Trinity Infraventures Ltd. and Ors. Vs. M.S. Murthy and Ors

Case Number: Civil Appeal Nos. 4049-4053 of 2023

Name of Judges: Hon’ble Judges V. Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal, JJ.

Order Date: 15.06.2023

Facts of the Case:

  • The Special Leave Petition granted by the Court is filed against judgment of the High Court of Telangana in a batch of civil appeals. 
  • The case is a land dispute having a history of 200 years ago when Hyderabad was ruled by the.
  • The suit was originally filed in 1965-56. 
  • The matter involves persons who claim property on the basis of the decree passed by the trial court in early years of the dispute, there are persons who claim that they are shareholders of the property on the basis of the independent title given by the predecessors and even the State of Telangana claims that the property is vested with them since a long time.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court Observed as Follows:

  • The Court observed that the preliminary decree dated back in 1963 is not binding on the claims of the petitioners and the government who have set up independent claims. The Court dismissed the appeals by the petitioners and the interlocutory application filed by the State of Telangana. 
  • The Court held that it was rightly contended that no one had pleaded that the preliminary decree was vitiated by fraud. Further, the Court said that allegations of fraud require special pleadings in terms of Order VI, Rule 4 CPC. The Court noted that fraud was not one of the issues framed by the Single Judge Bench. The Court said that the difficulty with the findings of the Division Bench was that none of the parties to the preliminary decree challenged the same on the ground that it was vitiated by fraud. 
  • Further, the Court observed that an application under Order XXI Rule 97 Civil Procedure Code, 1908 is to be filed by the decree-holder (or purchaser in execution of the decree), as can be seen from the statutory provision. In contrast, an application under Order XXI Rule 99 is to be filed by the person dispossessed of immovable property, by the holder of a decree for possession. In the case on hand, the obstructionists do not claim title under any one of the parties to the litigation. They set up independent titles in themselves. 
  • The Court held that if in a suit for partition, the title to a property cannot be decided in favour of the parties claiming partition qua strangers, the same logic would apply even to the claim petitioners qua the State Government. If the claim petitioners had title to a portion of the land in Hydernagar (roughly working out to about 11 acres out of a total of acres 196.20), the question as to who holds title to the remaining part of the land would remain at large, if the assignees of the decree go out. Therefore, the Court held that the findings recorded, and the conclusion reached in the impugned Judgment, were not binding on the State Government. 
  • The Court dismissed the appeals by the petitioners and the interlocutory application filed by the State of Telangana.

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