Rajesh Kumar vs Anand Kumar 2024 INSC 444 – Specific Relief Act -Power Of Attorney Holder – Readiness & Willingness

Specific Relief Act, 1963,Section 12- In a suit for specific performance wherein the plaintiff is required to aver and prove that he has performed or has always been ready and willing to perform the essential terms of the contract, a Power of Attorney Holder is not entitled to depose in place and instead of the plaintiff (principal). In other words, if the Power of Attorney Holder has rendered some ‘acts’ in pursuance of power of attorney, he may depose for the principal in respect of such acts, but he cannot depose for the principal for the act done by the principal and not by him. Similarly, he cannot depose for the principal in respect of the matter of which only the principal can have personal knowledge and in respect of which the principal is entitled to be cross-examined. If a plaintiff, in a suit for specific performance is required to prove that he was always ready and willing to perform his part of the contract, it is necessary for him to step into the witness box and depose the said fact and subject himself to cross-examination on that issue. A plaintiff cannot examine in his place, his attorney holder who did not have personal knowledge either of the transaction or of his readiness and willingness. The term ‘readiness and willingness’ refers to the state of mind and conduct of the purchaser, as also his capacity and preparedness, one without the other being not sufficient. Therefore, a third party having no personal knowledge about the transaction cannot give evidence about the readiness and willingness. (Para 12)

Specific Relief Act, 1963 – The effect of filing a suit for specific performance after long delay, may be at the fag end of period of limitation- The courts will also frown upon suits which are not filed immediately after the breach/refusal. The fact that limitation is three years does not mean that a purchaser can wait for one or two years to file a suit and obtain specific performance [In this case, the suit having been preferred after a long delay, the plaintiff was held not entitled for specific performance on this ground also.] (Para 14-18)

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