounds of “some suspicion” in the execution of the agreement to sell, once it was followed by the execution and registration of the sale deed.

Justice Kshetarpal added that the sale deed was executed and registered before the Registration Authority. Once a sale deed had been executed, the agreement to sell pales into insignificance. The court can examine the validity of the sale deed while making reference to the agreement to sell undoubtedly in a particular case where unimpeachable evidence has come.

“But, normally once a sale deed has been executed and registered, the sale deed cannot be set aside on the basis of the alleged suspicion of the validity of the agreement to sell,” Justice Kshetarpal concluded.

Property dispute

The case revolves around a registered sale deed executed in favour of appellant-Lakhpat in 1997 for 7 kanals and 2 marlas
Justice Kshetarpal asserted that facts clearly established that courts below failed to look into a son’s ‘sinister design’ to get rid of the registered sale deed executed by his mother and signed by his brothers

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