Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Whether a party can adduce evidence as per S 92 of Evidence Act that registered lease deed was never intended to be acted upon?

The learned counsel appearing for the petitioners heavily relied upon judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of M/s. Raval and Co. vs. K.G. Ramachandran reported in MANU/SC/0416/1973 : (1974) 1 Supreme Court Cases 424, to contend that the Courts below could not have gone into the question of validity of the registered lease deed dated 17.07.1995 (Exh. 184) on the basis of unregistered document like the letter dated 27.07.1995 (Exh. 178), because the terms of a registered document executed between the parties ought to prevail and the parties could not be permitted to lead evidence to disprove such terms of registered document. In this context, the position of law pertaining to the exact nature of bar under Section 92 of the Evidence Act has been considered by this Court in the case of Vijay Laxmipati Dasari vs. Laxmibai Ramayya Bolabattin reported in MANU/MH/1832/2016 : 2017(3) ALL Mr. 567, wherein it has been laid down that the power under Section 92 of the Evidence Act would not apply when a party seeks to disprove the contract itself or to prove that the document was not intended to be acted upon and that the intention was totally different. It has been held that the bar applies only when oral evidence is sought to be led to disprove the terms of a contract. While laying down the said position of law, this Court has relied upon judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of R. Janakiraman vs. State reported in MANU/SC/0001/2006 : AIR 2006 S.C. 1106. In the said judgment, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held as follows:-

"11.6. We may cull out the principles relating to section 92 of the Evidence Act, thus:-

i) Section 92 is supplementary to section 91 and corollary to the rule contained in section 91.

ii) The rule contained in section 92 will apply only to the parties to the instrument or their successors-in-interest. Strangers to the contract (which would include the prosecution in a criminal proceeding) are not barred from establishing a contemporaneous oral agreement contradicting or varying the terms of the instrument. On the other hand, section 91 may apply to strangers also.

iii) The bar under section 92 would apply when a party to the instrument, relying on the instrument, seeks to prove that the terms of the transaction covered by the instrument are different from what is contained in the instrument. It will not apply where anyone, including a party to the instrument, seeks to establish that the transaction itself is different from what it purports to be. To put it differently, the bar is to oral evidence to disprove the terms of a contract, and not to disprove the contract itself, or to prove that the document was not intended to be acted upon and that intention was totally different."

14. Thus, it becomes abundantly clear that merely because Exh. 184 in the present case was a registered lease deed, it could not be said that the respondents were prohibited under Section 92 of the Evidence Act, to lead evidence to show that the said lease deed was never intended to be acted upon. Therefore, it becomes clear that the petitioners cannot contend that once the document at Exh. 184 was a registered document, the Court could not examine the contentions raised on behalf of the respondents at all.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (NAGPUR BENCH)

Writ Petition No. 4777 of 2014

Decided On: 30.04.2019

Orbit Super Market Private Limited  Vs. Mukta Arvind Bobde and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Manish Pitale, J.


Citation: 2019(6) MHLJ 614
Read full judgment here: Click here
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